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Guest Blogger: House Churches: British experience to teach the USA

Posted by on Aug 2, 2011 in guest blogger | 29 comments

Guest Blogger: House Churches: British experience to teach the USA

I’ve invited several people to write “guest blog posts” for this blog. There are several reasons for this: 1) To offer different perspectives. 2) To generate even more discussion and conversation between blogs. 3) To introduce other bloggers to my readers.

(If you are interested in writing a guest blog post, please contact me at aknox[at]sebts[dot]com.)

This is a guest post by Peter Kirk, who blogs at Gentle Wisdom. It is based in part on material from his 2008 post there Reimagining Church: Review, part 1.

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House Churches: British experience to teach the USA

A pastor I know here in England says that the church in the USA is five years ahead of the UK church – and uses that as an excuse for following the latest trends from North America. In some ways what he says is true. But in other ways, from what I have observed, the US church is decades behind its British equivalent. For example, we have already moved a long way from the traditional model, still dominant in the USA, in which everything in a local church is led by a small group of salaried pastors.

Another example is the recent house church movement in the USA. When I read about this, for example in Frank Viola’s books and at blogs like The Assembling of the Church, I feel that I am seeing again what was happening in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s.

Reimagining Church by Frank ViolaIn his 2008 book Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity Viola promoted his vision of a house church movement as something novel to his primarily North American audience.

Maybe this really was new to most North American Christians, or maybe they just had short memories. But my memories, based on over 30 years as an evangelical Christian, go back to a British house church movement which started in the 1960s and was influential in the 1970s and 1980s. I was never personally involved in such a group, but had good friends who were, and heard a lot of teaching from that direction, mostly in the early 1980s.

That was a time when many British Christians who had been touched by the charismatic movement re-examined what it meant to be church. Many left traditional congregations to set up or join what started out as house churches. Among the groupings which started out at that time was Newfrontiers, pioneered by Terry Virgo; some of the early days of that movement are described in an extract posted at Adrian Warnock’s blog from Virgo’s recent book The Spirit-Filled Church.

These churches soon outgrew the homes they met in and started to meet in hired halls. The UK is now well covered by more or less informal networks of mature churches which originated in houses. They retain a generally charismatic approach. Many now have their own buildings, often converted warehouses which don’t look at all like traditional churches. Despite this they still teach and practise many of the things which Viola is now teaching in America decades later.

Concerning leadership and authority they have taken various directions. Newfrontiers took on “Reformed” theology and allows only men to have authority in the local church. Other groups became involved in the shepherding movement, whose teaching on authority is the antithesis of Viola’s, but many have now rejected this. Most avoid having a single salaried pastor, although there may be a full time “lead elder”.

The Community of the King by Howard SnyderBut perhaps I am wrong to suggest that the house church movement is a British invention. Since the early 1980s I have kept a copy of The Community of the King by Howard A. Snyder, published in 1977 by IVP in the USA (the link is to a 2004 updated edition). In Reimagining Church Frank Viola refers to and quotes this book. Much of what Viola writes in part 1 is very similar to what Snyder was teaching 30 years ago. That helps to explain why there is little in Viola’s teaching which is new to me.

A problem Viola doesn’t address in detail in his book is the one which the 1980s British house churches quickly faced: what happens when a congregation grows too large for a home? Perhaps this is not such a problem in Viola’s central Florida. But in England there are few homes which can comfortably house meetings of more than about 20 people. Viola writes (p.85):

What did the church do when it grew too large to assemble in a single home? It certainly didn’t erect a building. It simply multiplied and met in several other homes, following the “house to house” principle (Acts 2:46; 20:20).

But if a group of about 20 divides, or multiplies, because it has filled a home, it becomes two groups of about ten, each not really large enough to be a viable independent church or provide a broad base of fellowship for its members. In fact they become the spiritual equivalent of nuclear families, rather than the extended family model which is more appropriate for the church. If each group needs several leaders, it can be very hard to find enough people who have the necessary gifts and maturity to lead even a very small church. And Christians isolated in such small groups are likely to become very inward-looking.

It is for reasons like these that many British churches have adopted a home group or “cell church” model, offering a combination of small group meetings in homes with larger central meetings. But of course the central meetings require a building, owned or hired by what must become some kind of organised church. Viola does allow for large group gatherings but apparently only on special occasions, not regular ones which might encourage ordinary Christians to find their sense of belonging in a larger group.

