The ‘Rule of Life’ of The Order of Mission (TOM) is not carried in written form (as, say, the Rule of St Benedict is), but in iconic form: circle; semi-circle; triangle; square; pentagon; hexagon; heptagon; and octagon.
The shapes are simple tools for living as disciples, and we often use two or more in conjunction, just as a carpenter might use a plane and a mallet in constructing a chair.
The triangle is a tool that helps us to attend to our relationship with God, with each other, and with our neighbour. The heptagon is a tool that is used as a spiritual health-check (I have previously written about the seven signs of life here).
How might we take an honest look at our relationships? The questions below use the seven signs of life – movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, excretion, nutrition – as a measure, and are intended for use in a group context (we call such groups a ‘huddle’). I would suggest that the way to use them is not to attempt to answer all 21 at once, but to ask the Holy Spirit to highlight a question that God wants to have a conversation with you about, and then pray that God will speak to us through the discussion that unfolds.
Disclaimer: I have written these questions, at a particular time and in a particular place. They reflect wider TOM values, and my context, and are not the only ‘heptagonal’ questions that could be asked. There is value in periodically reviewing such questions, and tailoring them to context.
UP: living with confidence
[M] Are we resistant, or open, to worshipping God in new ways?
[R] Are we animated by the Spirit, or a monument to the past?
[S] Can we see what the Father is doing?
[G] Are we open or resistant to abiding, growing, bearing fruit, or being pruned?
[R] Are we secure in our identity as beloved sons of God, with whom he is pleased?
[E] Are we confessing our sin, or hiding it?
[N] Are we feeding on the word of the Father?
IN: God gives us each other for the purpose of character-formation
[M] Are we moving as one body, or pulling in different directions?
[R] Are we speaking words of life, or of death, to one another?
[S] Are we aware of, and responding to, one another’s needs?
[G] Are we being discipled, and discipling others, in Christlikeness?
[R] Are we raising up a new generation in our place?
[E] Do we hold on to resentment?
[N] Is every member of the body fed, appropriate to their experience and function?
OUT: taking the gift of the body out into the world
[M] Are we involved in the life of our neighbourhood?
[R] Can we identify signs of the Spirit breathing life into our neighbourhood?
[S] Are we aware of, and responsive to, changes in our neighbourhood?
[G] Do we see the kingdom of God advancing in our neighbourhood?
[R] Do we actively foster hope for the future of our neighbourhood?
[E] Do we actively foster reconciliation, or add to division, in our neighbourhood?
[N] Are we feeding the physically and spiritually hungry in our neighbourhood?