As a new monastic and a lover of almost all things grassroots, I typically shirk at the idea of a rigid "plan" of any sort. But I also see the benefit in providing some sort of concrete evidence of future goals.
So, as part of my Basics of Church Business class I've been taking at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, I present to you Anavah House's vision and mission statements, as well as our core values and goals for the next five years or so. I'd love to hear your thoughts. By the way, we are also officially registered as a "forming community" with the directory of the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. I humbly ask that if you know of anyone in the KC area interested in new monastic intentional living, please let me know!
Anavah House exists to love and to serve Jesus Christ by loving and serving our neighbors in authentic Christian community.
Our mission is to love and serve Christ and our neighbors by living in community as set forth in Acts 2:44-47, by engaging our neighborhood through community development programs, by cultivating sustainable living as stewards of God’s creation through ecologically dependable methods, and by welcoming all to our community as we would welcome Christ.
- Loving Christ and our neighbor in the spirit of humility and gentleness.
- Holding ourselves to a monastic rule and prayer schedule, as well as practicing the discipline of eating together as a Christian family.
- Seeking social justice for the poor, marginalized, and disenfranchised within the neighborhood community surrounding Anavah House.
- Generating supplemental income for the community through utilization of our God-given gifts of creative skills and craftsmanship.
- Experimenting with ecological sustainability through methods that have been tested in other communities, practicing good stewardship of our bodies and of God’s good creation.
Phase One (6 months – 1 year)
- Begin to raise awareness about the forthcoming community, scoping out potential co-founders who feel called to live out a new monastic lifestyle at Anavah House.
- Obtain a piece of property capable of supporting 6-8 people (including my wife and I), as well as at least 1-2 rooms suitable for guests, and sufficient space for worship/prayer. The location of Anavah House would most ideally be in a neighborhood of high risk/need in the Kansas City area.
- Register as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to help our sponsors with funding.
- Begin renovating the house to suit the needs of a new monastic community.
Phase Two (1 – 3 years)
- Acquire the knowledge and the volunteers to construct adequate accommodations for small livestock (chickens, ducks, and, with time, possibly even bees), as well as raised-bed vegetable gardens, a grey water waste recycling system, and a system for recycling rainwater for use on our crops.
- Begin encouraging the creation of meaningful art within the community, including the installation of a small ceramics studio.
- Canvass Anavah House’s neighborhood in a non-confrontational way, increasing local awareness of our existence as a safe place to be in fellowship with the neighbors.
- Initiate a partnership with various universities and nonprofit organizations (i.e. Roadtrip Project) to begin an internship program, offering short-term (3 days – 1 week) and long-term (1 – 2 months) internship opportunities to students.
Phase Three (3 – 5 years)
- Implement community development programs beneficial to the neighborhood—the appropriate programs will become apparent with increased understanding of the needs of the community.
- Expand our relational base from the immediate community surrounding Anavah House to a greater area, encouraging local churches and other neighborhoods to get involved in community development programming.
- Devise a novice program for people entering the community in order to gradually acclimate them to the new monastic life.