Living Room Fellowship: For the first 300 years of the church, God’s people gathered in houses. Church buildings weren’t a thing, so it was the intimate setting of a family home—something like a living room—in which early Christians learned to love God and one another. Typically, groups consisted of 30-50 people, often from diverse backgrounds, yet united in their common relationship with the risen Christ, whose presence they knew was among them (Matt 18:20).
From the conversion of Emperor Constantine, who made Christianity the Roman Empire’s official religion, churches began to meet in purpose-built facilities that could accommodate more people. Of course, the larger congregations that met in buildings were no less “doing church” than those who met in homes, but the dynamics of community life were surely different from how things began.
Nowadays, “life groups” are a way that many churches seek to encourage the life-on-life sort of community that characterised the early church. At Connect Baptist, two life groups exist, meeting in various living rooms (and occasionally Zoom rooms) around our community. The newest of these—a fortnightly Tuesday gathering at Derek’s place—has been going by the name, “Living Room Fellowship.”
This week I asked Derek what’s been happening (apart from the chocolate goodies I know he’s been serving!) and what the group hopes for the future. Derek responded:
“We’ve been getting to know each other—our backgrounds, current life situations, and journeys to faith. We want to be a group that supports each other on our journeys in both spiritual and practical ways. We plan to discuss Sunday sermons and how the message will play out in our real lives. We want to see growth, refreshment, and excitement for ourselves as well as our neighbours who don’t yet know Jesus.”
I’m excited by this and our other life group! Whenever they gather to chat and to pray for one another, to soak in God’s word and to relate together in light of it, they are doing so with the risen Christ in their midst! If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, please drop me (Josh) a line at 0212296296 or flick an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find the life group details in the newsletter each week.
—Josh Irving (Student Pastor)