4. Get The Diaries Out
We like to think of ideal community being students in a hall of residence, or monks in a monastery, or villagers living all round the town square; environments where you just keep tripping over each other in daily life by virtue of proximity. We are working towards this but the reality is most of us are a long way from this kind of regular unplanned encounter with our Christian community.
So we have learned to get the diaries out and put some things in! Most home groups will schedule their regular Bible study time – we have just gone further and scheduled…
1. some ‘inclusive community time’. This is where we get together as a group but invite our wider friends just to be with us. Examples have been barbecues, picnics, hanging out with the kids at the local toy library, going out for a pizza, etc.. Not rocket science but getting us out of the holy huddle behind closed doors!
2. some ‘serving time’. This is harder to figure out as we want blessing others to be a lifestyle not a project. But we have taken the kids shopping for the food bank and that kind of thing, and again invited people beyond our community to join in.
We are finding that as we do this we are becoming less a ‘once a week group’ and more an extended family, which is just the point. We have actually dialled back our Monday night meetings to once a fortnight in order to give people space for these other things.