We realized then what we did not want, so it enabled us to wait on the Lord, read the word, and pray. We have done a lot of that, with a lot of interaction with other people who would like to see a new house church. Rather than heading head long into a new adventure, we decided to wait, and see the relationships begin to flourish and grow. We have seen the Lord strengthening some relationships, and giving us hope for more of the same in other relationships.
One thing we know for sure, is that for a simple church to be about anything, it has to be about relationship with God, and each other, and being built up in community, with honesty and transparency as key values. Commitment to each other only comes with time spent walking together.
Over the year we have gathered with couples, and I have gathered with a few men every week for mutual friendship and accountability. I rejoice at all that I am learning, and also at the openness of others of the whole simple church community. Ministry is not the focus. Jesus is the focus, and our life in Him, and all the significant ministry will will flow from the relationship we have with Him.
God has designs for simple churches and all churches to reproduce, as this is the most effective way of spreading the Kingdom. So out of relationship to the Lord and each other, will flow life and mission. “You can’t have one without the o-o-o-o-ther!” So now we are seeing a couple of interesting developments.
There is a means to planting churches through evangelism, and I am finding this whole method of evangelizing and then discipling through a simple church community very fascinating and encouraging. There are currently three people interested in examining the claims of Christ in the gospel of Mark as well as reading and discussing the Book of Acts. Should the Lord bless us with salvations, then these new babes in Christ will become key people in a new simple church. I am very excited about this prospect.
There are also some people who feel that “now is the time” for a new simple church, and that it needs to be formed as a relational community. This we have advocated from the beginning, and now some people actually see that and want that. We will have to pray and depend on the leading of the Holy Spirit as we walk by faith on this issue.
There are finally signs of hope. God has been working on our own hearts, and on other people and their relationships. It looks like there is a knitting together about to take place.