Reflect on your own ministry and consider what percentage of your time is devoted to inward spiritual development (inside the body) as opposed to how much time and energy is focused outside the body.
Brandon Hatmaker has formed the missional communities of his church in such a way that they devote 50% of their time and energy inward and 50% of their time and energy outward. They do this by meeting twice a month for their own edification as a group (inward focus), and then twice a month for serving the city or loving their neighbors (outward focus).
Brandon’s slogan: “Give away as much as you keep” – spending 50% of their time beyond themselves and 50% on themselves.
I applaud the value for mission, but question a seeming low view of corporate worship . I know that worship occurs beyond our corporate gatherings, including all of life, presenting our bodies as living sacrifices in service to him. At the same time, I think we would all agree, for example, that replacing a rhythm of daily prayer for various forms of daily service would be amiss. A rule of daily prayer is not interchangeable with a life devoted to daily service. Scripture and ancient faith has always kept the two together, one informing the other.
I confess, I can’t imagine not celebrating the Eucharist weekly in assembly with other saints. Such times of regular celebration nurtures our mission. The 50/50 proposition saddens and reminds me that Christ’s disciples have moved from “daily in the temple” to “weekly” on Sundays to twice a month, and in some cases, once a month or not at all.
There’s so much more to consider about the demands of our crazy world, corporate greed, and choosing vocational options which nurture one’s life, etc.
The practice 50/50 is for the time investment of missional communities (i.e. small groups) for Austin New Church. It is not looking at corporate worship or private devotion, which as you state is very important.
Bob, this was not apparent in the few paragraphs. I was misreading it as a larger missional congregation model, not small groups of missional communities. Thanks for the clarification.
I met you with Steve Bull of Interchange many moons ago, perhaps 1990ish.I was on staff at Vineyard, San Francisco and Steve was working with us on incarnational paradigms. I really appreciate what you’re doing and saying. I’m planting an Anglican church in Kansas City, MO (St. Aidan’s Anglican Church). Just at the beginning phases of core development. I’ve shared your insights with our group several times. Thank you!