This series will drill down on the missional community practice called “The Family Meeting”. Although there isn’t a formula, here are some things to consider putting into practice:
- Sharing a Meal
- What Do You Talk About?
- An Evening of Prayer
- Celebrating Communion
In the previous post, I covered the meal part of our gathering. I am also often asked the question “what should we talk about?” I want to unpack a few different options that I have used, and point out a few others that others I know have put into practice.
Who Will Be There?
The first question I think you need to answer when thinking through discussion topics is “who is going to be there?” One of the major ideas of missional community is allowing those who aren’t yet following Jesus the opportunity to belong before they believe, and part of that is considering what you talk about. Often, rather than having a standard bible study, I will simply ask the question “what were your highs and lows over the past week or two?” It’s a great opportunity for those who are believers to speak about God, the gospel, and the Word, and it’s an accessible question for anyone, regardless of your faith, to answer.
Studying the Bible
If you’re going to study the bible together, I’d highly recommend that you do it in such a way that anyone can meaningfully participate in the conversation. If you’re following a reading plan in your LTGs, then I would just use a chapter from that days reading as the passage you’re going to discuss. I have found the following questions to be a good standard set if you’re going to do a bible study:
- What did you like/not like about what we just read?
- Was there anything you didn’t understand?
- What did you learn about God?
- What did you learn about humanity?
- What did you learn about Jesus?
- Regardless of where your faith is at right now, if you were to apply what we learned about God to something in your life this week, what would that look like?
These questions give an opportunity to consider the gospel, and reinforce obedience to the Word rather than just learning.
I’m not the biggest fan of curriculum in a missional community, and prefer to focus on individuals reading the bible for themselves and collectively studying that together. That being said, I think there are some strategic seasons to use curriculum…just don’t rely to heavily on it!
Lastly, my friends at Soma Communities have developed a tool that has proven to be very powerful and effective for missional communities called The Story Formed Way. I have seen communities at The Stone use this tool, and it has been a great way for believers and non-believers alike to explore the story of God in the bible in a powerful new way.
What are some other ways you have tried to lower the bar of engagement to participation in a discussion?