Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jesus is Alive

One of my passions in life is to see the Priesthood of every believer, regardless of age, to be actually lived out regularly. Last night, I was blessed to observe this passion lived out in my dinning room. Our house church gathered together in a more chaordic fashion that usual. The location (my home) and meal (pizza) came together rather late (like a few hours before). As the word got out to our church about the location, I received 4 communications telling me that they would not be able to join us. I love my friends and knew I would be missing their love, input, insight and company later that evening. As folks arrived, we broke out the pizza, wings and sodas to enjoy together. Because our numbers were about half, we were able to squeeze around the dinning room table. There were nine of us. During our meal, conversation fluttered around the weeks events, job situations and a small discussion about the miraculous. About 30 minutes into our time around the table, a new friend from out of town stopped by. I met this new friend on Sunday (church was on Wednesday). This friend (I'll call him Mike) had been through some ministry wringers and was ready for something new. Mike had been reading some books on Organic/Simple/House church and had attended a Greenhouse two weeks prior. Mike was desperate to know what to do next. Mike and I spent some time together on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and I told him over and over again that there are no linear answers. The only answer I could give him was to focus on Jesus. Mike certainly appreciated that I didn't have the answers and that I pointed him to Jesus. Mike sat down at the table and conversation began as folks asked about where Mike was in the process of faith and life. He briefly told his story and new induction into the ideas of Organic Church. Mike is in his early 40's and has two teenage children. One of his pressing questions was how do teens fit into Organic Church concepts without a 'youth group'. At our table were two teens, both 17 years old and female. As Mike asked his question, the two girls began to interact with Mike and his questions. I was utterly amazed, blessed, pleased and impressed by the girls interaction with Mike. Mike asked questions about why they enjoyed church in this manner, what the benefits were and how they girls dealt with the fact that there was no formerly organized youth group where fun and excitement lives for teens in the church world. The girls just kept on TEACHING Mike about the value of including and involving teens into the mainstream of church life instead of being ancillary and separate from the main body of believers. These young women spoke about being fully included and comfortable in the life of the church. They said they felt perfectly comfortable to be who they were with out pretense. They had dialogue about knowing that the adults truly cared for them and regularly interacted with them. They pointed out that they both would strongly prefer to be in an Organic Community rather than a larger church with a high energy youth group. It was surely a holy moment - one of the more holy moments of ministry in my life. It is very encouraging to see the fruit of life lived in a community of folks living for Jesus Christ. "But the seed is the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance." Luke 8:15