Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Intentional Community

We had a great kick-off to the "gathered" phase of our Gather to Scatter strategy! All praise to Jesus for that. We began this past Thursday evening as we are seeking to model what intentional and biblical community should look like. The goal and our prayer is that on Easter Sunday, April 8th, a day we are calling Scatter Sunday, we will be able to pray over, commission and launch out at least 5 new Intentional Communities in Tacoma's Hilltop & beyond!

This past Thursday our Intentional Communities Director, Stacie Hooks, and I were discussing how many people we should prepare for. I of course said, "I have no idea!" Seriously though, the first time you try something is the hardest because you have no idea what to expect. I remember the first time me and Kelli tried to start a new small group in Snoqualmie we sat there alone, looking at each other, until we decided to go home! That being said, we had to plan for something so I told Stacie I would be excited to have 15 people at the first group so we should set up for around 20. Well, as he so often does, God did more than we imagined. He brought 28 people to our first IC gathering and about 10 kids came to our new Thursday night Kids Ave! It was awesome and all praise goes to Jesus.

We met at 6pm for dinner and then at 6:30 we began The Story-formed Way, a unique way to tell the entire narrative of Scripture in 10 weeks that is put out by Soma Communities, also based in Tacoma. Well, Stacie did an amazing job telling the story of creation and the not so small group really opened up for discussion. It was a great time of learning about and worshipping God for the Creator that he is. We got to learn about the beauty of creation, the pain of the fall and the love of a perfect Father.

I would ask that you pray for our Intentional Community going forward as we have a lot of work to do and we are relying on the Holy Spirit to get it all done. Between now and Scatter Sunday we are intentionally going to be serving and sharing the gospel with a group on the Hilltop called the Evergreen neighbors. They are an organized block group that we are trying to love and serve whether or not they are currently interested in the gospel or The Pathway. However, we are training our church not just to serve but also to share. If we serve in love and grace but do not share the hope we have in Christ, we are simply making people feel good as they journey farther and farther down the path that leads to hell. That is just not okay.

Tonight will be our first big open door to love the Evergreen neighbors as Stacie and some of the IC members will be attending the groups monthly meeting just to make ourselves available and build relationships. Please pray that God opens unexpected doors and that the gospel will bring life change to the Evergreen neighbors!

Also, I want to give a big shout out to Jesus for gracing us with a new interim worship leader!!! Donna Christian has been sent to us by a sister church of ours in Tacoma, Discovery Church, and will lead worship for us through may or until God brings us a part-time worship leader. That is a huge answer to prayer and thank you all for persistently presenting that request to Jesus. Please continue to pray that God would bring long-term staff to serve with The Pathway.

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