Thursday, July 23, 2015

real community

This evening I feel like God put it on my heart to write about my house church.

In the past, whenever I had heard someone mention a house church, I imagined it was a few little families that were deciding to rebel against the church-in-a-building model. I imagined they just did little bible studies and kept to themselves since they felt like all the other churches were doing it wrong.

Then I met another cool churchy mama named Andrea from my neighborhood who mentioned her house church. She was really cool though. Like with tattoos. So I was interested and asked about what her house church was like. They did house church on Sunday evenings, like how other churches do their small group during the week. They were part of a network of house churches that met during the week under Twin Cities Church, and that all gathered on Sunday mornings for worship and a teaching at a community center on the West Side.

We were already attending a church, one we had grown up in for most of our lives (our families had been members forever and it's where Matthew and I met.) We were happy there and loved our church family but had been feeling like it was time to "leave and cleave" and find a church that our family would grow up in.

Andrea's house church sounded interesting so we began to attend on Sunday evenings. We felt led to join and become a part of the house church and began to get more involved. Then we decided to visit their Sunday morning service and felt a total peace there. Soon we contacted our pastor and told him that we had decided to leave and become attenders at Twin Cities Church (TCC). Our pastor was loving and understanding and gave his blessing as we made the decision to leave.

We have now been members at TCC for about a year and a half and have grown so much. Each and every message has been so good, so relevant, and easily applied to our life.

This fall marks two years with our house church and although our group has been through many ups and downs, lots of change and transition, we truly are a family (made up of about 12 adults and a gaggle of children) and I know that we are right where we are supposed to be. We do life together. We go through the messes and grow together. We hold each other accountable. We are committed to one another. We pray together, we worship together, we study God's word together. We even share a meal... which is awesome at the end of the week (we meet on Thursday nights now) when I am tired of making dinner.

This is real community. And we meet just blocks from our house. It's what my heart has been desiring for years.

Tonight we sang It Is Well (click here to listen to it, it's beautiful) and as I looked around Andrea's living room I was overwhelmed with gratefulness for this group. This family.

Are you part of a community that loves you and cares for you? If not, get connected. Or come check out my church on Sunday morning at 10am. Come visit our Hamline Village house church on Thursday nights at 6pm. We gather in a living room after we eat a meal together. We study the bible, ask questions, do lots of processing. It's laid back. It's safe. We've all been through hard things, nothing surprises anyone in our group. We all have very diverse backgrounds and life experience. Come just as you are.

I'd be a hot mess without Jesus. #justsayin