It has been about a year and a half since we had missional communities meeting regularly. It was a beautiful thing. We had people in community. We had people focused outward. We had folks reading Scripture together. It was beautiful.
And then it wasn’t.
Summer hit and schedules tore us apart.
And and I’m not sure we could even form them again in the same way.
Things are different.
But I keep preaching “missional.”
I keep pushing people to think “outward.”
I keep trying to focus the hearts and minds of our people on Christ and the Gospel.
I keep hoping this is a matter of “lying fallow.” This was a concept that was relatively new to me until, oh, about a year ago as our Alaska Conference of the United Methodist Church closed a church and decided that the building should “lie fallow” for a season. To lie fallow means to leave something unproductive for a year and, in particular, refers to the process of letting land go unseeded so that it can regain fertility. It’s letting it rest so it can bear more fruit at a later time.
And it’s biblical as well. Says Exodus 23:11, “But on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.”
It’s a process many farmers have done to ensure that their fields will grow crops.
So, perhaps, our missional communities are lying fallow right now…just waiting for a time to grow once again.
But the field can look pretty bleak in the meantime.