– Our Rhythm of Worship, Work & Rest
“Build for Me an altar of worship and intercession”.
These words were the first directive we received from the Lord when we first arrived on the island. All we knew to do was to set aside the first part of each day and seek His face. I don’t think we had any idea of all that God would do in our midst as we followed Him. He has brought many people to join us and many have been sent out from us to extend His kingdom. Looking back, we see that one of the most beautiful things He has been forming in us is a deeper understanding of who we are as a missional community.
What is a missional community?
We are living in an age where we are constantly bombarded by the spirit of the world that assaults from every side saying “be independent”, “look out for number one”, “trust no one but yourself”. True believers are longing to be a part of a community of authentic relationships that are cemented together by common biblical vision and lifestyle. They are dedicated to being a vital part of a group who are wholeheartedly living out Yeshua’s teaching and example and in turn want to be just like Him. Attending a corporate gathering once a week or signing up for a good program can’t satiate our thirst for really “living life together” as the body of Messiah. I Peter 2:5 describes us as living stones that are being built into a spiritual temple. Embracing this identity, we acknowledge that God has placed specific people around our lives and that together we bring a pleasing offering to God. The integrity of our relationships becomes the altar for a sweet smelling savor and living sacrifice to rise up to the Lord. It is then that He answers with His fire and favor. When the Lord’s fire and favor continue to fall upon us regularly, His glory dwells with us. Living out true biblical community can be likened to painting a bulls eye for God on our lives. Put another way, we create a landing pad for the Glory of God!
We call ourselves ‘missional’ because though we are gathered together, we face outward, living and breathing God’s heart for the redemption of the whole world. Turned off by the notion of evolving into a holy huddle or becoming inwardly focused navel gazers, we desire to be ambassadors to the nations. Understanding that light chases away darkness we want to let our lives shine brightly in a dark world and in the middle of a crooked and perverse generation. (Phil. 2:15) Choosing a more organic approach over a corporate business model, outreach and evangelism aren’t labels on an organizational flowchart but rather the outflow of our hearts as we seek to obey and imitate our Lord.
Here are a few of the characteristics that have developed out of our core values as missional community:
Discipleship and mentoring in a community context
As leaders in the Gateways Training School (GTS) we are discovering that the biblical context for true discipleship takes place in biblical community. Together, as we seek to become disciples of Yeshua we are fulfilling the first and greatest commandment to love God and our neighbor (community). And as we are being equipped and equipping others to extend the power and authority of the Kingdom of God all across the earth we are also fulfilling the great commission (missional).
The furnace of worship and intercession,
God spoke to the people of Israel in the Torah that an acceptable offering was one without blemish and that it was to be regular and continual before Him. Through King David and King Solomon we learn that an extravagant offering delights God. Following this pattern as a community we set aside the first hours of our day to meet with the Lord in worship and intercession. What is cultivated in our hearts through intimacy with Yeshua comes alive through the deposit of His word in us and through encountering His manifest presence. This furnace of love and adoration is the center of our life together and the place from which all our ministry flows. Our individual lives are like logs that are ignited in the presence of God and when we position ourselves next to one another, collectively, we become a bonfire for the Lord. Holy fire is God’s advertising plan for His kingdom! All of Israel went out to see John the Baptist as a burning man in the wilderness. How much more when we burn together in the presence of the Lord will the whole world be drawn to the light, heat and radiance of God’s fiery presence?
The multi generational anointing – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
In our community we have a vision to see the generations running hand in hand, spurring each other on, each one honoring the God of our fathers and those that have paved the way before us. We are committed to experiencing the joy of releasing the zeal and passion of youth coupled with the wisdom and experience of our elders. Our hearts desire is for God to be glorified in everything we are and do. Believing that the grace is lifting on the “one man show” model of ministry and that God won’t share His glory we desire to live out a “nameless and faceless” model of team ministry.
Biblical calendar – living out God’s rhythms of life
There is a cadence that draws our lives together as we joyfully observe the Shabbat and the Feasts of the Lord. We find that these weekly and annual cycles of life create expectation for encountering the Lord and hearing His voice. Separating common from holy on a weekly basis through entering into the Shabbat, we celebrate our faith in God as Creator, Provider and as One who desires to meet with us.