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Community and Growth Paperback – January 1, 1989


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Community and Growth + From Brokenness to Community (Harold M. Wit Lectures) + Becoming Human
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 331 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press; 2nd Revised edition (January 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809131358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809131358
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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And there are others to be read and reread.
John C. Tittle
This is an excellent book for any community learning to accept and live together as a good community with love.
Quang Le Trinh
One has to have the courage to let strangers in and love them.
Plato

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By John C. Tittle on May 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Jean Vanier's Community and Growth sheds such light on the topic of community. The richness flows from years of keen observation, experience, reflection, and prayer on this issue. Vanier has lived and breathed community, not just studied it. Humility and grace flow from each page. Vanier's servant leadership in the l'Arche communities is a wonderful living witness to the world of what Christian love looks like fleshed out. A real strength in this book is Vanier's insight into human nature. Even as Christians we are a mixture of light and darkness. But God's grace shines through when we accept others as they are. Yet at the same time, the community beckons each individual member to grow more Christlike. This book teaches us how to live in any kind of community: the home, church, small group, or any gathering. Vanier writes that a true community "provides a sense of belonging and an orientation of life to a common goal and common witness" (p.10). With such clarity and perception Vanier paints a vivid picture of community for us: the importance of unity, forgiveness, mission, selflessness, communication, celebration, humility, and respect for authority. Community and Growth helps us along the journey of "life together." There are some books that are to be read once. And there are others to be read and reread. This book invites us to return to it over and over--like an old friend.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bethany McKinney Fox on July 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
The profound wisdom in this book is born out of a lifetime of growth in the context of Christian community with the poor that Jean Vanier has been immersed in for almost 40 years. This book is not only interested in giving structural and personal tips for creating a healthy and God-centered community; it actually is like Jean Vanier's manifesto in terms of his paradigm of why community life is important and how God teaches special and beautiful things in the context of communities. He is such an effective writer. He is able to exhort the reader to want to pursue community life, but without being overly idealistic and ignoring the many complex difficulties that arise. Jean exhorts the reader to pursue community life not because it will be easy and always meet all our needs, but because it brings tremendous growth and because God's love and calling are bigger than the problems that come up in community. This is the best book I have ever read on community, and I will likely read it again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DKDC on May 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I read this book about 15 years ago and am going through it again now. It could use some editing, in my opinion. He goes over certain topics again and again.

But still 5 stars! It deals with the missing important link in social services - love and attachment! How to provide family or something family like to people who are broken.

Also, another theme is valuing people over success - that caring for and living life beside the weakest of us is "where it is at." Turning culture on it's head in a way.

Start by being with the broken, living in the same house as the broken. And then finally realizing you are also one of the broken. And that it is hard, but GREAT!

Or something like that. Vanier can tell the story much better than I can. I have heard him speak on three or four occasions and met him twice. He seems even more genuine and loving than his book is. One time he took a "sabatical" from his work leading the L'Arche Federation and lived in a house with one of the most challenging people in his community. Sabatical?

Anyway, having been around L'Arche now for 11 years and having seen not only the book and the man but some of the communities his vision resulted in - I think this book is very worth reading. Kind of a thick book - but not hard to read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
Vanier takes an in-depth look at community life and living through his experiences with the L'Arche community in France.
This Biblically-based book offers excellent insights, tips, rules and suggestions for how to build a healthy community.
The book is a wonderful primer for anyone considering the possibility of living in Christian community.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By martinsloveworks@yahoo.com on January 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
if you think the answer to Y2K is going through endless lines of computer code looking for "99" then you probably would not be interested in this book. if you are interested in making more organic connections with human beings than can be attained with quick one liners over the internet, if you know that the real communication is what goes on "between the lines", then you will love this book. its about love, healing, service, family, community. it adresses the problem of increasing alienation, isolation and loneliness in our modern technological world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Myers - Writing at TillHeComes on June 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book reads like a blog about the nature and development of community. If you are interested in how communities work, how to grow and develop community, or just want to think more about community and personal growth, this is a great book with lots of good ideas.

If you are part of a community and are looking for some good discussion starters about where to go as a community, how to function as a community, and how to develop as a community, this book would provide some good direction for that as well.

The book did get a little repetitive for me, but it serves as a good resource for all things related to community.
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