Rule of St. Fiacre

I haven’t been much into blogs, books, or conversations about missions lately, but this blog post I could almost endorse. It’s a proposed rule for a proposed missional order — proposed by David Fitch as a response to the number of faith communities that have folded because of burnout and internal character weaknesses. I really, really like where Fitch is coming from with most of these proposals, and we’ve been attempting to live out many of them already. From looking at the list in its entirety, however, I feel we could do better. In fact, I believe the absence of a few crucial ones of these might just be why we currently feel a little off in our mission. Anyway, here’s Fitch’s list and the link to the original blog post. I’d love to hear your thoughts, including omissions and/or additions.

The Rule of St Fiacre Missional Order of Pastor-Servants: Sent Out to Cultivate Christian Communities as Gardens Midst the Cities, Neighborhoods, Towns and Villages of N. America

Committed to Plant Christian Communities as Gardens, not Grocery Stores, committing to long periods (at least 5 years) of habitation, gestation in and among a chosen neighborhood, geographical place of living.

Committed to a lifestyle of simplicity, frugality and bi-ministerial/bi-vocationalism to survive financially for the long term, yet be wise and prudent so as not to find oneself in hock or otherwise financially enslaved later on in life.

Committed to put down roots, take up jobs, and live in this neighborhood, to love, live and walk with lost people in the rhythms of everyday life, to cultivate relationships and a way of life that displays a witness to Christ, that incarnates His presence as a Body in and among this neighborhood of people. To be bearers of the gospel of salvation in Word and deed, never with coercion, only as invitation into the life of God thru Christ our Lord.

Committed to ministering the gospel to those in pain, in desperation, depression, darkness and poverty. This can take shape in numerous simple ways.

Committed to foster resistance to a.) consumerist structures which exploit the oppressed, promote unhealthy eating and living, b.) materialist behavior that promotes owning things over relationship, security over generosity and c.,) secular practices which subordinate and/or decenter God in Christ to another self help transaction, another thing we do in an overall consumerist materialist lifestyle, and d.) all other practices which distance ourselves from the relationships with neighbors, the poor, and those whose labor we benefit from everyday.

Committed to, whether commissioned as ordained pastor or minister, take up life together and ministry as an everyday vocation as part of everyday life.

Committed to get to know the community contextually, to know its needs, to minister to its hurts, to fight/resist its social sins, to incarnate Christ amidst the everyday rhythms and life of your community.

Committed to seeing secular vocation, the making a living, the amount of money one makes, and career as secondary to call of God on your life for His Mission.

Committed to regular practices of spiritual formation that center one’s life in Christ and in His Mission. This includes a proposed Rule of St Fiacre, a regular time of meeting in triads (groups of three) for Scripture reading, prayer, corporate silence, mutual submission of one’s emotions to God, mutual confession of sin, repentance and reconciliation, working out one’s struggles, pains and joys as part of God’s work in you for His Mission and finally a mutual benediction being sent into the Mission. And likewise this includes being committed to a regular time of communal worship of God that includes silence, confession, submission to Christ’s Mission, affirmation of Our Story, the reading and hearing of the Word, the Lord’s Table, corporate prayer, thanksgiving and prayer, the benedictory blessing and sending forth into Mission.

Committed to banding together with no less than 8 other St Fiacre Ministers to go where God calls to inhabit space for the presence of Christ in Mission.

Committed to a living a life of hospitality, opening up our homes and lives for those who are hurting, alone, depressed, and without the gospel.

Committed to meeting together once a year every summer at designated place to foster encouragement, mutual support, and prayer. Committed to having a regular practice of connection via the telephone whereby we stay connected to two other St Fiacre members once a week for an hour, whereby we read the Scripture, share stories, encourage and pray together.

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