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Missional Living

Keys to the Kingdom

April 9, 2013 | By | No Comments

Jesus spent three years here on earth. During that time, you would think Jesus would spend a lot of time teaching his disciples about how to proclaim the Gospel. That He would have a preaching class and a ‘how to communicate the four spiritual laws’ seminar, etc. But during His three years, He often showed them in vivid images about the Kingdom. He starts with a wedding feast. He shows them what the Kingdom is like. He uses stories to tell of it. He shows them healing, feeding, loving, compassion, forgiveness, and truth. He lived the way of the kingdom. He would demonstrate it. He would proclaim it.

Most of us still view the Gospel as a systematic set of beliefs and doctrines we try to transfer cognitively onto someone else. The word Gospel simply means good news. Its a modifier. Its good news of something else. The gospel is the good news of the Kingdom of God. We tell them the good news of the story of God, and that He is inviting people into the story. Way things are in heaven, He has made a way for those things to come here on earth. As Paul would say, “the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” (1 Cor 4:20)

There a piece of Scripture I’ve often missed in Matthew 16:13-20. When Jusus is talking to Peter about building His church, He turns to Peter and tells him that He (Jesus) will build His church. And what does He give Peter? Not the keys to great conversations, not the keys to winning arguments. Not even the keys to build an amazing church. He gives him the keys to the Kingdom. As if to say, “Peter, be all about the Kingdom. Be a people who are all about the Kingdom. You do that, the whole church thing will follow. I’ll build my church, you worry about the Kingdom.”

Even as Jesus is leaving them, he parts with His disciples saying “I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom.” This thing I’ve been showing you, inviting you into, I am assigning you now with the task of showing it and telling people about it.

How do we do it? We remember the stories. Remember the time the wine ran out? Remember what we did? The 500 gallons we turned into wine and kept the celebration going? Remember Zaccheus? The guy that people ostracized and they chased up the tree? They hated him. Remember how we walked over to the tree and Jesus called him down and we had dinner with him? We protected people that shouldn’t have been protected? We ate with people that people didn’t think we should eat with? Remember what people thought of us? Remember what we did on the Sabbath? Everyone was going to church and doing their religious thing. We stopped and helped people? We did things that were practical. More than rhetoric. We fed and healed with no strings attached. Remember what people said about us. When we saw people who were hungry, we fed them. We should do all those things.

This is why the Kingdom is good news. You demonstrate and proclaim. They will come to you and ask you tell them what they have seen or been experiencing. You should expect people to ask about the hope in you. Not the doctrine. And do so with gentleness and patience. Paul must have known that sharing your faith is a living story and a running conversations. Keep demonstrating. Keep proclaiming.

(Adapted from Hugh Halter, Verge 2013)

You Only Know What You Obey

April 5, 2013 | By | No Comments

This is how we know him […] whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked. – 1 John 2:3-6

Over then next couple of months, we at Resonate will be traveling through a study of how Jesus walked, His call to follow Him, and what that looks like. As I was thinking through this topic, I was remembering some of what Hugh Halter talked about last year at Verge. Part of how Jesus walked and how He interacted with the world was to challenge inaccurate views of what people held to be holy and sacred. He was an iconoclast, to say the least. He was sacrilegious! He worked to tear away at religion to get to what is glorious and true.

Jesus was sacrilegious with Scripture.
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. – John 5:39-40

Does our knowledge of Scripture help us live it? The Pharisees were great at their study. They studied it, rewrote it, spent as much time in it as anyone in our day. Jesus sat with people like us, and said, “You are missing it.” James would go on to say “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.” (James 1:22-23). You only know what you obey. You only know what you do. James says you never really knew it if you didn’t obey it.

As a pastor, people always say they want more “meat” in a sermon. If I were to apply James’ principal, maybe we should just try one Scripture at a time. Let’s start with love your neighbor as yourself. When you finally get that one down… literally loving our neighbor and treating them as well as we would treat ourselves, then we will move onto another one. After that one, we can try James 1:27, “visit orphans and widows in their affliction.” Once we practice that, we can move onto another. Otherwise, we don’t really KNOW the Word of God.

Jesus was sacrilegious with the Sabbath
He often just did practical things on the Sabbath and it made people mad. He would heal people on the Sabbath. He would eat grain from the fields on the Sabbath. He healed and asked a man to walk and carry his mat on the Sabbath.

