Some of you have asked….what is a Missional Community and what do you do?
Every Thursday at 6pm, a group of us (mainly from the Northside of RVA) get together in our home. What do we do? We fellowship (which basically means talk and eat great food together), We study God’s Word (also known as the Bible) and pray (talk to God). We live out God’s mission together (which means we encourage each other to love God more and to love our neighbors) in our everyday lives in our community, at work, at the gym, at the barber shop….wherever we spend our day. It isn’t project based. It’s just life.
Weekly, we also have Kids Missional Community, where we do the same thing, but for neighborhood kids.
I recently found this video online and thot I would share it because it describes beautifully what we are doing. This is the way we roll….in Southern Barton Heights and beyond. If you want to be a part or learn more, feel free to contact me!
“My friends are my estate.”
– Emily Dickinson
I feel like the most blessed person in the world! If my friends are my estate….that also makes me the RICHEST person in the world. Yesterday, we had our annual Community Memorial Day Cookout….and Birthday Bash. I call it a Memorial Day Cookout and Louis always includes my birthday as well, which is today. We opened our yard and our hearts to our community of neighbors and friends to celebrate. Over 60 people were in attendance. It was awesome for neighbors to meet neighbors…young and old alike…to make new friends.
Our Missional Community was there to help by lending a hand…setting up and tearing down the tables, meeting new people, building deeper relationships, and just chillin’ in the heat! Many times, community gatherings around here lead to verbal fights, physical altercations, guns and shooting, and other negativity that just disturbs the community. We had none of that! We had….
- great food. Thanks to Rush and Louis manning grill…chicken and hot dogs!!! and everyone bringing a covered dish.
- wonderful respectful, positive conversations.
- laughter, games and fun.
- connections and friendships being made. Some of the youth were meeting for the first time…since they go to different high schools.
- a few people who heard about our Thursday night gatherings who are going to come and check us out.
Again…I am blessed to have called these folks my friends. God intends for us to be in relationship with Him and with one another. We practiced that yesterday. The Bible has over 100 verses on friends, friendship, etc. Here is one of my favorites…
John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
Enjoy some pics of our time together…meet my friends…
WOW! It’s been a while since I have allowed myself to think about the night 3 years ago when Frank was shot outside my back door in Southern Barton Heights! If you are new to the blog, or haven’t heard the story before…take a look at this string of posts telling the story of Frank (click his name…then scroll to the bottom and click “older entries” to go to the first blog post. Be sure to go back to the first post…and read backwards so you get the story in order.) I take a few moments each year on January 27th to really think through the events leading up to that night and the events following it. This is the first year, however, that I can read back through it on y blog.
Can I just say it?…GOD IS GOOD!!! Respond with me… ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD! Vicky and I had a short conversation on FB a few minutes ago where she said…”That story still makes me cry.” You know…it makes me cry, too. Tons of emotion going on. I don’t even know where to start! And…I cried. I give glory to God. I’m humbled. I’m grateful. I’m amazed. I’m encouraged.
Tonight, we had our weekly Missional Community where we studied the story of the Fishes and the Loaves. One of the things I really get from that miracle is how Jesus took something really small…a boy’s basket of 5 loaves and 2 fishes…and fed over 5000 hungry people!!!! Is that not crazy? That the Lord could take something so small…and perform a miracle? He just needed a willing participant, the boy offering his bread and fish. That’s the way I feel about the night Frank got shot. Louis and I had little-to-no first aid training. Little-to-no experience in treating traumas. But, you know….we didn’t need it. We had the Holy Spirit…and that is all we needed….and a willingness to go. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
So now, I wonder…what “fishes and loaves” am I holding on to and not sharing? What am I NOT willing to offer up to the Lord to use to bring Him glory because I think that I don’t have enough experience, enough education/knowledge, enough money, enough time, enough training, enough…fill in the blank with any obstacle/excuse you can think of? It’s time to step out in trust and faith and let God be God…because I can NEVER have enough of anything. The best thing I can do is get out of the way. Zechariah 4:6b says, “…‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” I can’t work hard enough, smart enough, efficient enough. I can’t get enough education, time, money, etc. to do what God does. It is NOT by my might, power, brains, money, common sense, education, scheduling, etc. but by HIS Spirit!
Louis and I could NOT have arranged that night even if we had tried, but God knew where we needed to be and when. So…I’m going to step out in that faith, trust and obedience. Give what I have. Give what He has given me. I’ll do it from one-day to the next and let God be God…and give HIM all the glory! Amen?
So, Happy 3rd Anniversary, Frank! To new beginnings! To your new life! Love you and thankful that God brought us together! Can’t wait to see your face again! To God Almighty be the glory!
I just love our weekly gathering. Some would call it a small group….others….a bible study….more might call it a missional community or a life group. Whatever you want to call it…I LOVE it! It started as a group of people from Commonwealth Chapel who met together for what we call Missional Community…where we did fellowship, read the Bible and prayed together. In addition…we would do things to meet the needs of our community. In this case, Southern Barton Heights.
So here we are…a couple of years later…and our group now consists of mainly our friends from the community…and just a couple of people from church. We experience real life together. We have gone through really hard things together…unemployment, drug and alcohol addictions, family “stuff”…and we have gone through the good things as well…employment! New cars! Sobriety! New people and friends! New homes! I can’t imagine life without my Thursday night gathering of friends…my Spiritual Family, who encourage me from one day to the next, who call me out when I’m not being real, who love me even when I mess up! I could go on and on!
We meet every Thursday night from 6-8pm. Or…something like 8pm. We are guilty of going til 8:30 or later…becasue we enjoy each other so much. But, people are free to scoot if they need to. If you want to come…and join us in real talk…real life….and learn about Jesus…we welcome you! We eat together (covered dish style) at 6-7p…while we also talk about what is happening in our lives. Then, we spend time talking about what God has to say to us through the Word…also known as the Bible. We close with some prayer…for our concerns, our community, and our city.
Starting the first week of January, we will be talking through the Seven Signs in John. Come and join us and bring a friend!
After the last couple of posts “it’s a dangerous thing to let Jesus use your boat.” Bob Lupton and 3 Boats Sited in Southern Barton Heights, there really seems to be quite a theme recently…boats are showing up left and right!!! We’re going to need to build a boat dock!!!
Check this out….
We have a young lady with a young baby who needs furniture for her new home in Gilpen Court and for the baby. Charles called to tell me about her to see if we could help her out! We agreed that he’s going to go check her out and make sure that everything is legit.
Within a matter of hours, my friend Tammy McClure calls me. She has a whole car load of baby things…stroller, car seats, etc. Check! Within a matter of days, Judy Harris from church told me about bedroom furniture that needs a home. Check! In addition, we have a lead on some other home items that will assist her. As we still need kitchen items/furniture, living room, baby crib, etc. Before too long…we can check that one off the list too! Keep that in prayer!!! Last…we have a near-by church family I feel will connect her with.
OK…then…here’s the big cruise boat coming into SBH. Commonwealth Chapel is partnering with U-Turn. On Saturday 6/26 we are having a cookout at Miss Marti’s House to introduce a new Saturday morning program to the kids. Where the ComChap van will come through picking up kids ages 7-12 to hang at U-Turn….playing sports, eating/drinking a snack and receiving encouragement from the Bible. There are 2 ComChap Missional Communities – West End and Sports MC’s that are heading this up with U-Turn.
My friend Jelani, the Director of Outreach at U-Turn, and I have been waiting patiently to get the interest and manpower behind this. I couldn’t be more thrilled to see how people are allowing Jesus to use their boats…..
Boats called resources, time, creativity, energy, love, talents/gifts, driving, cooking, food, love, and so much more!!!
I’m excited to see whose boat Jesus uses next!!!
Last night we had a blast playing Bananagrams!!! It was my last night alone!!!! Thankfully, Louis will be home tonight!!! YAY!!! We love to “play” Bananagrams…although it doesn’t hold our attention for very long. Terence, Bishop, Deshawn and Larry kept me company on my last night alone! Ya’ gotta love those guys!!!
Next Saturday 6.26 from 4-6 we are partnering with U-Turn and 2 (maybe 3) Commonwealth Chapel Missional Communities to throw a neighborhood cook-out for the kids 7-12 and their parents. We are introducing a new Saturday morning program that will allow kids to go to U-Turn to play, have a snack and take a little time for the Word. Praying that Larry, Deshawn and Bishop will go. Terence is a little too old, but maybe he can be a Jr Leader. We will have to see. Please join us in prayer for this outreach!
Update 7.1.2011 – We now meet every Thursday at 6pm.
Enjoy this video that our good friend and missional community member, Miranda, created of our missional community. We meet tonight at 6:30. Come on over and join us any 2nd or 4th Monday of the month.