One of the most obvious, practical differences between us and normal churches is the way that we choose to structure our weekend gatherings.
Rather than having one venue and one format we’ve made the decision to use a slightly different model. We have 4 different weekend gatherings that rotate, one after the other, so that roughly we experience one per month.
This model does come with some disadvantages. It’s a bit harder to workout where we’re meeting and what we’ll be doing. It’s trickier to do long teaching series and there is a danger that things can feel a slightly disconnected.
But, we believe that there are some brilliant things about using this model as well, which we feel are right for us at the moment.
- It shares responsibility: We believe that everyone has a contribution to make and a role to play in the life of the community. Having 4 different gatherings creates the opportunity for 4 different teams to look after each of them. Not only does this generate wonderful opportunities for people to grow and develop, but it means that across the month a wide range of people have had the chance to shape the journey that we’re on as a community.
- It allows for creativity: It’s wonderful to be able to use a whole gathering to focus in on a particular topic or goal. When you don’t have to worry about getting certain things into the meeting every week then it creates space to experiment and play with different ways of worshipping, learning and building community.
- It emphasises our values: Meeting in different venues not only helps create a unique identity around each gathering but reflects our desire to communicate the love of God where ever we find ourselves. We’re not focused on a particular geographical part of Exeter, but want to empower and release people to live like Jesus in their daily lives all over the city and beyond.
This year we’ve made a few changes to the four gatherings and have a clear focus of unpacking our values. Chris gave a brief overview of those changes and what the weekend gatherings might look like this year. If you missed our welcome back meeting do have a listen.