Monday, October 06, 2008


The first House Church 101 class was actually pretty awesome. We only had one couple show up with their son (Drew, Stefani, & Jake) and Larry and Kelly from the Mission were there to help me answer questions too.

Drew and his wife are in the same boat as the rest of us, "cut from the same cloth" as Drew expressed it and we had a great time answering questions, getting to know them and encouraging them in their journey into house church.

Drew even came to observe house church yesterday morning and even joined us last night for our Mission Men's night where we had some very, very encouraging and stimulating conversations from 6pm to 9:30pm.

I've invited their family to come back again any time, and for as long as they want to come and join us. I had suggested they visit other local house churches such as The Well and maybe a few other house church groups just to get a flavor for what house church is and/or can be and they want to try that too.

This Sunday morning was also my first opportunity to sit at the back of the room and allow our house church to operate without my guidance. I actually stepped out of the room during the last worship song yesterday and sat in our TV room so that when the song ended no one would look at me and wait for me to lead us in communion or direct them towards share time, etc.

Everyone adjusted wonderfully and great conversations were started without my involvement. For me, the most wonderful part of the day was when one of our little ones spoke up and encouraged her Mom with a word of wisdom and encouragement that could only have been inspired by the Holy Spirit. It was seriously awesome.

As for me, I can honestly say that the experience this weekend of leading this first House Church 101 class, and the subsequent dialog with Drew and the Men of the Mission last night, have really helped me quite a lot in my thoughts regarding the development of our house church.

Some of these things are hard to put into words, but mainly I'm feeling permission to let go of the church and to really give it away to everyone else. I have no anxiety anymore about how big we are or how big we might get or who comes or who doesn't or even if we'll still all be together as The Mission a year from now.

I suppose one thing that really struck me over this weekend was the idea that The Mission really is God's project and if God wants to scatter us in six months to go and accomplish different things for the Kingdom, or gather with others around some other coffee table somewhere, that's really ok with me. I guess I've really let go of everything and have finally surrendered my vision and my dreams for this thing to God.

Honestly, I have to believe that if we did break apart in a few months, most of us (maybe not all) would simply not be content to return to the pew. So eventually I think all of us would find ourselves in someone's living room somewhere with someone again no matter what.

I am not building an empire and my success doesn't depend upon The Mission being a success in anyone's eyes but God's. If it is God's will for us to stay together and start a second group, then we will, and if it's God's will that we scatter and share what we've learned with others, then we will. It's not my job to hold anything together or to push anything apart. I only have to be faithful to what God has called me to do and allow God to do the rest.

So, I suppose I have successfully separated my self-worth and identify from The Mission and I have truly, finally, surrendered this church to its rightful owner (God).

I feel a sincere freedom in my spirit over this.

Initially I was concerned that these House Church 101 classes could be problematic for us since The Mission is already too large (27 people) and I didn't want these classes to turn into a way to funnel even more new families into the Mission.

Now I've changed my mind. I want to invite as many people as possible. I want to swing wide the doors and encourage the rest of our house church to bring their friends and invite their unsaved neighbors, etc. because if we explode into a house church of 47, or 57, that's ok with me. It might even help us to reach a true "critical mass" and multiply even more groups out of simple practicality and to make room for all the new friends who are discovering house church and learning to "be the Church" this way.

More later...


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