Many people have difficulty conceptualizing Calgary Church because we don’t exist in a physical church building you can touch. When people think of ‘church’ they think of where it is, what it does, and more importantly why it does what it does.
We certainly have a clear why–God’s unfolding hope we participate in. The what and where on the other hand can be a bit vague if you’re used to conventional church. In many ways Calgary Church is a community of interesting people who are figuring out ways glimpse ‘Kingdom come’ and glimpse Jesus in their neighborhoods. If you don’t actually know these people you won’t know the church. Coming to a Sunday service will hardly provide a glimpse to the breadth of the community.
Some folks live in close proximity together and do neighborhood things together. Others are by themselves in their neighborhoods yet make a point to gather together to muse about life.
For many churches they’ll see their committed people every week. Calgary Church purposefully meets every other week so we can model a life of mission (valuing where people live throughout the week). When we do gather we always have an eclectic bunch that varies week to week.
On the rare occasion everyone gets together and that time is electric. This Pentecost was one of those moments when the entire community gathered–the scattered came together. In that moment we stopped to hear about the stories emerging throughout our community.
Here’s what someone said after hearing the different voices share how they’re figuring out what it means to preview Jesus in the community,
…at Converge….a small number of us shared how we are “being the church” as we are already going. It was encouraging, and interestingly enough, it looked awfully similar for all six of us. Perhaps somewhat unglamorous, but when the stories were shared, in community, the threads woven together it was a beautiful moment. It was that moment where you take a deep breath, and see that sweet sleeping baby face, and realized God transcends the ordinary and makes it sacred. Maybe why we’re meant to share things in community?
‘Doing’ community (church) is hard because it means engaging and investing into people. Pretty much everyone requires that connection in their lives, but creating or participating in it can be consuming. Some fight for it, others don’t. But in the very least, we can celebrate the moments where we allow community to unfold organically without the need to classify, quantify, measure, or describe.
Calgary Church is a collection of the scattered people drawing together in community to celebrate the beauty in our midst. How that looks depends on where you’re looking and simply who YOU are. Where you’re networked, the things you’re good at, the people you connect with. Sure, there’s an overall identity of the community that filters through everyone (or at least I hope we have one emerging :P).
At the end of the day if we truly believe ‘church’ is the people then we best give space to let the mess of organic community unfold.