If you’re like me, you participated in a Pastorate during the Fall, enjoying great fellowship and sharing Christ in meaningful ways with your fellow group members. Then suddenly, it seemed to end just as we were beginning to discover something profound. You left with a feeling of “not being done yet” (spoiler alert: you weren’t).
We certainly felt that way at the end of the “Recovering the Celtic Way of Doing Mission,” a wonderful Pastorate facilitated by Nan Thomas and Barbara Reed. But the magic of the Pastorates is that the Spirit continues to move through us long after. We think, say, and do things that had their genesis in someone’s living room on a Wednesday night. We begin to hear and process the Holy Spirit’s intent weeks, months, and even years later.
Now at this point, you’re probably asking yourself why the Church Planting article seems to be a thinly veiled advertisement for the upcoming Lenten Pastorates. To be honest, I’m not sure what topics the Lenten Pastorates will cover, but I know they will be enriching. But my goal is not to get you to sign up for a Lenten Pastorate. As we studied the Celtic way of doing mission, we learned that the Celts orchestrated the most successful church planting effort in human history. They followed a simple model: Establish Fellowship, Engage in Ministry and Conversation, and then Invite Belief and Commitment. Meet people where they are, invite them into your life through fellowship, and then allow them to develop the desire to have your life...your life in Christ.
Last month’s article challenged you to invite someone to church. But sometimes, if we are meeting people “where they are,” attending a church is a step too far. That’s where the beauty of the Celtic model comes in. As Father Wes has preached recently, we need to invite people into our lives: dinners, social activities, and common fellowship. Let them see how you live your life following the ways of Christ and in the community of a Church. Create in them a desire to have what you have.
We need to be outward and inviting in all our activities. When we follow this mantra, we grow the church and we grow a planting culture. When you have adopted the Celtic model of evangelism, it becomes easier to invite people into your life and they become more accepting of your invitation.
As I said before, my goal is not to get you to sign up for a Lenten Pastorate. My goal is to get you to invite your friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, I don’t know your friends and neighbors...yet. But I will after you bring them to your Pastorate. Become a Celtic-style missionary and invite someone into fellowship with us through one of our Lenten Pastorates—or any of our ministries for that matter!