I see this in The Journey EC house church network. How many of us as believers in Jesus have read how the early church lived with a sense of "awe" (Acts 2:43) at the power of God, meeting house to house (v. 46), and sharing what they had with those in need (v. 45), only to wonder why we don't see this today? We have asked ourselves, "Why can't we do this", and maybe we've tried to give it a go, only to find the challenge of a smaller, closer community more daunting than we thought.
But now I see people who have attended church for decades learning to become the Church - the dwelling place of God; And although the relationship part is a challenge and we make a lot of mistakes, we are excited to be walking out what we see in the accounts of the ministry of Jesus and His disciples.
As for momentum, we are learning the difference between the initial draw of "novelty" and the longer term connection to the mission. Actually making the shift from the "initial interest" crowd to the more long term group with the "get-it factor" can seem like a loss of momentum. It looks a little like a three stage rocket that drops a section after certain points in its journey to reach its destination, only we are actually seeing others added as the journey goes forward and becomes more defined. Maxwell makes some good points about what keeps momentum going:
- Leaders who have accepted that it is in their hands;
- Willingness to direct it rather than just ride the wave;
- Continuing to fuel, and show the value of, the vision;
- Catching people doing good things.
It is an amazing thing in the history of the world as we know it - this story of the Church. No one can get away from the proof that faith in Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom He brought, has only increased over the last two millennia. Even now when our willingness to adapt to changing culture is being tested once again, we see an amazing gift in the Church's readiness to move into a simpler mode, unburdened by buildings and big budgets. Generations who have generally held each other, and God, at an arms length as they attended weekly formal services in large sanctuaries are giving way to a more connected church - one who is bringing Jesus home for dinner. What a great picture of Jesus' desired result as he stands knocking on the door of our house...not just our hearts. I have often wondered how we could talk so freely about receiving Him in our hearts, when we had yet to welcome Him into our living rooms?
Can we agree to ask,
"Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth (starting in my living room) as it is in heaven." ?