Considering the Common Life

December 1st, 2016 | John Chandler


This Sunday, our liturgy becomes a Common Life Celebration. And brunch!

Many of you are reflecting this week on what it might look like for you to participate for the year to come. (If you still need a copy of the Common Life, you can find it here.)

I’ve had some thoughtful conversations with those considering it, and even read some of the Common Life responses that have come in so far. I thought it might be helpful to share a few thoughts to consider for those still thinking about participating or forming their responses.

1) There is no place to “sign”
It may seem like a small thing, but the response sheet specifically doesn’t include a place for a signature. You aren’t being asked to “sign” on and agree to specific commitments that were written by others. Instead, we invite you to share with others the way of living you have crafted within our shared rhythms and practices. There is much space for how you choose to pursue those. As we share our formed intentions with others, we can all encourage and learn from one another.

2) There are no right answers
You aren’t being asked to make a commitment to the leadership team or the organizational entity of Austin Mustard Seed. No one is approving and signing off on peoples’ responses. Rather, it’s important to recognize that we are joining alongside one another as peers, as brothers and sisters. Each of us is invited to shape a way to live as disciples of Jesus that is meaningful in our time and place.

3) It’s helpful to be specific
As Chris Morton says, quite often: “Put it on a calendar.” The reflection questions that go with each rhythm/practice are open-ended, but they also encourage you to be somewhat specific in your answers. The more clarity you can define, the better you equip yourself to create habits that will continue to form you as a follower of Jesus.

4) If you can’t make it this Sunday…
We hope to collect a good chunk of responses this week as we celebrate together. But this week isn’t a deadline. Feel free to bring your response sheet to Liturgy in the weeks to come and we’ll add it to the stack.

5) If you are still feeling like this isn’t the right time for you…
Whether you share with others in this Common Life or not, nothing that is part of the life of Austin Mustard Seed at this time will become unavailable to you. You can still join Midweek Groups, take or serve Eucharist, read prayers in liturgy, and you can certainly still help with setup! (We do think Common Life participation will be an important consideration for those who are future nominees for the Leadership Team.) We hope you’ll walk alongside, this week and this year, as a witness and encouragement to those who are participating.

If more questions or comments come up as you weigh the Common Life, let me know.