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Living - Possessing life; In active function or use; Of persons who are alive; Full of life, interest, or vitality; True to life;

Room - A space that may be occupied; Area separated by walls from other similar parts of the building in which it is located; People present in such an area;

Living Room - A space for life

What is the Living Room?

The Living Room is a new experimental church that was birthed by the Baptist Union of Victoria and the Yarra Baptist Churches Network into the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne Australia at the beginning of 2003.

Who are we?

The Living Room is currently a small group of people living �a bike ride� away from one another in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne. We range in age from 10 through to our late 30's. We are diverse in both the variety of occupations and courses of study that we are involved in and our previous experiences of church yet we are united in our passion for Jesus and our desire to explore what it means to be followers of him in postmodern Melbourne.

The shape of the Living Room is still emerging and is likely to remain liquid in its form but to this point three broad core values have surfaced as follows:

The Inner Journey � Connection with Christ
a commitment to develop spiritual formation of members. Through culturally relevant and creative forms of prayer, reflection, engaging with Scripture, learning and worship Living Room seeks to create an environment where people grow in their own relationship with God.

The Outer Journey � Connection with our World
a commitment to encourage and resource members on a journey of service justice and mission to others. Living Room seeks to both provide opportunities for corporate mission and to support and resource individuals in their own daily mission. We seek to keep in balance our call to be counter cultural but also Incarnational and Relational in our outward journey.

Together Journey � Connection with One Another
a commitment to travel the inward and outward journeys in community. Living Room seeks to develop inclusive community through, hospitality, inspiration from Scripture, shared life disciplines and intentional involvement in one an others lives.

Localised Focus

In beginning to unpack the implications of these journeys we have come to the decision that we would like Living Room to be localised in its focus. A decision has therefore been taken that at present we would like all core participants to live in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne. Whilst this will exclude some we believe it will enhance our ability to develop community (together journey) and also will make our call to mission more focused.

Our Gatherings

Living Room currently meets largely in the homes of its members over a weekly evening meal. The form of these gatherings is generally very different in �feel� and �content� to most Churches worship services � but they have the same intentions at their heart and aim to develop our �Three Journeys�. These times include periods of prayer and reflection, discussion, sharing and teaching. For more info see this blog entry on a typical Tuesday night gathering.

It is our hope that these times do not have a purely inward focus but rather resource us for life in the �real world�. It is also our intention that in future gatherings may also happen in other spaces such as cafes, galleries and other public spaces as we attempt to engage with our local community.

We also meet weekly for an hour in small groups (of 3-4) once a week to pray and share with one another. In these times use the Renovare questions to keep us accountable to our Core Values.

Significant Relationships

The Living Room is not a community that has been set up in isolation. We are aware of our need for fellow travellers on the journey in which we have embarked and foster the following relationships.

1. The Baptist Union of Victoria is a major supporter of our group both in an initial financial way but also with practical support and accountability.

2. The Living Room has been birthed into the Yarra Baptist churches network. In particular the communities at North Carlton and Abbotsford (St Lukes) have been most supportive and inclusive to us.

3. Forge/Dreamland are informal partners with Living Room through the involvement that Darren has in both groups. Forge is a missional training network who has a lot of experience in innovative mission and church planting. Whilst the relationship between Living Room and Forge is informal in nature � it will provide a wealth of experience to this new community.

Who is Darren Rowse?

Darren is the team leader of the Living Room. He is 31 years of age. He is married to Vanessa and currently lives in North Fitzroy. Darren has been working for the past two and a half years as a young adults minister at Doncaster Community Church of Christ. Previously he managed the band �Corazon� as it toured nationally doing high school evangelism in 1999 and was employed for four years as youth pastor at Glenbervie Baptist.

Darren is currently completing his Bachelor of Theology at Whitley College and completed an internship with Forge in 2001. He also works as an associate for Forge/Dreamland one day per week. He feels that he is called to develop new forms of community in the inner north of Melbourne and is excited by the birth of the Living Room. Darren is a creative thinker, gifted communicator and has a growing passion for relevant mission to young people.

If you would like more information on the Living Room project please email us

Living Room cultural observations