Not Officially Hosting House Church Anymore

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Blog | 5 comments

Not Officially Hosting House Church Anymore

I recently received and email from a woman that I had contact with several years ago when I was seeking to connect with others in Kentucky exploring simple/house/organic church.  She was trying to host a house church in her rural Kentucky home.  I thought this “update” was very interesting… not the least for the fact that she was no longer “officially hosting a house church anymore.”

You know, I am not officially hosting a house church anymore. I really enjoyed that season of my life, but several of our families moved away and it just seemed like the season was over.
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I now host a weekly potluck with a group of friends who are for the most part not Christians. It is an interesting assortment of people—a couple who have recently left the Jehovah’s Witnesses and are now atheists, a Buddhist, an agnostic, someone who practices Judaism, several people who are indifferent, a couple New Agers, a few very devout Christians, and most recently, our local Episcopalian priest. Nothing about what we do is “church”… we do not pray or read the Bible, for instance. We simply share food and talk about our lives. For me, it has been incredibly enlightening because it feels like church. I feel deeply connected to these people, I appreciate the wide swatch of varying beliefs, and I have felt incredibly supported by them through difficult times. In short, they have become my family. I also feel that for really the first time in my life, I get to be a witness of God’s light to people who do not believe in Him…. when for most of my life I have just always been surrounding by those who accept religion without question.
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Will these people ever decide to follow God because of our interaction? I have no idea, really. Increasingly, I feel that it is not my responsibility to convince them of something that they don’t want to be convinced of. It is not my goal for being a part of this potluck. In truth, I sometimes wonder if these amazing people have more to offer me than I have to offer them with the depth of their friendship and kindness. My job is to love them deeply and openly without reservation. But I do feel very strongly that my experiences have further proven that church is something that can happen anywhere, with anyone, at anytime. I think it also shows that breaking bread with a group of people on an ongoing basis really is an amazing way to build meaningful connections and community.
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So that is where I am. Thank you for your support over the years. Much appreciated!
She later added…
Sometimes it is scary and messy and way outside of the comfort zone of the church that I grew up in and am familiar with. Sometimes I don’t have the right words to say when unbelievers say things like, “Why does God allow _______ to happen?” or “How can you associate yourself with Christians who do things like ___________?” It is often easier to just be surrounded by a bunch of people who agree with you, but expanding my circle of influence has both challenged and strengthened my faith.

5 Comments

  1. Thank you Lee Anne, Acuffs, and Jeff for your thoughtful comments. I am very thankful to be in a family with those that follow Christ wholeheartedly.

  2. What a great opportunity to see to God work, without getting in the way by “serving Him!” What could happen if we simply trusted Jesus to do what He said He would do; reveal Himself and lead His Church? What if we simply learned to follow His lead and allow ourselves to be His hands and feet? Somehow, I think it might start out looking a lot like this!

  3. Seems to me if she really cared about them she would witness to them on some level. Yeah, I know, she is “witnessing” to them by her hospitality, kindness, blah blah blah. Faith comes by hearing the Word. We will be hated by those who reject Him but loved by those who hear and receive Him. Also, this is not Church as she suggests. Church is not defined by her opinion of what Church should be but by the Word and this certainly is not a biblical representation of Church.

  4. Agree Leeanne. Even the retort that there is a need for ‘unofficial’ communities of christ followers, when this is expressly not what is being described by the original poster, and goes on to ‘kudos’ the act of disbanding the gathering together of believers that scripture directly tells us NOT to forsake, shows either a lack of scriptural knowledge or disregard for it completely. Either one is concerning.

    The poster even goes so far as to claim that what unbelievers offer her in a way of friendship might be more valuable than the gospel? Um… I cannot understand how any genuine believer would see anything even remotely in the same universe of ‘value’ as the gospel and eternal life.

    I could go on, but won’t. Scripture is clear- faith comes by hearing what? random discussion of ones life? No. Personal stories of ones testimony? No. The WORD of GOD. To presume mans means or ‘relational evangelism’ as superior to scripture is the height of danger and heresy.

    Scripture calls believers to gather with other believers for rebuking, exhortation, teaching, counsel, etc. Scripture also tells us to call sinners to repentance, to expose the works of darkness-false religions-false gods; and to proclaim the gospel of salvation!

  5. Just saw this reply Jeff. It’s cool to see how a blog and the comments can can be used by God to help us think and grow in Him. I allways appriciate you and your thoughtful comments!

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