"I see the body of Christ working together in our community — through intercessory prayer, a plan to scrape together resources to meet a need, or a breakthrough moment that overcomes sin's power in one of our lives.”
Everything in life revolves around relationships … everything. The most important relationship is a personal relationship with our heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ — a vertical relationship. But let us not be so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good. Relationships with each other, horizontal relationships, bring balance in this life. And the best horizontal relationships are covenant commitments to live with others, to become connected with others, in community – to do life together!
In Acts 20:20, Paul's vision was "to preach the message in public (large-group worship) and to teach the message from house to house (small-group community)" — a 20/20 vision for the church.
The truth is, if God didn't call us to gather in community, life would be a lot easier. It's a lot easier for many of us to go to work, drive home, and stay home. It's a lot easier to choose the people you hang out with—and stop hanging out with the people who make you uncomfortable. It's a lot easier to live out the "one another" commands in the Bible when it's just you and your dog at home. Community is commitment. And if it weren't for God calling us to gather, I'd say let's all quit. Right now.
But it's clear that we're supposed to gather. Even Jesus spent time gathering with others. Carolyn Taketa writes, "When Jesus' ministry began, he called 12 disciples to be his primary relational and ministry community. Did Jesus need this motley crew to help him? Not really. But Jesus chose to love them, teach them, and pour himself into relationships with them, thereby creating the first 'house church'."
The apostles continued Jesus' model and formed a community of believers who loved God and loved one another. Despite incredible persecution and against all odds, this rag tag group of Jesus-followers launched small communities, churches, that proclaimed the gospel and changed the world forever. In Acts 2:41-47, we read that the early Christians were involved in nine basic activities. They:
Believed in Jesus Christ
Were added to the group
Spent their time in learning
Took part in the fellowship
Shared their possessions
Met regularly as a group to worship
Added new believers to the group
They changed the world! We, as The Collective, desire to be known by the same description - as believers who love God and love one another, who hear His voice, who do His will, who abide in Him....who will change the world!
House churches carry out the mission of Jesus, and YOU get to be part of it!
Follow the link below to sign up to host, or to join a house church!
To continue with Paul's vision in Acts 20:20 (how timely are his words now in the year 2020?!) here's some additional ways we can grow in both our vertical and horizontal
Monday Morning Men's Bible Study. Meeting at 6:30am in Cashmere at the Henry Building, 120 Cottage St.
For more info or questions email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Worship Night on Saturday, July 25th at 7pm at the Henry Building, 120 Cottage St in Cashmere. We're excited to worship together and minster to the Lord as a collective.
House church launch BBQ:
Save the date for Friday, July 31st. Location and more details coming soon!
We're looking forward to getting connected and seeing you soon!
Josh & Jen Burlingame