First of all, I’m not an organic church expert, or simple church, or any of the other names the recent movement has been called. I’m very simply a person who has seen this sort of thing in action, and it works! So my hope with this post is not to teach you how to have your own church, but just how to start a simple Bible study or fellowship that you can mold into whatever you and God want later on.
As a disclaimer, if your church already has an outreach based on this, you should consult your church small-groups pastor. The last thing I want to do is give you contradicting advice.
Ok, so now that all of that is over, let me give you three things to keep in mind if you want to start a small home fellowship.
1. Become a Team: If you are single, then this is easy. Surely you don’t argue against yourself! However, if you are married, then you can’t really do this without your spouse. I have tried, and while it worked moderately well, it wasn’t the same. Listen, if you have a loving, godly spouse, then your coworkers and neighbors need to know how that works (a godly marriage). Guys still talk about my wife, our kids, and how we all relate, and we had our last fellowship weeks ago! The testimony on God’s behalf that a family on the same team can give is almost impossible to calculate. So, if you’re married, become a team first.
2. Start something at work first: If this is meant to grow a group of coworkers into a group of Christians, then you need something going at work first. How about meeting a few guys once a week or so for coffee or lunch? Or how about sitting together during your break. People will get the hint fairly soon that your “group” has something to offer. This was of course very easy for us on deployment. It’s not like we had anywhere else to go! (LOL!) Still, you can do this just like we did, because the fact is that we still do this. I sit at lunch all the time with the “guys” who were in my Bible study on deployment. People just “know” what we’re about and what we’re going to discuss at lunch. That has translated into fellowship opportunities, both overseas in foreign ports as well as here in the States.
3. Start small: Maybe for your first fellowship event, just have a few friends (believers) over to the house for some pizza and fellowship. These should be the folks you’ve been working on at work. Regardless of their present spiritual condition, any person with the Holy Ghost in him/her can react well to seeing a loving, spiritual couple and kids interacting together.
4. Remember to bring the spouses: Not everyone you interact with at work is going to be married, but if they are, make sure you invite the spouse. This isn’t a closed session of the Band of Brothers. This is a fellowship! It’s good to get everyone mingling, particularly so that the wives know who they can go to if they have questions and/or need help.
Now, here are some topic suggestions to discuss while having the fellowship event:
1. Ask for five questions you want to ask God when you get to heaven. This stimulated some awesome amazing conversation at our recent fellowship event. We even mixed up the papers and tried to guess who wrote what?
2. As for something you want to do in heaven. While this has a lot in common with the first example, it adds a bit of spice. You get everything from playing intergalactic paintball with God on your team to flying. Pretty good stuff!
3. Bible study: My recommendation would be to keep it fairly simple in this area if you choose to have one. The goal of this get-together is fellowship, so keep the Bible study lighthearted and simple. Now is not the time to bring out your thoughts on predestination.
4. Board Games: This is the perfect way to keep things very open and lighthearted! Bring out the cards (if you’re ok with them), checkerboards, and dominos and have fun!
I hope that I've provided you with at least the first few steps in starting a fellowship group. It doesn’t have to be anything impressive or awe-inspiring...just having one will make it that. Start small and where you feel comfortable and go from there!
Have you hosted fellowship events with other believers in your house? If so, tell me how they went!