If you love Jesus, love others, and love the truth you will fit in just fine! But here are just a few things to consider.
- Jesus is Lord among us. However, everyone does not believe exactly the same on every single issue. Although we maintain the essentials to the Christian faith, we do not divide and separate from one another over peripheral doctrine. Romans 14:22 – “The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God.” Therefore, we are not offended, intimidated, or feel controlled by other’s beliefs that may differ somewhat from our own beliefs.The church has been extremely damaged and separated by dividing from one another over doctrine. Instead, we have open minded conversations and sincerely attempt to consider one another’s faith and position. We love one another more than we love our own opinions. We want to learn from one another and have the heart of regarding one another as more important than ourselves. When it’s time and when it’s called for, we certainly do “hash things out”, have conversations, and discuss doctrine in a proper manner. If your number one goal in fellowship with other people is to convert others to your views (or if it is a hidden agenda), you will not fit in with others very well.
- Anything and everything we practice in the group can always be brought into question by anyone for discussion or for change. However, their are proper and biblical ways to initiate and discuss change. It is sad to say, but many times people join groups for reasons other than just a simple love for Jesus. People often are wanting self-validation, affirmation, and to be respected and “listened to” by others. Our encouragement is to come in order to love, not to be loved.
- The church belongs to Jesus, not any one person. And we don’t want to get stuck in traditions, habits, or forms with no life in them. Therefore, every meeting is different. Things change over time depending on what the Lord is doing with us. If you like things to be the exact same way every time you may have some difficulties in meeting with us.
- Meeting in homes outside of the traditional church setting requires tremendous responsibility and some degree of spiritual maturity. If you are meeting in homes with other families (without a formal structure and without one man leading you), you are saying that you want to participate and take an active role. Being an active participant will look and show up differently in every person. You might bring a scripture to read to everyone, you may add to the conversation in some way, or you may share with others a new song that you’ve recently learned. If you prefer to “be fed” by the same man or person every week and you just want to go to a meeting once a week and hear a message, you may be uncomfortable with us.
- Meeting in homes is more than just “going to church”. You are also saying that you want to be involved in others lives. This requires keeping “short accounts” in relationships. For example, you may initiate a conversation with someone who may have offended you instead of relating to one another with shallow pretenses. Simply distancing ourselves because we “disagree” provides no opportunity for the Lord to change people’s hearts or for us to learn from one another. If you tend to “judge and separate” and you avoid doing the work of having real relationships and sincere conversations with people you probably would not like meeting with us.