Our book discussion on Finding Church continues with Chapter 20: Beyond the Congregation. If you have given up trying to find the community your heart hungers for in an institutional environment, where else can you find it? For many of us fellowship was just a matter of attending services or house meetings every week, without that being pre-planned for us we have to take a more intentional approach to connecting with people in a way that opens the door for community.
This chapter is designed to encourage people to look beyond those institutional methods, including house church as a new system, and open your heart to the relationships God wants to give you that are already around your life. As friendships grow, so does community. Community is actually the fruit of learning to live loved. You don’t go out and build community, you open your heart to friendships and discover what kind of adventure his Spirit wants to take you on.
Excerpt from Chapter 20:
You will find the church easiest when you stop looking for an “it,” and simply love the people God has put around you. Start with growing friendships instead of trying to find a group to join. It was no accident that the church began at Pentecost without any strategy or preconceived notion of what it would look like. They weren’t told to start Sunday services or have midweek home groups. They simply did what their new experience with the Gospel and their engagement with his Spirit led them to do. Learn to follow him and then engage others around you with the reality of his kingdom and watch how that bears fruit.
You can find the discussion board here and see the list of topics we’ve covered. You can start at Chapter 1 and work your way through, or just join us in Chapter 20.