I am gonna have to stop quoting from Vanier or I might as well copy and paste the whole darn book! These quotes are from “Community and Growth”. I am up to the 3rd chapter, and every couple of paragraphs I have to sit back and absorb the awesome truths he is laying out. God has really been convicting me on some of this.
”When someone enters community, it is important to be clear about what is expected of them, not only from the point of view of work and their daily programme, but even more their inner attitudes. They must understand the position of the community on fundamental issues, such as wealth, sexuality, the use of power and authority. They must know clearly their responsibilities and their rights: what will happen if they fall sick or when they will have time off or what community facilities they can use, etc. They must know how long their trial period lasts. Much confusion comes when these questions have not been looked at. That is why, on entering a community, there must be discussion with new members. They must be well accompanied, affirmed, encouraged and given the right support”
Not all of these issues will apply, depending on the type of community we are talking about. But they are very important questions a community should establish answers to upon their founding and must be vigilant to maintain. The idea of accompaniment for those joining later is, I think, key. Community thrives when individuals have an ezer kenegdo within the community. Varnier describes this relationship as spiritual direction.