A local clergy phoned to invite us to their Easter service, remembering that we do not have a “church home”. It caught us by surprise, especially since other clergy have literally made it clear we are not welcome to their religious displays and have tried to stop our mission for God. That phone invitation we accepted as Christian love.

Without diminishing the kindness shown by that phone call, it shows a slight misunderstanding.

While true we do not join with any group in a building called church on a sign out front, we do have a church home, in a house church (Sunday Circle).

The Circle copies how the early Church met to study, support and grow. No building. No human rule book. No one in authority except Jesus. (The apostles claimed authority, and insofar as it referred to their inspiration in writing Scripture it seems appropriate. Anything else might be suspect.  “Jesus called the apostles and said, “You know that the rulers of nations have absolute power over people and their officials have absolute authority over people. But that’s not the way it’s going to be among you. Whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant. Whoever wants to be most important among you will be your slave. It’s the same way with the Son of Man. He didn’t come so that others could serve him. He came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many people” (Matthew 20:25-28 Gods Word Translation [GW]). Everyone in the Circle rejoices in each other’s spiritual experience, whether it is different or familiar, mystical or understandable. Rather than sitting passively while some “authority” tells them in a sermon what they should believe, all take part. That is why the label Circle applies. Each person honours the questions and testimony of the other. If the discussion or Spirit lead off topic that doesn’t matter. The group meets in a sense of Spirit and need, not from a pre-printed bulletin controlled by one person, a prayer book or a set liturgy.

While this doesn’t fit modern Canadian religious practice, it is both faithful to original Christianity and respectful assembly.

Indeed, that phone call reflects the Circle model. People stay in touch between Circles and follow each other’s lives. Each stands behind the other in life’s adventures, to “carry one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).

No money is collected. That contrasts with organized religion which demands people serve it while it only sometimes serves God or people.

Only 20% (7 million) of Canadians regularly go into a building labelled church outside. Lots of people love Jesus, but cannot love modern religion. (If you are one of them and want support, post a comment.)

Remember, the unorganized religion of the early Church swept across the entire Roman Empire and beyond in a single lifetime. That’s real organization!