This blog picks up on part one. Make sure to check that out first…
I apologize for this blog being a little slow coming out. If you follow me on social media, you know life has gotten really busy for us over the last few weeks. One of the things we haven’t share there is that our new church is having a hard time. The couple that we started it with just broke up. We’ve been spending a lot of time with them as individuals trying to give them plenty of care and attention during this tough transition. We have spent many hours talking and praying with them.
It seems that at this point, they want to continue studying the Bible with us. But our format will most likely need to change. We would appreciate your prayers for them.
Nevertheless, I want to share with you what our church gatherings have looked like with them.
We have been starting with a meal. This may seem ordinary, but its actually a very intentional decision based on a strong theology of community. There’s a reason they say “the family that eats together, stays together.” In Acts 2, we get a picture of how the first century church “devoted themselves” to sharing meals with one another. Shared meal times are an essential part of being the Body of Christ.
Our meals are full of joy, delicious food and drink.
Its the place where we serve each other.
Its where we pray together.
It where laugh together.
Its the place we show and receive hospitality with and for each other…
After the meal, we move to the living room and have an intentional time to share our hearts with each other. We use a tool for this, because it doesn’t come natural, but it is essential in learning to be family with each other. We call it SASHET. It stands for Sad, Angry, Scared, Happy, Excited and Tender.
Psychologist say these are our 6 core emotions. Our emotions are a window into our deepest desires. Not the desire for material things. But at the core of us, our deepest desires are for things like joy, intimacy, love, freedom and peace. These are the things only Jesus can offer us.
This kind of sharing brings out a new kind of vulnerability with each other. It allows a space for us to be authentic with each other. We have found over and over again, that when we do this with others it brings a level of intimacy most people have never known. This has been the case with our 2 neighbors here. We have shared many tears with each other as we opened up our hearts.
After this, we spent some time in silence asking the Lord how he might want to encourage each other person.
Have you ever asked an Agnostic person to listen to God before? It’s pretty fun!
We were amazed at how open they were to this. They listened to God and then shared some amazing encouragement with us, and we were able to do the same for them. More tears were shared by everyone.
After this, we did a spoken version of a Discovery Bible Study. We read through a passage from the Gospel of John. Then we read it again to let it really soak in. Then we asked each person to try to retell the story in their own words. We went around the room retelling this Gospel story.
Have you ever asked an Agnostic person to share a Gospel story with you? It’s REALLY fun!
We were amazed at their level of understanding of this Gospel story. We didn’t have to teach it to them at all. They just got it!
After that, I asked each person to share something they would do differently in their own life because of the story that we read. Amazingly, both of them said that what they wanted to do, was to begin to read more of the Bible. So they committed to doing that.
We didn’t have to tell them what they should do. They simply read the Word of God. Put the story to memory. Ant then decided they wanted more of God’s word!
God’s Spirit is moving in ways we could have never anticipated after only a few short months.
Please pray that we continue to move forward in relationships with people who are open to the Good News that Jesus is King, and life in His Kingdom is so much better than any of the alternatives.