Viola is right to point out that the chief New Testament model for the church is the family. But it is not the modern American or British nuclear family. He is right that many people today are looking for the kind of close community offered by this family model of the church. But some churches with their own buildings work very hard on offering community like this. And the very visibility of a church building at the geographical heart of a community draws into the family people who might never be reached through home based fellowships. So I cannot agree with him in his general commendation of house churches.


29 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 8-2-2011

    Thanks for posting this for me.

  2. 8-2-2011

    Peter,

    Thank you for writing this post and allowing me to publish it!

    -Alan

  3. 8-2-2011

    Alan,

    It was good to read this article and be reminded of those early days of the British movements, such as Chelmsford Community Church, which they declare was “born out of the house-church movement, around 30 years ago”.

    I well remember the struggles of trying to persuade some of the folk in the traditional church of the possibilities for the church of that day. That’s when I discovered that “the 15% who will never change, but,rather than accept change, would see the entity (church) destroyed” have an awful lot of power to thwart.

    There were many who “caught the vision”, but were seriously hurt by the 15%, by fair means or foul.

    We need to be constantly aware of the fact, “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.Unless the LORD watches over the city,the watchman stays awake in vain.”

  4. 8-2-2011

    I learned a lot from the book `The Forgotten Ways’ by Alan Hirsch.

  5. 8-2-2011

    Aussiejohn, in traditional churches we are still seeing that struggle with those who resist change. But some of them like mine have actually moved quite a long way, even if it has taken 30 years. They might even overtake the “hares” who rushed ahead but are now sometimes in a bit of a rut.

  6. 8-2-2011

    Thanks for the mention of “Reimagining Church,” Peter. I appreciate it very much. A few points to throw into the mix:

    1. neither the book (nor I) advocate “house church.” Instead, it argues for “the organic expression of the church,” something very different from a house church in many cases. (I’ve written extensively on my blog about the differences – see house church v.s. organic church.)

    2. the organic expression of the church is rooted in the community life of the Godhead. that’s a major point of “Reimagining.” Each chapter brings the ekklesia back to that, and from there it flows. This was not an emphasis of the British house church movement, of which I’m familiar.

    3. one of the things that the British house church movement suffered from is the top-heavy view of authority and leadership (Andrew Walker documented this well in his book on the subject). The same happened in the USA with the Shepherding Movement. Part 2 of “Reimagining Church” is dedicated to addressing the top-heavy view and the practice of official authority.

    4. the vision of organic church life expressed “Reimagining Church” is not a North American phenomenon, but rather, it’s happening all over the world. Though it’s not a mass movement by any means (and I hope it never becomes one), what is happening is beyond glorious in my view. At least the expressions I’ve seen that I would call authentically “organic.” The expressions are quite different from what was happening in the 60s and 70s. Much less of an emphasis on charismatic gifts, titles, and a different understanding of leadership in expression as well as how to express the riches of Christ in gatherings.

    5. the idea of multiplication is one that’s not rooted in theory (though it’s thoroughly biblical), but we’ve seen it operate quite well in various contexts. Albeit, “Reimagining” doesn’t go into detail on every possible scenario because that’s not the intent of the volume.

    thanks again Peter for your thoughtful and kind remarks on my book, and thanks Alan for your kind words about it when it first came out. I believe you voted it the best book of 2008. (The check is still on its way! :-)

    I don’t typically respond to blog posts due to time constaints, but I have created a blog to answer common questions about my books that has served well for this purpose. So if you wish to continue to the dialogue, write a comment at http://www.frankviola.org and I’ll be sure to reply – there’s also a FAQ page here: http://www.ptmin.org/answers.htm that may be of help.

    Peter, you are very bright, and I appreciate your thoughts. May the Lord use you to stir things up in the UK for His Eternal Purpose!

    thank you again.

    Christ is ALL!

    fv

    Psalm 115:1

  7. 8-2-2011

    Frank, you’re welcome, and thank you for your detailed response as well as for your closing blessing. I would have liked to clarify some of the points which you have clarified, but Alan didn’t want my guest post to be too long. I did mention that the British house church views of authority were often, but not always, very different from yours. I hope that these churches, as well as more traditional ones, will learn from you and your books.

