Who’s Talking About Community?

July 10, 2007 at 9:19 pm

Driving back through South Carolina after the 4th of July, I happened across a gospel speaker on AM radio. Always curious I thought I’d give him a listen through the rest of the state.

He spoke about the fact that Americans feel they’ve lost a sense of community.

“Are you your brothers keeper?” he asked repeatedly.

I have no idea who this preacher was or what his denomination was, but what struck me was the fact that he was speaking to my values. I agreed with him. I felt that, yes, this is one of the things that America is losing and I have fought for in my own life and the way I live it.

What surprised me was that I was hearing this from a gospel preacher in South Carolina. I guess it surprised me because usually when I think of Southern sermons, I think of hellfire and brimstone. But here was someone talking about community in a way that I wish more politicians would.

I’d like to see someone rekindle the spirit that lead to public education for everyone and the public libraries. Small businesses. Community groups. Churches. Organizations that once formed the cornerstone of small town America.

Perhaps I’m being nostalgic, but I believe that people would respond to “community builders” in the same way that I responded to this sermon. Maybe more politicians should listen to sermons like this to see how churches are growing by speaking to people’s values.