Austin New Church in Austin decided on a really radical idea. What if we didn’t do an Easter church service and instead served the poor throughout the city on Easter. Seriously… Easter. One of the two Sundays in the Church calendar that you don’t mess with. Imagine if CNN did a story on the fact that every church in your city did that. May that help people perceive the glory of God? How he acts, cares, and loves? May people see what the Kingdom is like?

Jesus was sacrilegious with discipleship
Jesus came because He desires people to walk how He walks. Now, I know the Gospel, that we all fall and don’t walk as He walks, so He came to die and be a propitiation for our sins for those who believe in Him. He was resurrected. But then He ascended and sent the Holy Spirit to us, so that we have power to overcome sin and walk the way He walks. So, He set the pattern for discipleship. He finished with His disciples and said, “Go and do everything I just taught and showed you. Continue the ministry and kingdom work that I began.” And Jesus’ discipleship was never about power or status. He did not come to be served but to serve. He showed the kingdom to be very unlikely what everyone exptected.

You have the option to change the game. We should be people who do unorthodox things. Jesus seemed to be the most unreligious person people met. He was accused of being drunk and being friends of sinners often, never accused of being friends of the religious. Jesus was sacrilgeous to sinners.

Rhythms: ReCreate

November 28, 2011 | By | No Comments

From the beginning God setup a pattern of living, that included creation (work) and rest. As we talk about the concept of Rhythms, our weekly rhythm of life should be a part of this. Lets look at Soma School‘s breakdown of what it means to ReCreate as part of missional living.

We take time to rest, play, create and restore beauty in ways that reflect God and the work of the Gospel to others

After powerfully and joyfully creating the universe, God rested. We were created in his image and therefore were made to joyfully create and rest as well. We regularly take time to rest, play, create and restore beauty in ways that reflect what God is like to our community. (Genesis 1:1-Genesis 2:3; Deuteronomy 5:12; Mark 2:23-28; Hebrews 4)

In every culture and with every person we witness the desire to rest and create – although the means by which people work it out might be different, we find a universal and historical practice of ReCreating. However, apart from the gospel people remain restless in their work and labored in their rest. The Gospel enables people to rest while working because the work that justifies them was accomplished in Jesus – they don’t need their work to give them significance any longer. The Gospel also enables people to truly rest when not working, because they know that God is always working–they don’t have to worry their lack of work will stop the world from spinning.

Upward

Because God has accomplished everything necessary for our justification and is the one who will finish the work He started in us, we can rest. Whether working, playing, sleeping or creating – we rest in His work and His abilities and His power. Our rest then is not only a result of the Gospel, but a demonstration to the world not at rest in the gospel.
[lists type=”plus”]

  • How and where in your life are you at rest in the Gospel?
  • Where are you restless and what about the Gospel are you not believing?
[/lists]

We now approach work not needing validation or security – we can truly work unto the Lord and be free to do it as worship (not worshipping the job, the boss, the paycheck or the credibility we obtain). We can also truly rest – vacation or not, sleeping or not, etc… because the world is held together and run by Him and it will be restored by His work in and through us, not our work apart from Him. We can also create freely, not dependent on the quality of the creation or the validation of others to say it is good, but rather because we are already called good in Jesus Christ. Finally, we are free to play, because our Father is in charge and gives us all we need.

[lists type=”plus”]
  • How could our work be a better reflection of the Gospel to the world around us?
  • In what ways could we be ‘playing’ and ‘creating’ such that it would be an appropriate display of the Gospel to our culture?
[/lists]

Inward & Outward

We recreate together as a way of preaching the gospel to one another. We also become a display together of the truth of the gospel to a watching world. Our resting, creating, working and playing all proclaim that our God is Creator, Sustainer, Provider and Redeemer.

