Sunday morning thoughts...

My Sunday mornings are not what they used to be. Not that what they used to be was wrong - but boy, were they different.

Since joining the IHOP staff, the idea of congregational worship has shifted for me a lot. If the essence of church is worship and teaching, I get more church than I ever have in my life. The worship goes on day and night. I spend hours in that context every day. We hear excellent teaching several times a week. Of course, there's more to church than that - there's the fellowship and missional aspect, which we find in a house congregation.

I distinctly remember meeting my first normal house churcher. It was in Kenwood, Ohio at Starbucks, where Adam Mosley and I grabbed coffee with Kevin Rains (www.kevinrains.com). Kevin leads Vineyard Central, an association of house churches based in luxurious Norwood, Ohio. Until then, every person I'd met doing church in their home was ticked at someone. Mad at a pastor, hurt by a church - house churching wasn't a cognative choice but rather a knee jerk reaction. Kevin wasn't like that. He was real, he was intentional, and he made sense.

We love our congregation - it's a furious blend of singles and families. We join one another for a meal and some prayer and worship on Wednesday nights. It is good.

I also love our Sunday mornings. This morning, I enjoyed a killer chai over the Sunday paper while listening to the boys on the trampoline and the breeze through the autumn leaves. It sounded better than any synthesizer-backed choir singing about the glory of the Lord being revealed in creation. I had it live, in surround sound.

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