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More Living Rooms Emerging

12 January, 2005 12:20 PM

Lucas from ::my four walls:: just emailed me to say that they're starting a little church where he lives in Texas and that after using some material from this site and chatting over it as a group that they've decided to call themselves 'The Living Room'. Wooohooo another one!

By my counting this brings the total number of new LivingRoom's that I know of in the last two years to five.

It is really exciting to see these little communities springing up all over the world (not just the one's named Living Room). I'm constantly amazed by the way that so many of them seem to have common threads and strands yet how diverse they can also be.

Our little 'Living Room' church has been on summer holidays from meeting face to face for a couple of weeks. Some of the group have been away on holidays, others have caught up informally and others have just taken a little break by themselves. I love that we're flexible enough to morph and change in this way.

Lucas asked in his email how big our church is and I thought I'd answer here.

I'll resist the normal emerging church response to this question of 'its not about numbers'. Whilst I agree that numbers are not the best or only measure of a church's health I have come to a point that its still not the evil/bad/misguided/unaskable question that some seem to think that it is. Numbers are important to me not to measure our success but because numbers change the dynamic of a group and can help give a picture of where a group of people are at. They can also (but don't always) give an indication of energy - ie one could say that a group that goes from one hundred to thousands (like on the day of Pentecost) might have something going on - there might just be some energy there that says something about what God is doing there. Having said this a small non numerically growing group of people can have incredible energy and God's movement going on in it also.

Ok - have I said enough qualifying statements to the most simple of questions?

How big is the LivingRoom. As of the end of 2004 our core group numbered fifteen people. This doesn't mean there is 15 there each week - our gatherings vary from half that to more than that depending on what is going on with people that week. We quite often have visitors and people are quite often away. There is also somewhere between 5 and 7 people on the edges of the group who are about to either join in the new year or who are 'checking us out'.

The dynamics of the group have changed as we've grown in the past (almost) two years. When we started initial core of 7 (all but one remain today) our gatherings happened around the meal table and were more intimate by virtue of being so physically close to one another. Now we are too big for any of the tables that our group has in their homes so we tend to spread out around a LivingRoom to eat and for our activities. Its also common now to leave our time together not having talked to everyone as deeply as you did when we first started. Of course there are positives to a larger number of people (the meal is usually easier to organize) and its a nice feeling to have a full room of diverse people.

2005 will likely see LivingRoom multiply for the first time. This is partly just for logistics but there also just seems to be energy in the group for a new one to emerge around a number of people within our core team. How this looks and the way it will happen is yet to be made clear but I'm looking forward to seeing where the conversations we're having will take us.

Comments

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thanks for answering my questions and more darren. i'll share more with you soon about how our little group came to be.

lucas » 13 January, 2005 11:34 AM

Dear Darren,
Things I am learning.
Two wings of the Christian or the community/church: Authentic discipleship [ being ] and Intentional Disciplemaking [ doing ]
Numbers & Success: It is Not the seating but the sending capacity of the church that is important.
Multiplication? The G12 principle [ not necessary the model ] can be considered - My understanding is that the original group continues to be together for input [ so the relationship is not disturbed ] and individual or pairs [ couples ] goes out and start their own group [ output ].

Luke » 14 January, 2005 12:48 AM

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