This Sunday our Ancient Paths Church network gathered for an early Thanksgiving dinner. It was like a little slice of heaven with people of every age, race, and economic status gathered together. We prayed, laughed, and celebrated God’s work in our midst.
House Church Networks are like extended family. They are people who aren’t necessarily in your lives everyday but are there in times of need and times of celebration. Recently I was in a gnarly car accident, and the support I received at this Sunday’s gathering was beautiful. Our network is intentional about getting together at least every couple months, and they are joyful times of togetherness.
I will leave the “how-to” of church networks to another article, and simply focus here on the fact that they are essential. A few reasons off the top of my head why network gatherings are beneficial:
- They encourage diversity: incarnational churches reflect their neighborhoods. One of our churches is majority African-American, another White and Hispanic, another mainly White. While we should encourage diversity in every church, the segregation of our cities often means neighborhood churches will lean towards one economic or racial group. Network Gatherings allows us to marvel the the unity from diversity.
- A city-wide perspective: Like the letters to certain cities, which are now books in the New Testament, we can develop a city-wide perspective. This means a vision for larger needs, and the resources to deal with them effectively. I believe that most needs can be dealt with at a person to person, or micro level. But if there is a troubled school in your city, or a family with $20k in medical bills, a network can pull together more resources
Why do you think networks are important? Or, if your church isn’t part of one, how might that support benefit your church life?
If you do not have a network, take a look at our list of house churches and consider having your whole church visiting another church near you (call and warn them first!). Look for ways to support one another, even if you do not become an official network.