Thursday, April 17, 2008

Our First Mission Passover Seder

Our first Mission Family Passover Seder

Special thanks to Betsy and Candy from Marti Clark's house church fellowship in Orange. They brought the tables, the china, and printed up all the books for everyone and even waited on us like servants so everyone in our group could enjoy the Seder dinner together.

It was a marvelous time and everyone said it was a great blessing to them, each in different ways.

Next year we'll have to do it again!


Monday, April 14, 2008

Partnering With Others

Yesterday Wendy and I took our boys to another house church fellowship in Orange (after our group had concluded at 12:30pm that same day) to help lead a dialog about Poverty in Orange County.

There were actually two different house churches represented in this meeting, other than our own, (so I guess that makes it more like 3, right?), and as we took turns reading our scriptures and statistics on poverty in Orange County we each felt the presence of God and the depth of His love for people in need.

We also had a chance to pray over a few in their group who needed work (one lady had been out of work for one year...I could relate to her having been through the same thing...twice), and we got to share about the possibility of getting our three groups together to do more things together in the future.

Marti Clark leads the group that hosted this afternoon gathering. She's a good friend who has worked with ALPHA USA in this region and I've had the good fortune of working with her to do conferences locally (she lead one of our workshops at the Non-Con).

Joyce and Van Pewthers were also in attendance yesterday. They were also at the Non-Con and they lead a house church in Placentia/Brea area. It was great to see them again and to continue this dialog about God's heart for the poor in Orange County.

Each group expressed a desire to join our house church ("The Mission") the next time we serve our friends over at the motel in Santa Ana, and we also talked about getting together for other events and sharing opportunities down the road.

Each of our three groups has different strengths and area of expertise. It will be exciting to see how the intertwining of our groups adds depth and resource across the board.

Two from Marti's group (Betsy and Candy) will be helping lead our Passover Seder dinner this Thursday night, and next Thursday night we're planning to get together for a special evening with Todd Hunter (which we will share with the Pewther's house church and with Soul Survivor also).

It's exciting to me to consider how this could work as a catalyst for each of our groups moving forward.

More as this develops...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


A.W. Tozer put it best when he said, "We must not think of the Church as an anonymous body, a mystical religious abstraction. We Christians are the Church and whatever we do is what the Church is doing. The matter, therefore, is a personal one. Any step forward in the Church must begin with the individual." (From "The Knowledge Of The Holy"; pg.114.)

When we speak of "The Church" we're talking about our own family. So, whenever we at The Mission feel compelled to point out something "wrong" the Church is doing, we have to stop and realize that we're talking about something we are eternally still part of.

One thing I think would help would be to use the word, "We" whenever we feel compelled to point out something another church or leader is doing that troubles us instead of the word "they". Why? Because these are things all of us have also participated in. Plus, if we say, "Sometimes we act this way or do these things" then the focus stays on us. It forces us to look at ourselves, the log in our own eye, rather than that speck in our brother's eye.

We are the church, and so, it's more helpful to just admit, "We do this" or "We used to do that" and keep the focus on ourselves. That way we can quickly move on to what we've learned from those mistakes and talk about whether or not we're actually putting any of what we've learned into practice.

Let's try hard to keep the focus of our share times on encouragement and whenever we do share criticism let's get quickly back onto the road of exploring what we can learn and what we can do, right now, to take those lessons we've learned from our own mistakes and apply them in our lives.

One of our stated values at The Mission is that we will not spend any time tearing down the rest of the Body of Christ. I'm not picking on any one person here. In fact, I know I'm probably more guilty than anyone else here. So, please help to keep me accountable to this important value.

You and I are the people of God. We are the Church that He has assembled for these times. We are the Church called to make a difference in this day and to this culture.

We are the Church God has chosen to love others in a way that no one has ever seen before. We are the Church that God has entrusted to be His ambassadors to the world.

In the four walls on Sunday, and outside the four walls the rest of the week, we are the Church. At home, in line at the Grocery store, at work, at school, in fact, everywhere you are, there you will find that Church.

We are the Church. The only Church the world will ever know.

So, now, let’s go and be the church we dream of.