House Church Talk - Our Neighborhoods
janet at janetmurphy.net
Wed Jun 23 12:34:03 EDT 2004
Hi everyone ~
Thought I'd pass this on from a list I am subscribed to. His address is there if anyone wants to communicate with him.
Have a good one!
Date sent: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 10:03:43 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Wayne Harmon" <wayne5274 at charter.net>
Thank you for these articles regarding what I call The Organism
vs. The Organization. The Holy Spirit led my family out of the
organization thirteen months ago this week. To our initial surprise,
He has not told us to seek out another organization in which to
"fellowship". We experimented for a time with a "home church",
but soon discovered that we were just dabbling with another old,
but smaller, wineskin.
So what's going on, Lord? I mean, I've been "in church" for 50
years. Only the "heathen" don't go to church. Yet, we found no
peace until we submitted to Him and stopped looking for a way
to "do church".
Shortly after we had left the organization, my wife and I were having
a casual visit with a couple of our neighbors up the street from us.
The lady who lived next door dropped by after work. It was one of
those visits where she just walked in without knocking or ringing
the doorbell. We were introduced to her, and began the small talk
that is part of the getting-acquainted ritual.
This lady had the saddest, emptiest eyes of anyone I've ever met.
As the small talk grew into bigger talk, we learned that she was
preparing to leave her abusive husband. Here was a very attractive,
intelligent, well-educated woman in her mid-forties who had finally
had enough of her twenty-five year marriage to an unloving, abusive,
controlling man. As she talked, the Lord told me to stay quiet and to learn.
As my wife and I were walking back to our house, the Lord began
to speak to us as we talked about this lady we had just met. He
showed us that had we still been in the organization, we would
have felt compelled to invite her to attend church with us on
Sunday morning. That's what we were taught to do in the
organization. If someone has a need (other than financial) then
the solution is to "get them in church". (If they have a financial
need, the solution is to get a job, or second job, or a third job;
just so long as the organization gets ten percent of the take.)
Then we began to imagine what would have happened if we had
taken this lady to the church we had just left. Here she is, full of
pain and bitterness, seeking answers to her problems. She goes
into a huge room filled with hundreds of strangers. She stands
for forty-five minutes listening to songs she doesn't know. She
listens to announcements that have nothing to do with her. She
feels obligated to pay an admission fee as the offering bag is
handed to her. Then she has to sit for another thirty to forty-five
minutes while some man talks about how the people listening to
him can help him build his empire... Thank God we kept quiet,
and thank Him that we didn't have an organization to which to invite her.
That is the evening the Lord told us that our "church" is our
neighborhood. Since then, we have had great ministry opportunities
with our neighbors. They know that we are Christians, yet they
don't feel like they have to act differently around us. They are real
with us, and we with them. They have begun to ask us hard
questions, and the Holy Spirit always gives us His answers.
A few days ago as I was going to work, I saw one of our neighbors
walking his dog. I stopped to say good morning, and he returned
the greeting. As I drove away, the Holy Spirit said, "He is part of
your church. You are his pastor'." I asked the Lord how I could be
considered to be this man's pastor"? He answered, "By interceding
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