A couple of days ago I ordered some small (MKS Fat Tugs), specialist bits (The Jethro Tule)for my new bike. They were from a small company that I had never heard of until I started searching for fixed wheel/gear bikes.
The bits arrived the next day, the invoice included a hand written note thanking me for the order and hoping the bits go well.
It is not a surprise to me that the "fixie" community is small. Nor is it a surprise that it is also friendly.
It seems to me that friendliness and small communities are often closely linked. I have found that in a number of different environments both work and leisure. It is not a 100% rule, sometimes small communities can be closed and hostile to newcomers (no I am not going to mention examples by name).
I was reminded of this today as I took the funeral service for Olive. Olive was 90 and had been a member of Raunds Methodist Church her whole life. Her commitment to the Church and it’s life spanned that whole time. The response of her friends and family were a good reminder of the importance and power of small community.
In the Methodist Church we have lots of small communities. So often this is seen as a problem and something we should move away from. Instead I am becoming more and more certain that this is a huge strength providing we embrace and celebrate all the good things of small communities.
As I reflected on Olive’s life and that of many others that I have conducted funerals for, it occurred to me that there is an authenticity about small Christian communities, that worship in, live in and serve local communities year in and year out. Something that we are in danger of losing if we ignore the lessons of the past.
If 12 disciples were enough for Jesus then why do we think that Christian communities need to be 100′s or 1,000′s of faceless people? The Gospel is about people and their relationships with God, each other and the world so the Church ought to be people sized. So often we have problems because we try to act a size we are not.