As we have sought to minister in New Zealand, we have been blessed to gather a small community around us passionate about following Jesus Christ.
Our ministry call is to engage with smaller groups of people in meaningful and sustained discipleship. We believe this happens best in smaller house churches where families are together, prayer is emphasized, scripture is opened, and relationships are formed and nurtured. We also believe that food is an important part of community so at the end of gatherings, each house church shares a meal together. This model has been confirmed over and over through our experience, prayer, and the practicalities of living in a world with Covid-19.
The Table is a vision that quite honestly results from failure and some really hard lessons learned. So many church plants these days compete with culture seeking to offer something the world does not. We believe that the gospel does in fact offer something the world is looking for but it is the message and the person of Jesus Christ, not our buildings or structures or 'innovative ways'. The gospel is simple, worship is simple, discipleship, while difficult in practice, is simple. Our heart is to have real and genuine environments where people can connect with each other in homes with the purpose of growing our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is our vision of house church and while comfortable, it is purposeful, while informal, it is serious, while easy to attend, it requires commitment. Every person counts and contributes and thus has a seat at 'The Table'. We also recognize the power of God's people together, so our plan is that each house church or 'table' will come together with other 'tables' on a regular basis for corporate worship, corporate prayer, and the teaching of the Word.
Where we're going
More than anything, we believe that in New Zealand and beyond, the only hope for anyone is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Abundant life and salvation is found in no other. Our experience here tells us that people are most receptive to that message when it is presented in smaller groups and in an already established relationship. So, our goal is to plant as many 'tables' as possible. These tables grow as the members invite others along. When a table gets too big, we split and another table forms. It is in this way that we believe these tables have the greatest potential to impact the community around us and be 'salt and light'.
What this means for you
You are welcome at the Table. If you've been invited by someone, we encourage you to take up their invitation and attend a table gathering at a house. Conversely, if you want to first attend one of our corporate gatherings, you are invited to do so.
The Table is supported by a board led by Kris and Megan Gilbert as church planters and cultural missionaries. If you'd like more information on the Gilbert's and how you can partner with them, click here.