Often people ask me what we are trying to achieve with the gathering.
I think this picture pretty much sums it up.
I might think about adding a few words to the last sentence so it becomes ‘You are welcome in God’s house and equally free with everyone else to get involved, or not, as well as receive’.
Part of our vision which some people seem to raise an eye over is our inclusive outlook. Actually, that inclusivity has sometimes shocked people when they have joined us. It’s an inclusivity that says ‘if we believe God has brought us together as a group of people, then we want to listen and learn from each other.’ We don’t have a policy of needing to attend the gathering for a certain amount of time before getting involved in leading worship or speaking … people are free to be involved when they want. That freedom also extends to being able to not get involved as just ‘be’ as well.
Someone asked me a few months ago how somebody ‘joins’ the gathering. I responded by saying people are ‘part’ (whatever that means) of the gathering when they decide they are part of the gathering. There is no membership form or statement to sign up to. It is true that we are currently writing our rhythm of life, and this will be something we aspire to live our lives by as a community and as individuals – but, again, whether people do this or not will not a requirement of being part of the community.
All has got to mean all … I don’t think I understand any other way.