The New Monasticism
This new monasticism also provides a space for singles to contribute in sacrificial ways to the work of Christ in the world, Claiborne says. "There is something beautiful about singleness," he says. Those struggling with their sexual identity, or those unsure if they're called to marriage, "need a space for community, for love, and intimacy," which the new monasticism provides.
"The worship of family and the white picket fence is distasteful to the coming generation," Bessenecker says. A community of single people can represent God's expanded view of the family, that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
Though the new monasticism is a minority movement, Bessenecker says its impact could be far beyond the numbers of people involved. "None of these historical movements were ever a huge percentage of the Christian population," he says. "But they had a disproportionate impact on society. I think we're going to see that in the next 50 years."
Rob Moll is online assistant editor of Christianity Today.
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Drop Out and Tune in to Jesus | Today's communities are very different, and very similar to, those that formed in the 70s.
More information about the new monasticism and a discussion more on is available at newmonasticism.org.