All about Jesus and apprenticeship
(hence 'the workshop')
First and foremost we think it’s gotta be all about Jesus, about learning how to follow him, to be his disciples, in ways that are a bit crazy, that make us uncomfortable, but that are a little bit awesome. The great commission was to make disciples of Jesus, the fullest expression of God that we have, and discipleship was no mere tick box of beliefs, it was a whole life thing – to be discipled to someone meant you tried to live like them every hour of every day, that it affected everything.
Discipleship to Jesus calls us out of ourselves in three ways - ‘up’, ‘in’ and out’ - ‘up’ into the abundance of life we find in relationship with this joyous God community we have in the trinity, ‘in’ to a community where we can be accepted and loved with a group of other people trying to follow Jesus too (so important because this discipleship gig is really hard without it), and lastly but so not leastly, ‘out’, loving the world around us in really tangible ways. We have to balance all three to truly be followers of Jesus.
To do the discipleship thing well we think it’s really important to keep everything else as lightweight as possible so we don’t loose the above. We think it’s easy to get caught up in your Christian community and friends and church stuff and programs and volunteering, and before you know it all your free time is rostered and all your hang out times spoken for, and there’s no space for your friends outside of Christian community, and not much time for getting stuck in to help with what’s broken and wrong with this world – which we think is kinda the whole point of the church, and yet ironically in doing ‘church’ we often run out of time to do this. So, we really want to streamline what our church expression looks like, and keep things like our worship time simple – we think simple is really helpful for keeping the main thing the main thing.
Practical Faith Formation
Blah blah blah
Hospitality + Inclusiveness
We think at the essence of church – being the people of God, followers of jesus together – is community, relationship. We think it’s vital that we know each other pretty well, in a normal way, not just a sit beside each other on an occasional Sunday and do small talk kind of way, but a hanging out having bbqs, grabbing a coffee, babysitting each other’s kids, helping build a fence on a Saturday, seeing you argue with your other half kind of way. It’s pretty hard, not to mention awkward, to get into the nitty gritty of discipleship stuff when you don’t really know each other.
To aid this, we think it’s useful to keep the group small – so you can do ‘in’ stuff while you do your weekly meet up – if you get too big you can’t connect with everyone, and you start to loose people in the cracks. At the same time we really want to be inclusive and welcoming for all people who haven’t found a church community to connect to – which means we could grow (we might also just tick along as a small group which is cool and less problematic J) and if we did then we would want to engage the group in what it would look like to be a community of small communities that meet apart and together, without replicating too much stuff that keeps us from the ‘out’ mission stuff.
We hope our community will be pretty diverse in ages and stages and personalities – we’re firm believers that we’re all a bit crazy and needy if you just scratch the surface and really want to create a space people can be real in, which isn’t always comfortable for the rest of us – just warnin ya! Jesus hung out with the poorest, the least popular, the awkward, walking alongside them as friends welcoming them into something so different to what they had ever known – so if that’s our example, surely that should be reflected in our own lives and community.
In this, we also really want to create a space where kids are welcomed and valued as part of our meeting together. Kids have roles to play in our service, there's interactive parts, there's space for them to play and be part of our family at the front of the service - as well as space for them to run around and play at the back!