Archive for the ‘Practices’ Category

Dwelling in the Word Together

February 22, 2011

How often does the word “dwell” show up on your personal calendar?  If you are like me, it is exactly never.  But consider the word for a moment.  Dwell. It can mean to “think deeply” about something, it can mean “originating in” a certain space, it can mean “to inhabit or find your home” somewhere, and it can mean “a place to come back to often.”  It is a rich and potent word to “dwell” on.

So how does someone dwell in a text?  How does an entire community dwell in the Word? Here’s an idea:

Whenever you meet, as an family of faith, house church, leadership team, training group, work team; spend the first 20-30 minutes dwelling within a particular scripture.  I recommend starting with the text Luke 10:1-12; it is a text of mission, of being sent out with the most basic of instructions, dependent upon our receivers’ hospitality, proclaiming that the Kingdom of God is near!

As you listen to the text being read, consider how the text impacts you personally, at a family level, at a congregational level, and how it impacts our world.  Let God speak in the silence, as well as in the written words.

As we as a house church network consider our decisions and actions in congregations and church bodies, in creating partnerships, in venturing out in mission… let the text of Scripture speak to your community, sometimes moving us forward, sometimes making us think differently about what is happening to us and how we should respond.

You can have this habit, too.

  1. Choose a passage – perhaps a lectionary text for this coming week, perhaps a passage already meaningful to your group, and read it aloud.
  2. Read the passage 2-3 times, preferably read by different readers each time, and optionally changing translations.
  3. Between each reading, sit silently for 3 minutes, letting certain words, phrases and images to surface in the minds of the participants.
  4. Sit together with the passage, in silence, or in conversation, sharing with one another where your imagination was caught or where a memory was triggered. Let the passage draw you together as a group.
  5. Bring the passage up throughout the day, or when you’re trying to make a decision. See what it says to you then.
  6. Close with a prayer of thankfulness to God for what was revealed.

Bring up the passage again during the next meeting, in the same manner.

Live in the passage for several months. It will bring more and more to you as you revisit it!

Some other Scriptures to get you started in Dwelling in the Word (also known as “Lectio Divina“)

God “dwells in light” (Ti1 6:16; Jo1 1:7), in heaven (Psa 123:1), in his church (Psa 9:11; Jo1 4:12)