*Launching April 2020*
Gospel Communities are the life blood of the church for connecting and living as family. This can take on a myriad of shapes. We intentionally cultivate relationships that reflect the family and service that God has given to us. We do this by reminding one another of the truth of the Gospel by giving and receiving discipleship in one another’s lives. We cultivate this through prayer, God’s Word, intentional relationship and service for and with one another. GC’s are a time that we come together within a regular rhythm. We live life together, we eat, we clean, we pray, we work, we talk, we play and we go on mission together. This typically looks like the following, though remains open to rearrangement by the Holy Spirit and the needs of the whole GC:
We regularly eat together as families to create, celebrate and sustain the relationship of brotherhood that has been given to us by God. Meal coordination and planning can take on many forms, but it is essential that all people feel welcome and it is prepared and executed in a spirit of family, unity and humility. We very quickly come face to face with limitations and differences in our schedules, availability and finances. This is a perfect opportunity to be open and make a practical plan together.
Work & Play
We carve out places to allow each other to help and be helped. We work and bear each other’s burdens, which is a great place to talk about what resources (time, talents and treasures) we bring to the collective table. God has called us to celebration, relaxation and joyful creation just as heartily as He calls us to bear with one another and serve one another. When we play and enjoy things we reflect God’s character. It is so important to do this together, to revel in the gifts God has given and turn our hearts back to him in full joy. All things belong to God and are to be used to worship and serve him, sometimes only by combining our gifts do they work well. This is a perfect opportunity to decide where and how you can serve and play in the community together.
We create a culture of both receiving and giving service. We learn to accept help and we learn to give help well. Because this is something that God modeled for us in Jesus it is a way that we can worship and imitate him. Family is a place to practice all of the things God has called us to so we practice service. Laundry, dishes, childcare, car repair, shopping, and cleaning are all basic ways to serve one another well and regularly. As we learn to do this within the family it becomes more natural to apply this level of care to those around us. We then, as a group, can support and care for the people in each family’s lives. This is a great place to work out kinks of awkwardness and frustration. We can empathize with those that we wish to care for, which leads into mission.
Mission is the culmination of all of these things. It is living as family, it is serving well, it is playing together, it is working alongside one another, it is gathering, it is eating together. All of this bonded together and given not only to those in our Gospel communities but then pointed outward into our communities. It is affording the same love, respect and position to those we meet in everyday life.