Monday, January 3, 2011

Where is the Church?

Since the day this all began almost 2 months ago, one thing that was forefront in my thoughts was "oh wow, I cannot wait to share what has happened to me!"  And the one place I sought first was with other Christians.  I mean, they would understand more than any other what a fantastic thing this is that has happened in me, right?   In that initial moment, there were only 4 Christians  I knew of to share it with;  Jerry,  my mom,  my stepson,  and my neighbor.  And all of them definitely got a full accounting of the "cup that overflowed" in me during those first couple of weeks. (thank you!!!) In addition, my neighbor introduced me to another gal who I have had a few occasions to meet with and that dear person also gave me the gift of her time and fellowship.

Since then, as the full intensity of my conversion has settled a bit, I have been looking for a church where I could find more ongoing fellowship.   But as on fire as I have been about finding this fellowship, I have found that I am not too eager to "jump back in that boat", partly because of my past experiences, but also because aside from that, I have always felt there has been something lacking in the church structure in general.  Namely, the fact that there is a structure in the first place.  I can remember times in the past where I have arrived for a church service, and before the "official start" of service, there would be music and sometimes, the spontaneous moving of the Holy Spirit would occur while the music was playing. You could very palatably feel of the presence of God.  I'm sure many know what I am talking about.  But then, because there was a "service" to conduct, the music had to end and the sacred moment cut short for the sake of the "schedule."  This is but just one example of what I have felt is an overall shutting down of the natural movement of the Holy Spirit in favor of man's preferences.

As I mentioned before, we went to a Christmas Eve service at the church we first attended after moving here.  At first, I was a bit startled with how "organic" it all was.  Meaning, the members of the church itself were the one's conducting the service through music performed by the youth and adults who took turns giving scripture readings of the Christmas story.  And mostly from the pastor himself who, if you did not know he was the pastor, one would think he was just another member of the congregation!  He simply led the musical pieces that we all sang, contributing himself by playing his guitar as well as giving the main message of the evening.

There were no flashy decorations or lights or sound system with dramatic displays to enthrall the congregation.  The pastor was not demonstratively animated while he gave his message nor did he exalt himself in any "pious" sort of way.  Without these distractions, the members were then free to focus in on the REAL reason for the gathering and that was Jesus.  

Unfortunately, I did not appreciate this in it's entirety at the time.  But after leaving that service, I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I thought of the new friend my neighbor had introduced me to and the  little bit of experience I have had with her so far as well as the gathering I attended with her and other Christians just before Christmas.   I thought of the people who rode in the van with us to that gathering.  These were REAL PEOPLE.  Real Christians with a true love for Jesus as their focus.  People who live their faith every single day, WITH one another.  Not just on Sunday.  

So with these things percolating inside of me, today I received an email link to a youtube video describing something called a "Simple Church" or "House Church."  And after I watched, I was reduced to tears because THIS.... THIS is what I've always felt church SHOULD BE.  

Rather than describe it, I am including the video for you to see for yourself.   I am also including the first  of 6 more indepth series of videos that show biblically how this is what church was intended to be.  You can see the remaining 5 in order once you go to the first on Youtube.

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