  8. 8-2-2011

    I love that brothers (and sisters!) from Britain, Florida, North Carolina and everywhere else can dialog about the church from different perspectives and experiences and yet want one thing – the exaltation of Jesus Christ! It is good to be a part of THE church, isn’t it?

  9. 8-2-2011

    Peter,

    Thanks for sharing your insights. Having participated in several church plants that began in homes and eventually outgrew them, what you say here rings true to me. I do think there is a time and place for “house churches.” But I think that certain “cell church” models may end up being the most effective way of facilitating and channelling the multiplication of disciples in many contexts.

  10. 8-3-2011

    I’ve really appreciated this discussion on this post. I think that Peter touches on some important issues, especially regarding leadership and numbers of people meeting together.

    -Alan

  11. 8-3-2011

    Having been part of both the British house church movement and the current American simple/organic church movement (we moved here in 1987 and have been involved in simple/organic church since the mid-90s), there are a few points I would like to comment on.

    The early days of the British house church movement were wonderful and we look back on them as being effectively a time of revival. The sense of God’s presence was extraordinary–there were many miracles and many found the Lord. Through it we learned many principles that we now hold dear–things like body ministry and living the one another’s of the New Testament. However, in those days we assumed that an increase in size was a sign of God’s blessing–and perhaps in those days, before we understood the effectiveness of multiplication of the small, that is what the Holy Spirit was doing. Since those days, there is a new Holy Spirit emphasis on a theological understanding of the importance of staying small, which is why all over the world, the Kingdom is increasing rapidly through what are usually known as house churches.

    Perhaps some of the questions that Peter raises come with a different understanding of the role of leadership within the simple/organic movement. I once asked a good friend of ours, one of the well-known leaders in the British house church movement whether he felt things had gone wrong in that movement and what he would do differently now. His reply: “We (the leadership) were young and arrogant and we majored on the minors.”

    I agree with Frank that much of our experience of leadership in the UK developed into a hierarchical model–we ourselves were part of that when we lived there. Our experience here is that leadership of what is going on now is much more like spiritual parenting–those who lay down their lives so that others can accomplish the vision God has given them, rather than insisting that others join the leader’s vision. Five-fold ministry gifts function in a similar fashion, equipping the saints for the work of ministry. So the cell-church pattern of leadership is not a common pattern for what the Lord is doing–at least in the States. In other countries that we know well where there are remarkable church planting movements occurring, there is a more developed model for training others, but I would not call it hierarchical in the same way that we saw in the UK.

    Thanks for a very interesting post and discussion.

  12. 8-3-2011

    Felicity, I agree that there have been serious issues with leadership in the British house church and new church movement. I think they are less serious now than they were at one time. But those churches have a lot to learn from the organic church model.

    Another way in which these new churches can be criticised is that many of them have become rather too like the old denominational churches which their members left. I am reminded of the ending of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, where you could no longer tell the difference between the old leaders, the humans, and the leaders of the revolution, the pigs.

  13. 8-3-2011

    Peter, I’m encouraged that you think that some of the leadership issues in the UK are being addressed. We are still friends with quite a number of those leading the new churches, and they are great people.

    Our impression, too, is that many of the new churches are souped up versions of the more traditional churches they came out of. It’s why a major paradigm shift has to occur in the view of what church really is.

  14. 8-3-2011

    I only know about this history from some of the books that I’ve read. I appreciate the opportunity to hear more about it first hand.

    -Alan

  15. 8-3-2011

    I am impressed that Peter was able to overcome the language barrier and write such a cogent post in American.

  16. 8-3-2011

    Arthur,

    Yes, Peter did pretty good. He did misspell a couple of words like “practise” and “organised”.

    -Alan

  17. 8-5-2011

    Alan or Peter (perhaps Frank, Felicity),

    I meet regularly in the homes of my clients and do low income and poverty legal and counseling work pro-bono in a huge service area spanning several hundreds miles across two states. I pray with my clients. And they pray too. They see miracles happen in their cases. This leads to telling their neighbors what God has done for them. And we end up having home meetings. This has happened at least a half-dozen times across in recent years.

    I have never tried to start a home church. It has just happened because the Spirit worked. It’s just that simple. My problem is that I do not feel called to be a church planter. I have resisted many offers to pastor these churches. I am dead-set against pastoring them using any hierarchical model. Or at all. I am profoundly influenced by the Quaker model of egalitarian and silent-listening worship. Except that I am robustly charismatic/Pentecostal. And I recognize both the spontaneous giftings as well as official (office-like giftings, pastors, teachers, etc., I don’t want to argue this). Most Quakers do not.

