It feels like it has been too long for me. Tonight my friends in church prayed earnestly for our oldest boy who has struggled a lot of late. It was touching to see genuine care and concern extended to our family. There are some things you miss when church is just a handful of people in a living room but there are things I long for that I’ve only found when there are a handful of people in a living room. Despite the reality that things never seem to go precisely as they are planned I often come away in better shape. Our group prays a lot and I really appreciate that.
There was another thing that was really cool. Our 11 year old really enjoyed the evening. He wants to lead a session on faith and use Maccabees. There is a profound lesson in this. If you make church simple ordinary people feel more freedom to participate.
Evangelicalism is so programcentric that when we think about church we immediately think about forms and structure. Over at the house church blog there is a great post on how life must precede form. It is a good reminder for me because I tend to fall in to the trap of thinking of church as structure sometimes.
One of the most difficult things to communicate regarding simple/house church is that we really, really do now want to just re-invent a new (or ancient) form of church. Instead, we are seeking to re-capture the essential “church life” that Jesus taught—a way of life. We are, at the core, radical Jesus-followers lived out in the context of everyday life, not church-goers. The form (when and how we gather) should, simply and fluidly, support the dynamic life that Jesus’ lit-up followers are living and not replace it.