On Friday evening, when the church that meets in our home met together, it was quieter than usual. We were a smaller group (the weather was terrible) but, as usual, the Holy Spirit showed up. Much of our time was spent around the Word, and what we learned together was truly relevant to the things going on in people’s lives. I was blessed as God spoke to me about reclaiming a habit I’d lost over the years–that of meditating on his Word as I fall asleep.
If we do in our homes what we’ve traditionally done in the four walls of our church buildings, (what our friend John White calls, “Honey, I shrunk the church,”) we miss out on one of the greatest blessings of simple/organic church–the Holy Spirit being in control. He’s like the conductor of an orchestra, and as each one of us plays our individual melody at his prompting, a symphony emerges.
I first learned this back in the early days of the British House Church Movement.
I remember those times very well. The power and presence of the Lord was almost tangible. I remember running to get to the meeting because I couldn’t wait to get into the Lord’s presence with the rest of the body of Christ. No one dared go in with unconfessed sin because the Holy Spirit was likely to address it publicly. I remember times when everyone was on their faces on the floor, lost in God’s presence.
It was in that kind of context that we learned to follow the Holy Spirit in a gathering. Week after week we would watch the Holy Spirit lead and guide in his own unmistakable fashion, drawing out whatever theme he had for us. Sometimes we would be mostly in worship, other times in prayer. I can still remember some of the lessons we learned in times around the Word. It was always fresh, never dull.
But it was a learning experience. As we tried to follow the Lord, sometimes our times were so bad, we would all decide to just go home. But as we learned to press in, over the months, it came to the place where nearly every week the presence of Jesus was there.
Things may not be as dramatic in this current move of what God is doing (the house church movement in the UK was very tied in to the charismatic movement). But the Holy Spirit still leads clearly, and I’m spoiled for anything else!
Photo Credit: lorenzog. via Compfight cc
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5 replies on “When you come together–the Holy Spirit leads”
I agree, Felicity! I’m also “spoiled” for anything else.
Seems to me, these are the key questions …
*When we meet as a church (in His name), do we believe Jesus us present?
*If we believe He is present, do we believe He is the head or leader of the church?
*If we believe He is the leader, do we believe He brings the agenda for our gathering?
*If we believe He brings the agenda, will we take time to listen to Him to find out what His agenda is for our gathering?
Letting Him bring the agenda changes everything!
I am envious when I read reports like this, we have tried this to some degree and it always seemed forced or no one could agree on what the Holy Spirit was saying to us. We have just left a church we help start over ten years ago, and no one has any desire to start a house church in our area. People say it is too much pain, we must be all so immature/selfish if we can’t even hope that the Holy Spirit would renew us for Himself. Reading your blog, is like looking at National Geographic Magazine, I now know all those amazing places in the world exist, but I have doubts if I will ever personally experience them for my self in this life. I keep praying an hoping, but it seems further than ever the older I get. Sorry to be a downer.
I have lead a House Church with my wife, on again off again 5+years. We are called Safe Harbor Church in Orange County CA. My Senior Pastors (Dave and Rita Langeland) lead a once a month “all house church” gathering at a very large home once a month. Now I can tell you that allowing the Holy Spirit to lead has been an education to itself. Sorry Felicity I’m going to use American sports comparisons. I have looked at myself and my wife and also any worship leader (if we had one on a particular day) as quarterbacks. Simply put, we do not show up to fellowship with the saints with empty hands, meaning where we expect only one person to have had a Moses type experience with God that week, and expect God almighty to do everything as though the rest of the body has no part with the Bridegroom. We come prepared as a quarterback would to a football game with a week of practice with our creator or coach, and yes we too bring along any scripted plays to engage in. However if the Holy Spirit desires to “call an audible” (changes the play to outsmart opponent), then He has full permission to. Gatherings can become messy because only so many voices can be heard at once. But the actuality of God’s people all being in tune with His voice and bringing their “song,” or their “word,” or a “teaching” to share are further evidence of His providence. When the participants are all one the “same page,”often the prophetic voices and individual worship/prayer focus have a direct correlation to any organized teaching that was long before planned out by a designated teacher. The Lord knows where He wants to take us. Whatever church model and or doctrines are used and taught, the life exegesis should always be “is the local body growing in the likeness of our savior and do our actions look like Christ ?
I love this! I started attending a house church in August this year and I totally agree that the Holy Spirit can and does reign more than any other church I’ve been to. It reminded me church is the people and not a building or a person teaching. It also brought the fear of The Lord back. I remember for the first time in a long time fear to not confess sin but also a relie that I wouldn’t be able to hide it. It’s been a wonderful season of God breaking off chains of religion!