Tuesday, January 17, 2006
THE MISSION: DAY ZERO
Today is Tuesday, January 17th. In two more days we will host our first "Interest Meeting" for our new house church, The Mission.
Right now we have around 10 people who have RSVP'd and some are bringing friends along with them who are interested or curious about the house church model.
I'm trying to organize my thoughts, think of how best to describe just what a house church is, and in some ways, trying to think of ways to creatively talk people out of joining us.
Yes, that's right. I'm subconsciously trying to think of ways to convince people that this isn't really what they're looking for.
I think the reason why is that most people don't really know what they're getting into. I'll do my best to make it as clear as possible what this will be, and what it will not be, but I know that inevitably some will come along for all the wrong reasons.
Some are coming because they like us, they love our family, they want to support us, etc. This is awesome, and we're grateful, but for this house church to become what it must become, we really need people who are committed to the house church and who are going to be excited about doing church (or "being church") this way.
So, what this will not be is a home group. Although there will be at times elements of this group that resemble a home group such as worship time, fellowship, a short Bible study, etc., this is not a home group.
This is also not about taking what happens in a traditional church on Sunday morning and creating a micro version of it in our living room each week. We will not have an emphasis on a select few leaders and a larger group of followers. We are all followers, and we are all leaders.
See? I told you it's not something that we intuitively understand in today's culture.
I'll do my best on Thursday night to explain our vision for the church, to describe in detail the sorts of things we will be engaging in for the house church meetings, and hopefully inspire some good questions from the group about what the heck I'm talking about.
Last night I sat and read a chapter in "The Church Comes Home" about how to begin a house church. It talked about what to do and what not to do. It gave excellent examples of how the group should organically develop over time, how the first few meetings should differ from the later meetings, and then how the mature group should shift focus and begin really taking form.
Part of me is terrified. I've never done this. It is so far outside my comfort zone that I tend to want to grasp at those systems and patterns that I am so used to operating in, but if I do that then I short circuit what the house church is really meant to be.
I'm realizing that the most important member of our house church is the Holy Spirit. He needs to be at every meeting. He needs to have the complete freedom to speak, to encourage, to rebuke, to move and to, in fact, lead this group where it should go. I am the co-pilot, if that. He, the Holy Spirit, is the One who must build this Church, His Church, and lead it where it should grow.
Maybe my fears are centered here. I must be comfortable with being out of control. I must make it my practice, as the leader, to lead in a way that I have almost never observed anyone else leading before; with a "hands-off" approach and the courage to allow the Holy Spirit to have His way, no matter what.
So, I welcome your prayers for this endeavor. I know that the Enemy hates the Church, and I know that the opposition to something intended to be as pure and as Biblically-based as this will be great.
"Your mission, should you decide to accept it...."