Thursday, April 4, 2019

Emmaus City Group Rhythms | How We Scatter with Jesus for Others

City Group Q&As

Below is a brief list of questions and answers in relation to how we pray for and strive to follow Jesus in His words and actions and love, serve, and share His abundant life with our friends, neighbors, and coworkers in the city of Worcester. Also, here is a previous post related to our gatheringsEmmaus City Church Rhythms | Why We Gather for Jesus with Others

What is a City Group?

A City Group is a humble and hopeful community of people coming together to step into monthly rhythms of loving, serving, and spending time with each other and their neighbors in the city. Each City Group seeks the spiritual, social, and cultural renewal of people in Worcester with God as we share the life of Jesus in words and actions.

What does Learning to Follow Jesus with Others Look Like with a City Group?

We try to focus on three things Jesus lived by to help us be committed to His words, works, and ways:

Family | Growing Up in Communion with God: How are we growing in our understanding of and joy in the Good News of our relationship with God our Father through Jesus – resting in His love, communicating with Him through prayer, learning His story Scripture and following His direction – and loving each other as part of His family?  
Servants | Giving in to Community in Service with God for Others: How are we humbly serving each other, our neighbors, and friends, and embodying the Good News of God’s grace together – opening our homes, giving time and resources to others freely, forgiving each other, helping with needs, etc. – like God opened His heavenly home and sent Jesus who did come be served, but to serve us and give His life for us?  
Ambassadors | Going Out to represent the love of God for the City: How are we intentionally caring for and spending time with others as we share the life of Jesus with them so they can experience His compassion, wisdom, and grace by His Spirit?

Another way to look at this is through an UP | IN | OUT lens on how our life with Jesus is filled in relation to God, other people, and the world He has sent us to be among and love. 

Becoming more like Jesus is learning how to love God, love others, and humbly surrender all of life – work, play, rest, family – under His gracious and powerful rule for the sake of others and the world. This learning or “disciple-making” involves:

UP Passionate Spirituality: 1 John 4:13-21
IN Radical Community: Acts 2:42-47, 4:29-35

What Does the Monthly Rhythm of a City Group look like?

The rhythm of a City Group involves at least 4-6 points of connection (i.e. 1-2x per week) throughout a month as people are intentional in making space for God to move in their lives and to spend time with others. 

These rhythms are shaped by a B.L.E.S.S. posture because God blesses us to be a blessing for others and the world.

Begin with prayer 
Listen to and learn each others' stories 
Eat with with friends, neighbors, and co-workers  
Serve others freely and with no expectations  
Share and show the Good News of Jesus with those who give you the honor to do so 

Where Do These Planned Monthly Rhythms Happen?

Third Place (1x per month): A place (i.e. pub, cafĂ©, restaurant, park, gym, etc.) to connect, relax, eat, play, befriend, etc. 
Family Meals + Prayer Night (2-3x per month): A meal where everyone and anyone can come together to hear a little more about Jesus, eat together, and be prayed for no matter what the life circumstance or request.
DNA: Discover, Nurture, Accountability for Action (2x per month): A committed group of 3-4 men or women who are seeking to follow Jesus, are actively involved in a City Group, share struggles and victories, pray together, read together and memorize Scripture, and encourage each other to believe in the Good News of Jesus in every area of life. 
Serve or Celebration Activity (1x per month): An activity the City Group comes together to serve or celebrate with anyone in Worcester.

Ultimately, these monthly rhythms help us become a family of servants for the city and ambassadors for Jesus together through an UP | IN | OUT focus so we learn how to share and show His love for Worcester. 

Who Do You Hope Will Be Involved in a City Group in Worcester?

Anyone who is interested in Jesus and His impact on them as well the world (neighborhoods, workplace, city) around us. We want to join with Jesus in being among the young and the old, the poor and the rich, the west side and the east side, the university educated and the street educated, nonprofit and private sector employees, public servants and criminals, technology and environmental leaders, and multicultural and multiethnic people because the Good News of Jesus is reconciliation between God and man, neighbor to neighbor, and humanity with creation in every area of our city.

Our current City Groups plan to love, serve, and share Jesus' life with two groups of people in the city in 2019:

(1) W.R.A.P.: Worcester Refugee Assistance Project staff, volunteers, refugees 
(2) Lincoln Street neighbors (Great Brook Valley residents, Methadone Clinic patients, etc.)

Key Verses and Quotes

And (Jesus) said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” + Mark 16:15, ESV

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” + John 20:21-22, ESV

The Lord has shown you what is good. He has told you what He requires of you. You must act with justice. You must love to show mercy. And you must be humble as you live in the sight of your God. + Micah 6:8, NIRV

You are a chosen people. You are a Kingdom of priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light. + 1 Peter 2:9, NLT

The goal is living sent lives together in community moving towards Jesus' Kingdom reign. Our mission is to glorify Jesus in renovating the city holistically through the Gospel (Good News). That can't just happen with a Sunday morning service. If we just wanted to plant a service, we could do that, but the city would stay exactly the way that it is. For us, City Groups are frontlines for cultural, social, missional and spiritual engagement. We have a heart for our city. The Gospel is for others and not just for ourselves. + Leonce Crump 
Life in the Gospel invites us into the bigger story of God’s redemptive work in the world. This Good News of reconciliation is an ongoing spiritual process involving forgiveness, repentance and justice that restores broken relationships and systems to reflect God’s original intention for all creation to flourish. + Brenda Salter McNeil

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