The Pastor’s Garage October 16th, 2020

Hi everyone,

The time between thanksgiving and halloween is always a time of transition.
The weather changes, kids and back into the swing of school, hockey starts
for some of us, other groups start up, harvest wraps up. etc… Transition
times are marked by letting go of one thing and embracing another. Some
transitions are forced upon us and some are by choice. It’s debatable which
type of transition is harder.

Truth be told, as you pastor I am asking you to consider making a
transition. Well, perhaps it is an addition that I am asking you to
consider. House Gatherings. Yes, I like the wording on that. House
Gathering. As you know Pastor Mike and I have been gently encouraging you
to consider creating or joining a House Gathering. In the past we’ve used
terms like small group or house church or life group. The names are not so
important but at least I’d like to steer away from using the word church,
because the church is not a certain gathering or a building or a Sunday
service. The church is a body of people moving and serving God together.
It’s more of a movement than anything else. Unfortunately I think we have
misconstrued Sunday morning service for the church. I understand what we
mean when we say “I’m going to church” but I think our language reflects
our position on the idea of church. Church is something that we attend,
that we experience – when in fact it should be perhaps more of something
that we are or that we are a part of. We are the church.

A consequence of the way we think is that we have made the half-time show
the game. Let me explain the analogy, which although *not perfect* has
helped me to understand where we are at a bit better. For a long time we
have had a great half-time show on Sundays. It’s healthy, it’s life giving,
it has good music and teaching. Our kids have enjoyed the kid’s program and
pot-lucks rock. Unfortunately, part of our misunderstanding of church had
led us to believe that the half-time show is the game. The half-time show
is a change of pace, a time to be encouraged and strengthened, a time to
receive healing, a time to connect, a time to bless others and on and on –
but it is not the game! The game is living as the church the rest of the
week and living connected with each other and being salt and light to our
friends and neighbors and sharing the love of Christ with them! We can
never win the game and be the church if we think the half-time show is the
game. Now don’t get me wrong I love the half-time show. I think it’s really
important and life giving – but it’s not the game!

That’s where House Gatherings come in. I think they get us in the game.
They get us more intimately connected to each other and they get us playing
the game. Serving each other, opening opportunities to share our faith with
others and helping us to experience all the growth and life Jesus has for
us. We’ve been losing the game and that might be because we have not even
been playing it! Again, House Gatherings are not a magical silver bullet,
but they might be a tool that God can use. I humbly ask that you consider
joining or starting a group. Once again I am attaching my “Cheat Sheet”
which explains in more detail some of my thoughts and ideas about House
Gatherings. Please read it and I’d love to hear your feedback.

If you are interested in starting a group please get ahold of myself or
Pastor Mike. If you would like to join a group please let us know if you
are unable to connect with one or would like to join one.

A reminder that Firm Foundations is starting up again this Sunday at 9:00

God bless,

Pastor Dave