Monday, July 25, 2011

Home Churching

Church isn’t where you meet. Church isn’t a building. Church is what you do. Church is who you are. Church is the human outworking of the person of Jesus Christ. Let’s not go to Church, let’s be the Church. ~Bridget Willard

Friday night my husband came home late from a church board meeting and he said "You got your wish."

"Hm, I have sooooo many wishes. Which one would this be?"

(I was secretly hoping he had arranged for the Princess to stay with a church member while he and I go out for sushi alone, as we discussed recently, which would be our first dinner date without the child since she was born over ten years ago, but no....)

Do you remember this post I wrote just about a year ago in the middle of the 40-day fast for my church: What If... (Of course, if you are new reader, you probably do not, so the link is there if you are inclined to go back in time.) Well, I felt very strongly (almost in an obsessed, supernatural sense so it seemed to me) about this subject then, but I did not think it would be largely accepted.

Even though we have a house that is solely used for our church, we are going to convert to something more like a home church style service. This concept is going to be presented to the entire church and ask to be given a four week trial to determine if it will work well. I believe the plans are to have a meal after the morning service, which will be wonderful for developing friendships within the membership and encouraging fellowship with visitors. There just always seems to be more visitors when we have food. We will not have an evening service, however we hope to keep the adult Sunday School class. I am not sure if the children will have a separate Sunday School class or not at this point.

We have several members, of the few we have, that travel often, including my husband, which makes it very difficult for them to be involved during the week and it limits their time with family to weekends much of the time, plus they tend to be tired on the weekends. We are a friendly church group, but it is difficult for us to do any real outreach, so we have not grown...not yet. I still feel as I did last year that God has His timing for everything. I honestly do not know how the church makes the bills each month with the few members we have with a large mortgage, but we have been able to do so, although many of us are giving more than typical 10% tithe.

I have been in varying states of amazement about how much has changed in the past year since the 40-day fast with all the people in our church. Some changes were steady and slow. Some seemed suspended in time before shifting to fast forward. Some are still waiting for the fullness of their blessing, but can see it coming.

My husband and I may have been the only ones desiring a family/home church style service and it may not work or only work for a season, but I appreciate the willingness to attempt a differing format that is more family oriented.

~ Thank you, my Lord, for remembering prayers we have forgotten or given up on. You are truly the One and Only Amazing God! ~

4 comments:

  1. Hmmm. Well, I'm all for keeping families together in church. That is the biblical principal as I read my bible. I could say lots...& lots, but should probably do it elsewhere. I am fascinated at how this is playing out. Thanks for unpdating! ♥

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  2. We stopped offering a children's church service long ago, so we are rather close to home churching, we just had not made it official. I think adding a meal after service is just another step in that direction and I am wondering how it will go as an every week kind of thing.

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  3. I can't wait to hear more about your journey. The whole idea of home-churching draws me.

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  4. Denise, this has been a long journey and I am most interested in how it will go. The meal thing could get wearing, but...well, for us, it would not be that different. We have our largest meal after morning service and then a light snack before heading back for the evening service. I know one family does not come back for evening service because of the drive...I don't know, to me it just makes more sense to have just one gathering on Sunday, at least at this time.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.