From conversation to movement
Some people in the emerging church say it is a conversation not a movement. I might be impatient but I’m tired of conversation and I want to move. In the last 6 months I’ve been drawn more and more in to the house church movement (they don’t call themselves a conversation). I’ve been reading Rad Zdero, Neil Cole and Wolfgang Simson. I’ve been listening to some conference MP3′s over and over again from a gig Simson did in Spokane. I almost hate to say it but I’m convinced. I think that my search for the general direction of the church in my context is over. I think simple church is the way to go. It is refreshing to enter in to a movement that takes scripture seriously.
When it works it works well. It is very much in harmony with the New Testament. It is easy to do. I think what keeps people from jumping on is that it requires more faith and integrity than traditional church leadership. So many church leaders today are enslaved to the safety and security of a salary.
When I started getting involved in house churches 3 years ago I was just experimenting. I went in expecting that things would fail. Things did fail and I saw with my own eyes bad things I could not believe were happening. In the midst of all that I discovered that even our meager attempts at church worked just as well as any other church I’d been a part of. In our time together we even had a church shopper rate us. In the end it wasn’t what I think church can be but I realized church doesn’t have to be nearly as complicated as we make it out to be.
This week I talked to one of the denominational leaders about starting a house church network and hooking it up with the denomination. As we talked I wondered if I came across like some 22 year old idealistic bible school grad. Maybe a 32 year old idealist is not that different from a 22 year old. I may have a greater sense that struggle or even failure is probably par for the course. I’m not sure I really care if I fail a dozen times though. Church is so messed up from the gospel we proclaim to our anemic growth to our biblical illiteracy or our fruitless lives. I’d rather swing for the fence and strike out hard than go in to some nice stable environment content with marginal incremental change.