Instead, we aim to free up that one weekend per month for Life Groups to have space to be able to do things they might not be able to do if there was an expectation to be part of a Sunday gathering every week. In doing so we end up emphasising a couple of things:
1. The Sunday gathering isn’t the centrepiece of our church (albeit an important piece!).
2. We are very keen to prioritise discipleship in community, on mission, and through serving others.
Our heart in organising ourselves this way is really to help everyday people live with gospel intentionality in everyday life and form communities that know and love Jesus and are able to make him known to others.
We recognise this makes us a little bit different from other churches and there are a number of common questions that come up for people who are familiar with church. Here are a few:
Q. What about corporate worship and prayer and preaching? Doesn’t this communicate to people that those things aren’t very important?
A. Just so it is clear...
- We highly value Sunday services.
- We highly value the Bible and preaching.
- We highly value worshipping God together.
- We highly value corporate prayer.
We think all those things are important and practice them regularly. Publicly we often clearly express how good it is to celebrate Jesus together and how good it is to have everyone together to do that. It’s just that once a month we choose to not do it the same way we do it every other week, to try and create ways for discipleship to happen in some other contexts.
Q. What about God’s word? How do you value it if you’re so active in community?
A. Anything we do and any way we set ourselves up is in response to God’s word - especially our formation in missional communities and our obedience to Jesus in living on mission. That’s the reason we meet that way at all! But practically speaking, on the weeks we gather corporately we preach from Scripture and wouldn’t have it any other way. When our LG’s meet, most of the time they will look at God’s word together. We even have smaller groups within LG’s specifically designed to study the Bible together every time they meet.
Q. What about people that aren’t part of a Life Group?
A. That’s okay. Anyone is more than welcome to join in with what an Life Group gets up to. And at this stage, we still have a smaller gathering at our church building for anyone that is not part of a Life Group so no one needs to miss out.
Q. I came to visit you and there was no one there! What’s up with that?
A. It was probably the last Sunday of the month… and we’re so sorry we missed you! We love it when people join with us in our Sunday gatherings and are keen to have new people come along. Please visit again! (We do our best at stating on our website and social media pages that we don’t meet on Sundays once a month, but we apologise for anyone who finds out the hard way!)