    Here is my problem.

    I cannot stay more than a month or two to love these home churches. The exponential increase (exponential increase – not linear) in the amount of time it would take for me to scuttle across all the miles to tend these home churches would consume all the time I need for my legal ministry. It’s just that simple. These little churches have died out. I have called a half-dozen denominations for help. No response. I don’t even care if they are Baptists or Nazarene or Methodist. I’ve called these. No response. Clergy seem to want big churches. And guaranteed salaries. No one is interested in working with the poor along Federal Highway 50 in Nevada (this is just one example of rural poverty – I cover a dozen of these roads). There is no money in it. And “professional” clergy disdain being dual-vocational and earning their own money at tent-making.

    I have read dozens of the books on home churches. And have had regular contact with folks in DOVE, DAWN, and other associational home church groups. Including spending a few months the under mentorship of an effective Quaker traveling minister who has planted hundreds of home churches (now retired). I am currently peer-reviewing a doctoral dissertation (reviewing his mathematics – I could care less about his theory-stuff, theory is a dime-a-dozen) by a student at an evangelical university, who has wisdom in making the home church movement subject to empirical studies. Finally! My point here is that – it’s all a lot of hot air and talk until someone rolls up his/her sleeves and gets dirt under his/her fingernails and supports themselves by tent-making in these rural poor areas. The little groups that I have seen – emerge – have floundered and died. There is a place for leadership – organic, if not hierarchical. Pray for – laborers – to come.

    I sometimes get the impression (an impression – not a judgment) that home churches are for people who have comfortable homes. Often in white suburban residential areas. Some of these nice homes probably pay more money for utility bills than the monthly incomes of some of my poor clients. Home churches seem to stimulate American consumer lust for the “exotic.” Until the intimacy of home churches means that people get close enough to see all the warts on the nose of the person sitting two feet away. The math of home-church multiplication is simple. Numeric home-church multiplication is a snap. On paper. I really want to know the data – not talk – data on the movement as it serves the poor.

    For all the talk about an exotic “movement” and the money-making publishing industry that goes along with religious publishing these days – I’d like to see some hard core data (not pollyannaish sermonizing and romanticizing) on just how much this exotic movement is dying to itself – to serve the poor. Data. Not talk.

    Pray for laborers. Not movement-mongers.

    Jim

  18. 8-5-2011

    Jim,

    Your story is the closest thing to scriptural apostleship that I’ve heard in a long time.

    I don’t know if we will ever have the kind of data that you’re asking about for two reasons: 1) Some simple/organic/house church are not reaching out to others and are content simply gathering together, and 2) those who are reaching out to others and proclaiming the gospel and making disciples don’t care much about keeping track of numbers.

    -Alan

  19. 8-5-2011

    Perfect, Alan. Best reply. Just the best. And too honest. Thank you.

    Please play along. This is just play. I say Spirit play.

    Here’s how I see hard core data in the home church movement. I do affirm the gifts and offices of the Spirit. I feel (Alan – this is a feeling – I cannot prove it!) that the Spirit will occasionally ordain prolifically gifted data-oriented people (I am not one!) to serve the church in this special office and gifting. Margaret Paloma comes to mind! This kind of special gifting may be rare. But I feel it’s there. As a Spiritual gift of data-oriented study of the church.

    I cannot agree with you more that if the data is not there in the first place – because the churches are not doing multiplication to the poor (the middle class is no problem – that’s comfy – to the poor is another problem), then the data does not exist because the work is not happening. Tragic. So you made a perfect point.

    Now here’s the best of the best of the best (imho) about those who may have giftings to deal with data in the churches. Those like Paloma. One scalar or ‘measure’ for the data in the home church movement will necessarily involve testimony! So data means gathering testimony! Testimonies! And truly data-oriented people like Paloma will need professionally to be skeptical of the testimonies even if they gather all of testimonies equally into the data-pots. But – but – but – if truly gifted charismatic-empiricists can also help to sort and weigh the testimonies too (still including all of them) – then the highly qualified testimonies of true facts – true facts – verified stories – could only be an overwhelming blessing back on the churches themselves! Reflexly. We think of data-people cloistered in the academy. But if the true testimonies – the true ones – could be tested and verified by charismatically gifted data-people (not me – Paloma) then the verification process would give back to the churches and to the Spirit extremely high potency testimonies to stir up the home churches toward explosion.

