Last week I took you on a guided tour of Dunwoody Church, our first house church. This week, I want to take you on another guided tour of another house church, The Port. The Port meets in an apartment in a large apartment complex in Roswell, GA. Though these are both 320 Network churches, they have a completely different “feel” to them. Dunwoody Church is mostly young families – which includes children and teens. The Port is mostly young single adults. Many of them came out of the World Race. I worshipped at this church this past week – here’s a look at what happened.
We began with coffee and donuts and a lot of visiting together. Community is one of the big values of 320 Network churches, so we always make room for that. There were ten people there.
Then we came together to begin worship. Sometimes that involves music, sometimes not. We began with a question: “What is it that is sapping your strength in worship?” We put some music on, and spent 10 minutes reflecting on that, and writing out our responses. Then we entered a time of sharing what God brought to our minds. (For me, it is focusing more on my challenges, and less on Jesus that has been sapping my “worship strength”.) It was so good hearing people openly share their struggles, and find encouragement from their church family.
We then got into God’s Word for a time of teaching. We just began a series on our identity in Christ. David Batchelder is the leader/lead preacher at The Port. He was a Racer on my first squad as a World Race coach, and now he’s one of my pastors. David is a gifted teacher/preacher, and I always learn something when he leads. Our Bible study is less sermon, and more discussion-based. But we are careful to always check our thoughts and conclusions against God’s Word. After all, it is only Truth that will set us free!
We wrapped up with more visiting. Folks usually stick around for a while.
Our planters are active in this community, looking for opportunities to meet people, build relationships, and be “salt and light”. They bake cookies and take them to their neighbors. They give out coffee and donuts. They help the apartment managers with events. They did a cookout at the pool last weekend. They try to be intentional about recognizing and stepping into divine appointments.
This church has recently been given an amazing opportunity. A woman in the apartment complex began a Kid’s Bible Club in complex a few months ago. However, due to personal reasons, she was no longer able to continue, and had begun praying that God would send some help her way. And, of course, God brought us together! So last week, The Port took over the Kid’s Bible Club! Roni Farrell, one of our planters, is leading. Fifteen children showed up the first week! It’s a lot like the Backyard Bible Clubs that a lot of churches do. But many, if not most of these kids come from broken homes. Some live with grandparents; some don’t know their fathers; some come from homes where drug and alcohol abuse are the norm. Getting to work with them and love on them is not just a joy – it’s a privilege. When we love them, we are loving Jesus. (Matthew 25)
Pray for us, that God will continue to open doors for fruitful ministry through The Port Church. Pray that the Lord of the Harvest will send laborers into the field. Pray that the Holy Spirit will awaken hearts and souls in this mission field.
Would you pray about supporting us? Your financial support allows us to continue to make disciples and plant churches here in the Atlanta area. With a population of 6.5 million, it is a huge city with huge needs. You can give to our network, or support individuals from this link, www.320.network. Thank you!