By Amanda Daniel
The families that are a part of the church, the structure, and pastoral expectations are all non-traditional. For starters, we do not have service times. Instead, we gather on a weekly rhythm to eat a meal, discuss life and invest in either worship (anything that grows our faith), community (anything that helps us become the body of Christ), or mission (servant evangelism and parties for non-Christians to attend). The only other piece of The Foundry is Discipleship groups which meet bi-weekly where a leader helps 3-4 people become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit through prayer and scripture reading for transformation. That is it! Leadership development is our highest priority working to train up missionaries to actively share the love and message of Jesus at the places where they work, live, and play.
Leadership development and training up missionaries will lead to more missional communities. As each person learns to engage with God and invest intentionally in others, each household will no longer be able to hold all the new people forcing a beautiful multiplication. With multiplication comes a leadership vacuum allowing someone new to step into their call. The strategy is to build a network of these missional communities where people are funneled into a Discipleship Group to become a disciple of Jesus and live out their call. It is organic. It is messy. But it is leading to the priesthood of all believers within The Foundry.
Since the structure and strategy are different, launch day was different too. As the members of the missional community gathered in my house there was so much excitement and hope. The children immediately ran off to play in my daughter’s room. The adults gathered in my kitchen and we began making our plates of food to gather in the dining room. During dinner we did an ice breaker, sharing many laughs and ah-ha moments with each other. I brought the children back into the dining room and, using an apron, explained to them the role of a servant in biblical times. They were not too keen on being the person who would wait at the door just to wash people’s feet. But after some discussion they decided they would be willing to buy an extra milk at school for someone, pick up their sibling’s toys, and help their neighbor with the sticks in their yard. The adults were leaning into this moment and a couple hoped they too would get an apron to symbolize this new change in their lives. And sure enough there were enough aprons for everyone. The evening ended with communion as we leaned into what it means to be a group of people around a few tables remembering Christ on the cross. The launch was simple but a statement of who we are and are yet to become.
God’s favor has rested on us. Almost everyone is experiencing God moments in a Discipleship group. Those responses look like this:
“I am just now doing my bible study and I have SO MANY THOUGHTS! My brain is going in a bunch of different directions. I am really looking forward to our group study tomorrow. I feel like I am having a Jesus moment. Wow, this is such a cool, weird feeling I don’t know how to explain it, but SOMETHING is resonating with me.” -Samara
“God knew I needed this tonight (in reference to foot washing).” –Steve
“I am learning what I am here for. 8 years ago I tried to commit suicide but God kept me here. Finally, 8 years later I am learning that I exist for a reason.” -Bryan
I am most excited when I see the lightbulbs turn on in their eyes and spirits. These text statements are just a sample of the outpouring work the Holy Spirit is doing. They are leaning into God and each other. I am beyond excited to see what each one can do when they truly understand God and their role in His kingdom. 2019 is shaping up to be a year of missionaries sent into all of Columbia City and beyond.