It is hard to believe I have not posted since April of 2010. At that time all things were rosy with the house church community. That month began the decline which terminated the community within the month. The community simply could not, and did not wish to resolve the interpersonal relational issues that come up in small communities, far more than in the traditional construct of church. We all parted ways, some wounded, and some more wounded than others, but all having learned a great deal about ourselves, and about the cost to wanting a more intimate and relational form of church life.
For whatever reasons, much of what you see in the third world and in some parts of Europe as a basic relational expression of body and church life, all seems to become more difficult in North America. I am not the first, and nor will I be the last to say that it has been and is painful, and sometimes very difficult to walk through all the relational issues involved in “church in your face” kind of community, but all of us will say, I believe, that when it works, it is truly beautiful and marvelous to experience.
For Lori and I we have weighed heavily the cost, and there is a cost to this kind of community, and after 11 years, we have sensed the Lord closing the door to what we have walked out over the last decade. We sense that as our family changes (we have adult children now) and one of our daughters prepares to marry, that we are at the threshold of a major change in our lives, especially the ministry aspect of our lives. We know that our whole existence in God is a ministry to Him and to others, but here I am being specific about “calling”. Many of the prophetic words spoken over our lives the last 15 years just cannot come to fruition within the context of limiting ourselves only to “simple house churches” and “house church networks”. The various aspects and content of the words spoken over us, which have been repeated and confirmed several times over the years deal specifically with the wider body of Christ, which include all kinds and forms of wineskins and ministries. This makes the apostolic and prophetic calling all the more expressive and diverse, especially in light of how diverse the body of Christ has become in our own day.
I feel very much a pilgrim, a pioneer of sorts. In the military I was in an assault pioneer unit, which was the unit that went in first and came out last in many assaults on enemy positions. We know of the pioneer spirit in people who blaze a trail where no one has gone before. This too is similar to the military metaphor. Both are very spiritual as well as they encompass what it is for us to consider our calling and our role and function in the ‘missio Dei’. So, we are now positioning ourselves for what lies ahead.
We have gathered ourselves with an exceptional Anabaptist Christian community in Kitchener. They have made us welcome in their midst and the presence of the Lord is very strong in each gathering. The servant leaders are open to God and open to the prophetic, prophetic evangelism, healing and miracles. For me personally, I feel again, like I felt when I was in the Vineyard over a decade ago. I also feel that I can serve here, and just come alongside what God is doing, and just blessing it, and offer what I can from whatever God has given to me. I have shared some prophetic words, pictures and insight already, which have been confirmed by others. So, God has me in a place where I can serve, and function, and just be His vessel. I know other things are in the offing in the New Year, and I know that He will extend Lori’s and my impact to others this coming year. I have no idea what it will look like, but I know that I will know, that I know, when it unfolds before me.
So to all of you, on this last day of 2010, may the Lord of heaven reveal Himself to you and give you His heart, and may you find the courage and the will to come alongside to that which He is showing you, for as you do, you will witness His Kingdom come in ever more real and awesome ways, impacting the lives of many, right where you live.
God bless you all in 2011. The best is yet to come!