The most helpful thing I took from the evening with Tom Sine (see post below) at the CMS house recently was his call for Christians to 'reimagine the good life' (sorry, I couldn't resist the pic - used to love that show when I was a kid!).
He said that where we seemed to have ended up with (as Christians in the West) is with lives largely shaped (in terms of values, aspirations, lifestyle choices etc.) by consumer culture with a little weekend spirituality tacked on.
In other words - our vision of what the good life is is pretty much the same as anyone elses.
We need to reimagine what living the good life looks like - and paint some pictures that imaginatively express and celebrate a different set of values.
I wonder whether this might be one answer to my earlier question of the missing interim models i.e. how do we go about creating community when we don't live together or very near each other. I wonder whether community is one of those things that happens as a by-product of something else, rather than a goal in itself (and if that's true then the phrase 'intentional christian community' perhaps isn't that helpful!). Perhaps we will see a greater depth of community happening when together we reimagine the good life.
So - an example of this might be the following: a reimagined good life might involve a desire to grow more of our own food. So we might do this with other people e.g. we might share an allotment etc. as we do so we find that we are living more deeply in community with the people we share the allotment with. But we didn't set out to deepen our community, we set out to grow more of our own food.
So maybe if you make 'community' an end in itself it's very difficult to acheive?