MC workshop | 3.2.19
introduction & session 1 audio
new mc meeting rhythms
session 1 - loving god as a missional community (be loved)
overall WORKSHOP SCHEDULE
SESSION #1 | LOVING GOD AS A MISSIONAL COMMUNITY
SESSION #2 | LOVING EACH OTHER AS A MISSIONAL COMMUNITY
SESSION #3 | LOVING YOUR NEIGHBORS AS A MISSIONAL COMMUNITY
SESSION #4 | MC LEADER SUPPORT STRUCTURE
SESSION #5 | RE-ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY
NEW MONTHLY RHYTHMS
*The order of the following rhythms is suggested, but not necessary. For example, if you need to take a week of rest (flex week) on the second week due to the schedules of your group members, then that is completely fine. However, part of the first gathering is planning the rest of the month, so we do highly suggest starting your month with that gathering.
GATHERING #1 | LOVING GOD (BE LOVED)
The goal of this gathering is for the Missional Community to abide in Christ and sit with Jesus together, moving from knowledge of the Word to a love for God and His glory, which will inevitably lead to a joyful obedience of his commands. All of this should be fueled by the Spirit being the primary leader and motivator of the group.
This gathering should be marked by intake of the Word, a clear comfort brought forth by the good news of the gospel, discussion around the application of the Word to the specific Missional Community, a dependence on the Spirit expressed through prayer, and planning clear next steps to obey where the Word and Spirit are leading the group.
*We will provide a Monthly Action Guide to lead this time together as a group.
*This is also a great opportunity for group members to take ownership of the group by committing to be a part of future gatherings (i.e. hosting a family gathering, leading a mission effort, guiding the group in discussion, etc.)
*To be clear, though the first gathering of the month is the intentional, set-aside time to be in the Word and to pray together, we desire for the Word and prayer to be a consistent theme throughout the entire life of the Missional Community.
GATHERING #2 | LOVING EACH OTHER (BE FAMILY)
The goal of this gathering is for the Missional Community to actively and joyfully learn about and/or actively live out their identity as the family of God.
Typically, this gathering should be a welcoming family environment, marked by joyful celebration, mourning together when necessary, honoring each other as brothers and sisters, eating together, and simply sharing in familial life as a Missional Community.
*There may be times when it is necessary for the group to spend these gatherings learning about the theology behind the church family, walking through reconciliation, or having tough familial conversations together as a group.
GATHERING #3 | LOVING YOUR NEIGHBORS (BE MISSIONARIES)
The goal of this gathering is for the Missional Community to actively and joyfully learn about and/or actively live out their identity as servants and missionaries to the world around them.
This gathering should be missional in nature, marked by a focus on the unbelieving world around us, either through teaching on God’s heart for mission, discussion around the mission of God as it relates to us in our everyday lives, prayer for the accomplishing of God’s mission, or going on mission together as a group in obedience to King Jesus.
GATHERING #4 | FLEX (BE FLEXIBLE)
This gathering will be open and up to the discretion of the leader. The group should decide together during the first gathering, with the guidance of the leader, what this week should be. Examples include: a discussion around the Scriptures, a discussion around a certain topic grounded in the Scriptures, another night of being family together, another night of mission, a week of rest, etc.
LOVING GOD AS A MISSIONAL COMMUNITY
HOW DO WE ENGAGE THE WORD TOGETHER AS A GROUP?
In a Missional Community setting, the discussion aspect of God’s Word should not be primarily about what truth is contained therein as much as how the truth applies to the group.
This means our focus is first and foremost on how the truth of the Scripture transforms our affections, leads our emotions, and fuels our obedience, not what the truth actually is. This is not to say the truth of God’s Word is unimportant. It is actually to say that it is so important, we must ensure that accurate truth is presented. We hope to answer what the truth is through the teaching of the Word at our Sunday Gatherings and through providing the Monthly Action Guides.
Protections should be in place to avoid shallow or false doctrine and vain discussions that only distract from the primary meaning of the text as it pertains to the life of the Missional Community. Monthly Action Guides will equip leaders by focusing only on clear truths from the text and what applies to the Missional Community Discipleship Environment.
*If there are those in the group who constantly have a desire to go deeper and explore, then there should be a suggestion for them to join a DNA Group or take appropriate Equipping Classes to supplement their exploration of theology.
As we go to the Word, the guide will prompt us to ask the following questions:
What is the truth revealed in the Word of God?
How should this transform our affections and lead our emotions?
How can we joyfully obey Jesus as a result of this truth?
HOW DO WE PRAY TOGETHER AS A GROUP, EXPRESSING DEPENDENCE ON THE SPIRIT?
Prayer is not only expressing our dependence on the Spirit, but it is also a crucial part of the work of maturing as a disciple of Jesus and seeing God’s glory advance from the neighborhoods to the nations.
Leaders should fight the lie that prayer is a dispensable and optional part of the Missional Community. This means leaders are willing to push through the awkwardness of group prayer and persevere even if it seems that group members are disinterested.
To help equip group members to grow in prayer, it must be modeled, not only mentioned. Our Monthly Action Guides will equip leaders to do this with regular suggestions for prayer throughout the gathering.
HOW DO WE EXPRESS OUR LOVE FOR GOD THROUGH SPIRIT-LED PLANNING AND JOYFUL OBEDIENCE?
There is a natural tendency for people and groups to get motivated after hearing truth and have a proper desire to follow Jesus on mission, but fail to execute, follow through, and persevere through to obedience.
Planning appropriately as the Spirit is leading through the Word and prayer will ensure that the group has goals to meet and they know where they are headed. Missional Community leaders should expect to organize and plan their gatherings or utilize the various gifts of administration within their group to do so.
There is Biblical evidence that the Spirit leads people and groups to plan and organize caring for each other and for the world around them. Being organic does not mean lack of organization.
Though we believe in planning, we also know that man-made plans must be held with an open hand. God is sovereign and can adjust our plans at any given moment.
HOW DO WE USE THE ACTION GUIDE?
The Monthly Action Guide will be based off the sermons we are preaching at our Sunday Gatherings and will seek to lead the group in being family and being missionaries. They will also include a time at the beginning to encourage discussion of personal abiding practices.
The Monthly Action Guide is split into two sections - a time of discussion and a time of planning.
To launch the time of discussion, the members of the group should share how God is working in their hearts through their own personal time in the word and prayer.
After this time, the leader will use the Monthly Action Guide to restate truths from the texts we are preaching through and lead the group in discussion regarding how these truths guide our affections and actions. This will most likely take up a good portion of the gathering.
During the time of discussion, there will be prompts for the leader to lead his group in prayer or to have a group member do so. Giving room for the Spirit to lead during these times is vitally important.
Once the group has discussed the implications of the text, there will be a short time of planning. This will be to ensure that the group acts in joyful obedience to what they are learning as a result of God’s Word.
During this time, as much as possible, make clear plans for the rest of your month, including the next time you gather together to plan the next month.