Good things come in groups of three; God, rock, paper, scissors, D (as in 3D), hockey goals, primary colors, and the letters S,P, O.
In Kansas City we decided to add to the list with our three pronged approach to being and becoming a community of disciples on mission. Building the three prongs of Monday Night Dinners, CityWide, and Men’s/Women’s Nights was the focus of this year. Before you can ask, let me tell you about each of these three.
1. Monday Night Dinners
It is a simply concept: a home, a meal prayer, a taco buffet, and sometimes a game. Every Monday night from 6-9pm. There is no commitment, no agenda, just people being people. Some nights 20 young adults come and other nights close to 50 squeeze into every room pour out onto the porch and front yard. Last year the Van Buskirk's, a catholic couple in the area, heard about these evenings and offered their home, so once a month we change locations and eat with them. Regardless of the location there is always a crew of regulars who come early to set up or stay late to wash dishes, and there is always a crew of new people who come because they were invited by a missionary, or a friend, a coworker, or even a cousin. The beauty of these nights rests in this coming together as a people for an evening. At Monday Night Dinners everyone has a place, and for young adults belonging is a crucial step to believing.
Walking into the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome you will see on the stone walls images of men and women with arms outstretched in prayer. Walking into the basement of the old St. Agnes Convent for CityWide you will have a similar experience. A simple space where young adults worship. At 7pm with a cup of coffee or tea in hand, 40-70 young adults sit facing a large crucifix and listen to to a short gospel message given by a missionary, a local priest, or another young adult. The talk always involves an invitation and a call to respond to the gospel message. We found that worship with song based in scripture provides a means of connecting thought with desire, and desire with action. Saying at CityWide “Jesus you are my Lord, God you are my Father, I want to live in the Spirit given to me at baptism” is not enough to be a disciple on mission, but it is a first step, and it can open the doors to grace and conversation. At 8:30pm there is laughter and the buzz of conversation as the young adults make their way to the door. For many believing the truths about themselves and God is a crucial step in being a disciple.
3. Men’s and Women’s Nights:
It is often easy to be unaware of the gap between being culturally Christian and being a disciple, especially when alone in the task. Men’s and Women’s Nights, through small groups, begin to ask the question ‘am I living as disciple?’. The content takes topics relating to discipleship and frames them in context of daily life (men’s nights address men/women’s nights address women). Week after week every other Wednesday night from 7pm -9pm men and women listen, process, encourage and challenge, and week after week habits and thought patterns begin to change. Small group requires choosing to listen, to speak well of each other, to pray for one another, to practice hospitality, and to practice loving another through all circumstances. Forming your thoughts and actions to be consistent with your beliefs is crucial to discipleship.
Good things come in groups of three, and through our three pronged approach we are seeing God work good things in the lives of young adults in Kansas City.
Photo Credit: Lily Tighe