Following Jesus for me, is my passion, my calling and coming from an atheistic background, I have to dig deep to answer all the questions that you would have come from such a place. I love when Paul says to the Roman church “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” Roman 1:16 and that is where I stand too.
From the first moment I gave my life to Jesus, God called me out to preach and lead people to a knowledge of Him but I still felt like there was something I was missing. Since starting Hope Whitby, Bec and I have realised that the missing component was a community!
God wants us to live like a family, His family. We work hard to make sure people have a place that they can come and belong. Not necessarily having to believe or even understand God but a safe loving place. Yes, there is always the challenge that the gospel message brings, Jesus shows us that in the way He invited people into His life, but there was always a challenge and we are always mindful that needs to be in place.
No, I’m not massively into Greek, someone once told me I should study it, my response was “No one in Whitby speaks Greek” but here it may help us when we look at the family in the first church.
Oikos is a Greek word that is often translated "household" in the New Testament. In English, "household" means the nuclear family. In Greek, however, its usage was much broader and included family, neighbours, co-workers and friends and those with whom we come into regular contact.
Today it is called many things by the pastors and churches who are seeking to internationalise this principle. It is your 8-15, your extended family, your fishing pool, your world, and sometimes simply by the Biblical world your Oikos. This does not have to be your relatives but those that use your house on a regular basis.
Church comes in all shapes and sizes and that is why we call ours ‘Missional Communities’. They are different shaped and sized communities that are on a mission to love one another and to show who Jesus really is.
Jesus is the saviour of the world and I’m not ashamed to say it and if you would like to know more about life, love and community, why not get in contact with us?