Saturday, 24 September 2011

Church life 7 days a week including at wedding receptions!

Today I was at a wedding reception.  The couple at the table across from me, and the lady sitting next to me, mentioned that they meet with a few other believers in a home gathering. 

When I asked them what that looked like, they said that they get together Sunday mornings for brunch (to which they all contribute) and then they spend time together, adults and kids alike.

Someone might bring a little message, or they might do a study together, or have a discussion. They talk about life with Jesus.  they pray.  On occasion they sing.  They share about needs they can
help others with. 

During the week they get together to go and help out with those needs. And they get involved, individually or together, serving in the community with other believers.  Like helping out at the street
ministry and such. 

Sounds like church life - Jesus life, Kingdom life - for them is a 7 day a week thing.  A lifestyle that does include a small group of believers who gather on Sundays to eat together and learn and pray.  But also reaches out the rest of the week into the community, serving the needs of believers
and nonbelievers with the love of Jesus.  And includes doing that serving with other believers, not just with their own little bunch.

That sounds like church to me :-)  As Josh puts it in his post, "church-life-more-than-a-meeting" :

Church life, you see, is togetherness. It is sharing life together under the headship of Jesus Christ. It is not virtual or theoretical, it is practical, in-your-face community living.
Even the first "meetings" of the church in Jerusalem could hardly be called meetings, at least not in any formal sense. What they appear to have been more than anything else was just a bunch of wide-eyed saints spending a lot of time together in their homes eating meals, singing songs, sharing prayers, and talking joyfully about their newfound experience with the Lord Jesus Christ...
This drawing together, this instinct for fellowship, is proof to the world that we are His, and it is proof of one other thing as well: The church is more than a meeting!
That sounds like these folk's description of the church (and yes, church is the word they used) that they gather with.

Eric Carpenter talks about this kind of living out the Christian life in his post, "Sunday to Sunday."  He says:
Sunday becomes dangerous when we place too much emphasis upon our
gathering. The danger occurs when Sunday becomes "when we do church"
or "when we are the church" to the exclusion of other days....
Jesus Christ never told us to take a day off and wait for Sunday to
be spiritual.
Eric encourages us to contact and fellowship with our church family other days of the week.  He recommends coffee shops, but the folks I met at the wedding reception today were doing that right there!  And in the process, without even trying, drawing the others sitting at the table into the conversation, answering their questions, sharing their love of Jesus!

Eric also suggests we can occasionally skip the Sunday gathering and trust the church family to get along without us; and we can even meet as a church family on a different day of the week.  He also
encourages us to pray for opportunities to be servants every day, and follow those opportunities the Lord gives us.  Which these folks obviously do.

So I think I'll go spend some time with this gathering of the church in my community.  Maybe Father had me sit across from these folks at the reception for a reason.  I've been asking Him to show me how He wants me to walk with Him, after all.  And with His family.  Maybe He brought us together
today on purpose. :-)

(Come to think of it, wasn't it at a wedding reception that Jesus began modeling the kingdom, demonstrating the ekklesia, with His disciples?)


Jonathan said...

Sounds great! I pray God will provide you with brothers and sisters to fellowship with so you can build each other up to become more like Christ. Thanking God for this opportunity.

Norma Hill - aka penandpapermama said...

Thanks, Jonathan. It was just like they were talking about. Like what I've read about on other blogs ... but was beginning to wonder if it was really possible.

All in Father's perfect timing :-)