In Geffrey B. Kelly and F. Burton Nelson’s excellent book, The Cost of Moral Leadership: The Spirituality of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, they point out that many people are interested in Bonhoeffer because of the relationship between his intense devotion to Jesus and the fellowship with his brothers (and sisters) in Christian community:

One of the main reasons why readers find Bonhoeffer’s writings so compelling lies in the inner strength and intensity of his relationship with Jesus Christ developed in the practical everyday life of a Christian community. When he wrote his account of his community-sustained spiritual life in the Finkenwalde seminary, he was not reminiscing about an agreeable, idyllic experience of a like-minded group of dedicated seminarians.

He intended to share with others this experience, with its joys and trials, its mutual support and enduring friendships, that it might serve as a model for forming moral leaders and for the creation of new forms of church community throughout Germany. With vivid memories of how he and his seminarians were able to form a supportive community for each other in Finkenwalde, he wrote that what they accomplished could become a possibility for the church as a whole. In fact, it was entirely possible, he said, for the creation of communities like these to become a bona fide “mission entrusted  to the church” (145-146). 

His findings at Finkenwalde eventually become the classic book, Life Together. While Bonhoeffer was looking mainly to the church in a post-war Germany, there can be no doubt that the impact of Life Together continues to this day to be world-wide.