This includes everything you’ll need for a meaningful worship gathering in your home. We trust you will take these simple tools and make them work for your situation.
Let’s all remember the simplicity of the early church’s gatherings:
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42–47)
This reminds us that small gatherings in homes is a very natural environment for what God designed his church to be. Don’t overthink it and don’t give any thought to “production value.” Just be a family.
Whether you’re hosting a small gathering in your home or not, stay up on the latest recommendations from the CDC.
On Sunday morning at 10am there will be a few of us doing a live stream from Pastor Gonzales' home to introduce this week’s reading, there will be a time of worship and Pastor Ben will speak to the vision of how Sunday mornings will go until we can all gather again. Watch the website and Facebook for viewing options.
We have developed an outline to help you this Sunday. You can find it below.
Jon and the youth team are hosting zoom gatherings to keep the youth connected during the week.
We will also be sending out updates via the weekly Vibe. If you have not subscribed you can subscribe here.
Please take the current CDC guidelines into consideration when planning your gathering.
None of this needs to be difficult. You can choose to eat lunch together, but that's not necessary. You can have coffee or snacks for everyone, but it's up to you. Here are some simple steps to help you host a church gathering in your home:
1. Gather your family and/or your Home Group. If you’re part of a Home Group, talk to each other to determine whose house you'll meet at and make sure everyone knows the time and place. You can all meet together or do multiple gatherings. If you're not comfortable with other people over right now, you can do this with your family. This is guaranteed to be a rich experience.
2. Create a comfortable, homey environment. You don't need to make it feel like church - it should feel like being in a home or backyard. Chairs don't need to be in rows; people can sit in a circle, sit on the floor, or even stand around. This shouldn't feel like a long church service. It should feel like a family getting together and talking about something fun but important.
3. Worship together. We will have a time of worship during our livestream. If you’d like to include more music during your time together we encourage you to do that. If someone in your group plays an instrument and can lead the group in singing a few songs, do it! If not, feel free to sing something acapella or sing along to a recording . But you don't even have to sing to worship together. Consider having people share some things God has done for them. Read a Psalm or two together and have people share what those words mean to them. Singing can be a great way to worship, but it's not the only way. Just make sure you include a few minutes of acknowledging that you're gathering to meet with God. And if you have kids with you, make sure they're able to participate as well. Small gatherings with children can be some of the most meaningful worship experiences if you do as Jesus says and "let the little children come to me."
4. Read Scripture. Take the assigned passage for the week or choose your own direction here. You can find the F260 Bible Reading Plan here: http://thealley.church/reading-plan-2020 Go ahead and have someone read it out loud. (If you have some older children, this could be a great role for them to play.) Reading Scripture out loud Is powerful.
5. Talk about Scripture. Take some time to reflect on that passage of Scripture. Feel free to keep it informal by simply asking questions like:
• What does this passage say about God?
• What does this passage say about People?
• What does this passage so “to do”?
• What does this passage say “not to do”?
• Is there a promise to trust?
• Is there something to obey?
• How will I live differently this week based on this passage?
You don’t have to ask and answer every question. The important thing is that you all hear the word of God and respond to it. Once again, if you have children in your group, be sure to include them.
It's a great exercise for adults to discuss spiritual concepts in a way that a kid can understand, but it's also enlightening to see God and Scripture through the eyes of a child.
6. Pray together. Spend some time praying as a family. Pray for each other's needs, celebrate each other 's victories, and ask God to form theAlley into a family on a mission.
7. After the gathering is over, let us know how it went. We'd like to be able to share with the church how many people met in homes this week, so send Pastor Ben a quick note letting him know which home you all met in and roughly how many people gathered with you: email@example.com Also, if you get a chance to snap a photo of your gathering, we'd love to share what's happening with the broader church community.
8. That's It! We're all praying that these times will be rich and will have an impact on our church family.
The staff, board and elders are praying for all of you and for our entire community and nation. I know God is in all of this. He’s with us wherever and however we gather and scatter. I’m praying that he reveals to us something about Himself and about His church as we seek to remain faithful in this trying season. I love you all.
– Pastor Ben Gonzales