Last term we spent a lot of time training. Kairos Community leaders gathered together to listen, talk and plan. Now is the time for us all to begin again to get on with the work God has called us to of loving God and building community.
Some of you have a clear idea of the community you would like to lead to be part of, others are not so sure and will need some time to see what develops and decide what they want to join. Both approaches are fine and we need to go at the timescale God has given us.
Whether you are raring to go with a Kairos Community or are still feeling hesitant I want to encourage you to learn to liveas community as well as joina Kairos Community. For a number of years we have organised ourselves around principles of discipleship and mission. I think we have come to see more recently that in order to learn and grow we also need practices.
Development usually comes from small steps and simple practices that when repeated and accumulated lead to big change. In Matthew 11 Jesus encourages his followers to take on his yoke. In John 14 he describes himself as a way. He invites his disciples to imitate his actions as well as believe his words. Again and again throughout history movements that have developed rules, rhythms and practices have found their ability to befriend God and join in with His work has been strengthened.
At the Base Camp weekend I introduced to our leaders the rhythm of GRACE. 5 sets of practices that will build up our muscles and enable us to live in Jesus’ way as individuals, in our households and as Kairos Communities. These 5 practices are:
Generously Bless– regularly look for other people we can serve, love and show God’s goodness to in generous ways.
Receive and Release– regularly let ourselves receive God’s presence with us as we worship and pray, then share that with those around us.
Ask questions and tell stories– practice curiosity and empathy in a way that helps build connections with people and let our lives be formed and speak of God’s great story.
Celebrate– let joyful celebration, parties and thanksgiving often happen around us.
Eat Together– welcome friends, neighbours and strangers to table with us and share food together.
I’ll be writing about each of these in my emails over the next few weeks and encourage each of us to take some steps and try some experiments that develop these practices in our lives. They are a rhythm of GRACE, part of God’s gift to us to enable us to more fully live as his followers.
Which part of this rhythm already intrigues, encourages or challenges you? Why not start some conversation with God and those you share life with about how you could develop practices in that area?
The idea of a rhythm of GRACE comes from John McGinley’s brilliant book: Mission Shaped Grace