Scattered & Gathered Update

I want to celebrate what God has done in our midst. The vision for Engage Church is to be a relationally rich church where people are known and loved in community. As such, we want to be a church of community groups (as opposed to with community groups). We aren’t yet to a point where we’re ready to launch our Sunday morning gatherings, however, the goal is to multiply community groups throughout the city which will serve as the foundation of committed members upon which the Sunday gatherings will be built. In March we launched our 2nd group, meaning we multiplied. Praise God! Our prayer is to end 2019 with 4 groups total. Please join us in praying towards this end.

One other thing I want to mention regarding Community Groups is landing on a more formalized name. The vision for Engage in short is to be a “humble community of learners, who love Christ, and labor to engage the city with the gospel.” Within that vision are 3 C’s of “engagement” (Christ, community, and the city). In other words, the hope is to see people growing in engagement in their relationship with God, other Christians, and their neighbors. In the past I’ve used various names (most commonly “missional community groups” or MCGs, which is probably the most all encompassing but often hard to explain succinctly) to refer to the groups, but going forward I want to consistently refer to our groups scattering throughout the city as “Engage Groups.” This should help all of us communicate a vision clearly and quickly to interested people. For example, a conversation could go like this:

Enthusiastic stranger: “What is the aim of Engage Albany?”

You: “To see people engaged in relationship with God, other believers, and their neighbors!”

Stranger: “That sounds great, how does that happen?”

You: “In Engage Groups, of course!” [Then invite them into your awesome group!]

So to that end, join me in praying that God would help us carry out the vision that he so aptly authored in Acts 2:46:

Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house.

Notice here: they met in the “temple” (a large worship gathering) and “from house to house” (in smaller more intimate groups in people’s homes). They had the church “gathered” and “scattered” (language I am quite fond of, and repeat often). The church gathers in larger groups to hear instruction from the Word of God and to worship him in response corporately. The church scatters into smaller groups to live that out on mission in community. The gospel of Jesus permeates every nook and cranny and every second of our lives; not just Sundays.

To Summarize:

  • Going forward, our small groups (community groups, MCGs, or whatever term you prefer) will be called “Engage Groups” as it fits nicely in with the vision God has revealed for his Church.
  • The primary venues where ministry will play out for us is gathered for Word & worship and scattered for mission and community.

The goal with this post was to announce a shift in communication going forward. Is God perhaps calling you to join us? Maybe you’d like to be stretched to grow as someone on his mission? If that’s the case, you can download the following guide we give to those exploring leadership in our Engage Groups:

[UPDATE: In January 2020, the Sunday sermon was on the above mentioned text in Acts. The audio can be found HERE to hear an even more detailed vision for this.]

NOTE: An earlier version of this blog post appeared in an email from May 7th 2019.

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