Last I week, I posted a blog titled “Want to bless your pastor?” and listed 4 practical ways you could do that and this week I’m hoping to expand on each of those 4 practical ways. The 4 ways I listed (obviously not comprehensive) were 1) Treat your home as a mini-church, 2) Go to work as a missionary, 3) Wrestle with and Embrace your pastor’s vision, 4) Humbly submit to serve in their ministry.
My hope is to provide practical advice on how to accomplish them and also how it can bless your pastor and your church.
Treat Your Home as a Mini-Church
Christian culture has centered itself around a Sunday gathering for centuries and somewhere along the way we began compartmentalizing our Christian lives by making Sunday really special, the only place where worship occurs, even utilizing at as THE ONE place of learning from the Bible through listening to a sermon.
This has resulted in the hypocritical living Christianity has grown to be known by in the world. That we love to look good on a Sunday, but don’t enjoy living it out Monday thru Saturday. Jesus and the scriptures clearly taught an entire way of life centered and ordered around faith lived out through love and obedience, but the question is how can this really be lived out if we’re only being spiritual for 2-3 hours on a Sunday or 30-minute at the drive thru church in Waco…
I believe the answer is transforming our home into a mini-church. A place where worship, living in the community of fellow believers, learning from the Word of God, prayer, and welcoming those who don’t believe that same things as you occur regularly. When Paul writes to Timothy he says only choose leaders who can lead their families as a mini-church well to lead the larger church (1 Timothy 3). It seems our home-life is the primary indicator of how well we are truly believing the gospel and faithfully obeying it.
Our home is where we spend most of our week, but it is often the place where we are laziest and most selfish. It becomes a retreat from the world into our own pleasures instead of a place where the gospel can be clearly lived out.
So what are the things we enjoy about a Sunday and how can they be brought into our mini-church?
1. Worship thru song and prayer – Every church you go to spends at least half the time singing and songs tend to be a great expression of our thoughts, prayers, and emotions toward God. They don’t have to be left at church, as anyone with a CD player, DVD player, computer or iPod/iPhone can listen to the music at their home. Maybe instead of the TV being on 24/7 you let your house be filled with worship music and if you’re really crazy you can sing along…
What about prayer? Is prayer something that only occurs at meals? You can set aside specific times and topics to pray for by developing a prayer calendar. Sometimes a little planning is all it takes to transform your home into a church.
2. Living in Community with Believers – One of my favorite aspects of church is seeing fellow believers who I love and have become my family, but why wait until Sunday? Everyone eats dinner, so why not invite your fellow believers into your meal times and let your home and dinner table become a place of meaningful conversation over the meaning of a passage of scripture, over the joys and sorrows of life, and simply enjoying each other’s companies.
We have a group that meets each week at our home and we eat dinner together. It’s some of the sweetest times in our weeks as we catch up, debate and discuss the meanings of scripture and learn from each other. I love it and it helps me to believe in Jesus and live for Him.
This can also be a time where communion can be taken together as a family of faith (obviously my Catholic friends would disagree, but that’s a whole other discussion for another day).
3. Welcoming people of other or no faith – For too long, Christians have viewed a Sunday service as the place where missions happens, but when you bring someone who believes differently from you to church you have to convert them twice. Once to Christianity and then once to your church’s style. And besides, this only gives you one chance a week to explain Christianity to someone. It’s incredibly difficult for someone to comprehend an entire belief system in 3 hours.
Your home is better than a church since it can be a more welcoming and open environment to make friends with your neighbors and anyone who doesn’t believe as you do. Again, everyone eats so why not invite your neighbors into a meal and let them into your life and discuss the same things with them as you would with believers.
How will this bless your pastor?
Removing Undue Burden – When we view Sunday as our primary means of spiritual activity, we put undue burden on our pastors by relying on them for our spiritual lives. We then have the tendency to become dependent on the pastor’s spiritual life rather than on Jesus and the bible. They have been tasked with equipping us for ministry, but often we just ask them to DO ministry to and for us on a Sunday.
Partnering Gives Them Joy – If our homes were mini-churches, we would bless them by reducing undue burden, but also by giving them joy as we partner with them for the mission of Jesus and the church to each other and the world.
What else have you done to help your home become a mini-church? How else do you think this blesses your pastor?