Thursday, August 13, 2015

Grace gatherings

Okay, so I've had this idea simmering in my mind for some time now. I go back and forth over whether it's a good idea or not; whether I like it or not; whether I want to be involved with it or not; whether I want to even remotely "go there" or not... So I'm just going to spew it out here before I forget about it. I'm hoping this will motivate me to start leaning one way or the other.

So... we are part of a church called "Grace Gathering." I like that name, but what I've been thinking lately is... I don't know that everyone is going to be reached with the good news of Jesus through what we think of as "churches" these days. So many of them are no more than civic organizations. It seems we have met a lot of people lately who consider themselves Christians, but they want nothing to do with the church. So I thought, "What if we just had some impromptu get-togethers and called them "grace gatherings" (with an "s"). Just a gathering together of people to encourage one another - or as Hebrews 10:24-25 says, to "spur one another on towards love and good works." Or as 2 Peter 3:18 says, to help one another "grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 

I think it would be important to have some simple core elements: Scripture, sharing of thoughts, hopes and dreams, maybe confession. And I think communion should be observed. I used to not be big into communion, but now I think it's a pretty powerful thing.

I think it would be wise to have some basic core values as well: Hospitality, hope, generosity, encouragement, love, support... things like that.

I am kind of torn on the eating thing. I would like to have some kind of meal together, but I don't want it to consume the time together, or detract from it. Maybe just a simple, 'everybody bring something to share.' I dunno.

I'm also not sure how organized to make it. I am a firm believer in the need for established rhythms, so I don't know if it's something that should be, like, the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month at 6 pm; or if it should be more random and less structured. Again, I don't know.

Another thing I'm torn about is whether it should be more of a thing for "devoted"-type followers of Jesus, or more centered around people who are just curious, or both. I still kind of like the idea of a "Beer Study and Bible Tasting" thing, but that might look entirely different.

So, that's kind of where I'm at. Some days I'm really excited about it, and then sometimes I'm like, "Eh... I don't know if I'm ready for this again or not." We'll see.