We’re continuing to post on the vision and values of our church plant.
So far: 1. “Why?” – 2. Our mission – 3. Skeptics and Dreamers – 4. Missionary communities – 5. Journey, Honesty, Community – 6. Participation, Oikos, Simplicity, Wonder – 7. Creativity, Roots, Justice, Truth
Today: The VEHICLE for the Vision (how we plan to “get there”)
This is where the rubber meets the road. Think about it like this: If our vision (who we want to become) is a distant land, and our values (what’s important to us) are how we’ll behave toward each other on the journey, we also need a vehicle to move us toward our destination. “Vehicle” is just another way to talk about the specific actions we plan to take to propel us on the journey. Vision is one thing, but implementation is another. It’s easy to dream about an exotic vacation, but harder to actually take one. Saving money, booking flights, finding hotels, making plans, packing bags, and making arrangements are way more difficult and messy than daydreaming about lazy afternoons on the beach.
It’s the same with our vision: it looks great on paper! But actually moving toward it will be a messy, chaotic process. What follows is a rough outline of the vehicle we think will move us toward our vision, the structure we think will properly support the life we want to see expressed. In this post I’ll give a general description and in the next I’ll write about some of the specific types of gatherings and activities we envision.
A church will always be a combination of organism and organization, like a body is both flesh and bone. Our belief is that the organization ought to serve the life of the organism like a skeleton supports the life-filled flesh and tissue of a human body. We will strive to keep our organizational structure agile, lightweight, low-maintenance, open to critique and change, with power being vested at the edges of the community as much as possible. To use a metaphor from the music world, people who create “beats” to use in hip-hop music give this advice: Start simple and make sure every single thing happening is contributing to the groove. We are going to strive to make sure every single thing happening in this church plant is contributing to the “groove” God has called us to.
While we will certainly be in a very experimental mode as we begin this church plant, we believe some version of the following will be how our community’s life together will be structured to enable the life and mission of the church to thrive and allow us to be a church that is both small enough to allow everyone to contribute meaningfully in ministry and be known by others in the community, and big enough that we can leverage resources to do better and greater kingdom work in an effective way.
THREE-DIMENSIONAL EXPRESSION OF CHURCH
We see the church community gathering for three main purposes:
- Public celebration and worship of God
- Missional engagement in the power of the Holy Spirit
- Spiritual formation in the image of Christ
All three of these purposes are carried out in the context of covenant community, which implies a deep level of commitment to and sharing with one another. We believe if we are intentional about worship, formation, and mission that the reality of community will come as a by-product and will be all the richer because of it.
Next post – Three Kinds of Gatherings