Hosting Summer Church Meetings

While the churches in our simple church network meet on a regular basis during the week, we don’t limit our church activity to these set times and days. For us, we don’t “go” to church, we are the church. We practice being the body of Christ in our day to day lives. In these meetings we pretty much follow a 4 W’s format but always with freedom and flexibility and an emphasis on edification.

Our groups also gather for teaching and worship on Sunday and these meetings are marked by participation and sharing. This summer we are encouraging every member to sponsor or host a Sunday gathering of the church.

This hosting or sponsoring may or may not be in their homes. It can be in any location near their house or apartment. It might be in a park, a meeting room in a local restaurant, a parking lot, a back yard, etc. The time of the meeting will depend on the location and choice of activities.

We are doing this for several reasons:

  • To make disciples by encouraging attendance of friends and family members who might feel more comfortable at a location that a member hosts
  • To mature the body of Christ
  • To break the monotony of always meeting at the same location
  • To share responsibility and give those who regularly host meetings a break

How could hosting meetings such as these make disciples and mature members?

Grace and Peace,

Terry

Related Posts:

Mission Trip To Asia and Back In One Day

Sandi Leading Orchestra

Our church met at the Dragon Boat, Kite, and Lantern Festival last Sunday. One of our members plays in a string orchestra. The director was in China and she was asked to direct a performance in the opening ceremonies. We decided to go and support her and experience the festival. It was like taking a mission trip to Asia and coming back the same day.

Some helped back stage while others simply watched the performance. Some took pictures and video to share with the director when he returns. We just dispersed in the crowd and mingled with the people attending the festival.

As we walked the festival grounds we would run into other members of the group from time to time and stop to visit. At one point several of us found ourselves sitting in the shade eating lunch from the street vendors.

The church chose to gather – not at some permanent place and at a set time – but at a place where we could do life together. We did this for several reasons:

  • to serve a fellow member of our local church
  • to serve the members of the orchestra
  • to build relationships with the orchestra and their families
  • to learn more about a culture that is all around us in which we can live the example of a Christ-like life style
  • to make some new friends
  • to be incarnational (be the body of Christ in the world)
  • to be missional (to be about the mission of Jesus in the world)

Who knows, we might go to October Fest this fall.

What are some ways and where are some places your church or small group can gather?

Grace and Peace,

Terry

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When They Didn’t Come

Cheese PartyLeaning forward in her chair as tears welled up in her eyes she shared the hurt of the previous day. We had prayed with her and shared her hopes, so it was our hurt as well. Except for her church friends, only one other person came.

The birthday party for her preschool son was to be more than just a party. She had hoped that it would bring two relational groups together – her church friends and her friends who don’t follow Christ. She longed to see the two groups mingle. To see new friendships established. To let her fellow Christ followers join her in the harvest.

Her pain was not for her son. He had a great time doing life with his simple church family. The presents were plenteous and the cake delicious. The laughter and fellowship flowed like birthday punch. We had a great time – but they didn’t come.

What did we do?

Sitting with her, we identified with her hurt. She shared her pain and we encouraged her. We committed to keep on working.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9 NIV

We like to share our victories and shy away from our disappointments. But we can learn a lot from those difficult times.

Grace and Peace,
Terry

Foot WashingOn Thursday of the final week in the life of Jesus we have the stories of the upper room where Jesus observed the Passover meal, washed the disciple’s feet and instituted the meal of the new covenant. John records a long section of the teachings of Jesus in chapters 14-17. We also have the stories of the betrayal by Judas, Jesus praying in Gethsemane, his arrest and illegal night trial conducted by the Jewish Sanhedrin.

Today I want to focus on Jesus washing the feet of the disciples in the upper room as recorded in John 13:1-17 and view it as a picture of the incarnation. We will compare it with Philippians 2:5-11.

