We meet with the church at various times throughout the week: some planned, some unplanned. But, we have decided to get together every week on Sunday mornings at 10:30. What happens when we get together? Well, it’s different from week to week, but yesterday would be a good example of a “normal” Sunday morning gathering with the church.
As a group, we’ve decided to rent a place to meet, and we begin our Sunday meeting there are 10:30. We are very much relational driven, not event driven, so we will rarely “start” at 10:30 – whatever start means. But, people will begin gathering just before 10:30, and people will generally continue arriving until 11:00, sometimes later.
Around 10:45, my friend Danny began to play guitar and lead us in a few songs. Between songs, someone would ask about someone else, that person would share about what was going on with their family – usually because of travel or sickness or something like that.
We generally read one chapter of Scripture together each week. This week we started reading the Gospel of John, and three people took turns reading portions of that chapter.
My friend Jim led our study in Genesis. This week, we were studying chapter 10-11. We had a great time discussing those chapters and talking about pride and humility and God’s plan and the seed… etc.
We continued our meeting by praying for one another and for various specific requests that people may have. For example, we prayed for Danny and me as we’re preparing to go to Ethiopia, and we prayed for us as a church for opportunities to proclaim the gospel and disciple others. There were other prayer requests and other times of prayer as well.
At this point, we generally take a break. We have time to talk to one another more intimately and in smaller groups. For example, I was able to talk to a friend who had just broken up with his girlfriend. I hope I was able to comfort him a little, but I do know that I now know how to pray for him better and how to encourage him during the week.
It was encouraging to hear a couple of ladies talking more about our discussion of Genesis. They were talking about how it applies to them and how they can help one another in a certain area.
Eventually, some people left because they had lunch plans elsewhere. Others left to buy something to eat at local restaurants. Others of us began to get our food ready and set up tables.
Soon, as people began returning with their food, we started eating together. We sat around the tables eating and talking for a long time. This can last for some time – an hour or two.
Just as a couple of friends began to get their guitars out, I left to take Miranda to a friend’s house. I can imagine the fun that our brothers and sisters had playing music, singing, and listening. Others made plans to watch a movie together that afternoon.
I don’t know what happened after that, because I wasn’t there. But, that’s a small glimpse into one morning/afternoon with the church in our life. It’s a small part of our life together, and it’s all the more special because of the other time that we spend with one another.
We’re certainly not perfect. But, we’re learning to love one another and care for one another – even when we meet together.