Outer Circle 2017 – Posturing for Growth

Our goal is growth.  We want to grow into a rich fertile field that produces a lot of Kingdom fruit.  Ok, ok – so that’s a little vague and is a little heavy with “Christian-ese”!  Let me spell it out like this:

Jesus, in his 3 years on earth, was involved in a number of groups, each with unique strengths and purposes.

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-4-24-00-pmHe had a group of 12 close disciples who lived with him, observed what he did, and ultimately participated in the establishment of the church.  From among those 12 he had 3 who were especially close and were privy to a number of personal and intimate moments with Jesus.  He could share things with them, he couldn’t with the group.  It’s also clear that he had many more than just 12 people who followed him.  There were a number of women (which was quite counter cultural for the time), and others who were impacted and attracted by who he was and what he did.  Finally (for our purposes here at least), Jesus had a mission field – a target group he was aiming to impact.

We can think of WCV in a similar way.  We have some structures set up to help encourage everyone to be involved in at least one of these levels.

The Triads in the Outer Circle process are designed to be an incubator for growth for 2 to 4 people – kind of like Peter, James and John with Jesus.  They provide a venue to be involved in specific and real areas of other member’s lives.  Triads are reminded to keep track of each other, pray for each other, and support each other in the particular areas God is celebrating in each person for the year, as well as the ways he’s inviting growth for the coming year for each member of the Triad.

HouseGroupsCouch copyHouse Groups are also quite intimate, but meet different needs than the Triads in the Outer Circle process.  They are more like Jesus’ 12 disciples – great opportunities to develop community, to share needs and joys, to learn and worship together, and to provide safe places to practice many of the skills and gifts we want to see developed in our church (praying for each other, worshipping authentically, practically supporting each other, and leadership development, to name just a few).

Both the Triads in the Outer Circle Process and House Groups provide opportunities for people in WCV go beyond just meeting together on a Sunday morning (which are essential but can only accomplish so much).  They are invitations to friendship where we can regularly and honestly connect with each other.  For both the goal is to provide a place for spiritual growth in the context of community.  Of course there are other ways this can happen outside of WCV’s structure – and we encourage that too!

Jesus also had crowds of followers (until he ended up on the cross, but that’s another story and is also where this metaphor breaks down a bit… ).  These crowds provided many opportunities for the Kingdom to advance and for Jesus to pursue his mission.  Our Sunday gatherings and our weekly Drop-ins are great spots for this kind of activity.  They have advantages of feeling part of something bigger, preaching the gospel and instruction, public celebration, worship, etc.

And finally, we have our mission field.  Our goal is to create a opportunities for growth at every sphere of interaction.  We want to cultivate a rich environment for each person who calls WCV home to grow in their relationship with God and with each other – and we want to grow to see more people come to know Jesus in real and life-changing ways.

Because of their emphasis on personal growth and discipleship, we’ve identified the first two areas, Triads in the Outer Circle, and House Groups as a requirement for membership in WCV (Outer Circle or a Similar Group – like a House Group).

For those who are looking to be part of a Triad in the Outer Circle process for 2017, now is the time to be preparing for it.  Go here, or grab a booklet from the info table for more.