Last week we hosted perhaps the last ‘proper’ session of our home group. We are now focused on transitioning to what, for want of a better word, could be described as a ‘gospel community’. An experiment in something more outward-focused, revolving around three pillars of being a blessing, sharing our lives, and connecting with God. Not separate from our home church, more a fringe experiment in living with missional focus and seeing how a small group of friends could, together, live out the gospel message.
Here is a draft of what we are thinking of. Your comments would be welcome – many are much further down this particular path than we are. In the next post, I’ll outline what this might look like in practice!
We live a country where there are great needs, including loneliness, social exclusion, unemployment, depression, meaninglessness, addictions and many more. In France’s secular, post-Christian society, fewer and fewer people would think of looking to the church for help.
However, we believe that Christians in community – the church – is God’s chosen agent to bring hope and reconciliation and a foretaste of the Kingdom into the world. To partner with God in this way, we are called to GO to people on their terms and not wait for them to COME to us. So…
We are a band of Christians exploring how to be good news to others in our context in 21st century France. We are trying to live the way of Jesus by being a blessing, sharing our lives and connecting with God. We are not trying to start meetings or programmes, but build community and a transformative way of living.
Who knows exactly where God will lead us but here is our starting approach:
BEING A BLESSING
Just as God has blessed us, so we want to offer practical kindness to those in need as a sign of His coming Kingdom. This involves planned and spontaneous acts of benevolence, putting others before ourselves. This offends our consumerist nature. We need the help of God and each other to give the time and money that this lifestyle of blessing demands.
SHARING OUR LIVES
Just as God offers a welcome to all who would come, so we want to welcome all would join us in this walk. This welcome involves sharing our friends, our food, our homes and our lives. This offends our individualistic nature. We need the help of God and each other to open our lives as this lifestyle of welcome demands.
CONNECTING WITH GOD
At the centre of everything is our awesome God, so we want to respond to his gracious call to know him and respond to his love. This involves a commitment to learning and listening to Him, denying ourself, and losing our life to save it. This threatens our materialistic desires. We need the help of God and each other to maintain the God-centred priorities that this lifestyle of discipleship demands.