Community Weaving mobilizes people to sign up on a good neighbors website. The technology allows people to self-organize into teams where everyone shares their time, skills, interests, talents, experiences and resources to meet people at their point of need, just as Jesus did in His ministry. In addition, local churches, schools, community organizations and businesses can list social, recreational, educational and spiritual activities in connecting people to good neighbors and their networks, which helps all social sectors work collaboratively to improve life in our cities.
King Saul's son, Jonathan, told the young man carrying his armor to cross over to the Philistine’s garrison. But Jonathan didn’t tell his father. Saul and 600 men stayed in the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree. Leaders consulted an ephod for direction from God, but the people didn’t know Jonathan had left. He went to the Philistines through two sharp crags on the north opposite Michmash and south opposite Geba (1 Sam. 14:1-5). One spiritual leader leads the way for implementing community weaving in a city as he or she leaves the walls of the church, overcomes obstacles and engages the various cultural sectors.
Jonathan, having faith in God's will regarding the Philistines, told his armor bearer to cross over to the garrison of uncircumcised since the Lord can work with just a few men. The armor bearer reaffirmed his support and submitted to Jonathan’s desires. After a positive sign of receptivity, they revealed themselves to the Philistines who said, “Behold, Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.” Jonathan was confident of the Lord’s victory. He killed 20 men by climbing up on his hands and feet with his armor bearer behind him. The garrison and raiders trembled and the earth quaked (1 Sam. 14:6-15). One leader with prayer covering him or her, establishes a beachhead in launching community weaving in his or her city.
Saul’s watchmen in Gibeah saw the multitude melt away in defeat. Everyone, including Saul, responded to Jonathan’s leadership by engaging in battle in the midst of great confusion. Deserters and those hidden in the hill country of Ephraim joined the Israelites in warfare. The Lord delivered Israel and the battle spread beyond Beth-aven (1 Sam. 14:16-23). Initial success encourages others to sign up as good neighbors in meeting real needs.
Saul unwisely made an oath so people couldn't taste food until he avenged himself from his enemies. People became weary because of fear and not eating honey. Jonathan wasn't informed about the oath so he ate honey. As a result, his eyes brightened. Jonathan told one person that the slaughter of the Philistines would be much greater if people ate honey (1 Sam. 14:24-30). Community weaving is hindered by legalism and fear, but the platform for establishing self-organized teams will be strengthened as people feed on God’s word.
People rushed greedily upon the spoil by killing sheep, oxen and calves. They told Saul that the people sinned against God by eating animals with the blood (Lev. 17:10-14). Saul encouraged them to eat meat without blood. Saul then built his first altar to the Lord (1 Sam. 14:31-35). Feeding on God’s word prevents people from sinning so they will persevere in community weaving.
When Saul urged the people to kill the Philistines by night, the priest said to draw near to God. God didn’t answer Saul when he asked whether to attack. Casting lots revealed that Jonathan violated Saul’s foolish oath, which caused people to sin. The people objected when Saul said Jonathan must die. They rescued him from Saul since they credited Jonathan's partnership with God for deliverance over the Philistines (1 Sam. 14:36-46). Community weaving efforts expand greatly when God's people draw near to Him.
When Saul had taken the kingdom over Israel, he inflicted punishment or fought against his enemies’ evil lifestyle (Heb. Rasha), including Moab, Ammon, Edom, kings of Zobah and the Philistines.
Rasha is defined as “negative behavior from evil thoughts, words, and deeds that are contrary to God’s character and hostile to the human family. Because of this inner disharmony and unrest, social relationships of all types will be ruptured. . . . People with this characteristic are guilty of violating the social rights of others through oppression, greed, exploitation, murder, dishonesty, in business and twisting justice. . . . Only through true repentance, confession and prayer can it be reversed.”
Saul acted valiantly, defeating the Amalekites, delivering Israel from those who plundered them (1 Sam. 14:47-48). The goal of community weaving is social justice, unconditional love and harmony in every aspect of life.
Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi and Mal-chi-shua and two daughters, Merab and Michal. His wife was Ahinoam and captain of his army was Abner. War against the Philistines was severe during the time of Saul. He gathered any mighty man he saw to his staff (1 Sam. 14:49-52). Weaving the fabric of community to save our children's future requires a partnership of mighty men and women.
Honey or God's word is like wisdom for the soul to maintain your future and hope (Prov. 24:13-14).
Successful Community Weaving Implementation Requires the Following People in a City:
1. Convener who meets with social sector leaders to gauge community readiness.
2. Endorser who leads a call to action to launch Community Weaving in the city.
3. Coordinator who creates long-term sustainability of Community Weaving.
4. Network of many Good Neighbors, Family Advocates and Community Weavers in each city.