Today is Sunday in this beautiful day in Arizona. I woke up early, took care of my little morning exercises, took care of my hygiene’s, just finish making my coffee for the day and, I am seating at the table with the Word of God and a couple of books. In a little while I will write my prayer for this morning and then go on with this day. As a Christian some may considered that there is something wrong with me; I should be in a church somewhere; but I am not. Don’t get it twisted, I love the Lord and I love the church, but I absolutely hate what politics have done with the church.
I am the church together with every born-again believer in the world; I don’t go to church; I don’t separate myself from my family and I don’t separate myself from Lord. Jesus tells us “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 (NIV) The primitive church met in their homes; like normal families do. Acts 2:42 tells us that they were devoted to “…to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (NIV) What a simple, but powerful devotion!
Paul expanded on what they did when they came together, “What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.” First Corinthians 14:26 (NIV) There was a focus on participation; everybody had a voice; everybody was free to share.
I started Manantial del Valle Home Church (Spring of the Valley Church) in June 8 of last year. Everything have not been cookies and flowers and, honestly, I don’t have all the answers, but what I know is that the structure services that we see on Sundays is not biblical. A deep revelation is not required to question the need for buildings, pulpits, one-man shows, worship leaders and the theater the institutionalized church runs on Sundays. However, when everybody else is doing same thing, it is hard to do something different.
This upcoming week, for example I will gather with a few folks for dinner in my house on Wednesday night. We will eat, we will pray, we will fellowship, and we will participate in a rich discussion of whatever message the Lord give us. Friday we will meet with a couple who no longer is able to meet with us because of job schedule changes; but they miss us as much as we miss them and, on fridays, they are able to meet. On Saturdays I meet with a couple from Atlantic City via FaceTime at 11:00 AM and we will have a one-on-one later that day to deal with issues of deliverance. I don’t dread doing these things, I actually look forward to spending these times, because these folks are my family.
Now, let me add more to this idea of church gatherings. The primitive church, as stated before, met at home. This is extremely important because families do meet at home; we can’t move away from that. The saying, “Mi casa es tu casa” is very biblical. However, Acts 2:42 gatherings can take place in countless forms; for example a few folks can go hiking and do an Acts 2:42 gathering. Folks can go golfing, swimming, bicycling, go to the gym, etc. and if Jesus is at the center, He is there.
During all these gatherings, for example, they can come out of the gym and go and get something to drink and have a conversation about Jesus, what He is doing in their lives, discuss any revelation, testimony, etc. If to these activities you add wedding celebrations, birthdays, graduation celebrations and just parties where folks can have a good clean time, dance, laugh and celebrate the awesome life God has given us; what else do we need? Can you imagine how amazing that would be? Can you imagine how rejuvenating those gatherings would be? Can you imagine the closeness we will develop with one another?
I pray that my eyes will be able see these gatherings develop to something REAL. REAL devotion to Jesus and REAL devotion to one another. I no longer invite people to church; I invite them into my life; I invite them to be a part of the family of God. I am aware that only God can save them, that God will add folks as He pleases. My job is to place Jesus at the center, preach the gospel and disciple folks by teaching them all of the commands of Jesus and the whole counsel of God… if I am faithful to these instructions, I will be doing my job.