October 27, 2005 | 7 Comments

Dean and I have really been passionate about trying to establish from the very beginning that Pathways has to be more than just a Sunday worship service. One of challenges of doing a quick ramp up church launch is that enormous energy and attention gets focused on that weekend service. That is true of the staff, the launch team, and those who begin attending at launch.

We’ve worked hard to help people understand that Pathways can’t just be a worship service for them. It has to be relationships — human to human and human to divine. (Small tangent — we’ve often said that the church is people, but I’m wondering if we would be better off saying that the church is about the relational connections from human to human to divine.)

To help establish this thinking, we have developed the Rhythm of Pathways. You can read a longer description on the Pathways website, but here’s the short of it:

  • At the beginning of each week, we invite everyone to begin wrestling with and discussing that week’s topic on our staff blog. So far that has gone well, and has generated some good discussion.
  • The home groups are discussing the same theme through the week. We’ve only had one week of home groups so far, but having had the theme already introduced seems to have helped get some good discussion going right off the bat.
  • Our weekend gatherings will ‘wrap up’ the week of discussion. We certainly hope they won’t bring resolution, but they can explore some of what we have learned as a community, and exhort all to embrace that week’s theme into their life.

We’ve never seen anyone do something like this, although someone out there must be doing something similar. As it develops, or fails to, I’ll try to share here what we learn through the process.

  • Very interesting… And, yes, different. I’ll be staying tuned to see if “stressing” these values helps or hinders — not that you shouldn’t, it’s just that, in my experience, some people are compelled more by unspoken ideals than spoken ones… But, I’ve experienced the latter as well, so we’ll see. 😉

    I’m envious of your experience!

  • tk

    love the idea, love the concept of rhythm…
    Out of curiosity, how are you gauging participation from the community during the week?

    Can’t wait to hear more.

  • TK,
    I don’t know that we are trying to gauge it that much, other than just to see what kind of discussion is generated on the blog, and then, of course in the home groups. Hopefully, we will have testimonies as our community learning shapes lives.

  • cuddle parties

  • Should be interesting. Hopefully, though, the learning doesn’t become too structured (through weekly themes) and not allow for the chaos of tangents and individual growth.

    Oh, and cuddle parties are definitely a good idea.

  • jonwren

    it sounds like fun
    cool way to involve everyone

  • My friend and I have discussed doing something like this in our group as well. I’d be interested to hear more about it’s effectiveness. Please write more about it in the future. Peace.