Filled with the excitement of making a covenant, they meet with their pastor who is also “coaching” them through this process. Their first question is, “What do we do now?”
Imagine a newly launched missional community lead by a fantastic couple, Gary and Linda, and one of their close friends, Robert, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Gary is a rising star in an architecture firm, and Linda is a part-time social worker with the city while also dedicating lots of time to raising their two young children. Robert is the store manager of a Starbucks while pursuing his masters degree in political science from Duke.
The three of them are part of a new initiative in their church to transition from small groups to missional communities. After reading Saturate and watching a few videos they were hooked. “Someone was giving words to the things they have been feeling and thinking for years.” This is the first time anyone is asking them to make disciples, and they couldn’t be more excited and scared. They went to all the trainings their pastors asked them to attend.
After spending the first fourteen weeks as a missional community walking through the Saturate Field Guide and making a covenant, they are gaining confidence. The community grew tremendously through the process. At first, the group of ten people were there mostly out of love and respect for Gary, Linda, and Robert. However, now they are growing in their convictions for making disciples, though they’re still a little unsure how it is all going to look. They’ve enjoyed the journey so far and did many of the exercises in the Field Guide with mixed results. The core is looking forward to seeing it play out and continuing to follow their leaders’ plan and the covenant.
Through their covenant their community committed to focusing their shared mission toward children and families at risk in their city. They also committed to starting DNA groups among their core of twelve people. Lastly, they all expressed the desire to grow in their understanding of the gospel and ability to apply it to their lives. Additionally, they acknowledged their corporate desire to grow even deeper in their understanding and obedience of the Scriptures and learning what it meant to “be lead by the Holy Spirit.”
Filled with the excitement of making a covenant, they meet with their pastor, who is also “coaching” them through this process. Their first question is, “What do we do now?”
Eric, their pastor and coach, can’t believe he’s seeing a group really “go for it.” He’s overwhelmed with thankfulness for the answered prayer. As he looks through their covenant he tries to hold back his exuberant joy. Then they begin to ask him:
- What should we be doing now?
- What do we talk about in our weekly meals now? Our folks are getting it, but we need to keep teaching them stuff over and over!
- People are still struggling to make connections between the gospel and their lives. What’s the best way to train them in that?
- Are we going to have a training on DNA groups? That seems like a crucial component.
- What should we do with our kids?
- We are clear on what our mission is, but how do we actually engage it? What is our very next step?
Eric tries to turn those questions back to them, but it seems unfruitful. He begins to speculate answers based out of his narrow experience. He also begins to suggest a few Bible studies other groups like, but then quickly walks that advice back when he realizes this isn’t a Bible study. He confesses he has no idea what a DNA training would even look like! In the end, Eric directs them to a few videos. What seemed simple now seems overwhelming.
After several months Eric isn’t growing as a coach. Gary, Linda, and Robert have tried a few things and have returned to the old community group pattern of discussing the latest sermon when they get together. Their DNA groups are simply guy nights and girl nights. They’ve tried to connect with a foster family through Linda’s work, but nothing has come from it. The idea fizzled. The participants in their community are confused, discouraged, and somewhat relieved they didn’t have to change much in their lives to be part of this “missional community thing.”
This is the resourcing gap.
- Participants need more than a twelve-week fly-by of gospel, community, and mission.
- The leaders need help planning, teaching, and leading their communities in mission.
- Coaches and pastors need access to all of those resources, knowing they will continue to move the groups in the right direction. In the short term, they need help training their people while they have limited experience. In the long-term, they need help crafting their own training.
What about you? Have you experienced this scenario?
Saturate wants to offer resources that help participants, leaders, and coaches/pastors close this resource gap and move from an aspirational to an attainable commitment to gospel-motivated mission in your church and community.
Later this week we’ll be giving you a sneak peek at the kind of help you can expect from Saturate in 2017.
Do you and your fellow leaders have resource needs? Let us know in the comments below!
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