Sorry about being silent for so long. Besides my personal "stuff" I've been dealing with, I was gone this past week to the House Church Conference in Denver. Obviously I have much to share: new friends, old friends, excellent teaching (John Eldredge, Neil Cole), wonderful opportunities to network with and encourage each other, and most of all... just celebrate the simple wonder of God.
It will take me some time to "unpack" this... and I won't try to do it just yet. But I will share this:
We were joined by some friends who are considering the "leap" to non-institutional church planting. They came to the conference expecting to get "nuts and bolts" which they did not get. Not that there are "nuts and bolts" to this whole thing, but last year's conference did lay a foundation that helped people to see some of the "hows" to this non-traditional stuff. This year, that foundation was not really covered... though other good things were.
In any case, my friends came home and said that they did not know any more about how to "do" house church from being at the conference. However, and this is the significant part, they said that they felt confident that they could do it, nonetheless.
I guess this is the most significant part. It's not what we do, how we do it, or even what happens. It's that we are willing to launch out, let go of the known, and let God use us in the adventure of exploring what it means to simply "be" the church-- unfettered, unrestricted, unleashed, going for it-- just "be" the church.
I think, perhaps, what this conference did for them is expose them to an entire group of "adventurers" who were just going for it. Sometimes this is helpful. We see others get out of the boat and we begin to say maybe, just maybe, I can walk on that water also. Amen and yes! You can! I'm proud of this couple and excited to see God continue to draw others out of the boat into this faith-life adventure.
Upcoming thoughts from the conference... remind me if I don't get to them:
Eldredge on becoming a band of intimate allies-- and the absolute necessity of this.
Cole on reproduce, reproduce, reproduce.
And Dale on the importance of the activity and gifts of the Holy Spirit.