What kind of life will evoke questions?
Here's a few ways we are doing intriguing things motivated by our faith and love:
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dialogue, not monologue
We're big on relationships, not religion. Jesus demonstrated that the art of loving God is loving people. Part of loving is knowing, and knowing comes through dialogue, not monologue. We help people have crucial conversations and bridge the spiritual gap. Good conversations involve learning to listen, and learning to ask good questions. Jesus asked nearly 307 questions--recorded in the Gospel accounts. He was asked about 183 questions and only answered a few directly. Part of our process in mentoring/discipling is learning to listen, ask questions, and train others to tell their own story. No scripts, no memorized pitches. Just raw, unpredictable conversation compelled by genuine interest in others. It takes face-to-face time. Disciples making disciples.
SURPRISE is part of our practice of neighboring. It's not just a service project for an organization or individual with a need, it's also doing the unexpected. As individuals we do this when we bake cookies or give a gift when it's not a birthday or holiday; or when we write or speak words of encouragement unexpectedly. Sometimes we just serve the socks off somebody. SURPRISE is when we act as a group to astonish someone (or a organization) with the same unexpected kindness Jesus astonished us with at one time.
There is art that can evoke thought and questions. From time to time, we gather as a larger group at a public space to display visual art or engage people with interactive art--simply to cause people to think and question.
inspired by GOINTERNATIONAL
- launching new Communities -
When there is a core of Christ-followers making Christ-followers, the friendships, knowing and being known (by each other and God) results in a community of people that desire to be together. That community often has its own distinctive, a shared culture of the 'tribe' that allows them to connect with others to find and follow Jesus. It's building Christ-centered community to reach community. One of our first Mountainside Communities (some call a church) we just launched March 25, 2018. We have a growing core of 60+ individuals (75+ in small groups), regularly meeting Sundays at Galileo’s on W. King Street (10:30am), practicing neighboring, authenticity, mentoring, and the gospel. With God's help we hope to see 7 more communities unleashed in the next 10 years.
pop up gatherings
From time to time we announce a gathering at a specific time and place for anyone who would want to participate. These medium to large gatherings may be characterized by these elements: worship & prayer, testimony-someone's story, the table-cookout or pitch-in, and creative presentations.
Rooted is our quarterly (currently) leadership learning community where we share vision, best practices, and skills for leading small groups and discipleship groups. Small group leaders, apprentice leaders, those who are discipling others, and those who want to be prepared to disciple others gather to “keep the coals” hot for one of our core practices and purposes as a church.
These groups are a great introduction to Mountainside, meeting on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. We believe relational community is the vehicle for discipleship (embracing and training to be a Christ-follower). Everyone who participates shares a "high" or "low" from their week, forming the basis of knowing one another and a simple way to pray for each other or give thanksgiving. If the sharing doesn't ignite thoughtful conversation or questions, a HI-LO group leader will usually have a Scripture passage and a question that stimulates conversation below the surface to crucial conversations about life, love, practical living, hope, struggles, truth, authenticity. Usually, part of dialogue in HI-LO groups leads to an honest question that directs the leader and group to open up the Bible to search for answers. (some groups have a portion of time to sing/worship and some groups don't).