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What's Your Number?

by Shelby Barker

Have you heard of the enneagram? It's the latest in personality tests. It gives you a number based on several questions and that number is supposed to shine some light on your tendencies and maybe even show you some potential blind spots about your personality.  

I've taken a bunch of these things and for me, they usually just go in one ear and out the other. But, this one seems to be pretty spot on. In fact, it's a little creepy. 

According to the enneagram, I am a seven. I did a quick google search for words that describe a seven and they include words like, "Extrovert, Fun-Loving, Adventurous, Upbeat, Friendly, Optimistic." So basically the best number (ha)!

Being a seven is cool... but it's not cool when we are stuck in a house due to some virus. Those rough quarantine weeks I was losing it. I started door dashing just to have a reason to go out and about! 

Can I be honest? Being a seven and working in a church during this season hasn't been easy either. Man, I wish we could meet in person. A couple of weeks ago we celebrated our one year anniversary and it was a blast! I want more of that! But, it's not time yet.  

That brings me to why I am writing. Early in May, the leadership of the Gathering worked on a plan to start meeting together called Phase One. A part of that plan was something called mini-gatherings. The goal was to essentially have mini-gatherings around the community in host homes, in a safe way to bring people together.  

To be honest, I wasn't sure if it would work. I'm a seven. I want big parties not little small groups. Well, I attended my first mini-gathering last week and I was blown away. There was coffee, the kids hung out, we watched the sermon, and then we had about thirty minute discussion based on the questions provided that brought the sermon alive. It was awesome! 

We've heard about some really cool things from the leaders as well. We've seen people that haven't felt comfortable going into a church building, feeling more comfortable walking into their neighbor's house. We've heard about how the message has become more relevant than we could ever imagine because of the conversations that are happening there.  

The whole thing reminded me of this time Jesus says, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Mat. 18:20. For this season of the Gathering, mini-gatherings are the backbone of our community. We can't wait to see mini-gatherings:

-Plan their own go-days

-Do food drives for I-58

-Invite someone that is unchurched/dechurched 

-Make new and deeper relationships

In the end, we can't wait to see mini-gatherings gather together, grow together, and go together.  

Look, we realize this isn't the perfect setup (my "seven" reminds me of that)... but God is doing something pretty cool here. What if we just put our guard down and tried it? What if we really believed that God is trying to teach us something different about His church? What if we embraced being in the wilderness just a little longer to try and meet God where He has us?  

I can't wait to go to my next mini-gathering! Maybe I'll see you there! 

For more information about mini-gatherings or to sign up for one click here. 

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