Table Rustic
Helpful Tidbits for Organic Church Life                                             Aprit 28, 2008
In This Issue
House Churches Gain Acceptance
My Reflections
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It's human nature; we like to be accepted. Once, while at an organic church gathering, I overheard someone express aloud what many of us "organic church people" have experienced firsthand. He said something to this effect: "You know how it is. You tell someone you're part of a house church, then they look at you like you're weird. Then they say, Oh, you go to a small group. Then, you say, No, it's church, real church, just at a house."
Been there, done that?

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION/TOPIC: House churches gain acceptance
House Churches Gain Acceptance 
Excerpt from Leadership Journal (Spring 2008)
doormat2Americans today approve a variety of worship practices as legitimate and biblical for those who do not choose to participate in a conventional church, including:
  • faith activities with family at home: 89%
  • house church: 75%
  • watching a religious TV show: 69%
  • listening to religious radio: 68%
  • religious concert or community event: 68%
  • marketplace ministry: 54%
  • going to a faith-oriented website: 42%
  • watching live webcasts: 42%

Barna reports 77% of pastors say "house churches genuinely worship God." But would you recommend a house church to someone, pastor? Only 40% said yes.

My Reflections

Some say it's lonely at the top...and I'll have to take their word for it because I've never been there!

But there's other places that can feel lonely, too. In relationships. In spiritual deserts. In taking up one's cross.
Being part of an organic church expression can feel lonely, too. In fact, in an effort to alleviate the "loneliness," I've seen organic church expressions (gathered) take upwards of an hour to reassure themselves that what they're doing is okay.
Well, let me assure you, it's not just okay, it's more than okay! Those that say it's lonely at the top also say this: so you'd better know why you're there!
When seeds of doubt get lodged into the crevices of your soul, I'd encourage you to remind both yourself, and those around you, of the basics. At the most basic level, we, the church of Jesus Christ, are privileged to be part of the most powerful and important work the world has ever known: the redemption of a rebellious world.
Organic ChurchAnd how is it, exactly, that we participate in this powerful and important work? Here's how: We allow every cell of our body to conform to the image of Christ. Said another way, we need to be infused with the right DNA: Divine truth, Nurturing relationship, and Apostolic mission (for more on the importance of a right DNA, read Neil Cole's book Organic Church).
So, the next time you get put into the "weird" category, know this: you are! Remember, the kingdom of God is an upside-down kingdom. Backwards. Not of this world. Different. Even alien. And, for the record, it's okay. Better still, you're not alone (Mt 28:20).
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table