The Crowded House Day 6

Decided I had earned a morning to take it easy, sleep in, read, reflect and write a bit.  Read Titus and was amazed all over again how sound doctrine = godly living.  How easily we divide the two…

Had lunch with Guy, at a nice, little place.  But the lady was all alone and seriously spinning.  Seemed to think it was somehow our fault for wanting lunch at lunch time…

It was great hearing his story, how they are thinking about the future – that is one side note worth making it almost seems like everyone at TCH has a plan or a dream to leave Sheffield on mission somewhere else.  And that it is always such a positive thing here.

I think Guy and I have travelled along a similar road as regards church, church planting and our thinking, frustrations and questioning.  Although it feels that they have made the journey over a far quicker time,  sometimes it feels like I have been on this road forever…

Guy leads the Abbey gospel-community together with Matt but neither of them are elders.  Tim oversees the gathering of gospel communities.  This is part of TCH strategy to try to work around issues of insufficient leaders who are qualified to be elders, and to simultaneously to work on raising up new leaders.

This may have interesting implications as the number of gospel communities grow, regarding the status of a house church (are gospel communites = house churches? I must clarify that) existing without an elder (is that then a church?). But for now there are elders within every gospel community, even if they are not the ones leading the gatherings.

That evening I went to the Nether Edge gospel community where we again read two stories from the Bible and then discussed them together.  These are essentially compressed accounts of a broad sweep of Bible history – a different, more story-based method of Biblical theology.  It seems to work well as we learnt the stories in a relaxed and easy to follow manner, telling and re-telling the stories to each other.  We then discussed what we learn about the mission of God and about our mission.

This gospel community was an interesting dynamic as there were many children there, making it quite a bit more hectic and disrupted.  But is this not just the kind of messy that being a family, community requires? Does it bother anyone else that sometimes the way church is normally set up is just a bit too clinical – with kids out the way and quiet so adults can listen?  Does this mirror life? Does this mirror family?

The guys decided to watch Gran Torino afterwards, I had seen it and had a long day ahead so I decided to turn in early.

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~ by John on July 19, 2009.

3 Responses to “The Crowded House Day 6”

  1. On the note of ‘can you have a church without an elder?’ in Acts 14 Paul goes around preaching the gospel, and if the rest of Acts is anything to go by churches we’re planted.

    But its only later, on a return trip that he appoints elders (Acts 14:23). It looks like from the wording that the churches already existed, before there were elders…

    Obviously that’s not the way it should continue – Paul does appoint elders in each church…

  2. And, GCs are not = house churches really. GCs will have a gathering of GCs and a house church may not. This ensures that GCs can be planted or started without ‘elders’ as such – the teaching happens at the gatherings. Although they do have leaders who are undergoing training and will grow into those roles.

    What I like is that this was not a strategy, but the mission and Gospel growth necessitated an agreeable leadership and training structure … which is dynamic. This has become the proposed way ahead for the next ten years or so.

  3. I am wondering if this is not another case of more diversity within the two sides of the network. 215 called their meeting of GC leaders an Elders meeting. Whilst the Edge would not call all the leaders of GC’s elders – although as it works out now elders are present. So my question is; are the GC’s regarded as household churches, and if not, why not if they are a group of Christian gathered together on mission?

    By saying they are not churches then are we unwittingly created another bigger structure which is the legit church?

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