    That’s how I see charismatic data-people being both an office and a blessing! The true data is a blessing back on home churches. We all know the overwhelming power of a good testimony! We all know the extreme pain of discovering that dramatic testimonies are all made up and fraudulent. A data-oriented testimony tester could help. We’re really supposed to test the testimonies anyway. It’s a lost art. And a lost science. When my clients testify to their neighbors of what God did in their cases – the testimonies awaken the dead who are dying of thirst in the deserts of hell (inside the gates of hell) and who want the Living God. The neighbors know. I cannot re-testify for my clients because of confidentiality. And I won’t. As Peter Kirk is excellently quick to appreciate. But others like Paloma could theoretically re-testify for people in home churches or elsewhere who give their original testimonies to her, then for her to test and collate them, and then redistribute them (re-testify) back to the churches. But it will take a Holy Spirit restraint not to falsify and to be objective with the testimonies. Objectivity is a spiritual gift too..

    I’m prayer for others like Paloma to labor – trained to harvest and sift-weigh and test testimony. Then bless the church back with them.

    Spiritually gifted data-people. We have a lot of cheerleaders. We need hard-core data-oriented testimony-testers! And gifted testimony-gatherers too.

    In theory. I know I’m day-dreaming. Alan, believe me, I do know I’m wishful thinking. I’m day-dreaming for this ‘office’ to emerge in the church. As a true spiritual gift (“ask what you wish!”)!

    My two-cents.

    Alan, bless you for hosting. And serving. And in your studies too! Another Spirit gifted office – your studies!

    Jim

  20. 8-5-2011

    .. talk about a BLOWHARD … look at me! ~ Jim

  21. 8-5-2011

    .. enough from me for now ..

  22. 8-6-2011

    Jim, thank you for your comments. This is a really sad situation. But it illustrates well the problem I have with house churches, that they depend on large houses and mature leadership within the group. The small groups you worked with clearly need someone called to minister to them on the road, and someone prepared to fund that ministry unless it can be done as “tent-making”. It is a mission field, but somehow it is always easier to find missionaries and funding for exotic foreign places.

    I’m not sure that better data gathering would really help here. I am not against the kinds of studies that Margaret Paloma seems to be doing. And they might help with publicity for this need. What it really needs is people who will roll up their sleeves and get stuck into some church planting.

  23. 8-6-2011

    Peter, agreed. Alan and Peter, thanks for hosting. I’m thankful for this kind of blogging. Conversations away from minutea of daily work. To look at bigger pictures. Thanks again to both of you. ~ Jim

  24. 8-6-2011

    Again, great conversation and discussion everyone!

    -Alan

  25. 3-30-2012

    I live in the UK and was once a member of one of the new churches in the 1980s. We were a group who came out of the local Methodist church. A house group had been started in the Methodist church that was aimed at young people (I was 18 at the time) and the Holy Spirit started to move during those meetings. Numerous young people became Christians which lead to whole families being saved. People got baptized in the Spirit and many wanted to be baptized in water by immersion. This eventually led to conflict and those who lead the young peoples group were asked to leave, many others left with them. We had in fact become a church within a church. These were painful times but it led to the planting of a new church.

    In the early days of the new church there was great freedom. No one really knew what we were doing, we were learning as we went along. We met in a school hall on a Sunday and met as house groups during the week. There was a wonderful sense of fellowship. There was a real sense of the Spirit of God moving amongst us. Although there were a group of 4 people who led the church, they did so more out of default than by design. There was no sense of them imposing their will o the congregation. We were all family. We had our problems but generally things were moved along nicely for a number of years.

    But soon those in leadership started to look for help from outside. It was then that the emphasis changed from everyone being a minister, and more emphasis being placed on leadership. Fairly soon we had a membership and people were required to covenant their loyalty to the church and to its leadership. A number of people left as they felt this step was unbiblical.

    To cut a long story short, over the years that church has become more and more like a traditional church. They don’t have their own building yet, but it is something they have looked into on numerous occasions. If you go to their Sunday meetings there is a great emphasis on leadership. House groups are restricted to members only, and new members have to go through a course and sign a very long covenant to make sure they agree with everything the leadership believes in.

