It’s always been my vision to see a diverse network of simple, small, virile and flexible house churches/communities. That’s why we were keen to start hosting our own Sunday morning congregation a few months ago:
- To provide an accessible church for neighbours we meet locally
- As an opportunity to disciple one another into ministry focused in the vision God’s given us
- To keep things small, so as we grow we’re forced to split rather than become big and clumsy (see my previous post on artificial persecution)
After starting our Sunday morning congregation Rob and Jacob Cartwright have become increasingly involved. In fact Jacob had been wandering from faith for a while and gave his life back to Jesus in one of the first few Sunday morning meetings he was with us. A few weeks ago they both hosted the Sunday morning meeting together, leading worship, and even more recently we baptised Jacob in our back garden.
As a result of simply joining in with what we do here at Bostock, a few bible studies about gifts and ministries, and perhaps also our week of prayer at the start of the year, they’ve both recently expressed a vision to get another house in town to do something similar to what we’re already doing, probably also with Seb and one of us in the existing house.
We arranged an evening to go out for dinner with them to talk vision, work out some practicals, see how we can help them, train them, support them financially, with a view to them becoming a house church in their own right. Around the same time and not knowing all this, Dave, a friend and supporter of ours, asked for my address saying he wanted to post me something.
The day of the meal a package arrived from Dave. The gift he sent was a whittled tent peg engraved with the words “DRIVE YOUR PEGS DEEP” and the scripture ref Isaiah 54:2, with a letter. After reading the scripture I just knew I had to bring it with me to the meal that evening.
‘Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes.
Wow. I didn’t tell anyone about it and snuck it into my back pocket as six of us walked to the pub for our meal. Definitely a word in season, it was amazing to bring it out at the start of our meal, to have a sense of God saying to us “yep, this is my plan, go for it!” and to consider how we should root ourselves in deeper in order to extend out.
I occasionally get a brief and overwhelming rush of emotion when I hear God speaking so clearly. This is one of those seasons. He knows us, He’s interested, this is His thing.
Please pray for us all, and especially for them. Please will you pray we all hear God’s direction clearly, that practical aspects fall into place, and that we really know what it means to drive our pegs in deep as we prepare?