Several of us had a great time reflecting on the question,“What does it mean to be a church community?” on Wednesday night. You can download the handout that guided our discussion so you can follow along: Session 4 Handout
Big Takeaway from Session 4: We dove into some biblical and theological explanations of what the “church” is. The church is the creation of the Holy Spirit. No one really decides for themselves to become a part of the church. The Spirit of God is always drawing people into community first. The church’s model for community comes from the Trinity. The Trinity is our model for a relational, organic community of interconnected, mutually submissive relationships. The mission of the church is wrapped up in the narrative story of a Three-in-One (communal) God that is re-creating everything into a new and perfect community.
We also completed a comparison of how three different churches handle their membership practices. Several values and practices are beginning to emerge in defining how Theophilus might help people belong to our community:
- It might be helpful for new Grace Groups to be created around new “members.”
- A process for discerning whether “membership” is where God is leading someone might be a helpful thing to offer (but without a specific time frame expected for completion).
- If a process for discernment is suggested, it would be helpful if the steps are easy to understand and communicated well.
- It seems that regardless of people’s “membership” status, everyone should feel welcomed and encouraged to participate (with no guilt attached for not becoming a “member”).