[lists type=”plus”]
  • How could you and your community reshape its weekly, monthly and yearly rhythms to live out
    this rhythm?
  • Where in your culture does the Gospel need to creative, playful work of the Gospel?
[/lists]

Rhythms: Eat

November 24, 2011 | By | No Comments

Instead of ‘adding’ a bunch of missional actions to your life, why not look at things you are already doing and transforming them. I think its amazing that God has given us a daily reminder that we need something outside of us to meet a hunger and need. We get to celebrate that God that provides in a way that not only meets physical hunger, but spiritual hunger. How does Eating become a Rhythm for missional living? Let’s look at it through this Soma School breakdown:

We regularly eat meals with others to invite them into Gospel Community

Meals are a daily reminder of our common need for God and his faithfulness to provide both physically and spiritually. Jesus called us to remember him and his sacrifice for us through a meal. When we eat together, we commune around this truth. We regularly eat meals with those not in our immediate family or circle of close friends, discipling them toward a life of dependence on God. (Leviticus 23; Matthew 6:11; 26:17-30; Acts 2:46-47; Romans 12:13)

In every part of the world hunger is a daily reality – whether they have plenty or lack – we all get hungry more than once a day. God gave Adam and Eve the opportunity to demonstrate their faith through the eating of food. They choose to eat unto themselves out of unbelief and rebellion. God has likewise given every person in every part of the world a regular reminder of their need and an opportunity to eat unto themselves in unbelief and rebellion or unto God in faith and with thanksgiving.

So what does this mean for our three values: Upward (me and God), Inward (me and God’s people), Outward (me and kingdom reconciliation)

Upward

Whatever we do, whether we eat or drink, we do it unto God. Every meal really is a demonstration of the gospel. We come hungry (a real need) and our need is graciously met (Whatever we have is from God). Since we eat three times a day, we get a gospel reminder over and over again IF we eat unto God. It’s interesting that throughout the Story, food continues to be the prime example of God’s provision meeting their need. And in every case, they ate unto God or unto themselves.

[lists type=”plus”]
  • How might you eat differently if your eating was informed by the Gospel and unto God in faith?
[/lists]

Inward

When we eat together we commune over our common need and God’s provision. In doing this we proclaim the gospel to each other over and over again. That is why it is so important to eat together regularly – a loving community of believers communing around the work of Christ is the best apologetic of the gospel AND eating together is one of the ways we are commanded to do this.

[lists type=”plus”]
  • Consider how you might ‘preach’ the gospel to each other through our ‘common’ meal – The Lord’s
    Supper…
[/lists]

Outward

The table for the Jews, as also in our day, is very symbolic AND communicative – who we eat demonstrates who we love. This is why Jesus was called a friend of sinners – he ate with people who were dirty, unreligious, and visibly or sociably unacceptable. The table is one of the most powerful displays of God’s love and acceptance of sinners.

[lists type=”plus”]
  • How often do we eat with those who don’t believe what we do?
  • How should you and your community shape its life around communing at the table with unbelievers?
[/lists]

Rhythms: Bless

November 22, 2011 | By | No Comments

Everyone in this world is given something, life, talents, time, resources, expertise, etc. God’s people are different in what they do with it, and to understand that we’ve been blessed to be a blessing is substantial to the missional pattern of life. Let’s continue looking at the Rhythms as we look at what it means to Bless from the Soma School.

We intentionally bless others through words, gifts or actions

God desires that all people would be blessed through Jesus. And now, as his Body, we believe we live out this mission as we bless others. We intentionally seek God’s direction for who he would have us tangibly bless each week (Genesis 12:1-3; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 2:12). We all have talents, resources and time. Some of us believe we have earned these things and therefore we are entitled to them. This leads to greed and selfishness stemming from pride and causes fights, quarrels, divisions and anxiety (James 4:1-6). When we believe that all we have is from God’s gracious hand – gifts given not due to our own work – then we selflessly share what we have for the sake of others leading us to acts of service, sacrifice and love.

So what does this mean for our three values: Upward (me and God), Inward (me and God’s people), outward (me and kingdom reconciliation)

Upward

Just like Abraham we have been blessed – we have received unmerited favor and provision. This is not because of anything we have done, but because of all that God has done for us in Jesus Christ. We are co-heirs with Christ and blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.

[lists type=”plus”]
  • Take some time to write out and meditate on all that God has blessed you with in Jesus Christ…
[/lists]

We are not blessed just for our own good. We have been given what we have so that others might also receive. We must regularly take account of what has been given to us and realize that it is not ours, but God’s to steward. Then, in light of the gospel that reminds us that He become poor so that in his poverty we might become rich, we are freed up to pour out our lives and things so that others might be blessed and taste and see that the Lord is good.

