Here are some follow-up thoughts to my recent post on gospel community meetings. It was prompted by a helpful comment left by John Scheepers. John, who is hoping to church plant in central Cape Town, South Africa, has just spent two weeks with us in The Crowded House in Sheffield. He wrote: “Many people have been asking what I experienced while in Sheffield. But most of the questions have been about the meetings and what you do, how they work or how they are different from any other church. I have been struggling to explain that, in a sense, as you ask that question you have missed the point of TCH is about.”
That’s a great way of putting it. If you’re asking about our meetings then you’ve missed the point of TCH. Our meetings are not great by any normal standards. They are not great performances – and we’re happy with it that way. We always tell people that they’ll be disappointed if they come to visit us. All they’ll see is ordinary people sharing ordinary life plus some very ordinary meetings. What makes the difference (on a good day) is the gospel intentionality running through that ordinary life and shared life. But what you see is all very ordinary! The point is not what we do when we meet together – you can work that out for yourself and you’ll probably do a ebtter job than we do. The point is a shared life in the context of ordinary with gospel intentionality.