New opportunities for mission get us excited, and we get really excited when God puts wings on a vision and it starts to soar. Right now, we’re excited about one of the visions we see taking off in our midst—a vision for community, spiritual formation, and Kingdom impact—a new approach to coming alongside ordinary people to create kingdom-minded missionaries among the poor. This vision is ReWire’s Mission Houses.
What Is This Vision About?
CRM’s ReWire team describes their Mission Houses as “intentional discipleship communities” in neighborhoods of need. During one year of intentional development, participants will be enabled to “discover, establish and live out new patterns of incarnational, missional living.” Discipleship, for ReWire, is "teaching the way of Jesus by doing the way of Jesus. It is a doing that is rooted in a deep spirituality and lives out in authentic community. Participants in ReWire Mission Houses practice this inward, outward and together rhythm of discipleship in such a way that they are transformed into new kinds of leaders—the kind of leaders who are needed for the church of tomorrow.”
Where Did the Vision Come From?
When ReWire started, it was based almost entirely on a curriculum to create missionaries with a real sense of living out God’s call in their lives, facilitated at churches. The desire to see more people powerfully impacted by this training led ReWire to start brainstorming different approaches, and the Mission Houses were born.
The Mission Houses will make the year-long internship already offered at churches accessible to new people. While living in community in proximity to the poor, participants will begin a journey together of discovering a new way to live, stepping out to heal the broken places in the world, and seeking nourishing intimacy with God. ReWire expects the formation curriculum, which is already producing powerful fruit in church members, to be even more effective in this context.
Who Are the Houses For?
The Mission Houses are for people who sense that God has a specific call for them that’s in some way connected to the pain of the world, who recognize that God is not unconcerned about injustice, whether it be homelessness, terrorism, or something else, and who are willing to live sacrificially in response. People of any age who are able to “take a year out” for the formation process are welcome. The houses will be located in neighborhoods of need in San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle.
What Difference Will the Houses Make?
When it comes to questions of how to meaningfully engage with the pain of the world, ReWire staff Doug Humphreys says that during the year, interns will “be given a context to live into and explore questions that are very personal to [them], in a safe place, and learn from others sharing their experiences.” Participants will explore the need for relational ministry, “learning by doing, in community, what it means to see the humanity in people,” and to bridge the gap between “us” and “them” in safe and respectful ways.
By the end of the year, participants will have discovered a definite sense of calling, linking their stories to the story of redemption God is writing (or will have confidence that God will reveal that specific calling in his time). They will understand the components for a sustainable model of ministry among the poor. And new expressions of Church will likely spring up as participants live into this new way of life in their home contexts.
ReWire is aiming for a program launch in September 2017. Potential interns should fill out an application and complete an interview with ReWire staff. After accepting placement in one of the houses (locational preference will be considered), new interns will need to pay a program fee of $2500 for the year, and be on location by the start date. During the internship year, interns will commit to specific rhythms of life, including 10 hours a week of service with an established ministry partner in the neighborhood, 4 hours a week of house meetings for discipleship and community building, and 6 hours a week of prayer and study. Interns will pay their own living expenses through work or other means during the year.
Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” As in all new ventures, this vision will only become a reality and fulfill its potential through God’s participation and plan. If this vision has inspired you, why not add the Mission Houses to your prayer list? Ask God to open doors in key neighborhoods. Ask him to bring his chosen leaders into the internship for its inaugural year. Ask if he is calling you to participate.