Gathering 242 is named for the verse in Acts 2:42 where it is said of the recently empowered church, "they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." Posts like this one are from members of the G242 Summit Fellowship.
After nearly year of expectation, Gathering 242 finally came to the day we’ve been anticipating (dreading?) We have to multiply.
If everyone shows up on the same night the group would have about 25 regular members. We call that a “church growth problem.” We
are too big. In the old days, we may have started talking about getting a building so we could bring in more people. That’s not the way The Summit Fellowships do things. When a group gets too big for the house it’s meeting in, the group will multiply and branch out into a new neighborhood, making room for more people in two places. That’s what is happening to G242 beginning on September 12, 2015. A new fellowship will be putting down roots in the Roseway neighborhood in Portland, at the Mayhew’s house.
Gathering 242 invites you to The Vine, a gathering of the community of Summit Fellowships, their friends and guests*. This episode of The Vine will include a Jesus Circle story-telling experience. Here are the details:
When: Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 4:00PM. This is Passover.
Last Saturday fourteen of us met to share dinner and worship. Ten members of our community were unable to attend. Over the last few months we have regularly had twenty to twenty four people on Saturday night. It’s quite a change from the four to six people who began meeting at MacArthur Church in Vancouver four years ago.
In a traditional church the growth we are experiencing would precipitate a building committee dedicated to finding a larger meeting place; but as house churches we believe that the Body of Christ is best served by small groups of Christ followers meeting together. Our recent growth is an opportunity for church multiplication.
This last Saturday we discussed what our next steps are as we enter into this adventure of church multiplication. A couple of of things were very clear:
1) This is not a blanket statement that we have too many people and some should leave. The last thing we want is for anyone to feel unwelcome. The goal of church multiplication is to see Christ’s church moving out into new places; not to protect our comfortable community.
2) Those who do step out in faith to build a new community of Christ followers must do so because they are called to do so. In Acts 13 the Holy Spirit told the church, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work for which I have called them.” The Holy Spirit continues to call specific people for the task of carrying His word into new communities. It would be a mistake for any of us to try to start a new house church community without a specific calling to do so.
3) The first step for our community is to earnestly seek God’s leading. In Acts 13 the prophets and teachers in Antioch was serving the Lord and fasting when the Holy Spirit called Paul and Barnabas. Last Saturday we agreed that the first step in this new journey is discerning together who God is calling to a new work. This means spending time praying and fasting, asking the Lord for direction.
The next two Saturday’s we have specific plans: a wedding shower and a house warming, but please be praying and thinking about how we can begin seeking the Lords direction together. We hope to talk more in depth about this at our next regular meeting.