At the end of the meeting two people came up to me both in tears. One told me it was a life-changing experience and the best morning they'd had in years - they were so affected by the stories they'd learned and shared. It really changed them and altered their faith.
The other person told me through her tears that she was 'so angry' with me because I'd robbed her of her weekly church service. She looks forward to it every week and I had taken it off her. It got me thinking...she couldn't separate the Church from the church service. We can be similar.
The church service as we know it is not derived from scripture. It is actually a Roman invention that was established when Constantine legalised christianity and made it illegal to persecute christians anymore. He then began a practice of having the Pope come and provide a regular church service for him. Our tradition descends from that. Interesting isn't it?
We should gather together (Heb 10:25), we should sing and praise God (Heb 13:15; Mark 14:26; 1 Cor 14:26), and we are to pursue and wrestle with scripture together (Deut 6:6-8) and we are to baptise, confess our sins and pray for each other and share communion together (too many references to list!). But there is no prescriptive format for doing that.
So as we continue to pursue the challenge of becoming the church to each other, and to our community, under the banner of The Local, our quest is simply to allow our worship for God and our pursuit of his presence to naturally take form among us when we are together.
Bring your ideas - anything is up for consideration. If it genuinely comes out of a disciple's heart of worship it will bring life. We look forward to seeing what you each have to bring to the life of this community together!