I’ve just re-watched the feature on The Beacon, a new-build community in Dartford on the Fresh Expressions third DVD. When I first watched it a year or so ago I was struck by how he started – hanging around getting to know people and beginning a residents association on the development and holding various community building events such as a carol service and ‘the big lunch’ for the community to come together and share their own food with others.
Having just re-watched the same feature, I was struck by what they were doing next. Their expression of corporate worship for their core team and a few fringe people was centred on a meal, with prayers and discussion around Jesus. Once the ‘community campus’ opened they have started doing this in there, being an ‘authentically rooted’ and ‘authentically christian’ community in the midst of the community. He talks of a seamless link between the ‘messiness of community and the voice of Christ’.
I have been thinking about when might be the time to corporately meet together as a core team for something that we can call worship. We had originally started to meet on a Wednesday evening for vision casting and Bible study, but as we all started having new babies, this became more difficult. At the moment most of the core team are at the Friday morning baby Bible-Study (in fact, we gained a new team member through that study) and I meet the other member (a working dad) periodically for a weekday lunch.
I wonder whether a monthly informal meal and God-chat, as a core team and for anyone else that wants to come, might be the next thing to do. Primarily this would be for team but I can see that it would be important to start worshipping here periodically. Perhaps if we build our worship around our values of hospitality, authenticity and welcome then it might be an easy place to come for those with whom we have built relationships elsewhere.
So, this seems like a good idea, but we do want to be careful about instituting a come-to-us model.