Know People By Name
Learn people’s stories. Root communities in relationships. Invite people who are already friends to join a practice, and become friends with people who long to be practitioners. Seek the places where God’s Spirit is already active and intentionally have conversations with those on the margins. Build a network of practitioners who can imagine a new way of being God’s people in the world.
Say yes and bless. Notice how God is present in someone’s work without trying to own it. Practice invitation and give away the best ideas. Cultivate an open source culture. Let your gifts be a blessing and encouragement to others. It’s risky to articulate a passion and trust that other people will affirm it. By doing so, we give permission to other people to articulate and create practices for their own passions. This creates a diverse community of collaborators, who don’t participate because they’re obliged to, but because they know that their voices and energies will be celebrated.
Respect the Seasons
Create and experiment without taking on the burden of perpetuity. A practice that is established and grows but then falls away is not a failure. It has lived out its season and should be honored for the gifts its given us. Don’t spend time or energy in struggling to continue it, but surrender it gracefully. It may lay fallow for a season and then grow again, or it may provide the seed for other practices in their seasons.
Accept the beautiful mess
Love messiness. Accept that half finished projects, tables covered with paint, awkward moments in worship, and vegetable gardens filled with weeds are full of hope and promise. Believe that messes are the way that God’s Spirit moves over us, helping us to create something new out of the chaos. Dive in, join in the fun, take risks, and seek beauty in unexpected places and people.
Participate in the Church Beyond Our Church
Recognize, promote, and participate in practices that belong to other communities. Look for the sacred in common places. God is out ahead of us, acting in our world in ways that our institutions can blind us to. The work of the Holy Spirit transcends any settled community. Join in that work by spending time in collaborations between churches and praxis communities, and by lending your presence to groups outside of the church. Then return to a core community and tell them what you’ve discovered in the practice of others.