Friday, January 30, 2009

Too Much Thinking Goin' On....Let's Get On With It!

I have gone over some of the blogging of Simple Church aka House Church here.

I am throwing up a few points that seem to go along with my thinking of late but yet the word follower is jumping out and unnerving me. I prefer the word believer. I get the whole "I have decided to follow Jesus" idea but the emphasis seems wrong to me. This is not a new struggle for me. I love meeting together with fellow believers in many different settings and sometimes wonder if we are too easily willing to conform to a box be it one thing or another. Lately, an on-line community for me can "feel" like the following definition of church....also a group of three who met at my place last Sunday night can also feel like it as well. Is the definition all that important? Everyone is trying to move us to a certain type of thinking. I am just wanting, desiring, fervently attempting to be in relationship first with Jesus/Father/Spirit and then be in relationship with others in many different ways always changing and evolving according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is a much pondered and sometimes tough way to "do church", so I choose not to.....just to "be". Where He is, I am there. Big or little in numbers and sometimes that is just me and an internet community....I am learning to be obedient to His prompting. This has been a long and wearying process for me. I will gather with His Church in many different ways. I think that is ok with Him. It is my heart He sees. He knows it better than I know it myself. I also know that there has to be action of some kind (missional if you will) to demonstrate, to share the Gospel and I don't think that is by handing out tracts....or by just paying lip service...not for me anyway. Living His Life and committing time, money and whatever resources I have personally as He leads and not just talking about it. He wants us to give to others what He has given to us. Ultimately it is His. This life is not about what I can get....I have already received more than I ever deserved when He graced me with Himself. Now He wants to grace others through me. It is all part of what I think He has called me to. I am still working out the details with Him. This is all subject to change because He does tend to let me know when I am way off base. I have been listening and observing and seeing the inconsistencies and wondrousness of gatherings of believers of all shapes and sizes. So read the excerpts of the blog is a starting point for thinking about living Life abundantly. It is not the final word on anything. I know of only One Who can give that.

"Let’s start with a basic New Testament definition of church. The Greek word for “church” is “ekklesia” which simply refers to those who were "called out" for an assembly or meeting. It was a *non-religious(*my emphasis) word. It just referred to a group of people. In this case, the group of people who were followers of Jesus.

It really is and must be that simple!

Robert Fitts provides some additional information at DAWN ministries:

Jesus used a common word when he said, "I will build my church." It was not a religious word. It simply meant a called out group, or crowd, or fellowship, or assembly. So we can use the word church when it communicates what we are saying, but we can also use the word fellowship, or gathering, or brethren, or saints, or disciples. It simply means a group of people.

Church is simply a collective group of followers.

Consider this definition of church:

A loose-knit network of Jesus followers who gather together to encourage each other in their spiritual life and who go out, moved by the Holy Spirit, sharing and demonstrating the Gospel.

Loose-knit. Not formal membership, just a love-commitment to God and each other.

Jesus followers. The basic requirement for membership in the church.

Who gather together. Gathering to build one another up and to worship.

Who go out. The purpose of believers… to GO with the message.

Moved by the Holy Spirit. The one and only LEADER of the church.

Sharing and demonstrating the gospel. The reason that the church GOES."

My reworked definition would be "An ever evolving group of believers who gather together to encourage each other in their spiritual life and who go out and Live and share the Life given to them to the unbelieving and desperately hurting world(whether they know this or not), (in so many and diversified and wonderfully inventive ways, lead by the Holy Spirit." It is a starting point for me. I know it will change....I know what He means. I am open for His changes.

Dinner and gathering at my place on Sunday evening....Come as you are....bring a contribution (that would be a food offering bucket) or not. He has allowed me the opportunity to bless you with the simplest of things .... a meal together in His Name. Let us join and share together in His goodness and Life. I can wait no longer. He has moved me off my duff.


Joel B. said...

Right on! I think Christians have boxed themselves in with such strict definitions of how life in Christ's body works. I meet with people in all kinds of different ways and all kinds of different settings. Some of it is daily... weekly... monthly... yearly... or whatever, and all of it is ekklesia.

Sometimes we sing songs and clap hands. Sometimes we talk. Sometimes we work on things together. Sometimes we do this or that or something else.

But some would like to confine it to a weekly (or more often) meeting in the building they call "God's house," with the same program each time. Those are fine, I guess, if that's what people want, but never again will I be able to be confined to that!

Walking Church said...

I have tons of books on 'Home Church' and 'cells' - your welcome to my library; or if I can help let me know. Did a house cell in my home for three years and met some interesting stuff.

I think where some go wrong is when they loose focus on Christ who is the Head of His Church. Looks like you have that well in line with your posting thoughts.

In Christ Alone said...

Thanks Joel for your passion and your comment. You are right, of course :), and if meeting together means that it is a rote following of the same same over and over again without the Holy Spirit leading and Jesus as the centre of the gathering then what is the purpose? Ourselves, I guess. Anyway I am beginning to see that there are many different ways to come together and none of them are THE RIGHT WAY....If Jesus is the centre than all is well.


I have done my research on house and cell churches...a little and I have an expert in that field in a friend of ours named Kelly....but I don't want any labels to interfere with anything except a gathering of the Saints for the sole purpose of meeting together for His purpose for that particular time and day and hour and...well you get it. We are the Church, no matter what that looks like to each one of us - I am done trying to figure out something that is simple. Buildings, halls, trails wherever....we are the Church. You helped teach me that one.

So....can I expect you and family on Sunday....let me know :)

In Him,