I would say that the #1 question that I get asked after describing the missional community model to someone has to do with how anyone could possibly have any time to live this way. This great video from Caesar explains that it is not about “additional but intentional.” If you watch far enough he goes into detail about the rhythms of our life and how we can make them more intentional.
We are entering our first summer with our first missional community and we are beginning to discuss what we want it to look like. There are many opportunities, but there are also challenges because of the rapidly changing weekly schedules due to kids being out of school. This is only compounded by the fact that we live in Western Washington and our summer weather is typically short-lived and sporadic and if the sun comes out poeple want to take advantage of it. I read a great article this week dealing with some of these issues. Here is an excerpt:
Summertime always prompts images of grilling in the backyard, vacation road trips, watching baseball, and adventures in the neighborhood.
In the church, it’s often a season where we “take a break” from ministry and community. I’ve always found that idea somewhat odd when I consider my identity in Christ. I don’t really ever “take a break” for an entire season from my earthly family, so why would I skip out on my spiritual family for three months?
My family rhythm certainly changes in the summer, but it doesn’t disappear entirely. The kids are out of school, and we’re on the go more, but we don’t stop teaching our kids about Jesus and His Word. We certainly don’t cease to be brothers and sisters in Christ with our church family during the summer either.
What if your community continued striving to be a spiritual family this summer, rather than pushing pause?
Read the whole article, including the great suggestions for missional communities in the summer! As we move through the summer we are going to be experimenting with some things. Sometime after the summer I’ll post a follow-up with reflections on our experience.
Camano Island State Park in the fall.
One of the things that I love about new technology is the ability to snap a good quality photo with my phone at any time and share it instantly via text, instagram, Facebook, etc. Sometimes, you just want to share what you are seeing, and even though you can’t capture it fully in an image, it somehow becomes more rich when others can enjoy a piece of it too. I took the above picture during a walk and prayer time. My intention was to be alone, but as I walked upon this scene on a still day with the birds singing I desperately wanted others to experience it too!
I had a similar experience that I wished I could share with everyone last Sunday night. It was our missional community meeting. We packed into our little home to have dinner together, connect, share stories, and then share the “Story of God.” We had a lot of kids there, and at moments it was pure chaos! Oh, but what a beautiful chaos it was! Even though we are only in our second week in the “Story of God,” we can tell that this has the potential to shape us as a community in new ways that line up with God’s mission. How absolutely wonderful to have young children helping their adult parents retell the story and remind us of what we forgot! I can’t wait to see where this all goes and I do hope that more of you reading this will have the opportunity to join us someday and experience it for yourself!
As part of the “homework” for our discernment team last week we asked people the question: “What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Jesus?'” We asked the same question about the word “church.” We talked about the various responses in our second “gathering” with the team this past Sunday and also about how we respond to those same questions. We spent some time in Matthew 16:13-25. Now we are digging even deeper and this week we all have to come up with our own short answers for the following:
Who is Jesus?
What is the church?
What is salvation?
What is service?
What is evangelism?
Our goal is that in the next two meetings (or perhaps three) that we will be able to bring all of our answers together and create a “foundational statement” that will answer all of these questions in brief, everyday terms. We are not trying to create another creed for the Book of Confessions, but rather to find our heart and common ground around these questions so that we can work from there as we seek God’s vision for our new community. Once we complete this task I will be sure to post it here for all to read and comment. In the meantime, feel free to leave your “gut response” to the question: “Who is Jesus?”