  1. Jesus knew that he had come from God and was going to God
    • Jesus is in very nature God
  2. Jesus got up from the meal
    • Jesus, not considering his equality with God something to be grasped, got up from his position of eternal, pre-existent equality with God
  3. Jesus lay aside his outer clothing
    • Jesus left his splendor and glory with the Father
  4. Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist
    • Jesus clothed himself with humanity
  5. Jesus took the position of a slave and washed the disciple’s feet
    • Jesus made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant
  6. Jesus finished his task, put on his clothes and returned to the table
    • Jesus finished his work on earth, ascended to the Father and was exalted to the highest place

So what does this have to do with us?

After washing their feet, Jesus told the disciples:

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. – John 13:13-17 NIV

Jesus does not call us to sit around discussing the mystery of the incarnation. He calls us to live out that mystery.

He lives in us. The church is his body in the world today.

We are to incarnate the community – and wash feet.

Grace and Peace,
Terry

Related Posts from 7 Days Leading Up To Easter

  1. Sunday – What Kind Of Entry Was It?
  2. Monday – 12 Things Children Can Teach Us This Easter
  3. Tuesday – Seeing The Unnoticed
  4. Wednesday – The Calm Before The Storm
  5. Thursday – How Washing The Disciple’s Feet Pictures The Incarnation
  6. Friday – It’s Friday But . . .
  7. Saturday – Between The Cross And The Empty Tomb

Let Us Love One Another

LetUs Love One AnotherHis young hand shot up without hesitancy and then he voiced the first scripture passage, 1 John 3:18-20. Eight year old Lucas (nine in two days) was the first to read from the printed sheet. It contained a number of verses to help us reflect on God’s love for us, our love for God and our love for others.

His brother Andrew (age 11) was right behind him reading 1 John 4:19-21. Second grader Joelle added John 3:16-17.

Fellowship with One Another

Our church met at a local retreat center where we shared a meal, played some fun games and spent some time singing. Ranging in age from 23 months to 60 years, we sat in a circle as the Spirit of God spoke to us and through us.

Beth and a few others told some stories about where they are seeing God at work. Others led the group in songs and choruses prompted from the scripture passages. Twenty-three month old Jack danced and clapped as we sang “Father We Adore You.” Joni said that she was suddenly reminded of a scripture song she learned as a young girl but couldn’t remember the tune. As soon as she finished quoting the words Dalia, Ardie, and Rebekah, were singing it. Testimonies were given about memorizing scripture songs as children. Sandi played her guitar and we worshiped as she sang from her heart.

Instructing One Another

Sitting in Tio David’s lap, four year old Johnny was learning from the example of his elder in Christ. He wanted to share a scripture. He pointed to one on the page and repeated two or three words at a time as David read the scripture . . .

The Father himself…loves you…because…you have loved me…and…have believed…that I came from God. (John 16:27)

Praying with and for One Another

To close we asked for three people to pray. Bill opened with praise for the love God has shown us and His allowing us to respond to that love. Lucas chimed in thanking God for loving us first. Our hearts joined his as he prayed the scripture passage he and his brother had read earlier. Jonathan closed with a confession for himself and all of us about our lack of being aware of opportunities to love others.

Click on last week’s post, My One Another Community, to review a partial list of scripture admonitions.

Grace and Peace,
Terry

Join the Conversation: What do you think are some of the values of participating with one another as described above?

My One Another Community

My One Another CommunityGod has always lived in community—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He has never been alone. The idea of community is not the invention of man or the product of society. It has its very root in the triune nature of God.

God’s Together Community

Jesus in His great mission of reconciliation from the Father established a new kind of community which he called the church. Jesus does something for that new community that only God can do. He indwells it and joins its members together by His Spirit.

In my journey towards simple church I am continuing to learn the value of community. I am learning that church is more than meetings and events. Church for me has become a way of practicing the “one another’s” of the New Testament.

Some Scriptural One Another’s

Here’s an idea. Bookmark this post, come back every day and follow the links to one of these scripture passages. Record the opportunities you had to practice these “one another’s” in your community of faith.

Grace and Peace,
Terry

Join the Conversation: Do you have a small group of friends that helps you practice these and other similar scriptural admonitions? How are you putting these practices into action in your life?