    There have been many good things that came out of what God was doing in the UK amongst the new churches in the 1980’s. But my feeling is an over emphasis on the role of leadership has turned many of those congregations into traditional denominational churches that just happen to have lively worship. Worship can be stifled. Anyone bringing a word of prophecy has to get approval from an elder before bring it to the church. Some of this has been cause by the size of the churches and the felt need to control what goes on in a bigger congregation. My hope is a new wave of Spirit led churches will come to fruition here in the UK, which may hopefully be aware of past mistakes.

  26. 9-17-2012

    Jim,
    if you could stay and invest in even ONE of these little groups you see pop up around you – or just go back and visit fairly often – could you not help that group reach a place of maturity where THEY would become the workers you are asking for in that area?

  27. 11-12-2012

    Impressive information, God bless you.

  28. 7-17-2013

    Alan, you know, and a few other may also, that I was part of a startup ‘house church’ in the early 70’s, as a teenager, and spent 30 yrs with them but left very reluctantly in 2001 with my wife and 4 children.
    A few observations from retrospect.
    1. We were the architects of our own fracturing, and eventual split. I think it was entirely preventable had we all had the honesty to admit to one another that near the end, we came to take a little too seriously our own integrity, pioneering spirit and refusal to compromise. We didn’t discuss whether or not we were a church for almost 20 yrs, and only did when we were accused of being one, and attacked falsely and viciously through the courts.
    Up to then, we’d been like children, enjoying God and one another, serving every one and battling spiritually together. We were quite effective in tearing down the enemy kingdom in many lives, and I guess Satan knew he couldn’t easily trip us with sin, so he tripped us with righteousness.
    Fear of more loss (several small children taken and never returned etc) was the wedge that split us as to advancing or retreating. Executive leaders emerged as a result of failing to vigorously guard our hearts and minds from fear and anger, and we lost our long time consensus that had organically grown from the bottom up.
    2. We didn’t know church history, and repeated it almost in lockstep to the early Reformers mistakes of mixing Jesus daily leadership with feel good and predictable policy, all of it of course dredged from one or more scriptures. Executive leaders and decision processes, previously foreign to us, cemented these errors.
    3. We did everything humanly possible to stay together, rather than surrender to the pressure to split up. Later it occurred to a few of us that we had provided Satan a very clear and defined target, and had we split up and multiplied, we would have presented two smaller targets.
    We might have re-learned how to advance in kingdom walk and warfare together rather than alone, but we had unknowingly adopted a fortress mentality by being ostracized and criticized for years.
    The idolatry of size, albeit only 30 souls, was one of our biggest blind spots. I concur with Cynthia on smallness.
    4. Maybe because I and several others had been hippies, we had always been egalitarian, with women leading as strongly as men. Leadership was related to ideas and experience, not gender, age or biblical knowledge. Until executive leadership emerged, governance was ad hoc, and without architecture. This had been an easily arrived at consensus decision early on, and we weathered some pretty big storms by deliberately sitting (often literally) at Jesus feet together, waiting, praying, fasting, listening, prophesying and searching the scriptures together. Sometimes, when waiting wasn’t working, we launched out in consensus trust and faith. It was usually just as reliable as waiting, except when it wasn’t. Jesus was, by deliberate decision, our older brother or maybe even our CEO and we were His family, and there was no single executive function among us with respect to the kingdom.
    We rejected commune living, and families of course had parents, who are ‘executives’ to their children, but otherwise, we were all like one equal family, sharing everything that was needed.
    In short, if I could do it again, I would, but this time I’d not set my expectations on arriving at any plane of competence, and I certainly would invite the at large body of Christ to speak into our midst, rather than react to their fear or disagreement.
    I think we learned the lesson of remaining vulnerable and transparent among ourselves but didn’t learn the same lesson among the larger body of Christ.
    We will hurt one another and sometimes even betray, but like Jesus, if we can encourage one another and ourselves to trust in God, even if He is the only one left, then we are still in a majority position.
    Hope this helps some struggling family members.
    Blessings
    Greg

  29. 7-18-2013

    Oops! I said above that I concurred with Cynthia (Dale) on small is better, when I should have written Felicity. My apologies Felicity!