Archive for the ‘soma’ Tag
As mentioned in several excellent previous posts on the Pastor Rant site, Harambee has joined with Soma Communities and adopted the Missional model of living out church every day. For many of us, this is a dramatic shift from traditional church structure, where we as consumers go on Sunday to get charged up, and continue to think of church as a place where we gather to worship, study, learn, receive, etc. We (the Elders) keep hitting on this topic because we know that some people are really struggling to make this change.
Missional living is about living constantly for Jesus, doing everything we do (work, school, eating, swimming, whatever) with God in mind and along side of us. Sounds simple, and it really is, but it’s hard to understand in the context of everyday life for many people (me included). We naturally compartmentalize our lives and often think or act differently depending on what situation we are in at the time. The truth is that we are believers or non-believers at all times in our lives so why should we change gears depending on our circumstances?
The leadership of Soma Communities has come up with some very useful tools to try and bridge this gap from traditional thinking to missional thinking. These tools are not some new “5 steps to salvation” or anything like that, they are simply a way of communicating this idea – which by the way is not anything new necessarily, just different from the “western modern” structure we’ve become used to.
The first of these tools is the Identities. If we trust and believe in God, then we are in the process of becoming new through increasing faith and discovery of God and His will, and the circumstances he brings us through in our lives. Reading through and meditating on the Identities and associated scriptures is a great reminder of who we are in Christ. It relieves much of the pressure and fear of change by helping us realize that God is in charge of making ministry happen, not us. We just need to be willing to be used. Whew!
The extension of the Identities is the Rhythms (same page, further down). These are examples and reminders of how our identity in Christ is lived out. We were created to serve God and others, and it comes natural to us. The Rhythms then are ways to express this life for which we were created, and to be examples to others of the new life we have in Jesus.
We don’t need to wait until we’re perfect to live the Christian life. Growth comes from making mistakes, learning from them, and getting stronger from them. It’s time for the body of Christ to begin to live like we believe and love one another, not to depend on the Church to do everything for us because the leadership has more training or seems more gifted than we are. We need to shine His light all the time, not just with our church friends. We need to serve each other as Jesus was a servant. And we need to look to the Lord to teach us about himself and his will every day, not just on Sunday or at a bible study or conference, etc. Once Jesus comes into our lives and begins to heal us, we need to “Get up, take up our beds and walk”.
Having said all of that, please remember that our job as Elders of Harambee is to gently lead you, the body, and each other through this transition. We need to help you bridge the gap, and discover for yourselves what this means to you in your individual life. Please do not hesitate to ask questions or express your frustration (or anything else) with us. It’s all about growing together as a family!
Also, we believe that the Sunday gathering has great value for fellowship and corporate worship, as well as biblical preaching and teaching. What we’re learning is that the Sunday gathering is only a small part of the overall life of a Christian, and both we as God’s people and the world we live in benefit greatly if we take it beyond Sunday into daily life.
In Christ’s Love,
Over the past several months, Harambee has been making a transition to the Missional Community model/structure and joining forces with Soma Communities. I will post a section soon that outlines why the Elders believe God is leading us in this direction, but we’ll begin with trying to answer the question of “what is a missional community?” first:
The mission of God is to restore all things to himself in and through the work and person of Jesus Christ. His chosen vehicle through which he is accomplishing that mission is the church. The church is the family of God called to together to himself and sent out on his mission. Missional Communities are the primary means through which Harambee/Soma mobilizes people together on mission and connects people to a caring community.
WHAT IS A MISSIONAL COMMUNITY?
A Missional Community consists of a committed core of believers (FAMILY) who live out the mission of God together (MISSIONARIES) in a specific area or to a particular people group by demonstrating the gospel in tangible forms (SERVANTS) and declaring the gospel to others—both those who believe it and those who are being exposed to it (LEARNERS). To clarify, a Missional Community is NOT primarily a small group, Bible study, support group, social activist group, or weekly meeting.
Our hope is that every person who is committed to the Harambee/Soma family and mission will be fully involved in a missional community and eventually the missional communities in a region will multiply and together form a new expression of Soma Communities.
Consider this… The life of the church as recorded in Acts 2:42-47 came as a result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the lives of a people collectively committed to the mission of God. The description we read about in Acts was not the means of becoming a great church, but the results of God working through a people committed to him and his mission.
We believe God is still more committed to his mission being accomplished then us having our preferred church experience. Missional Communities exist to partner with God to further his mission in every part of our region.
EACH MISSIONAL COMMUNITY WILL:
1. Be led by a team committed to leading, shepherding, equipping and organizing a community on mission
2. Grow together in understanding and application of the Gospel to who we are (Identities) because of God’s work in and through Jesus
3. Live out the weekly Rhythms of a family on mission together (Story-formed, Listen, Celebrate, Eat, Bless and
ReCreate) – BE the church together throughout the week
4. Identify, equip and release new leadership to begin new Missional Communities
PATHWAYS INTO A MISSIONAL COMMUNITY:
1. Check out the list of MC’s on the Harambee website to find one near you or you want to support the mission of
2. Talk to the MC leader about checking it out
3. Consider starting one in your area and start attending MC leader training sessions when available.