In part one of this post, I gave you some principles for setting the rhythm of gathering for your missional community. Today I’m sharing with you a couple of examples of how people have worked this out in practice.
Person Of Peace
My friend Doug Paul, who has just joined the team at Summit Life Church in Florida, has found that the following rhythm has worked for a number of groups that he coaches:
- Week 1: In/ Out (dinner, maybe some very light spiritual content, easy Person Of Peace night)
- Week 2: Up/ In (dinner, together for 10-12 minutes, break into smaller groups usually to identify what God is saying and what they are going to do about it)
- Week 3: In/ Out (dinner, maybe some very light spiritual content, easy Person Of Peace night)
- Week 4: Up/ In (dinner, together for 10-12 minutes, break into smaller groups usually to identify what God is saying and what they are going to do about it)
Obviously there’s quite a bit of variation and flexibility based on how the group is starting, etc., but the pattern has been easy to remember and as long as people are being trained, equipped and challenged to find People of Peace in their normal comings and goings, we’ve seen a lot of fruit from it.
What we’ve trained people to hit on relentlessly is that this pattern only represents the ORGANIZED aspect of family life and if we can catalyze them to embrace the ORGANIC reality of family life and how it fleshes out with Up/ In/ Out, it really works easily and sucks people right in.
We’ve started to see that there are, in many ways, two kinds of missional communities developing. While every MC has an understanding of sent-ness to them, many MC’s (like the ones with the rhythm above) are a representative of the sent-ness into where they already are. It’s about creating a family on mission in the places they already inhabit which is why the ORGANIC aspect of this is so enormous. For MC’s that are being sent to places where people don’t currently live, work or play, I think developing another kind of rhythm than shown above is critically important.
I’ve seen a lot of groups, especially in the suburbs, whose rhythm is something like:
- Week 1: Up/ In (food; non-guitar worship; someone shares what Jesus has been saying to them in the past 7 days, with both a Bible reflection and life application to show what they are doing about it, followed by group discussion; break into small groups for prayer)
- Week 2: Out (serving and witnessing in their place of mission)
- Week 3: As week 1
- Week 4: Either more Out or accountability in (very) small groups, done at various points during the week.
Often you find the accountability portion will happen several times during the month. Also, you might find in week 4 that the leaders gather their coaching huddle, made up of their key assistants and emerging leaders.
Obviously there are lots of other variations at play here! Nevertheless, it pays to stop, reflect on the stage of life of your missional community, what your plans are for this new school year, and then be willing to refresh your pattern of gatherings. Do not simply drift along with the same pattern – keep things fresh, and be closely responsive to what the Holy Spirit is doing amongst the people you are called to reach and disciple!
Do you need to review the pattern of gathering for your missional community?
Use the comment section below to share your thoughts and experiences.
Want More On This?
- Check out a post about my friend Ethan Magness and their group rhythm – click here to read it. Then make sure you’ve signed up to receive an email each time there’s something new here!
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