Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hunting Fruit

Yesterday I embarked on a journey to visit four very different churches, each of them vibrant in different ways. All four of them have a handful of things in common: First of all, they each identify themselves as a network of house churches, a church of churches if you will. These meetings keep to a simple, organic style patterned after the primitive Christianity of two thousand years ago (filtered as it may be for us today through the lenses of the Jesus movement of the late 60s and early 70s). Each of these churches also maintains a larger gathering in which all of its constituent groups come together for regular worship, prayer, teaching, fellowship, and outreach. Finally, each of them actively pursues ways in which it can contribute to its local (or global) community, sharing grace with those around them, particularly with those less fortunate and marginalized. As one church puts it, they juggle inward movement (intimate fellowship), upward movement (corporate worship), and outward movement (mission/outreach). I kinda like that framework.

I am travelling to four cities and meeting with almost a dozen different small groups in order to learn from them. I've got tons of questions and I'm eager to catch their perspective on things. I want to catch a sense of their group personalities, their meeting styles, their quirks, and their passions. I want the kind of information you can only get from visiting in person. In case you didn't know, you can't really tell what a church is like from a website.

I suppose most of all I am hunting fruit. I want to personally sample the outcome of each of these churches' way of life, discovering for myself what it produces in the lives of its members. I know it's hard to do in such a short time, but hey, I'm usin' what I got.

You don't get many opportunities like this, so I intend to make the most of it. I plan on posting pictures and reports about each group I meet along the way, so stay tuned and WATCH THIS SPACE for the next couple of weeks.

Maybe we'll all learn something in the process.

Meantime, thanks to my gracious hosts, the Kurkians, for my stay with them in Cincinnati!

1 Comments:

Blogger J. Samuel Thomas said...

I'm looking forward to the report!

(And what a great family!)

8:10 PM  

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