Welcome to my home
May 28, 2021
COVID gathering restrictions are not yet lifted in most parts of Canada, but that day will come, and when it does…
When I was praying about the GOD HEARS Prayer Letter today, “house churches” came to mind. I know of two that are welcoming new believers from Muslim background (BMBs); apart from that, I don’t know much about house churches and have had no personal experience with them. I note that wikihow.com has directions for how to start a house church(!), but their underlying assumptions don’t fit the needs of BMBs.
What are the needs of BMBs? Often, they get lost in our Western churches due to cultural differences, limited knowledge about how to disciple people from Muslim background and lack of effort by the congregation to understand and minister to them. They need our time, our attention, our sacrifice of love. They need to be intentionally discipled by mature believers who know God’s word and walk in the freedom of the Spirit. They need a community that enjoys eating together! They need a place to belong.
House churches have much potential for this group. Hospitality opens their hearts. Everyone can feel like a contributor by doing something as simple as bringing food. All can be discipled, whether seekers, new believers or those becoming secure in their faith, because the setting enhances the feeling of family. Could we stretch Jesus’ knocking at the door of the church at Laodicea to include in His intentions the Muslim immigrants and refugees He has brought here, many of whom have never been in a Christian home or heard about Jesus from a Christian? Can we believe He is introducing them to us as His friends (Jn 15:15)? “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me” (Rev 3:20).
Let’s pray over this collection of possibilities for BMB house churches to take off and become bright lights scattered over the nation when COVID restrictions lift.
Father, draw Your growing and future family together in home settings to experience Your welcoming love and to learn all about You.
Jesus, bring small teams of gifted, called, committed disciples from both Western and Eastern backgrounds, and teach them to love and teach BMBs while modeling the Christian walk for them.
Spirit, hover over each initiative and bring Your order into disorder, Your plans to direct and Your inspiration to make divine connections, develop relationships and pour living water to overflowing into every dry place.
Provide child-friendly homes with a room large enough for meeting together.
Provide volunteers to disciple the children.
Appoint and anoint a worshipper to lead singing and/or select worship videos for each group.
Highlight the Bible stories, studies and methods suited to each group, and help them discover the applications to their own lives.
Teach people how to pray for one another. Answer prayers. Release healing and deliverance.
Transform lives by helping BMBs renew their minds. Teach them to trust and be trustworthy.
Provide life experience training for those whom You are calling to plant new house churches.
Lord, following COVID isolation, light up this nation with vibrant and authentic Christian communities where BMBs are discipled well! Thank You Lord!
*Image credit: congerdesign at pixabay