Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hear the Voice of C.S. Lewis

Ever wondered what C.S. Lewis actually sounded like on his legendary radio broadcasts that led to the publication of Mere Christianity? The BBC has put audio links on its web site here.

A Christianity Today article discussing it is here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

New York City House Church Network: An Invitation to Explore

I am interested in exploring with others beginning or continuing one or more of the following in the New York City area:

1. A house church
2. A network of house churches
3. A church in which home groups are not just an option, but are considered important and foundational to the life of the church.

I will add to this post over time to elaborate on what I envision. And I will add other posts with more discussion on specific topics. But I wanted to get something up for now to see who else might be interested.

If you are interested in exploring this, you can email me at: andrew +at+ inbox *daht* com. You can figure out how to convert this email address from "spam-avoiding" format to normal format.

I would love to discuss ideas with anyone in the New York City area or anyone planning to come to the New York City area.

Here are some of the distinctives that I envision:

Worship Music

I would want to prioritize contemporary worship music that is deeply worshipful. By that I mean music that helps people enter into the presence of God, turn their focus to Him, give Him glory, and enjoy his love. The musicians and leaders should not be the focus or a distraction, but should seek to point those gathered towards God. I would want to incorporate quality music that avoids the cloying sweetness of some of contemporary Christian music, and would appeal to a New York gathering. I think that in choosing specific songs, we should seek input from each member, but yet maintain a consistant general style. I would want the volume of the music to be at a level that encourages participation through group singing, and does not create a performance dynamic. My personal preference for musical styles and influences would be in the direciton of Delirious?, Third Day, Sonic Flood, MercyMe, Chris Rice, U2.

Structure of Gatherings

I would want to emphasize every person ministry and participation by all, following the pattern of 1 Corinthians 14:26 and the other body life passages. I have no set idea for format or structure, except that there should be a good balance between order and freedom, as set forth in Scripture. I would want to find a framework that is most likely to edify those present, which is a big priority for Paul throughout his letters. At most meetings, there should be some reading of the Word, prayer, and singing. The details can be worked out in any number of ways.

I actually love both large group meetings and small group meetings, and I have nothing against traditional institutional churches per se. But I long to be in a church where there is a recognition that to be the church as we see in the Biblical pattern, there need to be gatherings in which people interact. It is important to me that there is a culture that recognizes that small group gatherings are just as much "church" as large meetings.