Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Why Huddles?

This week Danelle and I launch our huddles. Huddles are gatherings of potential missional leaders for the intentional purpose of spiritual formation and discernment of God’s will for our lives and the lives of our community. A missional leader is “someone who mobilizes God’s people to join in his redemptive work in the world.” Every time we gather we will center around two questions: “What is God saying to me?” and “What am I going to do about it?”

How did we decide where to start? First we prayed about it. Then we talked about it. Then we prayed about it some more. We made lists, compared lists, and prayed about it some more. We tried hard to pay attention to God’s nudges about unlikely people to invite. We even came out with two different strategies about who to invite. I cast a wide net of who I thought God was telling me to invite, Danelle cast a smaller net of some select women and if any of them were not able to participate she discerned that it would mean that she would just have a smaller group. If you were asked to be in the huddle, it is because God laid you upon our hearts. If you weren’t asked, it just means that this is not your time and that God has something else for you right now.

Next we are intentionally striving to follow Jesus’ model of keeping our huddles small. Jesus taught the multitudes but only disciple a few at the time. Jesus intentionally prioritized his time spending some time with the crowds, more time with the essential seventy-two followers, more intense time with the select twelve, and then even more personal time with Peter, James, and John. We are inviting these people into our lives for the next year or so to walk with us, grow with us, learn from us, and be part of our missional family.

We believe that God sent each person to us because they are a “person of peace.” This phrase taken from Luke 10 refers to people who like us, want to be around us, and have served us in some significant way during the past couple of years. It is also important that the “person of peace” be available and ready to invest the time and energy needed to be discipled.  This will take a lot of our time and energy as well as a commitment on the part of those being discipled. Some folks are just not in the place in their life where they can take this journey. That is okay because we are all at different places on our walk with Christ.

Lastly, in our prayer and discernment time we asked God to send us “high capacity leaders.”  While this sounds awfully “business” like, we are essentially trying to follow Paul’s mandate to Timothy when he writes, “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Tim 2:2) The purpose of discipling is to create a culture of discipleship. If we are to create a culture of discipleship, we have to equip those who will be able to disciple others. In the next six months those in a huddle will be encouraged, even compelled, to see who God will call them to disciple. This process will allow us to multiply the effect of disciple so that we are doing Kingdom work, not only changing our congregation, but creating change in our community.

This is a long-term commitment to discipleship. This is a systematic commitment to discipleship. This is a radical change in our understanding of discipleship, moving away from just learning concepts to living out the life of Christ that is within us. Please pray for Danelle and I, as well as those in our first huddle, that God would show up in a powerful way as we seek to be part of the prayer we pray each week, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I remain:

Consumed by the Call,

Ben Sernke provided the graphics does a great job explaining  discipleship, you can find his blog here.

Mike Breen speaks about disciples who make disciples here:

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