Over the past few years I’ve seen a lot of approaches to missional communities. And, really, most of them are great ideas that I’ve never incorporated. This was a new one to me. I found it over at Alex Absalom’s blog. Alex has great stuff and so his writings and thoughts make an appearance over here every once in a while. But I really liked this approach of using a scriptural reference as the framework for your meetings.
- We gather around food, sharing stories of what we’ve been up to (which means we give ourselves permission to simply hang out and connect with people)
- The meal moves into a time of thanksgiving/stories of God’s goodness.
- We then share in Communion, perhaps with space for personal confession (1 Cor 11:23-26).
- This provides a bridge into ‘body ministry’ (1 Cor 12:7-12, 14:26, etc), where we pray for the sick, wait on the Lord for any prophetic revelation, see what gifts of the Spirit are being stirred up, etc. 1 Cor 14:3 tells us that whatever is shared should be for the strengthening, encouragement or comfort of the others there, which creates a wise safety net for weighing what is shared.
- When that has drawn to a natural conclusion, someone shares the Word with us, bringing us the fresh bread of what Jesus is saying to them this week, and inviting comment/discussion. The key here is to answer this question: What is Jesus saying to me that will challenge or encourage others?
- We can sub-divide into small groups for prayer for one another if we would find that helpful.
- Our mission flows throughout the whole time together. Hopefully there are not-yet Christians with the group, so their contribution is really welcomed and they are accepted as they are. Also we may take some time to plan for an upcoming Go event. Another thing that should happen all the time is prayer for our mission context and asking for the Lord’s favor, protection and blessing on the people and community that we are called to love in a special way. Any friends there that night who are thinking about following Jesus will hear our hearts and passion – so make sure that it is authentic and genuine!
There you have it. That could make a great meeting.