All of what we do as a faith community is designed to take everyone, from the postmodern/irreligious person to the radical, irreligious follower of Jesus, to the next step on their journey towards embodying the neighbour-love ethic of Jesus within their faith, local and global communities. Everything we do is designed to be low-key, easily replicable, organic and relational.
House churches are the heart and soul of the Open House community. It is in these communities that we share, discuss, question and explore ideas relating to living the way of Jesus. It is in these networks of relationships that we support each other, share our lives, serve our communities and practice loving and serving each other.
Every Sunday we meet to share stories, start a conversation, listen to each others’ updates and best of all to eat and drink together. We get together at around 11.30am for half an hour before diving into lunch around 12 noon. There is a kids learning program that happens during the adult conversation starter. Every term we run two ‘Messy Church’ Sundays where the kids and adults learn together in hands-on learning experiences.
At our lunch gatherings we start a conversation on a particular topic, theme or idea. These conversations are then continued in our House Churches. Our community participate in the conversation starter, then read the summary online and watch a video or listen to a podcast, before having a conversation in their house church and looking to take their next step in getting their life in rhythm.
Every school holidays, instead of running our lunch gatherings, we participate in Service Sundays. We set aside the three Sundays after first, second and third term, for our people to find ways to express service to their neighbours. Things we do include: community BBQs, backyard blitzes, aged-care visits, freezer meal cook-offs etc.
We also have a range of ‘huddles’ happening across the course of a year where different people from the community get together to reflect, explore and plan various Open House initiatives. Everyone is invited to participate in these huddles and specific people who play different functions within our community will appear at ones that relate to them.
Everything about Tribe is designed to be relational, and is done through our house-church communities. All of our ‘collective rhythms’ are organised and coordinated relationally through our house churches. We don’t have hierarchical positions, but rather have functions that people play for a specific time to serve the faith community based on the individual’s unique strengths and context, along with the needs of the faith community.
In our contemporary society our ‘local’ can be defined by our ‘networks’ and our ‘neighbourhood’. Our relational networks are ones that we might commute to catch up with, see regularly in social media space and perhaps work with everyday. Our local neighbourhood community are the families that live in houses within close proximity to where we live. We want to find ways for the Tribe community to support each other to love and to serve our local neighbours in both our networks and neighbourhood in increasing measure.
Today’s world is interconnected like no other point in human history. Today we have global neighbours, in the sense that we can be aware of what is happening on the other side of the world in real time and our choices that we are making, day in and day out, have very real implications on others across the world. In light of this, we want to be relationally loving and serving our global neighbours. Whilst this is fundamentally about doing something to help meet the interests of others, it also helps us to battle the temptations of greed, power and upwardly mobile lifestyles so prevalent in our culture.