01 February 2010

Church of Two - Tested and found useful

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CO2 stands for 'Church of Two'. It's a helpful practice that some of us have been testing since early December 2009, and we can now recommend it to anyone who'd like to give it a try.

(Scroll to the bottom of the page for a list of other links on CO2.)

I brought back the idea of Church of Two (CO2) from the House2House Conference in Texas in the autumn of 2009. It seemed a promising way to go deeper with the Lord and with one another and what I'd seen of it at the conference was quite exciting. The Church of Two FlyerI came home really keen to get started with someone here in the UK, to test it and review its usefulness in practice.

It wasn't until early December that I had a chance to try it for real. Sean and I shared in CO2 almost every day for many months. We are agreed that it was more than useful. A few weeks later I began CO2 with Paul and again we have found it an excellent way of connecting at a heart level.

So what is CO2?

There is quite a bit of good information on the web. First I'll describe CO2 in my own words, then I'll list the best resources I've come across.

Church in various sizes - Churches are normally groups of anything from two or three people meeting at home, right up to megachurches of thousands meeting in large, purpose built structures. Larger groups have some advantages, for example great music and a wide range of facilities and programmes. Smaller groups have advantages too, greater flexibility and closer relationships between the members.

What about a church of two or three? Well, it turns out that the smallest possible church has significant advantages of its own. It is possible to meet every day, certainly more than once or twice a week.

Groups of two appear in the Bible, for example Yahshua sent out his followers in pairs.

The Church of Two - A church of two has two simple components.
  • Two (or three) people who agree to meet as nearly every day as possible
  • Two (or three) simple practices
Two people works well. Three is certainly possible. Allow a minimum of five minutes per person; for this reason larger groups take more time and it's harder to maintain the daily rhythm. The best way to meet is face to face, with a phone call as an alternative when necessary. If face to face is impossible, phone is the next best method, and even email if required. Sean and I use Google Wave, Paul and I meet face to face.

The two practices are called SASHET and Virkler. A third can be added, simply praying for one another concerning the things that have been shared.

SASHET - This stands for Sad, Angry, Scared, Happy, Excited, Tender.

Take turns to share your heart feelings under the headings listed above. You may not have something to say for all the headings, some days it might be just two or three, other days more or even all of them. When listening to your partner's heart, don't offer advice, just hear what is being said.

Virkler - This is a simple way of connecting with the Lord and hearing his heart. It's named for Mark Virkler who originated the method. Each member of the CO2 can do this alone before meeting or it can be done together if a quiet space is made for it. Either way it's good to share the results of this hearing daily.
  • Still your mind, clear away worldly thoughts, become calm and peaceful.
  • Focus on Yahshua (Jesus). Any way of achieving this is OK, imagine conversing with him, sitting at his feet, walking with him. Whatever works for you.
  • Pay attention to the flow of thoughts in your mind. These may take the form of ideas, pictures, or words. Don't expect to hear a physical voice. Jot down the thoughts for later consideration.
  • Review what you wrote. What is the Lord saying to you today?

Finally you can both pray for one another.

What has been achieved? - Doing the simple exercise of CO2 daily with a friend, your spouse, a child, or a parent has an effect that builds over time. You will find an increasing depth in the relationship, a growing awareness of how the Lord is leading your partner, and an improving basis for prayer for one another.

It's likely that both partners will develop a deeper and more conscious daily walk with Yahshua too. A group of CO2s makes a natural and strong basis for a cell, small group, or house church of up to twenty members. It can also lead to deeper and stronger community life amongst neighbours or work colleagues, and it can then lead on to sharing the good news in very natural ways.

The Virkler component can be very helpful over a period of time in facilitating people in hearing the Lord's voice more clearly and more frequently throughout the day. Hearing can become the norm rather than a rare exception.

CO2 is very easily learned and easily taught, therefore it spreads easily. Potentially it can spread in a viral manner. Starting in one place with just two people, it can quickly grow into large numbers of CO2s saturating a town or village. It's a great tool. Try it!
    More details and resources - Check the following websites and blogs for further information. You can also contact me by email if you want to talk further about CO2. I might also be able to help by holding daily CO2s with you for a week. Actually doing CO2 is by far the best way to learn it.
    • The CO2 Flyer - a great leaflet giving more detail on CO2. Good for handing out to people who want to know more or would like to try CO2 for themselves.
    • Stories from the Revolution - A blog by John White, launching the CO2 method after fully testing it. This blog also contains a lot of great feedback by people who are trying CO2 for themselves.
    • Church of Two (CO2) - post on the Scilla Blog in December 2009. More about my own experiences with this tool.
    • Colworth (CU) - Church of Two - sharing CO2 with a group at work.
    • You can Hear God's Voice - a brochure by Mark Virkler (in PDF format). This explains the four keys for hearing on which VIRKLER in CO2 is based. It's a link from a CLU webpage. Provided for reference only, CO2 uses a simplified version of this hearing method.
    • SASHET Feelings - a psychotherapy technique from which SASHET in CO2 is based. Provided for reference only, CO2 takes the list of feelings but uses them quite differently.
    • CO2 is spreading like a virus - a recent news post (Feb 25th 2010).
    • More interesting thoughts from In the storyline, a blog post by Charles Kiser.
    • Imagine a Daybreak is another blog where CO2 is described.
    I'll add to this list as I discover further useful information online. You can also view all the other  CO2-related posts in this blog.

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