Designing a Weekly Rhythm with God’s People

1 05 2009

I believe God intends us to design our lifestyle in a rhythm of seven days.  God demonstrated this through creation as a model for a healthy way to live (Exodus 20:11).  The day of rest is the culmination of a seven day rhythm.  Jesus reaffirms this gift by saying, “God created the sabbath for man not man for the Sabbath.”  We’re not bound to live life in a seven day rhythm but it is a gift from God to bring balance to our lives.

So what are the things you do EVERY week?  What does a weekly rhythm look like as a church (a body of interdependent disciples).  I wanted to share the four things I’m committed to doing with the body of Christ on a weekly basis.  I also have a weekly rhythm designed in my relationship with God, with my family, my business life etc. but this post is limited to the minimum I’m committed to do every week with Christ’s body.

My weekly church rhythm mirrors the following verse from Acts 2:42 – “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.”

I know many of you probably would like to ideally see these four things happen in your life by accident as you value them more but I’ve found, for myself, if I commit four time periods to these elements every week, they actually happen pretty much every week.  In the past, when I committed myself to these things but refused to design them into my rhythm (hoping they would “just happen”) I would look back at months where they just didn’t happen.

OK, so here is how I do these four -

1. Devoted to the apostle’s teaching.  I do this through repeatedly teaching and training through the 10 areas of the Story.  I always have a group I’m either taking through the 10 weeks of the Story-Formed Life or I’ll train through a 4-5 week intensive on one of the 10 topics (right now I’m developing a 4 week intensive training on Sonship). (Currently Monday mornings and Tuesday nights)

2. Devoted to the Fellowship.  One way I do this weekly is by gathering with a body of believers and engaging in a 1 Corinthians 14:26 style open participatory meeting.  I currently to this with about 30-40 disciples in Bellevue, KY and it is extremely encouraging every week.  There is no agenda we just all bring things the Spirit has given each to build up the body. (Currently Sunday nights)

3. Sharing in Meals including the Lord’s Supper.  Every Saturday night our family hosts a Shabbat dinner where we host different families and groups into our home (usually members of the body).  We have a family liturgy we go through every time where I go over the Gospel by asking the kids various questions, we sing hymns and take the Lord’s supper together.  We then eat the most amazing meal we can make and usually are up until midnight enjoying, talking, drinking, sharing, eating, smoking, laughing etc.

4. Praying Together.  The development of a rhythmic prayer gathering is my most recent obsession.  I’ve taken several stabs at this that haven’t lasted but here’s what I’m working on currently.  I’ve been interested in the way Jesus often took Peter, James and John away with him to pray together.  I feel led to find 3 other men that will commit to being totally vulnerable and then deeply intercede for one another and together for the Kingdom.  I’m organizing this group right now as I feel I’ve neglected this part of my rhythm for too long.

What you might find missing are leadership meetings, worship services etc. which are a part of my monthly rhythm but not weekly.

What elements are a part of your weekly rhythm with other disciples?  How do you engage in these areas?  How have you determined what elements are essential to do every week?  I love comparing rhythms instead of mission statements because what we do in a week better demonstrates what we are actually committed to.

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8 responses

4 05 2009
bajanpoet

I love this article. Right now, I have to reschedule my too hectic lifestyle… and the ‘rhythm of seven days’ sounds like something I need to consider. We always try to improve on God’s best, huh?

It is also significant to me that this weekly rhythm involves the church:

So what are the things you do EVERY week? What does a weekly rhythm look like as a church (a body of interdependent disciples). I wanted to share the four things I’m committed to doing with the body of Christ on a weekly basis. I also have a weekly rhythm designed in my relationship with God, with my family, my business life etc. but this post is limited to the minimum I’m committed to do every week with Christ’s body.

It is a powerful article that I plan on highlighting in my own relationships with the church! Thank you!

4 05 2009
Rhythm of Life - Walking with God with the Church « The Hand of God

[…] Rhythm of Life – Walking with God with the Church May 4, 2009 Posted by bajanpoet in House churches, links, missional, new churches, personal. Tags: balance, Christianity, discipleship, personal discipline, rhythm of life trackback I had the privilege of reading this great post recently at From Eden to Zion, where the author speaks to his rhythm of life that he commits to as a bare minimum to interact with the body of Christ. You can read the article here. […]

5 05 2009
Jonie

A lovely post and I agree with it… except – what about us Christians who don’t have a church? Who don’t have fellowship? Who don’t have anyone with whom to share meals and prayer?
Who live in those places in the world where being a Christian is a solo walk with God?
My Sunday means spending more time on the internet – updating my own websites and reading more Christian blogs.
You are so luck!
But God knows and holds us solo-Christians close to His heart and gives us His great gift of faith.
God bless you and thank you for a great website!
Jonie

5 05 2009
eden2zion

Hi Jonie, thanks for your comment. You have many beautiful sites. I really enjoyed reading many of the poems! So there are no Christians where you live? Where is that? How can we pray for you where you are?

5 05 2009
Jonie

I live in a small village in the south of Spain. It’s very catholic and Mary is the central figure of worship. They believe in Mary, the Mother of God, to save them and most prayer and worship is directed to her. When I talk about Jesus it’s ok, but of course the Mother of Jesus is more important and also all the saints which are prayed to.
Anything that is not catholic is a sect, so evangelicals or protestants are the same as Jehovah’s Witnesses. In the cities people are much more open and more tolerant, but in the small villages things change much more slowly!
But then, Spain is also becoming more secular and many, many catholics here are catholic by name only and don’t really believe in God. They go to church once a year at Easter and being a member of the church saves them. Very sad.
Thanks for your offer for prayer – please pray that my websites reach those people that haven’t got a church or fellowship and are searching for God.
God bless you!
Jonie
PS. I’m glad you enjoyed my websites!

5 05 2009
bajanpoet

Hey Jonie – I’ve added u to my blogroll – I will add your blogs to my reader too… I WILL pray everytime I see you update… and we can pray for breakthrough in Spain, where you are!

Keep in contact, my sister!

5 05 2009
Randy

Very good thoughts here.
I was recently reading a discussion about liturgy people use to say grace at meals. Do you have any specific format used at the Shabbat dinner? What Bible reading do you do? Is there a format you follow? Lectio?
Thanks for sharing.

6 05 2009
Jonie

A big thank you from Spain!
God bless you,
Jonie

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