In his new book Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus (run, don’t walk, to get your copy when it releases in June), Chris Smith writes, “It can seem more practical and convenient (and even considerate!) to keep to ourselves and minimize the risk that we’ll get entangled in the lives of others. And yet, as much as we are formed by Western individualism, and though we have allowed that individualism to shape the way we read Scripture, our calling in Christ is to community, to a life shared with others in a local gathering that is an expression of Christ’s body in our particular place.”
Just as the Slow Food movement emphasizes the value of the local, the high-quality, and the unhurried, advocates of Slow Church focus on real relationships and sustainable solutions that transform local congregations and their neighborhoods over time. They believe churches are not just buildings or even the groups that meet in those buildings, but communities which exist to take the peace of Christ and the wisdom of God to every part of the broader community, including how people are fed, housed, educated, included, and employed.
I believe this, too, which is why I’m super excited about the”Deeper Life Together” retreat Chris is hosting right before this summer’s NACC. He asked me to help him brainstorm about it which basically meant I said, “You should totally do this” and then quickly registered to secure my spot. I would seriously love it if you’d join us. Here’s all the info:
When: July 7th at lunch – July 8th at lunch (convention starts that evening, if you’re going)
Where: Englewood Christian Church, Indianapolis, IN
What: 24 hours of conversation, study, scripture, great meals, and new friendships. You’ll be invited to share your story, learn from others, and participate in discussions that will spark our imaginations and help us share our ideas for what God might be doing—or want to be doing—in our own communities.
Who should come: Any Christian church leader who wants a more deeply rooted local church, whether you’re just beginning to dream of what might be or you’ve been intentionally working on this for many years. As of this post there are only 13 more slots open for individuals and 5 for couples, so sign up soon to make sure you get a spot. We’re intentionally keeping the group small and hoping it continues to be a source of wisdom and encouragement for participants even following the retreat.
What it costs: $40 for individuals or $75 for couples. Lunch and dinner on Monday and breakfast and lunch on Tuesday will be provided, as will housing in their guest accommodations.
Where to sign up: HERE.
If this intrigues you, scares you a little, or resonates in one of your own deep places—“Yes—THIS is what I have been wanting and have not been able to articulate”—then I hope you’ll consider joining us in Indy this July. Email me or Chris with questions. And just go sign up already. HERE.