On Leading a Families Missional Community: Part 2

This post follows Part One where Lucy and Andrew Buckley who lead a families Missional Community in Sheffield called Kin, share some of their thoughts on how they do that well.

Keep asking if it “fits”

buckleysWe got to a point in our Missional Community where we weren’t sure what we were doing or why we were doing it.  We also found we didn’t have time to fit in all the things we wanted to do in our personal lives.  So we stopped, we reflected.  And we realised that the problem was that our Missional Community and our personal lives were two different things.  We had slipped into fitting a few meetings onto our lives rather than meeting together with people in order to live out our lives.

So we stopped leading a community and we re-discovered how we wanted to live our lives, how God wanted us to live our lives and what actually worked for us right now with our kids as they are.  Then we started doing things, we made plans about prayer and mission and worship and rest and fun and friendships.  And then we invited others to join us in this life we are trying to lead.As we tentatively walk this next season of life we have found a few questions helpful to give us the right perspective when things feel complicated or unclear:

  • Would we be doing this even if no-one was coming with us?  Does it “fit” how we want to live our life?
  • Are we being realistic about the type of plans we are making? Does it “fit” the family stage?
  • Are we doing life and inviting people into it or are we adding Missional Community activities onto our life?  Does it “fit” our rhythm of life?

So we eat together as MC adults one week in three.  But instead of eating at 7.30pm followed by organised discussion and activity as I was used to before we had kids, we meet at some time between 7.30pm and 8pm giving time for kids to be put to bed. We eat whenever the food is ready, sometimes it is cooked in advance sometimes it’s all hands on deck and cooked together as life together.  And while we eat we’ll chat, sometimes challenging, sometimes lightweight and maybe we’ll pray if the need arises.  Then people can leave by 9 and go to sleep early if they need to or stay later if they want to.  It “fits” with our family stage.

One month we were making plans for our community Sunday (where we meet on a Sunday morning as community rather than gathered with the wider church), and trying to think up our Missional activity.  We were also working out how to fit in our house-warming party.  It was too busy and it felt like our MC was getting in the way of what we wanted to do which was to get to know the neighbours and show our friends our new place.  When Missional Community seems to be getting in the way it usually means I need a mind-shift.  In this case it was simple: invite MC into our life.  So our community Sunday activity was suddenly obvious, they came to our house and helped us host a house-warming.  Suddenly again it did “fit” with how we wanted to live our life.

What about you?  Does what your MC do feel like it ‘fits’ with your life?  What do you need to change?  What do you need stop? What do you need to start?