Over the past year, we’ve talked with lots of different people in varying degrees of detail about what we’re doing now church-wise. Ross summed up the philosophy exceptionally well last night in his article “Imagine,” so I thought I’d take the opportunity to go into more detail for everyone who might be interested.
Go read that article first (it’s short), and then I’ll add some details specific to our situation.
Ross asks what would happen if we “abandoned all the traditional trappings of our faith and reverted to only what we read about in the New Testament.” As much as possible, that’s what we’re trying to do — not because we believe it’s the only right way (or even the right way for most people), but just because it’s the right thing for us.
More and more people are doing the same thing. (Katie describes us as “second shifters.”) Still, it’s not yet to the point where it doesn’t seem really suspect. Homeschooling is one thing, but having church in your house is just weird. I get that. We’re not building a militia, though, and we’re not stockpiling supplies to prepare for war against the government :) Here’s what we are doing.
Each Sunday we meet at 10:30. We take turns bringing a breakfasty-type food, and we just spend the first 30 minutes or so eating and talking about whatever. Eventually we transition to the living room and pick up where we left off in the book of Mark. We’re reading through it together and discussing specifically what each story tells us about what Jesus would really do. (Inevitably, our image of Jesus is shaped by the type of church we have grown up in (or not grown up in). The Jesus of the Bible is often much different than the Jesus we have in our heads.)
It has been incredible. It’s amazing what you see and what you experience when you remove what isn’t necessary. It has also helped us shift our mindset from church being somewhere we go to being something we are — not just on Sundays but every minute of every day.
Again, we would never argue that this is the way that everyone ought to be doing church. It’s just what’s right for us right now. If you want to see how it works, drop in one Sunday. We won’t make you fill out a guest card ;)