All of our missional communities are built around eating together. You can get started right away by copying that pattern this week. Make eating with others part of your household rhythm of living. The key to making this practice sustainable is to keep it low maintenance: when you have a group of people over to your home, remember you are not hosting a dinner party! Everyone contributes (that relaxes people), and everyone helps with the preparation and cleanup.
People who come regularly to the missional community that meets in my (Alex’s) home quickly discover where all the plates, glasses, and silverware live, and they know they are expected to act as co-hosts along with us. (Newcomers rarely have the door answered by my wife or me!) Sharing duties makes hosting a missional community a much lighter weight for us. It’s far less of an add-on and far more of an integration into what is already there in our lives.
We would also encourage you to have fun! Community life is meant to be enjoyable, not drab or always serious. When we bought a Labrador puppy, Molly’s mischief and energy became fully part of our missional community. The group played their part in training her, and she is part of our life together. The everyday stuff of our family life (a new pet) is a context where discipleship and community can take place without adding anything extra to our schedule.
Bobby William Harrington, Alex Absalom, and Thom Rainer, Discipleship That Fits: The Five Kinds of Relationships God Uses to Help Us Grow (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016).
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