Based on my last two blogs there are a lot of barriers that continue to exist in the Christian church. A number of people thought I was a bit too rough on the traditional church and I do apologize if it came off that way. I was simply trying to say that different people worship in different ways.
For many millions of Christians the church, as we understand it, meets all their needs and therefore fulfills their commitment for worship and fellowship. For others, neighborhood churches that reach out to friends and neighbors in a small group style setting makes more sense.
What is important is that we all understand that it is all about Jesus. We must not let the style of worship or place where we worship become dividing lines between us. God has His hand over all of us regardless of how we understand worship and how we carry out that worship.
I remember years ago that some denominations frowned on anyone who simply raised their hands in the air during worship. Many of you remember when contemporary music was looked down on and the idea that a drum kit could possibly be involved in worship was beyond question. Now many of us have changed our opinions and have moved beyond identifying true and false worship based upon these trivial matters. Do we honestly believe that God is dishonored because of where we worship?
I meet with two Bible study groups each week that follow a simple model of worship. We pray, sing, fellowship, occasionally break bread together, do outreach and care about each other. Though we meet on Tuesday and Wednesday evening, I think each of us who are involved would agree we are experiencing church together. The fact that we do not meet in a building with hundreds or thousands of other people on a certain day of the week doesn’t belittle what we are doing.
Our study group consists of people from a half dozen different denominations and each weekend most of us can be found within our local church setting. For people who worship in house churches, then the weekend would find them within the house setting. What we are trying to do is come together as brothers and sisters in Christ to study God’s word and draw closer to Him so that we may be greater witnesses for God within our communities.
Most Bible based study groups in this day and age are sponsored by churches that see the study group as an opportunity to draw people into the group and then on to their local congregation . Our group is unique in many ways, because we represent so many different traditions, that we emphasize knowing Christ and let people make their own minds up how and where they will worship. Our groups are successful because we can be led by the Spirit and not have to be focused on an end game of seeing people join any of our particular brands of Christianity.
The goal of our house church, Bible study group, small group, ministry or call us what you want is to grow closer to God in our own experience and encourage others to do the same. We, and groups like ours, shouldn’t be seen as a threat to anyone, let alone the traditional church. We are simply people who enjoy and benefit from this particular style of worship.
If you are interested in this form of worship wherever you live please contact us and we will try to get you in contact with similar minded people in your area and the next thing you know you have a Circle of Friends to fellowship and study with regardless of your denominational affiliation.
I hope this blog hasn’t muddied the waters, but has helped to make things a little clearer about the means of worship that some of us find beneficial to our personal growth. Please keep your emails and comments coming as they are very beneficial in helping us all understand each other and realize that different styles of worship and different venues for worship do not undermine the body of Christ but only make it stronger.