Developing a Communal Rhythm of Life for Missional Communities (Mid-sized Groups) – Part 3
After taking some time to define mid-sized groups, communal rhythm of life and missional spaces in Part 1, and giving some reasons why the five focal concerns of the five equippers makes for a solid approach to developing a communal rhythm of life in Part 2, today I want to give an overview of where we will be going in the next five to six posts in this series.
As a start, I want to take a quick look at the overview of the five typologies that Paul mentions in Ephesians four as it relates to their focal concern and telos.
While the telos of each of the equippers further defines the focal concern, in my next overview chart, I want to focus on the focal concern and the type of identity that the practice (or spiritual discipline) flows from and shapes us toward. So I will start the chart with identity, then move to the focal concern, then the practice, then the kind of environment that practice can cultivate, and finally the hopes of the difference that this practicing community makes.
Again the identity shapes the practice and the practice, because it is a “thick” practice, it is a grace-filled practice that grabs our heart, stirs our imaginations, shapes our identity and reshapes our desire for God and his kingdom. In turn our communal rhythm of life start to shape different environments in our missional community, a thriving, liberating, welcoming, healing and learning environment, which in turn also shapes our identity and lives, so that we might be faithful to our calling, spirit-formed people, blessing our neighbors, living in authentic community as signposts of new creation.
In the next five posts in this series, I will take a look at each of the five practices that I have listed above with more detail and understanding. What I am advocating is having a five-fold framework in regard to developing a communal rhythm of life for missional communities. The practices that the group engages in may vary, but the framework is helpful for the reasons I mentioned in the previous post. Having a common framework for mid-sized groups helps to cultivate a common DNA and a wholistic approach to spiritual formation. In the following posts, I will give some reasons that I am choosing these particular practices to start off with. This is not meant to be prescriptive, but descriptive to give people a concrete example of how this framework might play out. But prior to doing that, in my next post, I want to talk about practices in general, from a missional viewpoint.