While 2020 forced a lot of our rhythms and routines to change, it gave us the opportunity to re-evaluate what we're doing, why we're doing it and how we're doing it. There was already a deep ache in our hearts that something was missing and we've felt for awhile that the Lord was leading us into something different. 2020 allowed us the chance to slow down and really seek clarity on what that is.
What we found was an invitation into a deeper fellowship with Jesus and with each other.
We found an opportunity to "do Church" and "Be The Church" differently.
We found a space to better know one another and be known by our love for one another.
We found a heart that moves beyond church walls and into our neighborhoods.
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"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” - John 13:35
There is just something that happens in circles that doesn't happen in rows. AnchorHomes provides more than just the "Greet your neighbor" time at most services...it provides you a place to know and be known..a place to love and be loved...a place to serve and be served. When you look at the Church in the scriptures you see a people who stir one another up to love and good works, who encourage one another, teach and admonishing one another, a people who take care of orphans and widows, who exercise their spiritual gifts, who each play a part and have a role in the body of Christ, who are glad and generous, who are quick to forgive one another, who proclaim the gospel and who are known for their love. This is at the heart of AnchorHomes. To provide a space where you can grow in relationship with each other and, as you do, begin to become the Church we were always meant to be.
When the Church gathers, we gather around Jesus. He is the One who made us family. And so our AnchorHome gatherings will be no different. We'll enter into the rhythms of the early Church who "...devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." - Acts 2:42
It wasn’t overly complicated. They would teach about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, they would teach what Jesus taught them. They were intentional about connecting with one another. Embracing the reality that the Christian life was not meant to be lived in isolation. A reminder that you are part of something together. They broke bread together, sharing meals and, more importantly, sharing the Lord’s Supper together…reminding themselves that this isn’t just some social hangout or a club, the reason we are together is Christ and what He’s done for us. And they prayed together, coming together to worship, to declare His holiness, to lift up requests and to get their hearts inline with His will.
When you have a community of people devoting themselves to the scriptures, devoting themselves to one another, devoting themselves to keeping Christ the center, devoting themselves to prayer…you have movement, you have strength and power, you have growth and you find yourself wrapped up in something much bigger than yourself.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” - Matthew 28:18-20
Yes, we gather as The Church, but the great commission is to scatter out into the world! We gather and we scatter. And we believe the Lord has called us out of our building and into our neighborhoods and our cities. Now we GO into our neighborhoods with a constant reminder of our neighbors and friends, sometimes just outside our window, who might not know Jesus. Now we GO as the light in the midst of darkness, hope in the midst of hopelessness and love in the midst of division and anger. Now we can GO and devote more of our resources back into our cities and neighborhoods to help those in need and to demonstrate love because we no longer have to pay for a building lease. Now, as we gather together...we can GO.
Each AnchorHome gathers at the same time on Sunday mornings. A teaching Pastor will be on rotation to preach live from a different home each week and that teaching will be live-streamed to all the other AnchorHomes.
Each Sunday there will be space for teaching, worship, prayer, communion and fellowship.
On the first Sunday of every month, we'll rent out a space so that all the AnchorHomes can gather together as One Church and it's a big celebration. There will be worship and baptisms and baby dedications and communion together and we'll just remind ourselves that our Anchor family is bigger than just the home we are meeting in.
Whether it's beach baptisms or family camps or retreats...we love being together. We'll have a few of these events throughout the year.
How many families can be in each house?
We will be following the Santa Clara County requirements for each home. Currently there are 3 households allowed if they are meeting inside. If an outdoor space is available (like a backyard or patio), there is room for more (like 200). However, part of what makes AnchorHomes so special is that it is a place to know and be known and so we will intentionally try to keep the overall number, even when restrictions open up, under 15 people.
What is the commitment to opening up my home?
- When offering to be a host home, we ask that you provide a space for people to gather, watch the live stream service, and fellowship on Sunday mornings (except for the 1st Sunday of the month when we are all together).
- Food is optional, but we encourage families to bring something to share so you can break bread together. The idea is that your group takes care of each other and its not all on you to provide everything.
- We do ask for at least a 6 month commitment to build consistency and relationship. Obviously things come up and you might not be able to be there every Sunday, so the hope is that there is someone to partner with you as a backup if you are unable to open your home.
- We want to work with you and support you as you take this step of faith and so, if hosting ever becomes too overwhelming, let us know and we’ll make other arrangements.
How many houses are there already?
There are currently 5 houses that have expressed interest in hosting (San Juan Bautista, Hollister, Gilroy, Morgan Hill and San Jose) but we pray and believe more will open soon as the Lord raises up new homes.
When will houses begin meeting?
Once we solidify the first round of homes, we’ll begin connecting you to an AnchorHome Host. Each home will have a different timeline but we’d love to have people start meeting at homes by May. As more Host Homes open up, we will launch them as soon as we are able.
Is there an area restriction on where you have to live to be in a home?
There is not an area restriction per se, but we do want to make sure the space is conducive to the vision and mission of AnchorHomes (really difficult to host a service if you live near a jackhammer factory). This will be on a case by case basis.
What’s available for kids?
Not all homes will have the capacity to host families with children but for the ones who are able, if there is a space available for the kids to watch a service, we will provide you with a craft and a video message with games, biblical teaching and worship. Each home will establish its own way of serving the kids of your AnchorHome. For example, maybe you have an adult or older teenager who would be happy to be an overseer, or there is a rotation of volunteers…each parent taking a turn, or you just keep the kiddos in service with you…etc…. Feel free to be creative with it! For example, maybe keep the kids in for the beginning worship and then pray for them and then dismiss them to the kiddo service in the other room.
Do I have to wear a mask in the home?
According to current CDC guidelines, face coverings are required for indoor gatherings and strongly encouraged for outdoor gatherings, but not required if 6ft distance can be kept.
What is the flow of Sundays at a house? Is there a set structure for all the houses to follow?
This is one of those areas that is going to take some time to find our rhythm and each home might have little variances (like with kids)…But we definitely want the different houses to try and be “live” together at the same time. And so service will begin at 10am. Again, depending on your home, you may decide to meet earlier for breakfast or fellowship, but the service will “air” at 10am. We’ll begin with worship, announcements, message, response worship, communion and prayer. Once Covid guidelines loosen up a little more, Pastor Justin or Pastor Nick will be visiting one house a week to do the service live from the different homes. That will be live-streamed to all the other homes meeting at the same time. So live worship and live preaching. After the service, the teaching Pastor will make questions available to you for discussion. Just a way to apply the message to your life that week. Grace upon grace for all of us as we try to find our footing here.
How and when will I be notified?
Our team is small but mighty. We will do our very best to get back to you in a timely manner.
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