We are at a whole new stage in the journey for our Brighton
We haven’t been seeking to ‘exclude’ others from our stuff, but have simply been focused on team development and relationship building in the community over the last year. There have been very few ‘official’ open gatherings.
As we move towards this new gathering it is with some consternation. We actually chose not to have any Sunday gathering for at least 18 months simply because we recognise that it is so easy to stop thinking missionally and start to revert to an old (and familiar) ecclesiology. Dangerous”
I have spent some time this week thinking thru again what we are doing and why we are doing it. If you’re interested my thoughts are below. Its as much to help us safeguard ourselves against unintentionally creating a monster as it is to guide us.
The biggest trap will be to see this meeting as the core function of the team, when nothing could be further from the truth. If it becomes our central focus and if it occupies large slabs of our time each week then we have begun to lose sight of our core purpose.
Time will tell”
If you are interested in the framework of how we will function then keep reading below:
1. Community gatherings are regular fortnightly gatherings (Sundays 9.30am) where our core team members and friends in the community can gather to support one another, worship together and learn how to follow Jesus together in a range of ways. They are not simple social gatherings (ala a street party) and will have a definite sense of purpose, form and several regular components.
2. The regular components are to be some form of worship/prayer, some form of teaching/learning and a segment that is specifically for the kids. These components can be expressed in many different ways.
3. We agree that these weekly gatherings are not our primary focus, but that they exist as part of the fabric of mission life and contribute to it, rather than being the reason for it. Because of this, they should not take a significant amount of organisational skill or a large chunk of time. If they begin to weigh us down then we will need to re-think how we are doing them.
4. What we do in our first few gatherings will set the tone for future times. It is important that we establish the nature of what we intend to do so that people who are considering being part of the gatherings are aware of their intent.
5. The ‘focus’ group for what we will do is people who are at some point in the journey of faith and who are interested in following Jesus with others. It will not be a ‘Christianity for dummies’ group, but neither will it rely on vast amounts of prior knowledge to be able to participate.
6. The focus of the teaching content will essentially be ‘what does it mean to live as a follower of Jesus?’ If his call to us is to ‘make disciples teaching them to obey all I have commanded you’, then our goal will be simply to move people to obey all that Jesus commanded us.
7. We will pitch what we do at a middle high school level cognitively and assume people are interested in discipleship. We won’t water down to ‘seeker level’ but will be clear and allow people to engage as they are able.
8. We will get involved in doing part of the meeting according to our own gifting. We will all also get involved in the simple stuff of being a community – set up, pack up, doing the dishes etc.
9. Participation in the gathering and the running of segments of the meeting will not be limited to team members but will be open to all who are involved.
10. We will give people the opportunity each week to give money to a ‘community fund’, money that will be used to serve the wider Brighton
11. Jenny will oversee the worship/prayer side of things and will ask people to be involved, Danelle will do the same for kids and Hamo for teaching.