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Church in our Living Room

30 October, 2003 10:09 PM

From time to time people ask what does 'church' looks like at LivingRoom? It's a question that is a little difficult to answer mainly because what we do changes from week to week — but I thought I'd attempt to describe a typical night here anyway.

We meet on Tuesday nights, usually at one or another of the groups homes.

- The evening begins with some sort of prayer or reflection. This might be anything from a read prayer to a moment of silence, the lighting of a candle, to a short guided meditation.

- Dinner Time! The meal is usually quite a feast with each person brings something to contribute. We always eat vegetarian food which has often been made with ingredients grown organically in one of the groups gardens. Most of us will have a glass of wine with our meal.

- Dinner is a pretty informal time of sharing, catching up, laughing, story telling and reflecting upon our weeks. We often end up talking about any missional opportunities we've had during the week here.

- After the main course we often move into the living room of the home for some sort of activity or reflection. We tend to mix up what we do in this time from week to week. Some weeks it's fairly discussion oriented around a passage of Scripture. Other weeks we might do a prayer/meditation or some sort of creative worship experience. Some weeks we pause during or after dinner for a formal time of communion - other weeks it is something that goes unspoken, yet amidst our eating and drinking it is obvious that we are celebrating the Lords Supper.

- Depending upon what we've just done and where the group is at, we sometimes end the night with prayer for one another and more sharing.

- Lastly we have dessert, tea (usually herbal — peppermint is a popular choice), coffee and then do the dishes together.

The whole feel of the night is pretty intimate and informal. The most we've ever had on a Tuesday night is 10 people. We currently have 7 committed core members who are all amazing people who I'm coming to be very fond of!



Now THAT is what I am looking for here in a church! Iow, how do I get something like that in a small town of about 20,000 people?

Well, sure sounds like you have a great thing going, Darren!

Rich » 31 October, 2003 4:16 AM

Rich, why not have a go at it yourself?

Jon » 31 October, 2003 5:01 AM

What you describe sounds a lot like what I've imagined the very early church to be.

You didn't mention music or singing. Is it that you don't care for it in your meetings or is it because no one in your group plays an instrument or thinks they can sing well enough?

There are some songs whose lyrics are beautiful prayers in and of themselves. Just wondering.

Clarence » 31 October, 2003 6:46 AM

yeah Rich - all we have is 7 core people at this stage.

Last year V and I did something a little similar (although less intentionally 'church' in and of it self) with 6 people. Before that I actually had done it with two other people on a semi regular basis.

There are challenges with smaller numbers - but its doable.

Clarence - no we havn't sung a song together yet. Its not because any of us 'can't sing' or that we're violently opposed to singing - rather I think it that we're trying to find an indigenous form of worship for our area. People in our wider community rarely sing, in fact it makes them uncomfortable. So we're trying new ways of worshipping at this stage.

The other reason I think we havnt' sung yet is that we are all from very 'churchy' backgrounds where singing has become almost the only way to worship. (ie its become very narrow in focus) - perhaps we've reacted against that in this new form of church and just need a break from it. I mean I've been singing for worship for 31 years! Its quite refreshing to find other ways to connect and lift up my God.

Having said all that, down the track we may end up singing from time to time - we'll see what happens.

Darren Rowse » 31 October, 2003 7:14 AM

I like it.

Anita » 31 October, 2003 11:50 AM

Well, Clarence beat me to the question. I too wondered about singing, as I find it helps my emotional relationship with God.

But, your point is well taken about having someone with musical talent. I recently came across a set of DVDs from Integrity Music. Wonderful! Nice videos to match the praise music, and the lyrics can be turned on/off. I played them on my laptop at a weekend getaway with friends, and we found ourselves singing along at the top of our lungs.

Finally - the idea of communion. Coming from a liturgical background, I find the Eucharist truly pushes my spiritual buttons.

Darren - keep posting more about your budding home church. This is interesting.


Doug » 31 October, 2003 2:53 PM

I do understand Darren. As usual, there are good reasons for what we don't do out of tradition or habit.

My experience has been that there are those who sing worship songs to be heard by other people, to have their egos stroked, to be honored by men.

Then there are those who sing in worship of their God. They may not have a good singing voice but there is no denying their motive for singing. It is this kind of singing that blesses me the most. This kind of worship has the power to carry everyone into a state of worship that is deeper and more meaningful. This kind of worship stirs up the heart of God and results in the manifestation of His Spirit in the midst. This kind of worship allows the Spirit His total liberty and He can be at His most affective under the circumstances.

This kind of worship singing makes everyone want to join in. It is total freedom for all to worship as they can and will. It is the kind of joyful noise that God appreciates and desires from his people. Unfettered, spontaneous and honest.

Clarence » 31 October, 2003 6:01 PM

Your living room sounds remarkably like my weekly Bible study. We start with a prayer; have a dinner; then a half-hour of music (where I lead an informal song worship). Next is the Bible lesson, usually disecting a Bible verse, or discussing a topic (like Spiritual Warfare or God's Leadings) using Bible verses. It's finished off with a popcorn prayer (usually a good half-hour prayer) and then dessert and socializing.

The lesson is usually lead by Jeff Boucher of Touch The World ministries; which provides mission opportunities for teens and adults all over the world, and sponsors ministries in Japan, Scotland, Uganda, Cuba, Mexico and the US. (www.ttw.org)

The study is the highlight of my week and feeds me spiritually. Its good to hear you have the same thing across the globe.

Rebecca » 9 November, 2003 1:18 PM

I am not a christian by birth. But now I want to be.

Sudesh » 29 April, 2004 5:04 PM

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