Parsly - I have a Spanish wineskin hanging in my house to remind me that new wine and old wineskins. I am battling with going under the official Calvary Chapel banner, though I really agree a lot with their doctrine and such (let's put it this way - I haven't come across another denomination that is as close to my own convictions.) My pastor (Calvary Chapel as well) has been working with me a little, though he lives 40 mins. away. I don't really want to start afresh because most denominations were created that way. I am open to being independant (many pastors I respect operate within churches that aren't associated with any denomination), but I also am not too keen on re-inventing the wheel if it can be avoided. I am trying to keep my burdens, my convictions, and my passions in check with prayer and waiting upon the Lord.
Regardless of whether we go with Calvary or not, we will grow the church out of our Bible study, which has about 6 consistent members, though we get a lot of visitors and usually have 10-12. After Thanksgiving, we will be moving it from my house to a local radio station that has a small stage for performances (the owner wants to support our efforts and offered the space free of charge.) We will also be advertizing it through the local CSN (Calvary Satelitte Network) radio station.
I was leading the Bible study until about 2 months ago when we officially aligned the Bible study with my home church, and the pastor there has been coming up to lead it, with me filling in when he cannot make it. I do need to disciple better - some of the people coming to the study I only see at the study. There is one guy in particular that lives down the street. I need to meet with him outside the study regularly to disciple him - I am not even sure if he is born again. Thank you for giving me clearer vision on that. :-)
I will be turning 30 in a few days, and I have been saved for about 1 1/2 years now (since March 2004.)
Ginnyrose - I happen to have a two degrees in music, but I learned piano b/c I don't sing that well (I can sing on pitch, but the quality of my singing voice isn't that great.) I actually thought God would use me in the music ministry field when I first got saved, but there is no burning in my heart for it, and I quit doing music stuff in the church once I settled that matter with God. I now realize He has different plans for me.
There is hardly anything more beautiful to my ears that a church full of people singing with passion to the Lord, and we know that music is important to God - there were 4,000 Levite preist/musicians set aside for temple worship. I think nowadays, though, too much emphasis is being put on music. We're singing so loud that the cries of souls going to hell are muffled. I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, though.
Thank you all so much - please keep it coming!