When we’ve reflected on our goals for the structure of Kairos, the image that has come to mind for us is one of a trellis. By nature, relatively flimsy, and gaining strength from what it is attached to. Kairos we aim to have a light framework, but draw on the foudational strength and processes of the Methodist Church, in which we draw.
What we also love about the metaphor, is that the trellis is just the start, and those plants which initially climb it become, themselves, support for other plants that follow. Our desire, is for that mutual support, organic shaping and growth, so that ultimately, like in any garden, the trellis is largely hidden, beneath beautiful verdant growth.
Unpacking the Structure
Our logo is a good starting point to try and explain our structure. The roots of the tree, represent the activities of Kairos which we see as sustaining us, mind, body and soul – the things we do to Breathe In spiritually. The branches and leaves of the tree represent the way we encounter others in the world, and the things we do to serve, to bless, to encourage or co-create along with God in our world. The trunk of the tree represents our gathering, our unity, the values we share, and a pattern of being and support for one another, as we seek to follow the way of Jesus.
This of course, needs to find a practical expression in our movement, and to do so, we’ve come up with the following starting pattern.
Starting at the bottom, we have the branches and roots of the tree, the small communities, which are the heart of Kairos. The Grass Roots Groups, which are those small groups where we ‘Breathe In’ and the Kairos Teams, where we ‘Breathe Out’ and engage with our communities. We hope, the majority of people will belong to both a grass roots group and several kairos teams, and so have a balance of Breathing In and Breathing Out.
Leaders of these groups, as well as being a part of their own Grass Roots group, will join a Leader Huddle. Meeting monthly, they will gather with other kairos leaders, for coaching, mentoring and developing, as a leader, as well as their own spiritual accountability.
These groups will be aided by drawing on outside expertise as times, either from the Grass Roots Network, or other resources with which we have connections.
Sitting alongside the huddles, but in the diagram in the box above, a smaller subset of people will offer some oversight of Kairos, as a whole. This group will be a mixture of groups leaders, and trustees from the trustee body. They will hold responsibility for reflecting on the development of Kairos, identifying areas where we need more resources, reflecting on the gifts and needs of those involved to create more opportunities for growth, but also acting as a communication point for everyone. Although they will meet to do this, we’ll also use email, whatsapp and coffee meetings, so less formally we keep abreast of whats going on.
Finally, at the top of the tree, but more concerned with creating a liberating, safe and accountable framework, than directing the every day life of Kairos, a trustee body, which in Methodist terms, is also a single church-circuit, within our Yorkshire North and East District. This is our connection to the Methodist Church, and as such, where we ensure that we fulfill the requirements of the denomination, and review the life of Kairos, as a movement. Of necessity these meetings will need to be more formal, notice given, agendas written and minutes taken and approved, as they undertake the charitable aims of our movement. We give thanks for those who offer their skills and guidance to balance that formality, with a heart for enabling us to discover our way with Jesus.
Sitting alongside this central structure, is our pattern of Gatherings, which will be of different scales, different focusses, and have a pattern that allows us to get to know one another, come together in worship, or around bigger ideas, or learning. Some of these will be organised centrally, but we hope, increasingly, that Kairos Shapers will feel empowered to initiate and offer their own. That may be as simple, as – I’m going to watch this film, anyone want to join me, to organising and booking a retreat, to planning some social action.
Finally, the Grass Roots network, is a group of people, called, and gifted to help others. Among this group will be Catalysts, who are great at Networking, Mentors and Coaches, who help us as individuals or groups reflect on our spiritual path. Also included are Shapers and Sherpas…in other words, anyone who has experience, expertise, and can help someone else with their goals.
Not a fan of structures?
If you arent a fan of structures, then you aren’t alone. The point is, get the structure and the environment right, and we believe that we can enjoy the freedom and the fun of living the Jesus way together.