On Tuesday night, we opened the door of our home to 16 adults, 2 teenagers, one babysitter, and 7 smallish children and launched the first Solid Rock house church in Newberg. The Lord brought together a wonderful mix of young and old, single and married, united with a common love for Jesus Christ and a a desire to "do life" with people in our community.
The Holy Spirit showed up and we experienced God's presence as we got acquainted, prayed together, grew in the knowledge of God's Word when Curt shared with us, took communion and worshipped together. Of course no good gathering is complete without food, so did a lot of hovering around the kitchen island and gorging ourselves on home-made goodies.
When we were shopping for a house months ago, one of our criteria was a home that was equipped to host a house church. We thought we'd never find a home that met all the requirements on our list. However, when we walked into the house we ended up buying, our first exclamation was, "PERFECT for house church. It even has stadium seating!"
This past year has been one of incredible change and growth and it has had multiple ups and downs. Tuesday night was incredibly fulfilling for us because we were able to clearly see how God has taken us full circle. He moved us to Oregon. Led us to the perfect home in HIS timing, not mine. Showed us how to be content while we were waiting (and waiting and waiting). Practically wrote "SOLID ROCK" in the clouds as He led us to our new church home. Surrounded us with a circle of new friends from the house church we attended in Beaverton to support us, pray for us, love us and commission us as they sent us out. And now, once again in His impeccable timing, God prepared the hearts of the people He wanted to lead to our house church. They were all PUMPED about finally having an option of a house church close to home.
We haven't hosted small group in almost a year and our hosting skills were a bit rusty. We giggled as we grilled each other. "Did you buy decaf? How much coffee should we make? Oh shoot - we forgot to buy plastic cups. Do we have enough glass ones to set out? I feel like we're forgetting something? What are we forgetting?" We were halfway through worship before Curt said, "Hey - did you get the stuff ready for communion?" Oops. THAT is what I was forgetting!
I made a Costco run this weekend and picked up the remaining "necessities" for consistently hosting large groups and feel a bit more equipped to adequately host our next gathering. I can hardly wait to see how He unites and knits together our house church. 3-2-1- LAUNCH! We're official.