What is the most natural element around which relationally-connected communities form?
Opinions differ, but all seem to flow from the primary notion of commonality. Activities (significant & insignificant), interests (profound & superficial), circumstances (past & present), & relationships (favorable & unfavorable) seem the prevalent expressions of commonality. But which is the most central element for cultivating relationally-connected communities? Which is the element without which efforts in building such a community would be most frustrated?
I wonder if the most primary element for naturally forging relationally-connected communities (not just relationships, but communities) might be common space, i.e. physical proximity... specifically that common space around one's home.
In his book, The Connecting Church, Randy Frazee writes, "it's time for church leaders to take a long, hard look at the negative effects of the suburb on the deveopment of the biblical community." He goes onto list some characteristics of naturally (vs. artificially) formed community, including 1) spontaneity, 2) availability, 3) frequency, & 4) common meals... all made possible in greatest measure by a common geography. Frazee sums it all up with this, "The simple fact is that in all places of effective community, people live in close proximity to each other - & the closer the better!"
Could this be part of the reason Jesus instructed His disciples in Matthew 10:11, "...whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house (not an inn) until you leave that city." ?