This is the third post in a series of posts about what our upcoming Missional Community gatherings will look like.
One questions several folks here at Lansdowne Alliance have asked is how often MC’s will meet. This is a great question especially when we consider that most of us at LAC have not participated in an MC in our church experience yet. This question also raises another question which is: “How long will the MC’s continue to meet?” Let’s look at each question.
How often will MC’s meet?
The short answer is that typically MC’s meet together during the week one time. As was stated in the second post in this series, this generally is a meeting to eat a meal together and then do some kind of discussion or prayer time together. Having said that, it is not uncommon or “wrong” for an MC to realize that once a week just doesn't work for them, and so they may choose to meet every other week or in some other format. One of the things that makes MC’s unique is that unlike a small group bible study, the main driving force of the MC is the mission that the MC has decided together to pursue. So, for example, lets say the MC decides(by spending time in prayer together and seeking the Lord) that they are called to reach the youth soccer league that some of their kids participate in. This will mean that their MC is going to have times during the year when there will be more active than other times. During those busy times, the MC may decide that meeting weekly is too much. Then in times when their mission is in a season of less activity, they may decide to meet more often together to simply build community with one another. Each MC must be hearing from God about what He would have them doing to reach those close to them, and so each MC has flexibility in this regard.
How long will MC’s continue to meet?
The answer to this is similar to the previous question. Much of the MC’s meeting times will be dependent on the mission they feel God is calling them to. There is no expectation or “rule” that MC’s must meet all year long. In fact, it is important that we have a good theology of rest built into our MC life. We do not want the MC meeting to become a burden! It should be a place that we engage in community in as a way to be equipped and sent out from. This means that there will be at least two times a year when there will be built in breaks from the weekly MC meetings. Once during the winter “holiday” season, and once during the summer, MC’s will take an 8-week break during which there is no expectation that the MC has its regular meeting. Of course, if the people in the MC want to get together, that is great, but there will be a built-in break from the normal rhythm of the MC. This break is built in for a few reasons: First, this gives set start and end dates for people to step into and out of the MC. Sometimes we can feel the weight of the meeting that will never have a break and we can become discouraged. Building in breaks gives a chance for us to take a break and rest from the rhythm of the MC. Second, these set breaks make great times to allow new people to join an MC or to launch a new MC. These breaks will almost function like semesters in an academic environment, and give clear times for new folks to join MC’s. Third, these breaks give us a chance to offer what we will be calling “Courses” during those 8-week breaks. “Courses” will be classes that are more formal in nature and are better suited for a lecture format. These “Courses” will include things like Membership Class, Marriage classes, parenting classes, etc. “Courses” will begin in the summer of 2019, and will hopefully include two courses in that first run.
Check out the other posts in this series of posts on living as missional communities.