Lots of laughing, people dropping in, kids and adults being silly and friends catching up on old times. That’s so fun. There’s a good chance even that description reminds you of a time in your life.
A good time, I bet.
A time when you enjoyed the people you were with and it took zero planning. All it took was the willingness to say, “hey, we’re going out for lunch, want to join us” or “we’re going to make spaghetti for supper, want to join us?” And then a bunch of people SHOW UP!
It was The Gathering, our monthly collaborative worship time with Diaspora. It’s not a well planned, rehearsed, tightly executed worship service. I’ve been known to describe it to a bunch of pastors and Bible college students as “we don’t do an excellent worship service”. We do a participatory, collaborative worship gathering where people bring stuff from their heart to Jesus’ heart.
They bring a song, prayer, story, fellowship activity, snack, scripture, testimony, devotional thought or activity, poem or whatever. All of these things are done as an offering to Jesus and we seldom know what people are bringing in advance. It’s a lot of worshipful, get the family involved Jesus-focused fun. This time was really fun too in that we had our university students home for their reading/study week and others made it who we hadn’t seen in awhile. So, it was extra celebratory as we gathered.
And my wonderful wife and co-pastor said to me, “hey let’s see if people want to join us for fast food after The Gathering?” So we asked, and MANY DID! We ended up with like 20 people in a fast food joint where we told stories, caught up, enjoyed our small children showing off their dance skills, and laughed a lot. And we all helped clean up at the end. (don’t want to be that group that is loud, takes over a section and leaves a mess, especially as a church plant!)
And that was the church in action. Lives shared, laughed shared, being an extended family on mission as we grow in loving relationships.