I was excited to see Pete Grieg (Emmaus Road) begin the year by advertising 100 parties in 50 days. "Why?” the website asks: “When people gather around a shared passion the reality can be that they will only stay because of friendship. This is why as a growing church community we want to help you deepen existing friendships, create new ones, whilst continuing to reach out to those others we know from our streets, workplaces schools and universities.”
St Paul writes in Galatians 5;14 'For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbour as yourself.” ' Love of our neighbour and ourselves is an expression and natural outworking of the grace and love of God and so as a church grows in maturity so it grows in love. However we know that as a church grows in size it can become the opposite: A place where people feel like strangers in a large crowd. The "grass roots" feel (that enabled the church to grow organically from the outset) starts to become overtaken by a "top down" feel as it moves from 'organic to organised'. But is there a way to be both?
Cultivate aims to make it easier for individuals to connect around a shared purpose, get things started in small groups, know what is going on and know how to join in. To open up the corners of the church community and make the grass roots groups visible. They say “culture eats strategy for breakfast” and a church community that can cultivate a culture of love, friendship, invitation, trust, freedom and entreprenuiral mission whilst being ordered, organised and united on one platform and one leadership can enjoy the best of both worlds.