About eleven years ago, I left the pulpit and we began our journey walking out Scripture as it is written. We were part of a small congregation for a couple years, then we began a home fellowship that met weekly and for special feasts. This was a significant and satisfying ‘upgrade’ from church life, but it still left something to be desired.
People would come and people would go. Division was easy… the Name, calendar, other minor doctrinal issues… And, the typical Shabbat ended with, ‘see you next week,’ not unlike church. Certainly, home fellowship was a good place to grow and study, but…
As I researched, studied, and wrote for Authority, Headship, and Family Structure, (According to Moses), I came to the now obvious realization that kol Israel is a patriarchal tribal FAMILY! Where I used to think of the Torah as a national Constitution, I now recognize that it is YHVH’s instruction on how we are to love Him and love the rest of the family (our neighbor).
Over the last year, our home group began to pursue ‘community’ with the growing realization that we are family. (Cue Sister Sledge) We began to understand that as a collection of families, we are a ‘clan,’ not unlike the clans of Israel 3000 years ago. The key was/is to divest ourselves of a ‘fellowship’ mentality (I can leave if I want) and embrace the harder road of working things out, accepting our differences, loving each other even when we may not be in 100% agreement!
Collectively, we are changing our mindset from ‘fellowship’ to ‘family.’
We are quitting fellowship!
We are building FAMILY.
This is a major step forward, and one I strongly recommend other home groups think about. But the foundation that needs to be laid is an understanding of Torah as a document for a family, not a national governing document. Again, this is a ground up, grassroots growth, not top down, organization or government model.
As I have stated before, man builds organizations, God builds men, then families, then clans, etc… Witness Adam, Noach, Avraham, Ya’acov, the sons, then the tribes. Kol Israel is a patriarchal tribal family!!