Category Archives: missional

Caroling in Lincoln Square

In December, approximately 100 people joined us at the caroling festivities we hosted. Several from the neighborhood joined us around the Giddings Plaza Square as we sang songs of merriment & songs of Jesus over our neighborhood. Then several joined us as we caroled down the main avenue as we sang inside businesses, restaurants & bars. We asked everyone who showed up to bring food for the Common Pantry. We passed out candy canes that said “You Are Loved” which led to several good questions like, “Who are you guys?” It was a great way to love our neighborhood with no strings attached, no agenda but to bring joy and love. The most beautiful part was hearing all who were there, believers and not, singing the GOSPEL for everyone to hear! Who knows who had a tragic day and overheard these words in their apartment or as they walked around the neighborhood:

Son of God love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace

Jesus, Lord at thy birth,

Jesus, Lord at thy birth

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Missio Dei strives to see every follower live as a family on mission. This family the gospel creates practices routines and rhythms together. They live out the mission of Jesus. Gospel Communities are the heart of church life and church at the neighborhood level. They are where community, mission, care, prayer, worship, and the application of God’s Word take place. They deconstruct the idea that church is a one-hour weekly service and revive the truth that everyday church happens in a network of relationships who are intentional about JESUS while having a strong sense of shared life and mission. The following rhythms help us add gospel components, community components, and mission components to our everyday lives:

STORY-FORMED: We intentionally shepherd both those in the family and those on their way into faith, love, and obedience to Jesus through the Gospel.

PRAY: We set aside regular times to call on the Lord and listen to His leading.

BLESS: We intentionally bless God and others through acts of generosity and service.

EAT: We regularly eat meals with one another and invite others into the family to eat with us.

CELEBRATE: We regularly gather together to celebrate God’s extravagant blessing.

These ideas aren’t really new. They are just ways of expressing the Biblical principles that have always been a part of the authentic Christian life. Consider CS Lewis’s routines & rhtyhms. Shortly after CS Lewis’s conversion, he began to bring gospel intentionality to his schedule, though he would never have worded it this way. His routines and rhythms demonstrate the Christian life in practical, tangible terms. His typical schedule demonstrates space and margin for Gospel Community to evolve. This is CS Lewis’ typical schedule in 1931 a few months after his conversion:

7.15 – Wake up, tea, bath, shaving & pray the Psalms outloud while pacing around the house. {PRAY}

7:40 – Short stroll {LISTENING}

8 – Chapel and The Dean’s Prayers
8.15 – Breakfast with others. {FAMILY}
8.40 – Answer notes, letters, etc.
Lewis made a vow to God to answer every bit of fanmail. Lewis was internally torn and confessed to his friends he thought he could have written more books if he didn’t make this commitment because it led to often writing over 100 letters in a week. Through these letters and notes, Lewis counseled several with the truths from Jesus. {STORY-FORMED}
9 – 1 – Teaching students in classes.
1-5 – Typically a stroll around some nice scenery/park {LISTEN}
5-7 – Listen to Gramaphone Records.
 Lewis and his friends had a love for Gramaphone records. This was a way for Lewis to celebrate with others who were not believers who had an appreciation for the same music. He loved a wide-range of music , but he disliked church music intensely. He said this is because the churches were singing “fifth rate poems set to sixth-rate music.” {CELEBRATE/RECREATION}
7.15 – Dinner, sometimes with students or colleagues {EAT}
8.30 – Time with other students, dinner with colleagues, or speaking or writing. {CELEBRATE/FAMILY}
11 – Bed.
One not mentioned on the schedule is {BLESS} because for Lewis, blessing others came as the need arose. He did this repeatedly as he paid for others college tuition and provided basic utilities for those in need.

Serving at Party in the Park

A few weeks ago, seven of us volunteered at Gross Park’s Annual Party in the Park just as a way to serve and bless others. Blessing others is a normal rhythm of life for Missio Dei. It isn’t an add on or something we do for self-promotion.