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Posts Tagged ‘Linda’

microchurch1It was a long trustee meeting at BTSR yesterday, but afterward we all went to Baker’s Crust for dinner and it was there—while I was having a goat cheese and avocado panini—that Susan Rucker asked me about an idea I had brought up at our last meeting. I had asked if the seminary could create a curriculum to train pastors of house churches. Wouldn’t that be a great way to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond, Virginia? To train a hundred house church pastors and turn them loose on the city?

Susan said she had given it a lot of thought since then, and she had some excellent ideas about how we could go forward. By the time dinner was over we had come up with an action plan and assigned responsibilities. But during our conversation I told her the story of my recent visit to Lucy Corr Village.

It must have been six months ago that I got email from a woman named Linda, a hairdresser at Lucy Corr. She wondered if I would ever have time to come for a visit. She said there were about ten people in the assisted living wing who got together each Sunday to watch the service from First Baptist Church. She said, “They are one of your microchurches.”

I think I’ve told you about the microchurch concept before, but it’s simple: we encourage people who watch our services on television to invite two or three others to watch with them (based on Jesus’ promise that he is present wherever two or three are gathered in his name). We encourage them to share a simple meal afterward and then to share prayer concerns and say prayers for each other. Finally, we encourage them to take up an offering, and use the money to bring heaven to earth right where they are.

Apparently the folks at Lucy Corr were doing that, and Linda thought they would appreciate a visit from their “pastor.” So, we worked out a time for a visit. It took a while, but we finally settled on a date that would work for everybody and I followed my GPS to an address on Lucy Corr Drive, behind the Chesterfield County courthouse. I met Linda at the front door and she took me back to the community room, where everybody was waiting. But they didn’t know who was coming. It was a surprise. And when I walked in they gasped, and somebody said, “That’s my pastor!”

I felt like a celebrity.

We ate lunch together, and I reminded them of the microchurch concept. I said, “I don’t only want you to watch our services on TV. I want you to pray for each other and take care of each other and maybe even take up an offering, but don’t send it to First Baptist Church. Use it to bring heaven to earth right here at Lucy Corr Village.” And they promised that they would.

I drove home encouraged, believing that even if the Kingdom wasn’t coming everywhere, it was coming there, and that if we could multiply the success of that microchurch by a hundred, five hundred, a thousand…the effect would be noticeable.

So, not a megachurch—a microchurch—rather, hundreds of microchurches. And maybe hundreds of house churches, too, until they are in every neighborhood, every community. Maybe that’s why Jesus said the Kingdom is like a mustard seed—tiny—but capable of growing up into something so big the birds of the air can build their nests in its branches.

Makes me excited just to think about it.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I’m thankful for Louis and Linda Watts, new members of Richmond’s First Baptist Church who are taking KOH2RVA to heart.  While you’re waiting for the turkey, take some time to read the letter Linda sent to Steve Blanchard yesterday:

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Dear Steve:

My husband, Louis and I just got the greatest blessing at Glen Lea Elementary School! When Kim Lee came and spoke to our church, I knew I wanted to do something to help their school and KOH2RVA. When Louis’s mother was in a nursing home, relatives of the residents were asked to bring a home-baked goodie the day before Thanksgiving and they were all shared with the staff since they were working and did not have time to bake. It occurred to me that teachers are in the same situation since they have to work today and also have no time to bake. So I contacted Kim Lee and asked her if I could bring all her faculty and staff members a loaf of my homemade pumpkin bread as a gift for Thanksgiving. She thought it was a great idea and asked that we bring it today. Louis and I just left there and were so blessed.

Kim was thrilled, the teachers were so happy, and we even got to see a few students. Just so you know, it was a joint effort. Louis is not a baker, but he did all the prep work for the pumpkin. He cut it all and then ran it through the food mill for me after it was cooked. I baked the 52 loaves of bread and Louis hand-wrote 52 personal notes to put on each loaf of bread. Kim was pleased that each loaf had a personal note. Louis and I both realized that all the time we spent the past few days was worth every minute to make so many people happy. We got back in our car feeling so blessed and very ready to celebrate Thanksgiving! I am so glad you invited Kim to speak to our church so that we could partner with them and help fulfill some of their needs. They are very grateful for all that First Baptist is doing.

Louis and LInda Watts

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I don’t know about you, but I think the Kingdom of Heaven came to Richmond, Virginia, yesterday. 

May it come to you and yours today.

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