I have a suspicion we all know what we mean by Flourishing, but at the same time it is probably realised in very different ways for each individual, or distinct group of people. Part of the search for Flourishing is knowing your self sufficiently to identify what it means for you and those groups to which you belong.
What we also know, is Jesus said he came to offer us a way to live life, to the full. Its not easy, but we believe following his way can offer us a way to find a rhythm and balance to life that we might describe as flourishing. For that reason we want Jesus to be at the centre of our searching and growing. We’ll learn about his life, as well as building our own relationship with him.
We believe that we are Flourishing when there is a balance between our three underpinning goals:-
Three underpinning Goals
Encounter describes the places we ‘Breathe In’. This is where we explore spiritually. The place where we look at ancient and new spiritual practices and techniques. This is the place of small, intimate, trusting groups in which we regularly reflect on our life together. In such groups we assess honestly if we have discovered that balance and fullness of life, impacting positively on others and drawing closer to God. We are committed to remaining agile and responsive to new thoughts and the prompting of God’s Spirit.
Those who seek to transform themselves, or the world, know that a supportive community in which to do so makes all the difference in the world. Being a networked community of people flourishing together will bring us a fullness of life, and inevitably begin to transform those around us too. We treasure everyone’s unique combination of skills, experience and gut feelings. We will be accountable to one another, and support and encourage each other as we explore our God-given potential. Every individual is vital for that to be the case.
The branches of our logo, is reflects on the places where we, as individuals, Explore the world. This is where we ‘Breathe Out’. Where what is inside us, bears fruit in ways that blesses or feeds others. Places where we live out our faith and learn We believe that the way things are is not the way things have to be. Indeed, God promises transformation, and to journey with us as we pursue it. Jesus shows us that we can only change the world by opening ourselves to change, and we are likewise changed by the process of changing the world.
how will we do this?
Finding our Balance
We encourage everyone who is a part of Kairos to reflect on their life, using this simple diagram. To reflect on the different elements that are present in their lives, in terms of whether they help us ‘Encounter / Breathe In’ , ‘Explore / Breathe Out’ or are supportive groups or communities that ‘Encourage’ by journeying with us, and holding us accountable. You might try using terms like ‘Mind, Body, Spirit or even Joy, or Fun’ as you reflect on the different areas. We realise these things are never static. A colleague of mine described walking as controlled falling, and there is something of the our nature, where there is a dance between various elements, that we are never quite in perfect balance. However, its entirely possible, in pursuing this exercise that you will identify some imbalance that would you like to correct. We aim for Kairos to be able to assist with that process, either through its own activity, or signposting you to others. We use this same tool to assess our own ‘Flourishing’ as a movement.
Getting to Know ourselves
We want to discover our uniqueness, our value, our natural and spiritual giftings – each of us becoming the person God made us to be. We also will appreciate the value of others, as we grow and respond together to God’s love. We want to invest in our diversity, our differences. But at the same time, we want to discover those with whom we might share a passion, interest or calling to develop something larger, to explore or bless others in particular ways.
establishing a rhythm
We want to establish a better rhythm to our lives, a pattern of being, that balances rest and play, self and others, physical, mental and spiritual well-being. In recognising what makes us tick, we can ensure we are both pursue those activities that energise, restore and revitalise, with those where we give of our energy, self and passion for others.
We know this is far easier, and more successful when we share the journey with others, and more so, when we allow Jesus to guide us too.
Kairos offers various gatherings, for prayer, for silence, for meditation or creativity, as well as fun, exercise and a wide variety of hobbies to help with establishing rhythm and balance.
Meaningful Spiritual Encounter
We dont simply want the Jesus way being about head knowledge, or practical suggestions, but to offer opportunity for meaningful spiritual encounters. We will create opportunities for this, through a variety of techniques, approaches and worship. We will learn from what has gone before, to sift and renew rich, ancient spiritual traditions, developing them for our modern lives today and discovering some new ones!
journey with others
If you’ve ever tried a diet, you know its easier to do it, as part of a supportive group. We recognise this wisdom in Kairos, and so there will be opportunities to journey with those sharing a particular focus, as well as a much wider range of people and ideas, but also going deeper with two or three trusted friends.
We want our gatherings (whether they be large or small, local or dispersed; virtual, physical or a mixture of the two) to reflect an encouraging, loving community, who naturally support one another.