Interested in setting up a missional community where you live?
A new resource called Table may help you and your small group explore just that
John Good, Baptist pioneer in Poole, has teamed up with Paul Bradbury, an Anglican Pioneer minister, to create the innovative five-week course, which is based on five-tablecloths designed to facilitate a learning conversation about missional community.
A host simply needs to prepare a meal each week and place it on top of the tablecloth where all the content and questions are laid out imaginatively. Participants can chat, draw and scribble their way through a teambuilding process designed to be facilitative in mission.
It was born from wanting an accessible course to help new communities be birthed in mission.
John and Paul were excited to see that this approach doesn't need a "qualified" leader present to impart information but with some simple facilitation, a well thought out approach to mission-shaped community could be developed by the people who would be able to run with it beyond the scope of the local church.
Their introductory video explains more:
‘We're awakening to find God in the office, God on the ocean, God at work in the café, God loving our neighbours and we want to put down a marker and say right here, where I am is the house of God.
‘But then this raises questions for us what does worship look like in these places? What kind of work can He do here?
‘Is it possible to build Christian community right where we are, a group of people bound by love sharing in Christ's mission for the world?
‘That's a missional community and if that sounds like you then we're excited to let you know about Table. We've designed five beautiful tablecloths to be used as a resource to help a group of people think through these questions. Each tablecloth uses imagery to draw out conversation around mission, theology, culture, the way of Jesus and how to lead your group forward.
‘The idea is to invite your group over for five meals and have the meal on top of the tablecloth. Everything is right there to get you going. Your friends are invited to draw scribble and write thoughts as the evening goes on. While some courses are designed to be led by experts imparting their wisdom, we believe that instead everyone has experience insight and wisdom to bring to the table (if you pardon the pun!).’
The beginning of the course encourages divergent thinking as participants explore different options and big ideas about God in their own context. The last two aim to focus the group towards some practical steps and ask, what's next?
‘By the end of it you should have a clear idea about where God is wanting you to go and hopefully what you'll need to do about it right away.’