[lists type=”plus”]
  • Identify all that God has given you to bless others with and ask Him to show you what to do with it…
[/lists]

Inward

When we believe the gospel and realize that I didn’t gain what I have nor do I really own what I have, and then see that our Father in heaven provides for his children through sharing what we He has given us each other. Then I come to see that I don’t really own anything and yet at the same time I have more than I ever dreamed (brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, houses, cars, clothes, food, etc (Luke 18:29-30)). All that we have is His and all that is His is ours.

[lists type=”plus”]
  • Identify the needs of your family as well as the resources given to the family and then ask God how you are to take care of each other.
[/lists]

Outward

God’s intent in blessing His people has always been so that those who don’t know Him and his grace might see Him at work in and through us and come to Him through our lives. We must direct our eyes outward and begin to believe that He has given us everything for life and godliness. He has resourced us with what we need to do the gospel work of blessing others who don’t know Him yet.

[lists type=”plus”]
  • What does the culture or community you are sent to really need and how has God blessed you and your community to display the grace of the Gospel to them?
[/lists]

Rhythms: Celebrate

November 21, 2011 | By | No Comments

If our story is the Good News, then we should be known of the most celebratory people in the world. It should mark who we are. As Jeff Vanderstelt said, “As missionary people we are sent into a culture to engage in the celebrations with the people, but we bring the better wine. We’re the ones who bring what is lacking, whether that means we put a towel around ourselves and we wash the feet or clean up the mess, or we bring what’s lacking to the party. We bring redemption to things that are broken. Let’s continue with our look at the Rhythms (from the Soma School).

We gather together to celebrate God’s extravagant blessings in Jesus

God’s calls people to regularly celebrate his goodness and grace. We gather weekly in missional communities and regularly as a larger family, to share stories and celebrate all that God is doing in and amongst us. We invite everyone to these celebrations as a way of displaying and declaring God’s Glory, exhorting each other in the Gospel and encouraging each other in Mission. (Leviticus 23; Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:24-25)

We are created to worship and one of the ways is through celebration. Every person in every part of the world celebrates. The question is: To whom or what is the celebration directed? Because of sin and idolatry we are prone to celebrate the creation instead of the Creator.

So what does this mean for our three values: Upward (me and God), Inward (me and God’s people), Outward (me and kingdom reconciliation)

Upward

If we truly understand and believe the gospel, we should be the most celebratory people on the planet. God regularly called his people to celebrate through feasts and parties because he did not want them to forget His grace and abundant provision. The very celebration wasn’t just a response – it was also a demonstration of what God is like and has done. We must enter into a regular rhythm of celebrating God’s extravagant blessings.

Part of my ability to live out the gospel is dependent upon my regular reflection on the gospel. I need to regularly set my affections on things above – the work of God in Jesus Christ and what is now true of me because of Him. I should ask myself:

[lists type=”plus”]
  • How is gospel celebration a part of my everyday life? How should it be?
[/lists]

Inward

We are called to not give up meeting together so that we might spur each other on to love and good deeds. Jesus himself demonstrates this through his first recorded miracle – at a wedding feast where he affirms the celebration of life together because celebrating life together demonstrates the working out of and one of the purposes for the gospel. Ask yourselves:

[lists type=”plus”]
  • How often are we gathering together to celebrate and how does the Gospel inform it?
[/lists]

Outward

The people God has sent us to are also celebrating – they happen to be celebrating a different god and a different story. We need to enter into their celebrations and do it unto the true God, fully aware that even this celebration is within His Story. Then, within the celebration we are to look for ways to serve, redeem, bring gospel light, etc…

[lists type=”plus”]
  • What celebrations should you and your community be participating in as you seek to bring the Gospel to bear within the culture God has sent you to?
  • What celebrations should you be creating in order to invite others into the celebration of the Gospel?
[/lists]

Rhythms: Listen

November 18, 2011 | By | No Comments

As part of being story formed people, and living amongst people who are formed by other stories, its important for us to be a listening people as well. Let’s continue with the second Rhythm in our series on Gospel Rhythms continued from the Soma School.

We submit to God through consistent backward and forward listening

Jesus listened to God in prayer to know his Father’s will. We listen to God because through the Gospel we are now aware of our ongoing need for Him. We listen ‘backward’ by regularly interacting with God’s Word–the Story and the Son. We also listen ‘forward’ to hear what God is saying to us today. We believe He declares to all people what He is like through His creation and specifically speaks to those who belong to Him through His Spirit. (Mark 1:35-37; John 16:7-15; Hebrews 1:1-3; Romans 1:20)

Everyone is listening to someone or something as the primary voice or voices that they submit their lives to – an expert or teacher that they follow. These might include a school of thought, a leader or charismatic personality, demons, or lies from the past. Until the Creator is THE Expert and THE Teacher to whom they compare all other voices, they are prone to deceit and lies and worship of self or others. As Believers, I think we need to be better listeners before we become talkers, or as the Psalmist states: When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. – Prov 10:19 (NIV).

