Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 7 - Community

Today's Reverb 10 Prompt:

December 7 – Community

Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
(Author: Cali Harris)

 A little over a year ago I started attending a house church.  It was unexpected.  I sort of fell into it.

When I started easing back into a church, after a year away, recovering from the fallout of a mission trip that didn't go as planned, and too many years of expectations and the pressure of being a pastor's kid, I picked the biggest church in the city.  Someplace where I could slip in and out anonymously.  Where I'd never be noticed, and no one would know if I was there week to week.

One week I heard a pastor speak, and something about what he said made me curious.  He was in charge of a church plant, but a non-traditional one.  A group of house churches.  Something in the things he said caught my attention - it caught the part of my heart that had been hunting for a place where God was moving in surprising ways, and it caught my attention because it was particularly unusual coming from the stage of our local version of a mega church.

I sent an email.

It took a while for a response to come, and by the time the response came, life had gotten crazy again, and I ignored it.

A month or two later, the pastor emailed me again, asking if I was still interested, and would I like to meet for lunch.  God seemed to be prompting, I said, yes, met with him, shared a bit of my story, and accepted an invitation to attend a particular house church the following week.

It was this time last year that I went for the first time. 

For the first several months, I made myself go, every week, hoping that the "new person in a small group of people who've been together for a while" thing would pass.  I knew it was the right place for me, but it took a long time for it to feel like home.

But it does feel like home, now.  That is the community of people who came around me when I fell down the stairs, totaled my car, lost my job, spent the summer studying, and as I've navigated the ins and outs of an incredibly tricky living situation this year.  They are the people I laugh with, and that I've cried with, and on the Thursday nights when I'm not with them, I really miss them.

They've taught me what it is to be there in the good times and the bad.  We've navigated a lot of ins and outs of each others lives, and I'm so thankful that that pastor followed up and sent a second email, and that somehow I said yes to a lunch meeting, and ended up with a church community that God confirms over and over again is the right place for me in this season.


christianne said...

I'm glad you found this house church community, too. What a beautiful story. I like the way you told it: all the ways God kept prompting you in surprising and subtle ways, and the ways you kept saying "Okay ... but I don't really know what this means."

What a gift to have a community of people around you, especially through what sounds like a very challenging year.

Lisa said...

Christianne - you totally read between the lines. The connections and the saying "okay, but I don't know what this means" was pronounced!

even now, if someone asks, I'll absolutely say that this is not the church I was looking for, or the church I would have picked, but it is absolutely the right place for me, and they have been a gift this year.