A church family is a community of followers of Jesus, compelled by the gospel to do life together and speak Gospel truths into each other's lives. These families form their weeks around the rhythms of gathering, serving, sharing and welcoming others into their lives.
This can be existing small groups, mission communities, gospel communities, house churches - or whatever name you go by - who desire to see the church of Adelaide unite as one family made up of many distinct and diverse kingdom families.
You do not need a “re-branding” or need to “join” a certain denomination or new network to be part of the Gathered Church. You can keep your logo, your name, your unique expression that the Spirit has called you to. All that needs to be looked at and shifted, is the paradigm of who Church is and what it means to gather biblically.
...Then you are speaking our language.
As one expression of the Church in Adelaide, we are committed to gathering around Christ, as a family, to learn through his word and be his body.
Our Church families distinctives are as follows...
- The Shared life of Christ and gathering together with other Church families regularly.
- Church families read through the scriptures at the same pace, with other church families.
- A space for the Body of Christ to express the different gifts He has given. (eg. prayers to pray, shepherds to shepherd, encouragers to encourage, carers to care…)
- Christ is Head of his body, not one or two people taking charge or having the authority - each Church family will have 2-3 leaders who meet with other leaders of Church families to pray for and seek direction on behalf of their families.
- A family not a Business - No Employed Staff/Ministers/Pastors, instead leaders all have “normal Jobs” and all commit to setting time apart each week to meet with other leaders. Supporting workers is encouraged, but employment is not.
- Buildings come and go, we are freed from building our identity around a building - we seek to find ways to pour our shared finances into those who need, not Building Projects or Property upkeep.
Want to see this unpacked a little and in more detail?
As gathered ones, we gather in different ways.
- Meet as a Church family throughout the week, for things like… meals, sharing pains and joys, encouragement, to have fun together, to create spaces that welcome other not-yet-followers as friend, etc. Church families are smaller/intimate groups - small enough to know a lot about each person in the family, seeing heart motives and blind spots. This is where the shared life of Christ is seen and experienced most clearly, gospel fluency is easily practised and DNA type groups can be formed.
- Meet as a Kingdom Cluster of local church families regularly (depending on context if could be weekly, fortnightly or even monthly). This is when 2-4 local Church families meet together to read the scripture, worship together, share communion and discuss what the Spirit is showing/prompting the families to respond to. During these times the leaders (plural shared leadership) facilitate discussions, allowing space for each person and spiritual gifts to be used.
- Meet as a Family of Families ever 3-4 months. This is when Kingdom Clusters connect with other local Kingdom Clusters, for Gospel teaching and training. These meetings are specifically for “equipping the body”, usually setting aside half a day (or the appropriate amount of time) to soak up truths. This is where the teachers teach and the body engages both with their heads and their hearts. It involves workshops, question and response, note taking and plenty of discussion around specific topics.
- Meet as The Gathered Church each year. This is where all of the church families from around the city gather together to be refreshed and renewed. A time for the gathered believers to be reminded of God’s bigger picture of a citywide church united around Jesus. People share stories, pray for one another, those with prophetic gifts realign our views to God’s view and the intercessors to lead us in prayer and worship. It is a corporate gathering of One Church made up of many families.