Got the people - now what?

At last night's school function, I ran into a few folk I haven't seen in a while. One of them was chatting to the garden lady (Sheila) I spoke to regarding "alternative" church a few weeks ago.

Well, I'd barely said "hi" when Sheila said, "I have someone else here for your church! Tell Margaret what you're thinking about." Very briefly I said something about church as a gathering around a meal every week instead of attending a building, but then time ran out and we had to get inside.

Thinking about it, there are at least 5 people interested in this gathering idea - and where 2 or 3 are gathered...well, you know how it goes!

So - we've got the people. But now what?

I've tried subtlely to siphon information off of those who have started house churches, informal gatherings and such, as to how we actually get going, but have basically drawn a blank - it "just happens". Yeah, but HOW? How do you get a conversation going that leads you into this informal gathering thing? What do you say to get people to meet together for the first time? How do you know who to invite, and why? Do we let them all rant for a few months, or do we start off as a social meal and hope it doesn't deteriorate into just a friendly outing instead of intentional being together to learn and grow?

So I'm a bit stuck on this one.

Later, as I waited for the school programme to start, it struck me that perhaps I'm here (as opposed to already in Australia) "for such a time as this". There are suddenly so many folk being drawn out of institutional structure, but now that they're drawn out, they're not sure why they have been or where to next. I have some ideas though! :) And perhaps I'm meant to be a catalyst for change in their (and my) lives. A magent to draw all these folk together - most of them don't know of the others, so feel very isolated and alone.

But again - how, is the big thing. Something I have to think hard about.

I guess we could be seen as an "emerging" group. The thing is, "emerging" is often seen as younger folk, disgruntled with an old system and getting out for something new and generationally-relevant. Whereas THIS particular group is very much out of that norm. Half of them are over 60! And that, to me, is very cool. It's not just a young person's thing - it's something that can meet needs from the youngest to the oldest, provided we can find a way to make it happen.

Yesterday's "Quest for Community" post? Well, "before you call I will answer" seems applicable, suddenly.

Now all we need to do is answer the How.