Friday, October 30, 2009

Philadelphia House Church: The Emergence

Many people are aware that my wife and I are in the midst of starting a house church (organic church). The burden that began this journey started about 5-6 years ago, though I didn’t know I had the burden at the time. Now, looking back, I can see the way God was weaving my path down to this ultimate destination…at least, ultimate destination…for now…

That historical story is long, at times filled with my sin, and too complex to share here. What I can share is how God is establishing this vision for us now. Maybe someday I will share with all of you what that process was like. But suffice to say, you can pick up almost any book on house or organic church or missional church to find the reasons…because most of those reasons the authors give were reasons God used for us as well.

I can say this: A-stan ruined me. It ruined me in some really, really good ways. One way it ruined me in a good way is that it showed me the closest thing I have experienced of what Acts 2 and 4 communities must have been like. I had never experienced that before I went overseas, and continue not experience it now that I am back. But, my desire is to do that in the USA...and I am thankful I am not alone. If you are interested to see how those early Christians lived and did will find it in the book of Acts.

Recently, God gave my wife and I a mentor: Don Graves. He is a brilliant networker and coordinates many people, ideas, and initiatives for house church in the greater Philadelphia area. God has also given my wife and I another couple who have had a much different journey than ours, but nevertheless the same end point of this calling. Last night, I got a call from a man I will keep anonymous for his sake who asked me to be a part of helping him understand the “postmodern” way of faith and how to engage/mentor students from Philadelphia Biblical University who “don’t wanna do church like me”, are “starving to reach their communities”, and are done with the “individualistic, consumerist approach to faith and church”. God has again opened doors.

So this is the beginning of an approach that says, “Go and Tell” as opposed to “Come and See”. You see, besides the perhaps different take I have on ecclesiology than most modern churches, I know I am surrounded by neighbors and a community who have no desire to step foot into a church building. So, how do we overcome that obstacle? Take the church to them. Thus the journey has begun….more to come…

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