praying together

When we pray in a group together, we describe it as "popcorn". Each person prays something brief and everyone gets a chance. Another word for this is conversational. Each person builds from what the others have prayed. No one covers all the bases. God uses everyone.

parties, stories, gifts, friends

I listened to the latest podcast by these two guys, Nick and Josh, last night who interviewed Andrew Jones, who is a veteran or elder in the housechurching and emergent-type movement.
They asked him what he's up to in his life these days and he answered, that he is:
  • throwing parties
  • telling stories
  • giving gifts
  • making friends
I though that was so cool. This is the life-style I want as a seek to live out my life.

Seasons of church

I really liked these notes from Frank Viola's workshop at the house church conference in Denver, taken by Roger at the house church blog on the four seasons you can expect to go through:

  1. Honeymoon-- everything is wonderful and beautiful.
  2. Crisis--conflicts, disagreements, or problems with difficult people. This can cause the church to self-destruct unless they are able to move on to the next season.
  3. The cross--people in the group are able and willing to take their life and issues to the cross and die to self in the area that is being challenged.
  4. Tested Body life--real community is experienced (at least for a while).
Two other notes: If you don't make it through these phases, then your church will disband; and if you make it through #4, then you'll recycle through them again. Lastly, Viola said that house churches generally last between 6 months and 2 years.

My comment or "take" is that we usually have a hard time ending an ecclesia or personally leaving an Ecclesia. Usually, the problem is more that these go on too long and become stagnant or ingrown or "rocking-chaired", meaning that it's a group of saints that are happy to just sit and rock, smiling and loving, but kind of boring. I must give credit to this rocking chair word-picture to Steve Sjogren.

Let all things be done, decently and in order

I Corinthians 14:40 has been quoted both as a proof text for out of control, seemingly chaotic meetings; as well as to say that you've got to keep a meeting under control. The Message translates it, " be courteous and considerate in everything".

In open meetings that aren't "pulpited" and programmed, oftentimes excited people want to share or minister vocally, but they lose consciousness of the group around them and go on too long. I found these words on a sign from a church in New York that experience revival the the Great Awakening of 1857.

Prayers & Exhortations
Not to exceed 5 minutes,
in order to give all an opportunity




Some thoughts after reading some more of Wolfgang Simpson last night:

Here are two different types of meetings that both occur at the same church: A wedding and what I'll call a fellowship dinner. The wedding is highly structured with timings, blocking of people's placements, many scripted sections, and a cast of people in the spotlight, with a crew behind them making it all happen for the audience.

The fellowship dinner is very loosely structured with only perhaps a starting and ending time and maybe a prayer before everyone eats. Everything else that happens is spontaneous and unscripted or staged and a huge variety of things can happen.

Most church services or meetings, whether they occur in a big building or a small living room are more like a wedding. Performers, scripted, support crew, while the majority in the room are a static audience. All the structure that is necessary for a wedding service actually impedes functioning and growth for a regular church meeting.

Imagine two pictures: A surfer riding a wave and a man's head alone coming up out of the sand with a hand waving two feet from the head. The surfer is what the church is supposed to be. The whole body working together.

Sky Links, 9-27-17