Towards an integrated lifestyle

It was good to be with some of you over the weekend at our learning community. I was very grateful for the input that Diane and Sharon brought us, their teaching on living an intergrated lifestyle seemed very timely!

We will get MSC leaders a copy of the plans you made soon, so that you can get working on putting them into practice. For now however I want to encourage you to reflect on what it was that personally struck you from the weekend. As a leader or MSC core member, what was the Lord saying to you? Don’t let those things get lost even as you get going with your MSC plans. On a practical note, we did record the teaching that was given on Saturday morning, I can pass that on to you if you were unable to attend and would like to listen to what was said.

I was personally struck by something that Sharon said: We started with thankfulness and moved towards generosity. In many ways that sums up a move I am wanting to make. Psalm 100 reminds us that thanksgiving is the gateway into God’s presence and I want to learn how to celebrate joyfully the gifts I have and the things that God is doing with us. I also want to begin to learn how to be increasingly open to others and responsive to their needs. We’re trying one or two ways to make that move as a family right now – ways to practice being thankful with what we have, and ways to get a little bit more generous in the way we share our resources and lives with others.

This move from thankfulness to generosity, resonates with something thing we’ve been exploring as a church: Jesus’ teaching to his disciples in Luke 10. “When you enter a house…” Jesus says “first say: ‘Peace to this house,’ if a person of peace is there, your peace will rest on him”. The first step in Jesus’ evangelism strategy is to extended a greeting of peace, it is to offer a blessing. The second step is then to discern how that blessing is received. Lives that move from thankfulness to generosity will be lives that regularly give thanks for, and offer, blessing to others. These kind of lives will naturally cause a stir and help us discern who the people of peace around us will be. They’ll also be lives that become a lot of fun! How might you be able to practice thankfulness and generosity in your life, at your workplace, in your family, right now? How might you be able to practice these things as a Mission Shaped Community?

One opportunity to do this that is coming up quite soon is the Yorkshire stage of the Tour de France. How might your family, or your MSC, be able to practice thankfulness, blessing and generosity both to visitors and locals over that weekend. Now might be a good time to start making some plans.

A couple of blogs:

While we’re talking websites – there is a great article on the Missional Communities Blog by Jenny Rosser on how to help an MSC function more as a family. Its worth a read!
Also good is the Accessible Prophecy blog, which is produced by some friends of ours at 3dm. Its got some great posts on the different ways we can hear God and some practical tips on how to share and weigh prophetic words well.

Have a great weekend! Ben.