Reason #1 We Started a House Church
In my head, whenever I have a lot of reasons for something or facts that I apply to a subject, I start numbering them. But I don’t number them really well. Whenever I use one, I assign a totally random and arbitrary number to emphasize the fact that I have a bunch of reasons or facts and this is just one of many. One example is my “Rules of Parenting.” I can’t tell you how many I actually have, but the next time I bring one up, you can be sure it will be “Travis’ Rules of Parenting #867.”
Yesterday I found another group of reasons that I could number in a similar fashion: the reasons my friends and I meet as house churches instead of as a traditional congregation. And while I could probably continue to make up non-sensical numbers, I thought it might be helpful for me to truly number the reasons we do house churches in order to see how many there actually are. My hope is after a year or so of writing to have 20 or more of these that I can point people to when they begin asking me questions about house churches.
So, with no further ado, Reason #1
I was sitting at McDonald’s with the guys in my 2&3. We had basically just finished up and were about to leave when our new friend Ahmed* came up and started talking to us. We met Ahmed last week and he told us his story of his life and his journey to Christ. Ahmed also told us he was homeless. We had asked Ahmed if we could help in any way and he told us he had it taken care of.
This week, however, things had changed for Ahmed. Without going into a ton of details, he had a misunderstanding that led to falling out with his homeless shelter. I had learned previously that Ahmed was part of a church, so I asked him if his church had helped him. He gave me a legitimate reason that they had in the past but weren’t now. But the next thing he said was difficult. “I understand why they can’t always help me out. They have expenses that they need to take care of.”
My friend and I looked at each other and smiled. It was the knowing smile of two people who knew that buildings and salaries weren’t more important than the homeless follower of Jesus trying to put his life back together. Ahmed caught our quick interchange and we explained to him that we might have thought differently about his situation than he did.
And so my friends, Reason #1 why we meet as house churches is we don’t want to put buildings and salaries ahead of the legitimate needs of others, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need. Foregoing the building and the salary has helped us to never really need to be concerned about “the bottom line” of our churches when we step out to help others. Many might say they are able to do this as well with a building or salary that they need to pay. I rejoice in this fact! But I also know of many places who have had to make these hard choices and I’m not envious of that position at all.
Reason #1 has a name. Ahmed and the 10 or 15 others like him that we’ve been able to help is why we meet as house churches.
Side note: Please pray for my friend Ahmed. I believe him to be a sincere man trying to put his life back together but is in a tough spot. And pray for him to become a faithful witness of Christ in places many of us cannot reach.
*It may go without saying, but Ahmed’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.