Go Home Church! Go Home! By Rebecca Walker
If followers of Jesus believe that all things work together for good as Romans 8:28 tells us, what good can we say came out of 2020?
At the drop of a hat, our U.S. Constitutional government was able to say: Church gatherings are illegal so you can’t meet together. If the freest nation on earth can just shut down all churches, and convince the people it is for their own good; was the church as non-essential as the government said it was? Do we agree with them that closing churches down is for our own good? What does that say about the priority of our faith? What does that say about our commission from God that supersedes everything else?
This year’s reality-check came as a shock to many people. Generations of investment in church buildings and the weekend “worship experience” became obsolete. We were further shocked when pastors resorted to telling their followers to stay home; in essence telling them that their contrived, scripted template for Sunday church was irrelevant spiritually.
At best, our Sunday services try to pull us back to where we were before getting dragged down by a week of contact with the world. At worst, the model of church currently being expressed in America really isn’t relevant or essential in any measurable way. 2020 just proved that statement correct. In reality the modern church experience is tiny thing compared to how our lives should impact the world around us.
Our faith in Jesus is THE most essential, core reality of our lives!
So how do we live into that? Should we give up on churches? No, but we must reverse the emphasis away from church campuses and turn back the focus to making disciples of every believer. The model must change if we want to be relevant for God’s kingdom in this new year and beyond.
“Your dining room table is the stealth weapon of the church.” - Rebecca Walker
Our image of a fish on a table is a re-envisioning of the early Church secret symbol of believers who met in homes, under trees and in caves to spread the gospel message person to person. Our world desperately needs individual Christians to step up and take the path less traveled.
This fish symbol made a come-back in the 60’s when the institutional church no longer met the needs of the counterculture. And now, we have come full cycle. The church that came out of that era has once again become the establishment and is chasing two decades behind the culture around it.
The pendulum needs to be pulled back to the biblical model and we must reverse course. Living out the Church at Home is the simple essence of what we were called to be. It is the message of Jesus in Matthew 4:19: “Come follow me, I will make you fishers of men.” We are all qualified to share the journey of our life. If you have been baptized into new life, you are qualified to tell someone else how Jesus saved you, how He is changing you into His likeness, and how your life is now living for Him daily by loving your neighbor. Growing and maturing as a follower of Jesus comes from sharing our lives with unbelievers. It does not come from merely inviting someone to come listen to music and the words of a professional speaker. The real nitty gritty of the Christian life happens by sharing on the individual, family, and neighborhood level. The Spirit in you becomes the Spirit in others through contact.
Our home is the resource where God places us to influence the world around us with His saving message of love, purpose and hope. Our home is the real foundation of the corporate church. Then when the body of Christ meets in large groups, it will truly be to celebrate Christ working through us and joy at new people coming into the kingdom.
This is the Church At Home!
The Hospitality Table has launched The Church At Home Project with this symbol to help identify your home as a place where the Church is living and active. Put it on your front window, on your mailbox or door. It identifies your home as a place of spiritual sanctuary, healing, and loving neighbors. This simple sticker and symbol calls your neighbors to you, drawing them to Christ.
Person-to-person in relationship is how the church grows, it is how we live with purpose, it is how we change the world where we live in 2021 and beyond. Launch your Church At Home project in 2021 with your family and let’s see how God transforms lives and communities. Over the next few months, we want to equip you do this in your own home. We will be adding resources and tools that will help empower you. There is no confidence like stepping out in faith. We look forward to this journey with you and can’t wait to hear your story!
GO to our website to get your sticker(s) at: www.thehospitalitytable.com
Follow The Hospitality Table on Facebook and watch for Part 2 of this series titled: The Gift of Sheeping.