Putting them together... The 7 Devotions and the 5 x 7 Model..
As individuals... we have the opportunity to devote our lives to these seven things. Much teaching is directed at how to, as an individual live out these types of things.
As married couples. There not much teaching on this, except perhaps 'you should go to church together if possible'. As couples, we have the opportunity to be deliberate in these 7 Devotions.
Loving God: Praying together, listening or reading the word together and discussing it, reading Christian books together, together reaching out to others, serving together. We could list our each devotion and think through how to do these as couples. We should. This is being intentional.
As families. There is VERY LITTLE to no teaching on how to draw our family together to practice these seven things. We need to learn to do this and share what we are learning. Please do so! See one family's journey HERE.
As small groups. There is a lot of teaching on this. The issue is this - if we don't have living out these devotions down as couples and families - we are missing two of the Four Life Pillars. The pillars of our lives that we need to make sure are properly built in our own lives, aligned and passed on are these: disciple, marriage, family and church/ecclesia/the body of Christ.
As congregations. Often we congregate in local churches. Most see 'the church' as the starting point. And, indeed - the preaching of the word and joint worship IS encouraging to those who seek God and everyone else. However, the congregation needs to be built on the foundation of those who are practicing these devotions in their lives - with their spouses and families. Is it? I don't think so! So, to live simply, to live intentionally, these missing 'stones' need to be reset. Much of the content on KingdomInsight focuses on how to do this.
As communities. It is at the community level that equippers in all 5 of the Gateway Skills can be found: these are people who equip us to do these key things. The apostle equips us to plant or start or support new works; the prophet equips us to perceive what God is saying to me and to test things we hear with truth; the evangelist stirs us up and equips us to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom; the pastor equips us for caring for and guiding others; the teacher, equips us for imparting what we have learned to others. We need ALL of these skills to live out the seven things we should be devoted to.
Equippers for these skills are found at the community level. One thing we KNOW for sure, at the community level, the body of Christ is divided - this means the equippers cannot do their 'job' very well.
How do we 'fix' this?
Simple. It by being intentional. Look at our NEIGHBOR - the people that God is putting in front of us every day. When we intentionally join and intentionally devote ourselves to living out these seven things together - like an unexpected miracle, the body connects across a community and those who are gifted to be equippers have the opportunity to equip people.
When the church was born, it was connected and the equippers did their job. We're not connected. Simple- connect. Simple-be deliberate. In doing so, we will rebuild the foundations.
We can rebuild. It is happening. Now. You can be part, too. Let's do it.