doing life together…

Ok, so a hypothetical one for you. Just thinking more on how a large church can ‘do’ community more effectively. What I’m talking about is how you get majority of a congregation into a missional mindset – as well as ‘doing’ life together.

So, for example – rather than old school bible study or small groups which focus on our own personal discipleship, albeit in a communal context – what about something that seeks to embrace discipleship alongside mission alongside worship alongside social justice? Even up-to-date thinking around cell groups may not be sufficient here.

The question is – how do you do life together in a way that isn’t cliquey, but brings intimacy and deeper connections with one another? How do you spin the view of the group outwards, whilst maintaining relationships within? Missional focus has to an imperative in everything the church does – even discipleship!

I guess the question may be deeper – how does the community maintain the beauty of small whilst experiencing exponential growth because it’s doing what church exists to do – transform lives and usher in the Kingdom. Doing this well, however may mean people get left on the sidelines – they’re attracted into life together…and then what?

Surely growth can’t mean loss of true community…can it?

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and experiences around this.

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3 thoughts on “doing life together…

  1. My take on this is that it is when mission team becomes the heart and focus of the church, not the gatherings on Sundays and thinking in terms of being a ‘congregation’. There’s no such thing properly in Judaism, Jesus wouldn’t have known what people were talking about if someone had asked him during his time on earth about ‘congregations’. Surely people gather to pray and hear the Torah read, and people gather to study and cooperate to do the many mitzvot of kindness and justice. But the whole idea of ‘belonging’ to one group led by one priestly kind of leader and trying to do everything in that one group is artificially constructed. Did Paul write to congregations?

    So what happens if we (not quite altogether) remove ‘congregation’ or ‘corps’ thinking from how we look at being church, and put discipleship integrated with mission (teams) there instead, with worship, prayer and Bible study returning primarily to family homes and only secondarily happening in larger groups?
    I think then you get community –

    1. Sounds like a really interesting concept.

      I think it is important to explore how we remove the emphasis from the large (Sunday), consumer driven gathering where the ‘Priest’ (Officer, Vicar, Pastor, Worship Leader) is the star of the show and does all the hard work during the week prepping. People turn up on Sunday, ‘buy’ the product and then leave it there until the next week (a little harsh, but I think you know where I’m coming from).

      Having said that, large gatherings are important in celebrating/sharing journey together. But there has to be a way to get people beyond focusing most of our talent, resources and energy there.

      It would seem that a network based/cluster based approach would be a good way forward – but, being part of a Network church – we still have the challenges that I’m posting about.

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