So what does this mean for our three values: Upward (me and God), Inward (me and God’s people), outward (me and kingdom reconciliation)

Upward

The gospel reminds us that we are fully dependent upon God’s Spirit to teach us the truth, convict of sin, and show us the way to go and empower us to do everything God wants. So, we must walk in submission to the Spirit if we are going to live as God intends.

Pay attention to what you say to yourself. C.J. Mahaney states in his book, Living the Cross Centered Life, that when listening to ourselves, we should speak the gospel to ourselves. In order to regularly realign ourselves to the truth of the gospel, we need to listen closely to what we say to ourselves and compare that to the gospel and our gospel identity. Where what we are hearing doesn’t match up to the gospel, we should preach the gospel again to ourselves (2 Peter 1:9). Ask the Spirit:
[lists type=”plus”]

  • Where is my self-talk out of line with the truth of the Gospel?
[/lists]

Inward

We need to listen to each other carefully to discern where they are not yet gripped by the gospel, paying careful attention to whether their story is about them and dependent on something other than God. Listen for the fruit of the Spirit and the works of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16-24)

Outward

The people in our community are telling us what they believe and why. We need to ask questions and listen. If we are to be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have, we must spend less time just preparing answers and as much time listening for the questions. Listening to others first is prerequisite for gospel engagement. We should be listening constantly to know which story they believe in and where that story has proven weak and ineffective to save. (Acts 17:16-33)

I think the strongest voice people are listening to in our culture is that of Consumerism. Alan Hirsch has an excellent analysis of this:

What are some next steps you and your community should take to grow in Gospel Listening?

Rhythms: Story Formed

November 17, 2011 | By | No Comments

How does one actually live an incarnational life? How does our faith become an everyday thing? In every culture there are rhythms that are consistent across the board. The first of these Rhythms we will be looking at is that we are a story formed people. These values are all from the Soma Communities and text below from their Soma School curriculum:

We know and submit our lives to the Story of God while also becoming familiar with each other’s stories and the stories of our culture.

God has been unfolding his Story since before time began. We believe we are participants in the Story and our only hope for redemption and restoration from our fear and prideful rebellion is when by faith we submit our lives to the overarching Story of God. Therefore, we regularly reacquaint with and submit ourselves to The Story by interacting with God’s Word. We look for ways and times to tell the Story often. We also take time to listen to others stories and lead them to submit their lives to God’s Story (Genesis 1:1-2; John 1:1; Psalm 1; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Every person on the planet is living their life inside of and in light of a larger story shaped by the country they live in, the cultures surrounding them, the family they were raised in, the worldview they believe… Until they understand all of this in light of the Redemptive Story of God, they will give themselves to lesser stories that do not work.

So what does this mean for our three values: Upward (me and God), Inward (me and God’s people), outward (me and kingdom reconciliation)

Upward

We are a story-formed people who are living our lives based upon and within a story. All of our beliefs, identity and actions are all connected to the dominant story. This is why we need to know it and we are to talk about it when we sit, stand, walk along the way, eat, lie down, etc… (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

I need to continue to grow in the gospel of grace and truth. I need to be self-aware and let the Spirit and the Word show me where my life past and present is not in line with the gospel story.

Inward

I find it fascinating to note how often the New Testament writers are imploring people to remember the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1; Galatians 1:6-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:5; 2 Timothy 2:8; 2 Peter 1:15), and even to remember it as part of our maturity (2 Peter 1:9). Its important how much we tell the story of God to each other as part of our growth.

We need to get to know each other’s stories and pay close attention to where we are not believing the Gospel. As we hear each other’s stories ask:

[lists type=”plus”]
  • Where in your story are you struggling to believe the Gospel?
  • What about your Identity in Christ are you struggling to believe, and how does the Gospel answer your need?
[/lists]

Outward

Paul was a good example of understanding the stories. He often used stories and cultural cues that shape the people to help engage in how he told God’s story (Acts 17:16-33; 1 Corinthians 15:32; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

In order to be an effective missionary, we need to know the story of our culture – what has shaped it, what is the dominant story line, what are the idols, where are the open doors for the gospel – both demonstrated and declared and be prepared to show how the Gospel Story fills in the gaps, corrects the lies or successfully completes it’s story.

