I am going to describe one image of what a gathering of The Vine might look like. I would like your response as well as some of your ideas.
It would happen on a semi-regular basis — every month or two. It would be for the Summit network and other communities to come together to deepen relationships and for “Kingdom collaboration.” Each Vine gathering would happen in three general pieces that people would participate in as they felt led or were able.
I imagine a “family dinner” sometime late Saturday afternoon, say at 4:00 or 5:00. The meal is simple — soup, salad & bread. It is set up around long tables so all who are in attendance are sitting at the same table. It includes communion, that is the breaking of bread at the beginning of the meal and the passing of the cup as we finish the meal. The goal of the gathering is to enjoy one another’s company, share our experiences and, of course, to eat.
We finish the meal and clean up. When that’s done — aiming for 5:30 or 6:00 — we shift gears for celebration, including music. This can be anything from raucous & rambunctious to mellow & folksy. This part may even feel a little “churchy” but only because there are those who may be dropping in after the meal looking for something that feels familiar or a place where they can sit in the back and “observe” until they can feel comfortable.
After the music, some kind of teaching. Bible. Laying the foundation. Done at about 7:00 or so. After that, the third section of the time would be for interaction; direction determined in advance by prayer but flexible as the Lord leads. This time is for Spirit-led ministry or worship; unscripted; perhaps facilitated. The focus would be on meeting the Lord. It would be great to have this time drawn from the word and aimed at some sort of application. It could be prayer or music or discussion or personal ministry or all of the above or something else entirely.
Done when we’re done. 8 or 8:30? If the Spirit is working among us, 11 or 12… People would be free to slip out at any time during the afternoon and evening as needed (think families with kids, etc.).
Other thoughts: The Vine is a fellowship that is intended to inspire and encourage people to develop deep relationship with Jesus and to take an active role in advancing the kingdom. I would like to see house churches planted from this gathering. I would like to see people trained in personal prayer ministry. I would like to see it as a launching place for various kinds of community ministry. In short, I would like to see this be a place where people can be equipped and released into kingdom work wherever they are. And a place where ministries could be encouraged, supported and share accountability.Since it’s on a Saturday night, it may be that people who come to The Vine are working with Sunday morning churches–that’s OK.
So, that’s what I see at this point. What it really ends up looking like is anyone’s guess. Keep praying. What do you see? What does your heart yearn for. What might The Vine look like to you? Let’s visualize together.
PS- There are a couple of places that we could do this. I have talked to the folks at Worldview Center, and they are open to having us.
One thought on “The Vine – a regular reunion and meet-up”
Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Dan, and for your openness to it developing. What relationships already exist between house churches locally? Perhaps there’s something already going on in these connections that we could learn from.