From a letter to a friend:
...I think I understand about the desire for an inspiring Christian community. Although, as you noticed (I think), often communities that seem great from one vantage point turn out to have a darker side when seen from within, or when we get a little older and more experienced. I'm actually glad, in a way, that the community I'm in now is weak and not very unified. Because it makes them a lot more flexible and willing to allow differences. Often "unity" and strong community spirit lead easily to oppressive practices and the expulsion, in one way or another, of those who don't fit in (including those who don't fit in for good reasons).
The only community that is truly unified and not oppressive is the one body of Christ. But I don't see us getting a full or homogeneous experience of that here, in the sense that the community we're in will always be a mixed one (even the same person is sometimes with Christ and sometimes against). Like in the wheat and tares parable. And the attempts to try to institutionally mimic the true body always show themselves false eventually, often catastrophically so. That's been my experience anyway.
But I believe we can experience the body of Christ here and now, and so satisfy our current needs for fellowship and inspiration. It just won't be in a massive, homogeneous group. And it won't be the same for everyone. It will be here and there, "where two or three are gathered," God showing us his people when we need them, letting us know the body is real and present. Just mixed in, and so not easily identifiable. The more we know what to look for, the better we can recognize it, I think. This seems better to me, too, because there isn't the temptation to try to leverage the power of a large group of people. And it's also a community without centralized human leadership, so it's easier to see the common spirit and cooperation as coming from God's spirit directing all the parts of the body. That's inspiring to me.