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.