Why We Live in Community
We are convinced that a life in church community is the greatest service we can offer humanity and the best way we can proclaim Christ. The Bruderhof movement is not a lifestyle choice. It is an answer to Jesus’ insistent call to humankind as expressed in the Gospels, especially the Sermon on the Mount. While we follow the communal traditions of the early church, we believe our way of life is a compelling answer to the problems of contemporary society, with its emphasis on wealth and self, and its resulting isolation, conflict, and inequality.
Through community, we have experienced Christ’s transforming love. He makes the impossible possible: for ordinary and flawed men and women to live together in forgiveness and mutual trust, as brothers and sisters. It is his Spirit that calls Bruderhof members to a life of love where work, worship, mission, education, and family life are brought together into a single whole.
How That Actually Works
Though it comprises two dozen individual settlements, the Bruderhof functions as a united worldwide movement. Resources, knowledge, and support are shared among our different locations, and members make all important decisions together, with each person having an equal voice. Some of our settlements are individual houses; others look more like small villages with a population of two to three hundred people.
Just as the various parts of the human body work together selflessly, those who follow Christ should serve one another. Each Bruderhof settlement, in connection with its fellow communities, appoints brothers and sisters to be responsible for the various spiritual and practical aspects of the common life: pastoral leadership; stewardship of money and goods; education of children and youth; hospitality and outreach; and work departments, such as farming, maintenance, kitchen, health care, and our work-shops.