Thursday, April 26, 2012


Central is launching pastorates.  For those who have not been following this process, a pastorate is a group of 25-35 people of all ages who meet in a home a couple times a month for worship, God's word, prayer, and sharing life together.  At this point Central has launched eight pastorates with about 240 people participating.  The pastorate leaders have been trained in four non-negotiables that are part of our meeting together:

1. Meeting regularly -- as I said, twice a month.
2. Word and sacrament -- each pastorate at Central will spend their first year digging into the gospel of Mark.  Pastorates will share communion on a regular basis as they meet, and as the need arises, we anticipate baptisms will be done in the pastorates as well.
3. Multiplication -- pastorates are not static groups, but dynamic, growing groups.  As new people come in, either from the body of Christ at Central or through individual invitations, pastorates will train up new leaders and give birth to new groups.
4. Missional -- pastorates will find creative ways to give their lives away, maybe through a partnership with ministries across the world or maybe by adopting a cause or ministry in our own community.

Last night we had the privilege of sitting in on our first pastorate get-together.  I realized as I talked, ate, laughed, listened, and prayed, that I was delighted with the experience on two distinct levels.

First, as a pastor, I have been studying, praying, advocating, and laying foundations for pastorates since 2006.  What fun to see this movement coming to fruition!  On this level I watched the first beginnings of a bond forming within the group last night and could not help the silly grin that dominated my face all night.  What joy to see believers in 2012 acting, talking, and looking so much like Acts 2:42-47!

Second, as a human being, last night's gathering felt like coming home.  Several people talked in our pastorate about their desire for an extended family, and that's exactly what it felt like.  Or more accurately, it felt like it has a ton of potential to grow into an extended family.  I am so excited to live into this experience, to grow into these relationships, to be part of this way of being church together.

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