Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tangible Kingdom Part 3: The 3 Habits of an Incarnational Community

1) Sharing Friends
"Adjust your routine to include meeting friends, both saint and Sojourner, in public places that are comfortable for everyone.  I think you'll find that community begins to take shape, naturally."

2) Sharing Food
"God uses the banquet table analogy to speak about heaven, salvation, and evangelism... In Adullam, every eight weeks or so, we have what we call 'Big Table.'"

3) Sharing Life
"The key to this is the word 'spontaneous.'  This isn't rocket science, but we've come to realize that the compartmentalized approach to life, coupled with Americans' radical individualism, does make it hard for some people to live incarnationally."

"Most of us learned to view communing with God as primarily happening in either a church worship service or in our own personal devotional time.  A good majority of the transfer growth dilemma surrounds a systemic belief that corporate worship is the primary place God communes with us and we with him. 
We think it's shortsighted and historically ignorant to assume that every time Christians met throughout history, they had a stage, trained singers, overheads and well-choreographed vocal worship to help them connect with God... In Adullum we share scripture, Sabbath gathering and soulace space." 

1) Scripture
"Ager you read the scripture, ask these five questions and let people answer as they feel led:
1. What did you like about what we just read?
2. What didn't you like?
3. Was there anything you didn't understand?
4. What did you learn about God?
5. Regardless of where your faith is at right now, if you were to apply what we learned about God to something in your life this week, what would it look like?
Keeping this simple grid around scripture allows you and your community to function without any preparation and will never create a sense of 'in or out.'"

2) Sabbath Gathering
"The problem with church has been that we communicate that God is up in heaven, monitoring his cosmic seating chart, and he really wants our church buildings full. 
That's just not true.
Church gatherings were never the intended goal; they were the natural result of people finding others who were living their alternative Kingdom story.  The goal of the missional life is not to grow churches,  The goal of the gospel is not to get people to church.  The result of the gospel is that people will find each other and gather because of the deep meaning of a common experience.
People were naturally dispersed because of mission and the gathering was their way to hear the faithful stories of others."

3) Soulace
" The last habit we move people into is what we call 'soulace' spaces.  These are simple gatherings throughout the week where people can be together for a more communal experience in scripture, silence, prayer and reflection.
Whereas the Gathering provides the largest intersection for relational connection, celebration and vision, and villages provide the most integrated opportunity for a group to be intentional with incarnational mission, soulace space creates a web of spontaneous connections that provide for more soul growth."

"Christians often come into a church for communion; Sojourners more easily come in through community and mission."

1) Benevolent Action
"In Adullam, each village chooses where they will live out their benevolence together."

2) Sacrificial Giving
"It is within the context of mission that we ask people to give of their resources."

3) Spontaneous Blessing
"We've learned that everything gets taken care of if you give people vision and permission to spend their money wisely on real people... What if every church was able to get every person to commit 5 percent of their income to the general church fund, but mobilized the other 5 percent to all the needs of their communities?"

4) Sending of Leaders
"In a given month, each village commits one evening to a party at which they can share their friends, food and fun.  We ask them to commit one time to experiencing some aspect of mission, service or benevolent action, and we suggest that a couple of times they gather as a community to open the scriptures, pray and do anything that would help them commune with God."

In closing...
"People will always be drawn to people who look, smell and behave like Jesus and if you're committed to caring for people who move toward Christ through you, church will become a labor of love for you as well.  Fresh faces, new stories and a web of relationships will witness to the tangible world Jesus called his Kingdom."

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