If you were not there for the December 8th announcement and have not heard otherwise, REALITY’s elders have decided after much consideration and prayer to cancel our weekly Thursday night gatherings. Though our Thursday night gatherings have played a special role in both REALITY’s beginning and Olympia’s greater church calendar, the elders feel that it is time to prune back some in anticipation of how and where God is leading us as a body.
As the first Thursday that’s been impacted by this change I wanted to take a moment to recap some of the things we are looking to focus on in 2012:
- Missional Community (MC): You’ve heard missional communities talked about in the past and chances are you’re going to hear about them a whole lot more in 2012. The more we’ve seen people at reality pressing in to life in community on mission, the more convinced we are that MC’s are where discipleship is happening, where relationships are happening and where REALITY as a church is learning to be the church outside of our gathering times. As the fruit, needs and number of missional communities at REALITY grows we want to dedicate ample resources to continue to see them flourish.
- Making room to address pressing issues: Whether it is because of our location, demographic or another reason, there is a growing need for us as a body to address addictions to pornography, drugs and alcohol as well as other issues like eating disorders. While speaking to these issues will undoubtedly require dedicated resources and time, I’m convinced it will be something that leads many in our body to experience freedom in the Gospel in new ways.
- Greater energy pursuing church planting: At one time I remember asking God to give us stories of his life being worked out in our context. As we begin to see and hear stories where Jesus’ life is being experienced I think it is only natural for us to long to see those stories spread through the planting of churches who long for the same thing. Its a big wide world and just as Jesus hasn’t saved individuals for our own sake, he’s also not worked in our church for the sake of us as an individual church.
- Other possibilities: Besides those already mentioned, there are a plethora of ways we want to continue to leverage a more open calendar. Possibilities include prayer and worship nights, church-wide meals, deeper theological training and deeper training surrounding specific theological issues or specific issues like marriage, parenting or finances. Many of these issues have been longstanding areas of need for us that we are just now coming to have space to address as a body.