[lists type=”plus”]
  • What are some next steps you and your community should take in order to be a Story-formed people?
[/lists]

Incarnational Over Missional

November 9, 2011 | By | No Comments

Let’s so how many trendy Christian buzzwords we can use at one time, right? But seriously, I think there needs to be an important distinction. Look, I am all for ‘missional’ as a movement, thought, priority, but there needs to be some caution. Missional is what we ‘do.’ We are a sent people, but if our identity and checkmark is the ‘do,’ then I think we missed the point. Discipleship is about who we ARE, which in turn births what we DO.

In our discipleship at Resonate we focus a lot on who we ARE and what Scripture will tell us about our identity in light of the Gospel. Through resources like The Gospel Centered Life, we focus on identity, which in turn leads to action. For example, who we are in Christ is a people who have been blessed, not because we earned blessing but that it was given to us while we were still sinners. But that blessing was never meant to end on us… we were blessed to be a blessing, so therefore our identity as ‘blessed’ people in Christ is meant for action. The struggle is for people to see themselves often as truly blessed, but our identity in Christ is people who have been LAVISHLY blessed.

If we start basing our discipleship on what we DO, instead of a growing understanding of who we ARE, then we’ve missed the point. Trust me, I am heavily about the doing, but I think its a marker and fruit of a further understand of who we are. So, how do we make the move from focusing so much on missional to incarnational (that spurs the mission). Out at Soma Communities in Washington, they have come up with the concept of Rhythms which I think is incredibly helpful. Instead of looking at doing in terms of tasks, they look at doing in terms of lifestyle and living. Over the next few weeks, we’ll unpack some of these, but here’s a brief overview of the six Rhythms:

Story-formed

We understand, experience and intersect with God’s Story and Other’s.

God has been unfolding his Story since before time began. We believe we are participants in the Story and need to understand it and see how our lives intersect with it. Therefore, we regularly reacquaint ourselves with the Story by interacting with God’s Word. We look for ways and times to tell the Story often. We also take time to listen to others stories and help them find their lives within God’s Story. (Genesis 1:1-2; John 1:1; Psalm 1; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Listen

We set aside regular times to listen to God both backward and forward.

Jesus listened to God in prayer to know his Father’s will. We are also called to listen to God. We listen ‘backward’ by regularly interacting with God’s Word-the Story and the Son. We also believe he speaks today through his Spirit in us and through creation. We spend time actively listening ‘forward’ to hear what God is saying to us today. (Mark 1:35-37; John 16:7-15; Hebrews 1:1-3; Romans 1:20)

Celebrate

We gather together to celebrate God’s extravagant blessings.

God calls people to regularly celebrate his goodness and grace. We gather weekly in missional communities and regularly as a larger family, to share stories and celebrate all that God is doing in and amongst us. We invite everyone to these celebrations as a way of displaying God’s glory. (Leviticus 23; Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:24-25)

Bless

We intentionally bless others through words, gifts or actions.

God desires that all nations—all people—would be blessed through Jesus. And now, as his Body (soma), we believe we live out this mission as we bless others. We intentionally seek God’s direction for who he would have us tangibly bless each week. (Genesis 12:1-3; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 2:12)

Eat

We regularly eat meals with others to invite them into the community of God.

Meals are a daily reminder of our common need for God and his faithfulness to provide both physically and spiritually. Jesus called us to remember him and his sacrifice for us through a meal. When we eat together, we commune around this truth. We regularly eat meals with those not in our immediate family or circle of close friends, discipling them toward a life of dependence on God. (Leviticus 23; Matthew 6:11; 26:17-30; Acts 2:46-47; Romans 12:13)

ReCreate

We take time to rest, play, create and restore beauty in ways that reflect God to others.

After powerfully and joyfully creating the universe, God rested. We were created in his image and therefore were made to joyfully create and rest as well. We regularly take time to rest, play, create and restore beauty in ways that reflect what God is like to our community. (Genesis 1:1-2:3; Deuteronomy 5:12; Mark 2:23-28; Hebrews 4)