Sunday, January 16, 2011

Virtual community in the wilderness

If you have been reading my blog any you know that my convictions prevent me from being a part of an institutional church gathering.  Because of that we have spent some time with some families who house church locally.  More recently we have been looking forward to gathering with the believers in our own neighborhood.  So far this endeavor has been disappointing.  Things aren't moving along as quickly as I expected or hoped.  I have been starving for community with folks that love Jesus and thinking about joining back with the house churching families sometime soon.

Today we had a bit of a house party and one of those families joined us for the fun and fellowship.  I had some time to talk with Eric about my hopes and frustrations.  He said some very encouraging things.  He reminded me of missionaries that spent years in an area before they saw any conversions.  They faithfully followed where God brought them and trusted Him for the matter how long it took.  That is exactly what I needed to hear.  After the party I checked my reader and there I found a wonderful post by Jeff at Losing My Religion.  Jeff tells about what he calls the in-between and it sounds just like what I refer to as the wilderness.  His words echo my heart.  Here is a bit:
 "That being said, because of the blog, I've obviously become friends with a lot of people who are Christ-followers but aren't currently engaged in a regular gathering with other believers. Some of these folks have been 'outsiders' for several years, others for a few months. Some of them even believe it's okay not to belong to a community, and have no plans to be in one. Many others, though, express a sense of loneliness and loss, because they actually want to be in community--they just feel sort of exiled because they can't in good conscience belong to any of the traditional forms of gathering taking place around them. (That longing is actually what's drawn many of us into the blogosphere, because at least we can find someone else online who has an inkling of what we're feeling--and that's actually drawn some of us into a sort of pseudo-community.)"
 I thank God for providing me with fellowship manna.  Just the right amount, you know?  Not too much, not too little.  It has come in different forms.  The right encouragement at the right time face-to-face like Eric and the right post at the right time from Jeff.  It's nice to know that I'm not all alone out here in the wilderness.  God will carry us through.  I know He will.


  1. well, if we're wandering in the wilderness, at least we're together right?

  2. Bobby,

    I believe you are on target with what you are doing. Hang in there my friend. The Lord will reward your efforts in your neighborhood. If you ever feel a deep need together with believers, you can always get together with us on a Sunday.

    Keep looking to Christ. He will lead you.

  3. Greetings from another wanderer. I've been kind of discouraged lately myself, and your post has encouraged me! Thank you!

  4. Jess,

    I wouldn't want to be with anyone else.


    Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. It is always a pleasure to spend time with you and your family.


    Although it seems like wandering, we are all in it together.

  5. Bobby,

    You'd be surprised by how God will use this time, right now, to bless you in the future. For the same reason that impoverished children learn to appreciate simple joys, Christians who patiently wait for God to direct their fellowship, really appreciate it when it comes.


  6. Jeff,

    Thank you for your words of hope and encouragement. I know that God has great plans and He will bring it about according to his purpose. I'm just thrilled to be a part of it.


As in a biblical church gathering, my word is not complete or final. Participation is allowed, encouraged and expected. Please, don't leave without adding something.