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Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to join Coastlands City Church? +

I left the previous church where I was part of the leadership when it became clear that the theology I hold would not allow me to build unity with the rest of the leadership. For a short while I, and the others who left at the same time considered joining another gathering of believers but it quickly became apparent that the best way to move forward was to meet as a small group of believers and fellowship around God’s word. Soon we were joined by some others and we had a lovely little house gathering - I remember we started by working through Matthew. We had a lot of robust discussions… the number of times I had to say as gently as I could muster “Let’s see what the Bible says about it, okay?”… too many to count. But we slowly started finding some illusive unity and grow our agreement. Sadly some were not as invested in finding agreement and parted ways, but by and large there was great joy as we continued to break bread together with glad and sincere hearts. Then, as if conjured out of a hat, the pandemic came and stopped our lovely discipleship in the group. But what the enemy meant as a nip in the bud God turned to a pruning which yielded more fruit: our discipleship group was quickly thrusted to a church plant as we mobilised actions to reach and connect church members during the lock down. Now, instead of meeting once a week we started meeting twice a week via zoom. Our focus also shifted from Matthew to the Kingdom mandates - I remember trying to preach about dominion over the devil while trying to navigate the 40 minute window that zoom allowed us to use in the free version. We soon upgraded the account. The next season was like walking against a gale - two steps forward, one step back. Able to meet, then not able to meet. People wanting to meet, people to scared to meet. But slowly we started encouraging everyone and God has been so faithful to us - all but one came safely through the pandemic. We sadly lost our dear brother Keith which was a hard blow. He was such a Barnabas - a son of encouragement - during the early days of Coastlands. However, we no longer mourn our loss but rather rejoice that a saint is with Jesus and awaiting amazing rewards. As soon as we were able to meet again Tunde and I were ordained for eldership in Coastlands. Since then another elder, Alan, was ordained, I got married to Chelsey and we’ve had slow growth and maturing. We still need to renew our minds constantly to reform our ideas about church and how to do it in a godly way, but God is so faithful to us and we enjoy His abiding presence.

How long have you been leading a house church? +

Tunde and I were ordained on 21 June 2020, so one and a half years.

What has been the most exciting and rewarding part of running a house church? +

Seeing how God blesses those who mature. Growth in numbers is always nice, of course, but seeing someone take God and his word seriously and make changes, and then seeing how God blesses and prospers his people is super encouraging.

What has been the most challenging part of running a house church? +

There is a form of torture where a man’s arms and legs are tied to four horses pulling in opposite directions. I fancy I have an idea of what that feels like on an emotional level. Sometimes the responsibilities of church, home, family, and work call loudly and don’t work symbiotically. Then again, no one is impressed by a juggler who is just tossing around one ball, and it is keeping these responsibilities in tension which becomes an attractive witness.

What is the biggest way in which you have changed since leading a house church? +

I got married… but I’m sure that’s not quite what you’re after. My humility is challenged daily - or rather my lack of humility. Arrogance just doesn’t fly for long - maybe that’s why the calling of the apostle Paul started with him falling off of his high horse. Though I often fail I try to avoid arrogance. Humble pie tastes bitter.

What do you do in your average house church meeting? +

Right after noticing that my desperate appeals for Jesus to return to earth that very instant have not been answered in the affirmative I let God know that I suppose I’ll trust Him and rely on the guidance of His Spirit again. In house church I often focus on revisiting the purpose of the previous Sunday’s preach by looking at another text. However, to meet the prescription of 1 Corinthians 14: 26 I try to instigate more discussion and encourage members to participate. People share their experiences and frustrations. I often have to gently correct a view which does not accord with the Word. We eat and break bread together. We pray to God and for one another. Often we sing songs of praise to God. Sometimes this format is put on hold for a couple of weeks as we prioritise running a Foundation Stones course which is always encouraging.

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