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Livingroom Beginnings - Part 1

21 January, 2004 7:17 AM

Blogathon - Entry 19

Michelle asks
How did you know you were meant to go start a house-church? Was it an order from Above (God) or above (your church authorities)? How did you make the decision to say yes and what did you do to prepare? What did family & friends think of the idea and your involvement? How did you actually get going on the project?

Big questions Michelle, I'll try to answer them briefly.

In short I felt 'called' to start it. When I was a youth pastor at an old church 10 years ago someone was praying for me and they felt God say that I would plant a church. I had never heard of the idea before and didn't give it a second thought.

A few years ago I left that job and toured around Australia managing a Christian Rock band. The year was a great one and a hard one. I came home quite disillusioned with the state of the church in Australia. So many churches seemed so impossible for young people or 'alternative' type people to relate to. For example in one town after a week of working in High Schools we had 30 kids make decisions to commit to relationships with Jesus. But when we took them to the local church they were told to take their hats off, sit quietly, and sing hymns. We heard only weeks later that none of those kids had continued with their faith and that many of them were even further away from God than when they started. That church was more of a hindrance than a help. Very sad.

I came home from that year quite disillusioned with church and unable to find one where I was able to express some of my concerns and find answers. So I began to mee with two friends once every few weeks for dinner. Those dinner conversations became my experience of church. We ate, drank wine, shared our discoveries of God and prayed. I slowly realized that this was more like church than I'd previously experienced.

Also at this time I met some people who were into training people for church planting and mission. The cool thing was that they were not interested in planting 'normal' churches or clones of what most churches already look like, but they were interested in planting churches that non church goers might find God in. To cut a long story short I did a year long internship with this group and gradually felt more and more excited about the possibility of starting a church in the area I love — the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne.

Ideas began to come and I began to share them with others. We applied for a grant from our denomination to help us get started — they said yes. I asked a few people to join, some said yes others said no. We began to meet and now here we are. The Living Room was born last March.

My wife V and our families have been very supportive. My family have been very involved in church life for generations so they are very open to it. Our friends have also been supportive. I'm sure some of them wonder what it is we are actually doing. I actually find our friends who don't have much experience of church are more open to it than some of our Christian friends.

Hope that answers the questions ok Michelle, feel free to ask more. It is good for me to think through and reflect upon. I'll expand more later on as others have asked similar questions.

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Comments

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Thanks for answering Darren! Being one-foot-on-the-way to thinking about something similar to LivingRoom in my future, your answers provided a load of insight.
Blog on - what a marathon!!!! GO DARREN, GO DARREN!!!

Michelle » 21 January, 2004 6:48 PM

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