So, how do you be a church without owning any property?
I have no idea how I’d do it without coffee shops. I’m pretty sure the start of the recent church-planting movement in the U.S. coincided with the ubiquitizing of coffee shops (and perhaps the advent of the craft-beer brewing explosion). Do any of you want to run a statistical correlation on that?
Anyway, where was I heading with this blog?
Ahh, yes, being the church without buildings. It requires homes. It requires people who are willing to open up their homes. It requires people to play the time-consuming and thankless job of church janitor – without pay!
Opening your home is a big deal. It’s costly. It’s scary. It’s inviting people – sometimes people you don’t know – into your space, your world, your inner-circle. It’s also about the connection between faith and your real life – which is the connection Jesus has always been interested in making.
Last night, Rick and Diana opened their home to 51 of us (33 adults and 18 kids). They’ve been co-hosting our Open House since the beginning of the summer. Sometime last week, Diana had the brilliant idea of having a Thanksgiving Dinner for Open House. So, she got on the horn and called folks to bring pumpkin pie and potatoes and stuffing and canned cranberry blob.
We spilled. We got crumbs all over. The table cloths will need to go to some sort-of therapy for what was done to them. But, towards the end of the main course, all the grown-ups shared something they were thankful for. It was beautiful.
Then, came the pie. I was one of the lucky ones who managed to secure a slice of the chocolate pecan that Kaytie made. Afterwards we chatted in groups of 3’s and 4’s – which was so good because we’re all still getting to know each other.
Is this everything? No. But part of being the church in a culture that makes strangers of us all is learning to be a sort-of surrogate/alternative-family who eats Thanksgiving meals together, who welcomes others into our homes and who normalizes conversation about Jesus around the table.