Tuesday, September 19, 2006

forming community

Pernell Goodyear @ the Freeway in Hamilton, ON [just down the road from KW] has a great post on forming community.
One of the hardest things about leading any church community is forming the missional, "called-out" community [missional prophet]. This group of individuals and families who have taken seriously the words and life of Jesus and the call to missional, incarnational living is the primary pastoral responsibility of any missional leader. There are various ways in which we attempt to form this community at The Freeway.

Our weekly worship gatherings are specifically designed to enable these missional followers into an authentic encounter with God. We tend to plan a month's worth of gatherings at a time ensuring that the "big picture" is to call our community into missional living in the culture/context/community we find ourselves in.

Narrative teaching, community interaction, the arts, ancient rituals and practices, and the songs that really move us are the elements we have found necessary in our worship gatherings. We have a "bend" for deep community [as opposed to individualism], justice [not just mercy, but justice], and incarnation [and a call away from consumerism and "me, me, me" - to something other than ourselves]... and we likely "beat a dead horse" about these three all the time... in fact, we hardly talk about, explore, learn much else. This is mostly due to the fact that we haven't gotten these down yet, but also because we think these three form the core of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
This is key. It is so easy, to reduce faith in Jesus to an introspective, isolated, individuality, rather than seeing the call to community and the call to extend that community to the ends of the world.
We are attempting to develop a committed community of missional Jesus-followers who understand their place as agents of Spirit-guided transformation. We are also attempting to not be sidetracked by "all the goods things" or the "semi-useless" we could be doing.

Mentoring, coaching, and guiding relationships are key for the prophetic imagination. We have been modeling and initiating these spiritual friendships for a while now. We really don't "do small groups", but instead call people to be in committed, supporting, accountable, authentic, organic relationships with each other. We have a few inititiatives where we are trying to encourage people to intentionally invest in each other...

1 comment:

Missional Jerry said...

Very Powerful article.

Thanks for posting it.