Each month we invite folks to come together to join in a discussion about issues relevant to simple church leadership. This month, Uday Balasundaram facilated our time together. Over the last several months, Uday and I realized that we share a similar passion for missional living, discipleship, and simple church–even though we use different words to describe it. Uday did a wonderful job of challenging us all to think about how we, as believers, are called to “mix” with the world around us and to join God in the creative process of birthing new life in the culture in which we find ourselves.
Here are some of my “take-a-ways” from our time together this week. Feel free to share your take-a-ways below.
1. Simple Churches will do well to identify the culture in which they exist and the characteristics of that culture. As we serve and share Christ, we often neglect the consideration of cultural context. A great place to start is to begin listening to those around you–those with whom you live. This will help you understand your culture. TIP: This week, ask your simple church to describe or draw a picture (literally or verbally) of how they see your simple church community in relation to your cultural context. For example, one guy shared at the training that he saw his simple church as a flower growing out of a compost or trash pile. I found this picture below and shared it with him and the group. We discussed how this exercise could lead to creating an actual collage that could serve as a picture of why God has placed you together as a simple church.
2. Culture is created. We can have a say in creating the culture. What is beautiful about your culture? What can you celebrate about your culture? These are great questions to consider as you think about engaging others with the love of Christ. Often beauty comes before theology. These places of beauty are often entry points for us to join not-yet-believers and serve. TIP: This week, when you gather with your church family, send everyone out on expedition to find something beautiful and ugly. Take a picture if you can’t move it. Bring it back and share it with the group. This can help you begin to see things through the eyes of others in your simple church and help you all to begin appreciating God’s activity around you and in the lives of those in your church family. Consider how the exercise can help you all see beauty.
3. We can be creative and imaginative in the ways we listen to and connect with our culture. The following video illustrates two points well: 1)finding common ground with those different than us can lead to meaningful relationship and 2)creating space for people of faith and nonbelievers to mix is an important function of a simple church if we are to be salt and light. TIP: Watch this video with your simple church and discuss. Ask, “What could be our ‘ball pit’ project?”
You can contact Uday HERE. Uday and is family is setting out to start a simple church community that hopes to see churches birthed in the arts community. They are calling their work Estuary Community.
Creative Simple Church Planting is happening http://t.co/swUrPqRnJ8