One of the things that isn't quite sitting right with me is that I don't want to live missionally because I have a house church to invite people to. Maybe because I feel like such a beginner at truly caring about and extending myself to people, I am hesitant to influence my motivation for doing so.
I want to have people in my home just to have them here, not because I'm having a meeting. I understand that the two concepts don't necessarily have to be polarized. For now, I can see a house church for fellowship, support and encouragement; but I'm not quite getting what it has to do with everday incarnational living.
The following blog post from Wayne Jacobsen hits on some of what I'm feeling. As usual, he explains things with much grace and wisdom.
I know few ‘established’ congregations that really help believers experience full maturity. Most times the effort over ‘gathering’ and ‘forming’ suck up the life of believers wanting to grow rather than actually helping them do that. I realize there are exceptions to this, but they are exceptions.
In the end, Jesus told us to proclaim the gospel and make disciples, and he would build his church. We do seem to get that backward. When we take it our ourselves to build the church, discipleship rarely happens and the demands of the institution almost always seem to overrun the relational realities the church needs to flourish.
I’ll give you an example of this. When I taught ‘church planting’ teams for an international missions group, I would break the class up into small groups the first day. I told them they were ‘church planting’ teams. They chose the country and city and then I gave them an hour to sort out the questions they would need to resolve as they were getting started. Their concerns and questions all revolved around finance, building rental, publicity, statements of faith and all the other things that go with a corporate endeavor.
Two days later I broke them into the same teams, told them they were going into the same city, but this time not to plant a church but to demonstrate who Jesus is to the people and help them learn how to follow him. The questions and issues they came up with from that assignment was remarkably different and far more powerful. Now it was about meeting people, getting jobs that would link them to the community, learning how to share their faith naturally not artificially and how to help people connect in a real way with him. Finances, buildings and publicity never came up.
That’s the difference I’m talking about, if that makes sense.