We don't go to church...
That might sound odd, but the Bible doesn't use the word church about a building, place or event. In the Bible, the word church always refers to people - the family of God, saved by God, for God's purposes. We have a saying in our family, "We don't go to church. We are the church." It reminds us the gospel of Jesus gives us a new identity that we can't earn and don't need to strive for.
Gathering during COVID-19
Typically, our Missional Communities would all gather together as the whole church on Sundays to celebrate the gospel of Jesus. We'd sing, encourage one another, pray, share stories, laugh, sometimes cry, learn from Scripture, take communion, and be exhorted to be who we are as God's people - disciples of Jesus, a family of servants on his mission.
During the present global pandemic, all of that is still true except we are only meeting in very small groups in homes. Each micro Missional Community has worked out the details of how they can safely meet in-person considering guidelines from health authorities.
We use this page as guide and resource for these "house to house gatherings" - a reference to Acts 5:42 and Acts 2:46 where we see that the early church met regularly in their homes too. Individuals and households who need to be on their own are also using this same digital liturgy to participate virtually, either on their own or together online.
Call to Worship
Facilitator, read this aloud. Church, read the words in bold aloud together.
Let us worship God,
for whom our souls thirst and our bodies long.
Listen, listen to me,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fares.
We have come to hear the Word God has sent.
God's word will not return empty
but will accomplish through us his holy purpose.
Let us worship God in Spirit and in truth.
Then we will go out with joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills will sing;
the trees of the field will clap their hands.
*Based on Isiah 55:2, John 4:24
Come Thou Fount
This can be led by one person or shared among your group.
Let's take time to pray together, continuing our worship.
Living His Story
Lent Week 3: Confusion
Lent is a season of questions. In Psalm 77 we see a prayer of questions to God where answeres aren't necessarily expected: Will the Lord spurn forever and never again be favorable? Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he angrily shut up his compassion.
These questions come from a life lived, experienced, and observed that differs from the promises and character of God. In other words, they come from a gap in what God says and what we see and experience. It's about the chasm between what we expect will happen and what actually happens.
Let us recite Psalm 77:
1 I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me!
2 When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord.
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted.
3 I think of God, and I moan,overwhelmed with longing for his help. Selah
4 You don’t let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray!
5 I think of the good old days, long since ended,
6 when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and ponder the difference now.
7 Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me?
8 Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion? Selah
10 And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
12 They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
13 O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you?
14 You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.
15 By your strong arm, you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
16 When the Red Sea saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled! The sea quaked to its very depths.
17 The clouds poured down rain; the thunder rumbled in the sky.Your arrows of lightning flashed.
18 Your thunder roared from the whirlwind; the lightning lit up the world! The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters— a pathway no one knew was there!
20 You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.
We take the call to disciple our children seriously. We encourage you to walk through this lesson with everyone present before releasing the children.
Read 1 Corinthians 4:1-7 together.
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. 7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
- If you really believed you were a servant of Jesus and only his opinion mattered, what might change in your work?
Describe what it might be like to live in a community where everyone lived as a servant of Jesus.
Hear the words of the institution of the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ:
The Lord Jesus, on the night of his arrest, took bread,
and after giving thanks to God
he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying,
"Take eat. This is my body given for you.
Do this in rememberance of me."
In the same way he took the cup, saying,
"This is the cup of the new covenant sealed in my blood,
shed for the forgiveness of your sins.
Whenever you drink it,
do this in remembrance of me."
Everytime you eath this bread and drink this cup,
you proclaim the saving death of the risen Lord until he comes.
With thanksgiving, let us offer God our grateful praise.
Finish the time of communion in prayer.
In Person Corporate Gathering Announcement
Make sure to mark your calendars for our next upcoming in person gatherings!
- Sunday, March 14 - 4:00 PM
- Sunday, April 4 (Easter Sunday) - 4:00 PM
- Sunday, May 23 - 4:00 PM
All of these gatherings will take place at LifeWay Church Federal Way (5015 SW Dash Point Rd).
As we close our time together, let us remind one another of our call this week:
- We believe that we have nothing to lose, so we live life boldly following Jesus wherever he leads us.
- We commit to doing things no one is doing to reach people no one is reaching.
- We commit to living our ordinary lives filled with God’s presence, knowing all of life counts.
Father we confess we are a people of small faith in a great God. May we be a church family and Missional Community who is faith filled, walking in faith in who you are and what you have done through Jesus. May our faith glorify you. Amen.