And it has been sort of a peculiar path we’ve traveled over the last few years – one, that for a variety of reasons, I’m not sure I’d ever have chosen early on in our life, but one I’m thankful to be traveling now.
And this morning I read an article that resonates well with our experience. I haven’t talked a lot about “home-churching” bcz it tends to be one of those sort of “volatile” subjects – you know, the home birth vs. hospital, or unmedicated brith vs. medicated, home-school vs. public school and on and on. Also, when sort of boasting of great experiences or results or reading an article that touts the benefits of an particular common experience, it might tend to offend those who don’t share that experience or methodology. It’s like touting the benefits of one diet regimen or car or daily schedule: “your results may vary.” So, identifying with the results of the Barna research article might be sort of like homeschoolers identifying with, say, the winner of a national spelling competition and saying: “See, homeschooling works!” And so, just bcz something works for one individual, that same thing won’t work for all.
And just as soon as I say that, I want to defend my reservation and maybe even deny it. For, as with most things I do, I wouldn’t do them unless I thought they were the best or right thing to do. I might even go so far as to say: the best or right thing for all people in all places for all time. But then, that might just be too radical… the statement of a “peculiar people.” That might be no dating, distinctive masculine and feminine dress, home-birthing, divine birth ordering, home-schooling, home-making, submission and headship, home-industry and on and on. So, it’s no surprise, then, that strong conviction might be present concerning the home, or non institutionalized, church.
Here’s the Barna link. My strong disclaimer or addendum here would be that I have *no* animosity toward the those who see thing differently regarding the institutional church per se. It’s the program driven, prescription for growth, dialectic or commercialized stuff that really has nothing to do with the Way and Word. At all. Those are the grievous things to me.
Speaking of house church, and I guess I was, it was sure a great blessing to have as our guests yesterday, Jason and Sharon Nightingale, with Wordsower ministries. Sharon’s living example and Jason’s commanding presence in stature and deep base voice only increases the benefit of his teaching and recitation of the Word of God. Generally, when he visits churches [ in buildings or houses 😉 ] he proclaims or speaks the Revelation. I think the first time I heard him quote the whole book of the Revelation, I was so wowed that he was actually reciting the whole thing I kept thinking of that over and over. But, as with all things, the hearing of God’s Word never returns void and now, many years later, I read the Word and often hear the tremendous inflection of that deep voice resonating in the back of my mind: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches…”