A Quick Introduction... (6/5)
As many of you have experienced, hospitality is a bedrock value at The Table. This is far more than just inviting people into our home for a meal. It is a lifestyle of relational generosity and self-giving love for those who are most different from us. This definition has been the primary “WHY” behind the design of The Table’s Community Groups. And for almost 2 years, they have been a greenhouse for profound hospitality, where common belief isn’t a prerequisite and love for our literal neighbors is both the starting point and the goal. As The Table has grown and matured, we’ve encountered both challenges and opportunities to living out that vision in ways we never could have guessed before actually trying it!
One challenge we discovered is that Community Groups were not built to handle the exponential growth we experienced over our first year, nor were they equipped to explicitly and intentionally bring new members along with this vision for hospitality (and combined, it's no surprise that this is new to many of you reading this!). To adapt Community Groups to cooperate with what God is doing in/through The Table, this fall Community Groups will be growing into Table Neighborhoods.
In many ways, Neighborhoods (or Table ‘Hoods if you’re as cool as I am) will feel very similar to Community Groups: Hospitality will still be a foundational component of every Neighborhood, but we’re creating space and flexibility to localize community, mission, and mercy efforts. In other words, they will be designed to work with the grain of our natural rhythms of life, instead of against the grain or just on top of everything else.
As a church plant grows, there’s a very real and dangerous tendency to uncritically grow busier with it (hence some of the major changes we're also making with Sunday Morning Teams you read about in the June newsletter). This ends up creating more things to do and leaves less time to be further committed to the people and places right in front of us (our neighbors). I’ve felt this, and I’ve heard many of you voice the same. Neighborhoods are designed to reverse that tendency, to give you the space and support to be more present and engaged in "every sphere of life" you're already involved in!
Throughout this summer we’ll be rolling out more specific details about Table Neighborhoods, what to expect when they launch, what regions each Neighborhood represents, and how they’ll enhance and strengthen cohorts (the latter being another significant reason why we’re doing this). Each of our current Community Group Leaders are helping navigate their respective group’s transition, so if you’re currently in a Community Group, they are a great resource for learning more and asking questions! If you have general questions, thoughts, or concerns, please email me or Justin Chappell.
Stay tuned for more exciting updates in the next few weeks!