and why having nothing to do on Sunday morning can be a gift for the soul
Whether you’ve been around the Underground for a week or a year, you know we’re serious about microchurches. We believe the church exists when followers of Jesus pursue both intentional community and Kingdom mission together, and it doesn’t require buildings or budgets or programs.
We believe in microchurches so much that every once in awhile we double down on it by cancelling our Sunday morning Catalyst gatherings for a few weeks. Those gatherings are meant for our city wide family of microchurches to celebrate all that Jesus is doing in the city, and be inspired by him to persevere in mission. Catalyst is amazing, we love it, but it’s not the church. It’s good for the soul to remember (1) that our microchurches are the fullness of the church in the world, and (2) you can sit at home on Sunday morning eating waffles to the glory of God and still be Christian.
There are so many healthy ways to spiritually engage our 4-week break from Catalyst this summer (6/16, 6/23, 6/30, 7/7), ways that don’t include Netflix or 15 hours of sleep. Here’s my favorite 4:
- Gather With Your Microchurch
I love seeing microchurches gather in living rooms for brunch and a devotional or a worship & prayer service when Catalyst is off. This is a potent reminder that “we are not a program, we are the church”. Encourage and pray for one another, maybe speak a simple liturgy over the food, share stories and laugh, invite the Kingdom to come. Open the doors of your home to the neighborhood, the network of friends, the office building, the street corner, the frisbee league. Just make sure there’s enough bacon, you can’t have too much bacon.
let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another. hebrews 10:24–25
2. Take a Retreat
I’m convinced an extended retreat of contemplative prayer and listening is essential to health, innovation, and longevity in microchurch leadership. We need that type of space at least once a year submitted entirely to the refining crucible of God’s presence, surrendered to whatever he wants to say or expose or do in us, and a chance to count the cost and say yes again to where he’s calling. We all need strength, creativity, and innovation beyond our reach, it all comes from him if we give extended space to be and listen. So go alone or bring your community to a contemplative retreat with a view of the ocean and sand under feet, or in a park with winding paths, or an overnight stay at an airbnb or the Franciscan Center on the river.
he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. matthew 14:23
3. Come to a Park Potluck on Sunday June 23rd, 11:00–1:00
We still want to find space to connect as a city wide family of leaders and missionaries. Missionary life and leadership can be lonely, and is better lived out shoulder to shoulder with the priesthood of all believers. So let’s bring something to share and break bread together, throw the frisbee, let the kids go wild at the splash pad, throw bags and listen to music (I promise I will let others choose the playlist, I’m self aware enough to avoid that role).
4. Visit Another Christian Community
We are ecumenical to our core, meaning we collaborate and build unity among dozens of different theological and traditional tribes. This isn’t necessarily by direct campaign, but a result of our posture to empower and serve anyone called by Jesus. So the Underground holds so many different Christian traditions in harmony; Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist and so much more. A Sunday break is a great opportunity to visit another community to worship Jesus in a new way, in solidarity with yet another expression of the church in the city.
Whatever you do, do it with conviction and intentionality. Don’t let these 4 weeks slip by without forethought. Ask Jesus how to use this extra space both as a leader, and a microchurch community.