My old friend Graham sent me some stuff about the theme of the teaching in our old church Calvary Christian Fellowship back in Preston. Graham is about to do a season looking again at making and forming small missional communities.
It is going to be an interesting journey for them, as they are starting out not as a disparate band who ‘find’ each other then start with all the forming and storming. Rather they are starting out as ‘Church’ and seeking to become ‘church’.
I wish them every blessing.
Graham shared this model which was their staring point-
This is not Graham’s picture though- this is from the middle of our table from the Aoradh meeting tonight. Because we had already been speaking about a similar dynamic.
We do this thing at our planning meetings that I like- we cover the table with paper, and the doodles and coffee spills and scribble become the record of our gathering.
Ok someone might need to pull out some action points and e-mail it round later, but we often do not take other notes.
Tonight I shared my sense of frustration that we were doing a lot of the inward stuff- the gathering and eating together and sharing (all of which is great) and also some of the upward stuff- in terms of worshipping together. But we were not doing so much ‘outward’ stuff- the uncomfortable business of ‘mission’. This is not really fair of course because we have been doing all sorts of things this year, but I am always longing for the next creative adventure.
Mission no longer means ‘evangelism’ for us. But I think it still means risk, vulnerability, and the deliberate connection with the other- in various kind of ways- seeking to serve, to make peace, to share art, to display love and to seek to be agents of the Kingdom of God.
Anyway, my friends pointed out gently that we all have different levels of need for this kind of adventure, and that the very fact of living our lives in the midst of all this messy humanity is always going to be ‘out’ there. And I said yes- BUT…
And bless them, we spent the rest of the night dreaming of missions we might adventure on. Art in the hillside, quiet gardens, meditation benches, trips away together, retreats etc…
Let the Spirit call us out.
But let us also be blessed in the togetherness.
As we worship.