The Structure and Aim of Communitas
Opening Retreat (2 days)
Course 1: Missional Life (8 Weeks)
Group Project (4 Weeks)
Course 2: Missional Leadership (8 Weeks)
Final Retreat (2 days
Communitas is a Latin word which refers to the deep sense of community that is formed when a group shares a common struggle, ordeal or mission. If you have ever heard soldiers talking about their brothers-in-arms, or read the stories of communities surviving together in the midst of brutal persecution, you’ve seen a glimpse of communitas.
Yet, sadly, too many of us go through life so obsessed with comfort and the illusions of security and stability that we give up our natural yearning for adventure with others. The Communitas experience guides groups through a process of reclaiming a life of meaning, purpose and excitement with others on mission with God.
The process begins with a 2 day retreat in which we provide an orientation to the process and the online platform that will serve as one of our “classrooms” during Communitas. We will set the stage Biblically and theologically, develop some communal spiritual practices and determine some specifics regarding our local places of engagement – the other (and perhaps primary) classroom.
Following the retreat, the group participates in an 8 week course in which online lessons and dialog are paired with individual and group missional challenges.
At the conclusion of the first course, groups will engage in an extended (typically four weeks) missional project. The goals of this project will extend through the remainder of the Communitas experience.
The group project is followed by a second 8 week course which focuses in more specifically on characteristics of missional leadership (which are not limited to those with a leadership “position”). This course will follow the same basic structure as the first, but with the additional component of the ongoing group project. Midway through this course the group will begin developing their own short (6-8 week) experience in missional and incarnational community which can be used as an introduction to missional life with friends and neighbors.
At the conclusion of this second course a final retreat is held in which groups are invited to share the stories of their group projects and missional life introductions. The retreat also provides opportunity to process through the overall experience of Communitas and look intentionally toward the ways they plan to continue living into the insights, realizations and relationships established over the previous 6 months.