It's been a few weeks since I posted a new article in the 'Chronicles of a Single Chick...' series. Even though I have a couple of blog posts up my sleeve from when we were allowed to meet in church buildings, I have delayed posting them because people are a little consumed with other things lately. I love that this time has challenged people to be innovative and to begin thinking about church on a deeper level. I'm actually grateful that the restrictions have forced the church into homes and smaller gatherings around family or housemates and a couple of friends.
My church gathering over the past few weeks has consisted in my housemate and I doing a 'simple church' model called 'three thirds church'. It is called that because there are three areas, divided into about equal amount of time, that we spend time focusing on: looking back, looking up and looking forward. Let me explain this model.
1) Looking back: this is where you check in with each other and find out how people have been in the past week and, if they had set any goals from the week before, how they went in fulfilling these goals. It could have been something that Jesus asked you to obey during the previous weeks 'church' or someone you wanted to reach out to in love. This section also includes simple, unplanned/unrehearsed worship and prayer.
2) Looking up: this section focuses on communion and digging into the word of God through a simple tool called 'Discovery Bible Study' (DBS). You read a passage of scripture, perhaps a couple of times if needed, and retell it to each other. Then three simple questions are asked of the passage: what does it tell us about God or Jesus, what does it tell us about people and is there an instruction to obey or an example to follow. It is so interactive and life giving as people dig into the Word together to find the truth to live by. The elements of communion can be anything simple you have on hand. We don't eat bread in our household, so our communion has simply been a cracker and water, or even one week, we had nuts as we'd run out of crackers. Even though it would be wonderful to have unleavened bread and wine, it's the heart behind it that counts.
3) Looking forward: in this section you look to the following week. We also include 'giving' in this section where we seek the Lord as to who or what to give to this week. It can be different amounts for different things but three areas of giving that you can consider are looking up, looking out and looking in. Looking up is God's mission across the globe to reach the lost, looking out is seeing need in your local community and how you can help meet that need and looking in is giving to someone or a family in your immediate church community who might need some assistance. Looking forward is also determining in your heart what the Lord wants you to obey Him in during the week to follow, from what you have learnt during the DBS, and asking for opportunities to reach out to your unsaved friends or family in your immediate sphere of influence.
I and my housemate are loving this simplicity of church!
How bout you? What have you been doing during this season to continue meeting with God's people and spurring one another on to love and good deeds? If you'd like to know more about three thirds church and how it works, just shoot me a message! And if you'd like the next instalment in the 'Chronicles of a single chick visiting every church in the CBD' then you'll just have to be patient!
Bless you my friends!