In Alcoholics Anonymous, The 12 Steps are read out loud at every meeting.
For those of us who are still in detox from programmatic Christianity, there is value in repeating what we have said before: the simple church revolution (reformation?) is not about doing conventional church in a home. It’s not “Honey, I shrunk the church!” It’s not 20 minutes of singing, 30 minutes of Bible study, 10 minutes of prayer and then refreshments. (Or, any other prepackaged way of meeting.)
“OK. If it’s not about that, what is it about?"
In a word, it’s about listening. Listening to the Holy Spirit (and each other).
The Holy Spirit’s part: “He will make everything plain to you…He will remind you of all the things I (Jesus) have told you…He will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is…He will take from Me and deliver it to you.” (Jn 14:26; 16:13-14 in The Message)
Our part: Listen to the Spirit and do what He says. (Jn. 14:15)
Out of our listening comes direction for our own personal lives…how to walk with God, how to love our families and friends, how to be salt and light in the world. Intimacy gives birth to fruitfulness in every area.
And, out of our listening comes direction for how to be/do church. (One more thing that bears repeating – when we say “church”, we don’t mean just a weekly meeting. Rather, it's a group of people we carry in our hearts. In other words – family.) Out of listening comes that which we contribute to the family – a word of instruction, a song, a prophetic word, a need to be shared, a non believer to be prayed for, etc. As well as a note to be written, a phone call to make, a person to invite to dinner, money to be shared, etc.
My friend, Kent Smith, has given us three “centering questions” that will help our house churches live this out. Continually asking (and answering) these questions will allow the life and direction of God to flow in and through any house church. (In our house church, we begin our meeting by answering question #1. in groups of 2 or 3.)
1. What have you heard from the Holy Spirit this week that will help or strengthen the rest of us?
2. As we are listening to each other, what is the Lord saying to us as a family?
3. What will we do about this—and how will we help each other?
’s first question makes the assumption that each person in the church is spending regular time listening to the Lord on their own. Here's a great story that my friend, Kenny Moore, sent to me about how one lady does this. See the short article at this link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6153012