Though each Communitas church begins with attentiveness to what God is doing in their local contexts, our church communities often end up looking very different from one another. A church planted in a village on the Brazilian coast will have rhythms and practices unique to the community and context there. Likewise, a church planted in a Scandinavian urban center will reflect their particular context and culture. These two churches may share similar DNA in their values, but may live out those values with drastically different expressions.
Discover the two Dynamics of Practicing and Maturing
Building on embedding and initiating in your context, you now begin to practice your values and convictions together, developing a pattern of discipleship. This creates transformed lives through Christ. Your community will be able to cultivate expressions of worship, community, spiritual development, and mission that make it easy for others to engage in. This invitational style allows people to feel welcome even if they do not profess personal faith in Christ. We want our friends to experience the joy of “belonging” in community, and to know the meaningfulness of serving in Christ-like ways regardless of their current faith position.
A young church in San Francisco took a step back to reevaluate their identity as a community. From this open posture, they were able to focus on truly living out and practicing what was core to who they were, the ministry they were doing, and the people God was calling them to. Through this, their identity was strengthened, and they were able to step forward into what God had waiting for them.
A few years into their project, a team in Madrid felt a burden to intentionally practice a lifestyle of discipleship in their community. Through this focus, they saw lives transformed, and relationships deepen. They saw creativity explode, and encouragement among the people in the project. They saw their neighborhood get excited about things God was clearly doing in their midst.
We follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit to discern when a person is ready to make a personal commitment to Christ. At this point the fellowship matures together, both individually and as a faith community. And, like the human growth process, maturity takes on unique features and timelines as the church moves toward “adulthood.”
A church in Leiden, Netherlands realized they were to a point where they needed to take some intentional time to revisit the unique vision God placed on their community. With each ministry team taking the time to refine their mission and vision and how it supported the church as a whole, they were empowered to recast the vision they were living out in their community, so they could pursue as a stronger, more unified body of believers.
A pastor of a church in Brussels, Belgium took an intentional approach in growing the leadership within the church community. The focus was on putting care into cultivating the giftings of the members in the congregation, rather than hiring full-time ministers. This simple concept paved the way for the church to become a mature body of believers, able to care for each other out of the giftings God has given each person.