Chris shares some of the things his family has been going through recently – specifically related to wife’s ongoing health issues. However, he also gives a brief description of our church gatherings.
You see, a few weeks ago, Chris and his family starting gathering with us on Sunday mornings.
This is the way that he describes those times of meeting together:
Now they conduct church different than the norm. There is no loud bands or video presentations, or people talking and carrying on hundreds of different conversations. This is a small community, of faithful God fearing people wanting to learn more about the Scriptures than what is preached at the pulpit, or discussed in the 1 hour (really 30 or 45 min) Sunday school class. They set out folding chairs in a small room. There is no pulpit. They have hymnals spaced about on about every other chair. They use their hymnal and select songs that have been on their heart. There is not one person selecting songs, it is a community choosing songs. Either before or after each song selected, the person that chose the song, expresses why they chose that song. Usually it is due to being their favorite, or it is because sometime during the week or lately, that song has touched their heart during a situation in their life. They pray, and then they discuss scripture. Yes, there is someone who is leading the discussion. But he is not there to state how it applies to him but all understand there is one meaning and many applications. So we get to hear the different applications that pertain to that different part of scripture. There is no time limit on the discussion. Then they pray over prayer requests that are shared and eat together afterwards. Keep in mind, there is no nursery, or children’s church. These are families, gathering as families, to share life and scripture.
I was really concerned more about what my teen children were thinking about the whole gathering. Come to find out they enjoyed it. They stated that they do not walk away confused but understand the scripture better, because they here different perspectives to the application of scripture. This allows them to hear from different people, mainly adults, on how they have applied scripture to their lives in order to glorify God.
I appreciate Chris writing about us. I had a chance to talk with him about the last part of his description – mainly, the benefit of several people speaking, teaching, encouraging, etc. when we gather together. Hopefully, I’ll have time to write more about that soon.
Like I’ve said before, I describe us a “hybrid” – somewhere between the more traditional, institutional side of the church and the more organic, simple side. Of course, that just means that our gatherings tend to frustrate people from both sides. That also means that our gatherings give us constant opportunities to not only edify one another, but also to give up our own preferences for the sake of our brothers and sisters – whether those preferences lean toward the organic side or the institutional side.