When I first started understanding the concept of sharing things I just shrugged it off. The way of the early church is so different than we are today that we can’t really comprehend what it would be like to have all things in common. We have a hard enough time having anything in common at all. We like to own things. It’s important to add more things to your collection, the older you get. You are considered successful if you can be completely independent of anyone else. You don’t and shouldn’t have to ask or need anything from anyone else. You should have your retirement figured out and have your life figured out financially until you die without being a burden on anyone. Like I said, the idea of having all things in common today is like trying to explain calculus to a three year old. We just aren’t capable of understanding it.
Yet I don’t think this is an excuse for not trying to get to that point. There is something healthy about intentional sharing. When we share things it reminds us that whatever we are sharing was not just meant for us. We are given to so that we can give, not so we can hoard or use for ourselves. When we share it reminds us that we don’t really need everything we have, but we can use what is already there. When we share it helps us become a community of stewards not a group of collectors.
With this in mind, we are implementing a new initiative at theStory this week. It’s called ATIC (All Things in Common). It is our attempt to try and relive parts of the healthy sides of the early church in our modern lives. It started off as an idea just to share books so we weren’t all buying the same book and leaving it on our shelves but it has now evolved into something a lot greater. We want to give people the opportunity to share with people of the things that they have been given. We want to give people the opportunity not to buy something because they can share it from someone in the community. We want to give people an opportunity to become a community that is attractive because they take care of each other and depend on each other.
So basically what we have done is set up an online database of items/services that people can post on to with whatever they want. This can be anything from books, movies, sports equipment, vehicles, services etc etc. People can post anything they want online, and then anyone else can scroll through the categories if they are ever in need of something. If you want something you have to login to make the contact information available and then you can contact them to work out the details. You can read our guidelines here for how we think it should work.