59—my story of first experience of Christian worship without imposed structure
My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute.
During the summer before my freshman year of college, I was speaking with the pastor of the church I went to, and he recommended that, when I got there, to visit a certain Christian campus organization. As soon as he said it, in my spirit, it was as the Holy Spirit had said it. On the first day of classes, there was a sign on a bulletin board that this group would meet the next evening.
I had never met any of the other students there that night, but within days, some of them were to become the closest friends I ever had. It would be much later before I realized that this was the first time I would have been in a meeting centered on honoring Jesus that wasn’t directed by people much older than I. We sang some songs, we prayed. A young woman poured her heart out over the pure wickedness she had been around in just two days of being there. A young man a couple of years older than I gave a short talk, which started with the phrase, “God has a will for your life.” I couldn’t tell you the rest of what he said, that phrase hit into my spirit. Yes, it is in the Lord’s Prayer, but that night it was more powerful to me. It just may have been the most influential thing I learned in four years there, as that opened my spirit to more that God wished to teach me. Over the years, I have found that when such a thing happens, I am aware of God moving in me only after something is over. I have also learned that my obeying the Holy Spirit’s direction is not necessarily connected to another person responding positively. If I both desire to do and do right, but another person rejects me or what I have done, it isn’t my fault. Other people, before God, are responsible for their own actions. For years, I struggled in my spirit with why that campus group felt more like what I read in scripture than what church did. That is because it was closer to the principles of scripture.
On the recording, at this time, it says, “house churches.” While that phrasing is OK, to say “organic church” is better. I comment on that in blip 94.