I was asked a question recently about what happens when our gospel communities meet together. Here’s my reply …
The first thing to say is that a gospel community is not a meeting. It is a group of people who are committed to Jesus and committed to one another, sharing their lives together and sharing mission together. It is about people hanging out together, doing chores together, eating together, serving in the neighbourhood – all with gospel intentionality. That intentionality includes both a commitment to discipling one another with the gospel and sharing the gospel with unbelievers – all in the context of ordinary life and shared life. It’s not a meeting your attend. It’s not a thing you do. It’s who you are are. It’s your identity. It’s your place of belonging.
So the way you run a meeting becomes secondary because your meeting will be the outflow of your shared life. You will pray together, but then you pray together in your ordinary, shared life. You will talk about Jesus, but then you talk about Jesus in your ordinary, shared life. You will eat together, but then you eat together in your ordinary, shared life. You will look at the Bible, but then you look at the Bible in your ordinary, shared life. So an unbeliever attending will not experience anything very much different from what they have already experienced of the gospel community.
We have been playing around the following rubric for our gospel community meetings. They should always include:
- bread = eating together as an expression of community including communion
- Bible = exploring God’s word together and discussing its implications to our live and our life together
- blessing = sharing news, consultation, co-ordination, prayer and so on with a focus on how we we going to bless people in the coming week
Or maybe a better rubric is meal, ministry and mission. What do you think?