Coaching Conversations: Stop Looking for People of Peace!
We have a vision for a multicultural church with numerous missional communities made up of different parts of the world. Easier said than done, especially when starting from scratch. A recent conversation with our International MC leader has really helped us make some significant progress.
The challenge hasn’t been meeting people of peace or finding opportunities, the challenge has been keeping relationship with them all. I found that every week we were discussing different new relationships whilst others were seemingly falling off the map. How do we do this was the question. This highlighted for me a common problem I see with eager Missional Community leaders and people of peace.
Often people seem to think that accumulating as many people of peace as possible is the goal. It isn’t!
The passages we read in Luke 10 are clear that when we find a person or household of peace we should stay there. Not move on. The discovery of a person of peace is a trigger to stop, put down some foundations and invest. With our International Missional Community we began to say stop looking for people of peace! Instead we encouraged them to to identify the consistent people around them and dig in, build community with them, equip them and send them out with strong support.
The result has been astonishing. Firstly a disparate and fluid group has been transformed into a strong community that have grown to love being together. Secondly an area of favour amongst Spanish-speaking Latin Americans has been identified resulting in a group of 4 Latin Americans coming to faith in 1 week. Thirdly a Spanish-speaking small group within the Missional Community has now been formed and is gaining momentum.
The lessons? Sometimes we have to stop looking for people of peace! Invest in community and equip those we have to go themselves. Now we are excited to be looking at what this means for us in the public space. What would it look like to make Spanish speakers feel more welcome and at home on Sundays? Do we do translation? Produce song words in 2 languages? We aren’t sure yet but we are convinced that multicultural church will gain momentum if we see focused missional communities and a clear public presence and investment. Watch this space!
Ben Rook and his wife Esther lead Pathway Community Church in Leicestershire. They are passionate pioneers with a vision to see the City of Leicester and beyond become more and more like heaven on earth. Having initially led CityChurch Leicester they have led a team that has overseen the coming together with Lutterworth Community Church to form Pathway Community Church.