If you missed the first two posts in this series, you can check them out here (first) and here (second).

In this third video from David Fitch, he talks about the different ways of engaging with people in three ‘circles’ of interaction with one’s faith community, one’s home or small group, and in one’s neighbourhood or community. Practicing faithful presence with one another means being present in all three circles. Without engagement in the “half circle” of the marketplace/neighbourhood, churches become merely focused on maintenance. Focus on only the half circle, though, leads to burnout and exhaustion.

The same holds true for Christians or people of faith engaged in social services. We each need places where we will be sustained, encouraged, and upheld spiritually and socially if we are to continue practicing faithful presence with others. It is important to recognize that it is God who at work, and the world does not fall “on our shoulders,” so to speak.

Coming from this perspective, we recognize that there are times to host others and times to receive and be guests of others. There is beauty in not being in control of events, of circumstances, and people. It means we are freed to receive from others and experience mutual transformation in community.

Questions to consider:

  1. Where do I interact with these three spaces in my own life? Do I tend towards the “close circle” of spiritual community or the “half circle” of neighbourhood and outreach?
  2. After considering where you invest the most time or effort, do you see yourself as verging towards the maintenance of what is or the exhaustion of feeling like there’s always more to do?
  3. What is my posture as I enter these circles? In particular, how do I do at being a guest of others rather than taking the lead in my interactions?

You can view the rest of the videos in the playlist below: