Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 in Review

This year our house church family began to draw nearer to one another in many ways. We're still learning what it means to love one another. But, at least we're being more honest about our fears, and what holds us back from being loved and showing love.

Our house church family has learned to embrace those among us who are going through difficult financial times. We've taken time to listen, to pray for, and best of all, to dig down deep and provide financial blessings for families in our Body who are struggling.

We're learning how to set aside our own personal preferences in order to honor those among us who have needs that are different from our own. Sometimes that means waiting patiently for others to wrestle with things we may have already endured.

We're also learning to honor our children again. Welcoming, and encouraging them, to share more and speak up, and participate as fully functional members of the Body of Christ.

I am still learning when to be silent and when to speak up. I'm being challenged to prepare teaching more often, but also still careful to at least try to listen more than I speak. It's not easy.

For me, this year was pivotal. This was the year when I ceased being the pastor of the Mission and became one of the members of the Body. Now I am one of the brothers here, not the leader. Our leader is Jesus. And more and more we are learning how to allow Him to actually lead us, and speak to us, and be the head over us.

Our themes this year were love, the priesthood of the believer, the headship of Christ, compassion to one another, and corporate prayer.

I've been very blessed to begin every Sunday gathering with 30 minutes of prayer time. As we gather together to seek the Lord's leadership and guidance for the day, I've seen the Lord working more in our midst and teaching us more about His will for us.

For the last 4 years the word for this church has been "love". I believe we are still mainly called to explore this core command of Jesus together. What does it mean to love one another? How can we become experts at loving our family, our friends, our neighbors, and our co-workers? How can we learn to love one another more? What does that involve?

One thing I do know is that love is messy. Just like church. There are no easy answers. Things can be more challenging and difficult than we imagine. Love is not easy. It does not come naturally to us. Love means letting go. It means laying ourselves aside for the sake of others. It means dying to ourselves. Love means putting others first. It means enduring seasons of discomfort in order to comfort those in pain.

So, I may not know what is ahead for us in 2010, as a church family. But I do know that, as we allow Jesus to have more of us, He will lead His Church. He will speak to us. He will reveal His heart and He will make His will known to us.


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