To the Word

Reflections on the call to live by the Word of God

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Location: Mud Creek, Tennessee, United States

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

On Preachers, Houses, and White Gloves

In my new role among the New York Avenue Christians I've begun visiting members in their homes, particularly those whom I've not visited before. My goal is to visit everyone by the end of 2004 and to become better acquainted with every member of the congregation.

I must admit that preacher visitation is a habit I've not cultivated in the past. Before I began preaching myself our family would from time to time receive "the preacher" in our home. For me it was very nearly an ordeal to be endured. I felt like my home and my life were on display, under inspection. I was usually relieved when the preacher left. Of course, my whole attitude on the subject was wrong.

Getting together in each other's homes is something all Christians would do well to cultivate. In the early church, for example, Christians gathered regularly in houses to share fellowship meals (Acts 2:46). In fact, the first-century church usually worshipped in homes. There's a benefit in that kind of fellowship that we never quite find in pews and aisles. At home we are most. . . well, at home, the most truly ourselves. Meeting together in homes to eat, talk, pray, and study God's Word together brings us closer both to God and each other. At each other's homes, in cozy settings, we have a special opportunity to build the warm, loving relationships that Christ has in mind for his people. If we cultivate these relationships in a spirit of true Christian fellowship, the whole congregation is strengthened and empowered with the love of Jesus.

I'm already privileged to have been welcomed into the homes of a number of saints at New York Avenue. In every case we've gotten to know and appreciate one another more than we did before the visit. When I give you a call I hope you won't feel like I used to feel when the preacher called my house. For the record: I won't quiz you on the names of the twelve prophets, I don't expect finger foods, and I won't be wearing white gloves to determine how well you've dusted the picture frames. And on the visits when Carolyn comes along, she won't be bringing Tupperware® samples to sell you (unless you ask). We just want to get to know one another better and to do our part, together, to build fellowship in Christ's church.

Copyright 2004, New York Avenue Church of Christ


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