Monday, 11 November 2013

Open meetings



After 2 and a half years of studies I wrote my last exam today! In 2011 I started doing a correspondence course on Store Management which I originally planned to finish within 18 months, but it ended up taking a bit longer than expected because our daughter was born last year over the exam period and so I decided to postpone taking the tests for a while. But finally, I'm finished! I feel I did well and I can now start concentrating on other things again. Like this blog for instance :)

So there are a few blogs in the draft section coming soon but here is a quick update from me. In a previous post I mentioned that our local fellowship gathering was going through some changes. We seem to go through cycles with people coming and going. It's like we meet people, pour ourselves into one another and then they move on and God sends a new batch across our path. We are in one of those phases now where a month ago our meetings were down to 4 core people plus the kids and one or two occasional visitors. Numbers have never mattered to me, Christ said that he would be his church, so from our side, we simply leave the welcome mat out and try get on board with whatever we see him doing around us. Fast forward a few weeks and all of a sudden we have new people in our lives and meetings again and for me personally,  there are few things as exciting as linking up with new brothers. I always feel like we have something to give and to learn from any believer we come across. It doesn't always work out that way but, over the last few years of hosting open participatory meetings, the biblical principals of iron sharpening iron and encouraging one another daily has increased ten fold around us. I watched this happen yet again last night as one couple who came shared about their years spent as missionaries in South America, about what God had done, how he provided and how they have since discovered a "God beyond our models". Another guy visiting for the first time shared how he was discovering the relational/organic aspect of church that he longed for. Young and old(er) from different backgrounds all saying the same things that were in my own heart as well.

Another girl shared her testimony of God delivering her from drug addiction and other nasty things. Despite been delivered of the hardcore drugs she was still hooked on weed for the last 2 years. One night she fought with God saying, "You promised to set the captives free, don't lie to me!"  The very next day someone (through a tongue) told her she was delivered and she is now totally free of it's lure. This girl was the daughter of one of our "regulars", we had prayed for her and others over the years so what an awesome testimony to see God form something new and pure from a broken pot.

I don't know if any of these people will be joining us regularly. It does not matter so long as they are joined to the body somewhere, we will definitely see them outside of Sunday gatherings anyway.
Anyway, a simple suggestion here from me. No matter how you meet. Try make provision for  open meetings once in a while as well or somewhere during the meeting. Sometimes our programs are counteractive to the Spirits work. We need an environment where the "each one has a Psalm, teaching, tongue, revelation etc..." (1 Cor 14:26) can happen. It's also a great reflection on the state of us as  individuals when we come together and just see what happens. We could have come together, sung songs, heard a word and gone home again and missed all of this. How tragic when lives are not shared on a deeper level.

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