Editor’s Note: This post was written by David Washburn. In addition to being a great writer and an all around nice guy, he is also my father-in-law. Recently David attended a house church for the very first time and I asked him to write about his experience.
I have been going to a traditional church all sixty years of my life. I have been a member of high churches as well as the more casual, contemporary churches. Presently I am a member of a charismatic church were hundreds of people attend each week. All those years and all of those churches and it was not until last Sunday that I attended a house church.
What songs we sang, what Bible verses were read or what we prayed really does not matter. There really was very little difference in how this house church worshipped together than what you could find in organized churches in this area. The difference was found in the love of these people for each other and for people in need.
I have attended churches where everyone is called brother or sister. “Brother Dave, how are you doing today?” “Sister Kathy, you look marvelous in that dress.” They are very friendly and welcoming people. They have big smiles and will give you a hug as soon as they see you. I love those churches. This house church was different. They didn’t call each other brother or sister but they treated each other as genuine family. They laughed and tease one young girl about her new boyfriend. Laughed with one man who the week before had forgotten that they were going to be singing at a senior care center and was at the place they meet for Church instead. They were not putting on a smile to impress anyone, but rather because they enjoyed each others company.
During our time there I got the sense that they had genuine love and caring for each other. If one of them were to say something out of line, I am sure they would have lovingly set them straight. If one hurt, they all felt the pain.
Their love did not stop with just those in their group. Every first and third Sunday they would all go to sing at a senior care center. They had an outreach to others who were in need of God’s love. How many people in your church have an outreach outside your church members? This house church had 100% participation in reaching out to others.
These are simple people joined together in the Love of Christ to help each other to grow and to reach out to their community. They are not just brothers and sisters in name but in the love of Christ. That is what makes this house church so good. Perhaps a better terms would be to call it a Home Church instead, because you feel as if they really are a family who are loving and caring for each other in their home.
David Washburn is a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father, and a grandfather. He is an author of short stories and a blogger. His blog “Searching God’s Heart” focuses on knowing God’s heart and preparing for the revival of the last days.