Sharing Life as a Family
I know what you refer to as the life in the day-to-day relationships in Jesus, but I don’t know what you mean when you say “the microphone is passed.” What is that?
There can easily be thirty or forty people in my house or anybody’s house. In fact, almost every night you can easily find twenty, thirty, or forty people in ten different houses.
Is it not arranged or do people just show up?
Someone will invite us over for dinner along with two more families and maybe another family or two just shows up because they are looking for God’s action for the evening. They see the activity so they just show up too, and they are welcome.
It’s sort of like the Jewish thing where they set the extra table place for the Messiah. :) Well, we always prepare about 20-30% more food than we think we’ll need, because we always know the Messiah is going to come and He’ll bring His friends. :) So we always set extra places at the table.
It might start with an evening invitation for dinner—“the breaking of bread in our homes with glad and sincere hearts.” It may start that way and then turn into something bigger or larger. The conversation starts off with…..
Yeah, weddings or cricket or whatever and then it ends up being, “Let’s all go outside where we’ve got more space or go in the living room where we can sit down.” And then more people come and so on.
There will be times when a brother has something he’d love to share with everybody that God is really working on him. Maybe he would share it in a dinner environment and another brother says, “We really need to share this with everybody.” And so somebody will get on the phone and say, “Let’s all meet over here an hour from now. There is something that it seems God is doing.”
Or they may say, in retrospect after a pretty powerful evening such as a dinner crowd turned into something a little bigger, “You know, that was important for everybody. Let’s see if we can rent a big hall or some larger place where we can all be together, out of the elements and so we can stay as late as we want and share that with everyone.” Something like a lecture hall of Tyrannus as Paul did (Acts 19:9).
We then come together with the intention of talking about that thing and then God might do something totally different anyway, and we’ve got to save the original thought for some other time! That wouldn’t be unusual. So, it would require somebody having a reason to call everybody together, and when everybody is together in one place there are way too many people for a house. And when there are that many people, no one has a good enough voice to not need a microphone and a PA system. :)
Pretty much any time the whole church is together, there will be a few people that will make and bring unleavened bread and bring grape juice. They’ll just set it over in the corner in case we decide to break bread together. And some of our electronic nerds :) will also bring the speakers and the wireless microphones and that sort of stuff. They will arrive about a half hour early and set it all up and have it ready in case we need it. If there are that many people, we will need it. But it’s invisible. It’s one of those things where everybody knows the part they need to play.
For example, when we were in the Philippines, notably the last day we were there, we were definitely going to share lunch together as far as we knew. We had paid the hotel to cater in a meal for us with a roast pig and stuff like that. The hotel staff had all of these tables set up facing this way and that way with the head table placed up front as pagans do. We said, “No way! No head table or we are leaving.” :) Well, it took us a few minutes to figure out what we were going to do. But we took all the tables out of there and just put the chairs in concentric circles. At first we moved all of the tables around so they were all kind of facing each other, but we realized we were too far apart still to be able to really talk without having to shout. So we ended up just removing the tables and we brought them back when it was time to eat.
See, there is something about the gift of leadership or administrations. Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 mention both of those gifts and both have their own application. But had somebody been aware of the dynamics of sharing life as a family instead of having a meeting, and that person also had a gift of administrations, then before we ever got there they would’ve already taken care of that. They would have walked in and said, “This isn’t going to work. How are we going to relate to each other like this, in talking and asking, and ‘when revelation comes to the second let the first one sit down’? How are we going to do that with all of these tables in the way? That can never happen.” So the gift of administration would have already had those chairs all set up before we ever got there. We would never have noticed it was even a problem.
And maybe a sister has that gift. If so, she wouldn’t walk in authoritatively and say, “Let’s move these tables!” But she walks in and says to her husband, “Don’t you think we could move these tables out, or what do you think about this, honey?” And then wink or blow him a kiss. :) So that kind of softens him a bit and he says, “Okay, anything you want, honey.” :) That’s the gift of being a female. The man is the head and the woman is the neck. :)