This is a forum for, among other things, getting practical. Sharing real ideas from real people, all over the world, who are seeking to be the church and live out simple church expressions. I want to be able to talk about some of the down and dirty, real-life stuff. I want to talk about how to do a gathering, how does leadership actually function, how is spiritual transformation taking place, how is the church taking the Good News out into the world. I want to be able to brainstorm together.
Now, before I go any further, I know that this is dangerous. If we start talking about the "how-tos" of this stuff, we could lose the organic, the spontaneous, the unique things that God is doing through each church and gathering. And I acknowledge that this is a risk. We have a disturbing tendency to want to mimic what others are doing rather than seek God and let Him mold our unique expressions. Just consider the way that churches across the country copy the patterns of Hybel, Warren, and others. This human weakness keeps us from discovering our creative design in God. But, there is also a risk if we do not exchange practical ideas with one another and continually brainstorm together. We may miss out on the type of interdependency and learning-from-one-another that will strengthen what we are seeking to do.
The fact is, in the end, we have to take what God is doing inside of us and work it out in real, in-your-face life. Even though "gatherings" are not what church is, still, at some point, we do gather. So what does this look like for you; what does it look like for me? What do I want it to look like? Leadership functions, at some level, any time two or more or gathered. It's inevitable and human. It may be formal or informal, controlling or serving. But it's there. So let's not run from leadership, rather let's talk about it in practical ways. How can we do it so it truly reflects Christ? Structures do develop and structures are necessary. We need them to be simple, transformable, able to die when necessary. But they exist. How can we structure better? Tell me about the ways that our churches are incarnating God's love into the world and how is it going? How can we do it better? Let's discuss the problem areas and the problem people... if only to remind ourselves that we can't control it all. Let's acknowledge that nobody really knows what they are doing, and that's the glory and mystery of God; but let's also acknowledge that, together, we may be able to shed some light on each other's paths.
I want an exchange of real ideas about house church, simple church, organic church, and wherever God is taking His church today. I don't want to develop any "how to" templates for all churches everywhere. But I do want to be enriched by the exhange of all of the infinite possibilities. I want a place where we can ask questions, hard questions, real questions, and talk about what is really not working. I want a place where people who are new to house church concepts can come in and find an open forum for learning.
Mostly, I just want a place that will facilitate the Spirit speaking to each of us!