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  • Mark Gotts

Reimagining Church

I've actually taken time contemplating writing this blog. It's not been easy because what we are part of is so organic and therefore constantly changing. Both Rachael and myself have always been part of church and although over the years it has modernized and seen micro change, it still really was the same, however, what God had in store for us both we never saw coming. Now this is about our journey and what God has said to us. In no way are we saying everyone else is wrong, or other formats don't work. However one important thing we have learnt is that this is not our ministry, this is not our church, it is totally His, we are just here to grow in relationship with Jesus, to obey, submit, serve, yield and only do what He tells us. We have all made the mistake of going with the flow, doing things because we have always done them that way, trying to fit what we experience, know and are comfortable with into scripture. Whatever we are doing and wherever we are, we have to do things His way, no matter how difficult that is.

So 4 years ago God called us to Tanzania to begin house churches and for the last 3 years this is where we have been and what a journey. We thought we knew what God meant, we had read the books, had experience, we had been there, but none of that helped. For the first year we planned, we prayed, we built relationships and yet when we began nearly 2 years ago, straight away it looked different from what we ever envisaged. In the beginning for me I felt like a fish out of water, it felt so foreign, but as we continued to see organic church form, we soon got to the point where we couldn't see it done any other way. Since then we have had a very interesting journey. In our home we have had as few as four meet together and as many as seventy crammed into our sitting room. Numbers are not everything, we want those who we can grow together with, those who desire to serve, rather than be served, those who are joined with us for the sake of the Kingdom.

A year ago we were so blessed when Steve our son became part of the core team and what a blessing he has bought along with a totally different perspective and skill set and we know God is preparing others who will be here to serve and work alongside us as we continue to follow God's direction.

We had a time when we had groups springing up everywhere, we had teams going out to plant and minister and we thought "this is it, this is what it all is about". Then God spoke and said so clearly, to leave all that behind and concentrate everything in the community where He had placed us, Kange, Tanga, Tanzania. Yes one day we will see things multiply and spread far afield, but now it is about where we are. We meet for two hours, four time a week and almost everyone is present. However, church is not somewhere we go, it's who we are, we are the church, so really most days church is happening.

Now we are really learning to be family together, to understand that fellowship is not looking at the back of someone's head for three hours and saying hi as we get in our cars to go home, that being taught the Word involves learning together, asking difficult questions and sharing our lives with each other. That church is about everyone hearing from God and participating together, a body where every member is equally important. Now we are learning to really make disciples, what it means to walk alongside someone, to teach, to guide to maturity, to train others to do what we do and are happy if they do it better.

Out of this this spiritual connection God is bringing much to birth. In future blogs I will talk about the many projects God is birthing, some never planned, God speaks, He provides and they are birthed and we just look on in amazement. So many nights I'm just in awe at what God is doing and the favor we are being showered with. None of this could happen without our wider team, those who support both spiritually and financially, in the USA, UK and Kenya and we daily pray for you and thank God that you are so part of this adventure. We totally love this country and can't imagine being anywhere else.


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