Membership, covenant, commitment, etc….The Promise

Mosaic is wrestling with the idea of commitment. Last Sunday we presented The Promise – our attempt at articulating some core aspects of committing to Mosaic in order for us to grow and fulfill God’s will for us as a community. Using our values and life practices as a starting place we identified 5 aspects that will help us pursue Mosaic’s vision as a community. They are:

  1. Living out our life practices – these are based on our values of communion, community and co-mission. Won’t go into them here.
  2. Regular participation in our weekly gatherings
  3. Missional living at work – wherever we spend most of our time.
  4. Sacrificial giving
  5. Regular involvement in a small group

Some of this is a result of reflections over the last few years, some recent feedback & challenges the community faces, and a great deal has to do with us trying to work toward the same goals for Mosaic and God’s mission in the world. We cannot move in a united direction if we are all pursuing our own will or we have different objectives. This still gives a great deal of personal flexibility and is not something to be policed but embraced; only the person will know if they are wholehearted or ‘ticking off the box’.

For those who are followers of Christ and can embrace these five aspects, they would become ‘promised’ people in Mosaic (we termed this ‘aprentices’) and they would be given responsibility according to gifting, character, and calling which flows into ministry and leadership. Those who are not a follower of Christ or a Christian who is determining if Mosaic is a community God wants them to participate in would simply be ‘friends’. This would be an opportunity for them to discover the claims of Christ and/or discern their ability to embrace Mosaic’s values and mission. 

I think in some ways this puts us closer to being a missional community; even urban monastics. Western culture doesn’t do well with commitment and I know Mosaic/us as leaders aren’t perfect, so please be in prayer as we consider being promised, seek unity and forge ahead in fulfilling God’s will for us in 2008.

Missional Order?

I am particularly attracted to the monastic tradition – my Roman Catholic upbringing and  personality I think are key in this regard. I’ve been thinking about the type of community Mosaic is (and aims to be) as well as how we as a team work with one another. Although we haven’t gone through a particular rule or ordination within the team, we do operate as a missional order. Here is why I think that:

  • Wes, Stuart and I spend time in the word together, pray together and confess our sins to each other. Since we have this level of relationship we also have agreed to hold each other accountable in life with grace, truth and love. Honesty and humility is needed here.
  • We try to spend time together and look for ways to work not in isolation but together – yesterday I joined Stuart as he painted at the Annexe.
  • We share our possessions – our car is used as a team vehicle – and we look for creative ways to share resources. Swaping books is quite common.
  • We break bread together by having meals twice a month after our time as a church planting team.
  • We have deliberately centred our lives (and thus our families lives) around a specific patch of the West End. We try to take advantage of the activities, establishments, and lives of this patch. Whether it be attending a folk night at the Annexe, going to the Cafe Rio for a meeting, banking in a branch in that area, or just walking in prayer around the patch. I particularly enjoy the friendships I am making – Michael the street sweeper, Rosie at the Annexe cafe, or Tony also at the cafe. Upon my return to Glasgow, I realised I missed them and they me.
  • Hospitality is critical – Wes & Stuart detailed our car for our return and stocked our fridge. We try to pass this onto others. This weekend we are with Australian friends for Chinese food and games with all our kids. The guys will make dessert.

I could go on, but I think the idea is that we are pursuing a radical life of love for one another and others. We don’t pursue a new legalism but have found a rhythm of life and a set of practices that help us live in unity with one another through the power of the Holy Spirit. Interestingly, there is actually great freedom in this as the world lives in such great disunity, hyper-individualism, and self-power.