Tuesday, November 1, 2005


If I could design a church’s gathering strategy it might look something like this…
1. The central gathering time would be only about community
It would be a potluck brunch on Sunday morning. There would be some strategy to mix up generations and cliques so that it would be a good opportunity to get the group interacting with each other. There would be announcements, a time of sharing and prayer, testimonies, and a benediction.
No music, no preaching.
2. Instruction: this could be done in affinity groups or generational divisions, but it would not be with the entire collected body. The lead pastor would oversee this instruction to make sure that there was direction for this instruction. He/She might be a primary instructor but would also teach others how to teach. No music here either
3. Activity: this would be a variety of events both for the larger group gathered (ie missions presentations, or goal setting rallies) or smaller group events. These would be mainly strategizing meetings that would help focus the service of the church in its community. Coordinated by Pastor
4. Celebration/Spiritual Formation: this is where music might come in. these would not be events where the whole congregation would be expected to attend but would be opportunity for people to celebrate their passion for God, practice the spiritual disciplines, and be motivated to in their daily walk.

#1 everyone is expected to attend
#2-4 is optional
A vibrant small group ministry would be essential for accountability in this system.
What do you think?
What are the weaknesses?


roverT said...

Sounds great to me! When does it start? Do you need someone to help?

I really like parts 2-4. I am wondering about the central gathering time. It sounds great, but would people continue to come to this gathering if they are only taking community out of the time? Some may really want teaching there and may not come for this time. In which case it would not be a central gathering time (still has a lot of value however). In our culture time is so valuable and people may not see value in this...although, maybe this would encourage people to see more value in community and togetherness.

#2 - the best way to do instruction anyway. But, you would have a hard time if you don't have a significant number of gifted teachers.

I really like the focused activity (3). Looking mostly towards service in the community. Often we focus too much energy on doing ministry for our own people. These resources should be used differently. Would you see any other activities focused on community other than Sunday a.m.? People might want more community times, but usually is built better when you work together, rather then sitting and visiting.

Isn't number 4 what we are supposed to be doing on Sunday a.m.? I like the idea of making this more optional, then you can point this in a certain direction or to a certain group of people.

It sounds to me like this type of design could have a spiritual impact on a wide range of people. I think it sounds like an effective way to gather, but I am not sure how people would respond. Would they come to Sunday mornings like this? Would people attend other events appropriate for them? Does it matter if they do? I am not sure that kids would be into the sitting around and visiting thing on Sunday a.m. but I am not sure they are into the Sunday a.m. (sitting around and listening) thing in my church either.

Our church has batted around the idea of planting a church. I have always thought it would be exciting to design a church from scratch. It is always cool to hear your ideas.


Nathan said...

Well I think that it sounds like a great idea. You asked what would be one of the weakness? Well I'm currently reading the search to belong bu Joseph R. Myers. And I am becoming more convinced that small groups don't work. So to have small groups as an essential part could sink the whole project. Even in a church were small groups are considered part of the DNA of the church they can't get more than a 30% participation rate in small groups. Myers says, "I think most small group pastors realise that 100% participation is impossible." So small groups might not work. But other than that I love the concept. Very early church. Also what's not to like about Sunday Morning brunch. Good coffee, good bagels, and some eggs throw in some good friends and a time of fellowship and you have a church that I would love to go to

Freezer said...

Isn't celebration optional already. Many people stay at home as is because they do not celebrate. That's our context though. I would question the value of community at a large level. I know it likely wouldn't happen with me and my peeps.