Once a week, you have the opportunity to gather your community and be together. While I’ve written on the purpose and beauty of these meetings, I regular encounter areas where leaders benefit from these three tips in coaching conversations. How can you implement one of these things this week?

1. Don’t Overdue The Food

Food has a way of overshadowing communities. It can dominate the communications before hand. It can dominate the individual’s preparation and thoughts about community: “What am I going to make?” “What do I need to buy?”.  Lastly, it can dominate the time itself as the bulk is spent eating.

Simple ideas for simplifying the food:

  • Baked Potatoes & Salad
  • Pick a genre and go for it for a while. Is it that bad to have Mexcian food once a week for a month?
  • Dessert and drinks instead of a meal

Develop ways to make the eating time relational time.

  • Have a common topic to discuss: family, prayer in our lives, work, or your city.
  • Have folks share their highlight and lowlight from their previous week.

2. Make “Announcements”

Give yourself time to share what’s going on in your lives. Families need a specific space to share news–not just events. E-mail and text threads connect our hearts much less than an in person moment.

  • What needs are there in the family? How can we pray?
  • What can we celebrate?
  • What are we doing over the next month as a community? (On your common mission, meals, DNA groups, etc.)
  • Does anything have something they want to invite others into? (parties, children activities, sporting events, concerts, etc.)

3. Do Something Intentional Every Time

Don’t let your time get away from you. Getting together requires so much effort, you might as well have a truly intentional time focused on God, his mission, and his people. You can pray, study the Scriptures, have a strategic discussion, a shepherding discussion, or maybe your group needs to hear a specific challenge from their leaders. Whatever your community needs, prepare to do it. And do it in the power of the Spirit.  Learn more about the planning and listening to the Spirit.

Brad A. Watson serves as a pastor of Bread&Wine Communities in Portland, Oregon where he develops, coaches, and trains leaders to form communities that love God and serve the city. Brad is passionate about helping people live lives that reflect their belief and hope in Jesus. He lives in southeast Portland with his wife and their three kids.