Mondays at the Mansion: Transforming Community
What would it look like for a movement of God to start in the inner city? What would it look like for family to go after seeing transformation starting from the living room? What if gathering as one body to seek the Lord actually does change things? This is what happens at the Mansion every Monday night.
If you would step into this 100+ year old Mansion on any average Monday, you would find individuals from different walks and backgrounds gathering on the creaky floors of the living room. Young adults in skinny jeans and hipster clothes worship side by side with grey haired Joe and the rambunctious kids from the neighborhood. Wandering Alfredo joins the meeting happy to have a safe place to rest for a couple hours. Visitors from across the river and other more affluent neighborhoods gather with the low-income, under-served in prayer and seeking the Lord who is the Hope we all share.
I remember when I first moved into the Mansion and participated in Mondays at the Mansion. I wasn’t sure what the point was. It just seemed like a lot of strangers invading my space and requiring people-energy that I didn’t have. I mean of course God deserved the worship but we were all going to church and would do worship every morning so why another evening of worship?
Then one Monday night during worship, God reminded me of this gathering I used to go to called Love War in Knoxville, TN. My sisters and I were looking for a way to connect at our new church right after we had moved back to the States and this was where a lot of the young adults would go. One of our church’s worship leaders at the time would have a worship night every Tuesday in their living room. His wife would make amazing snacks and everyone would hang out in the kitchen for awhile before worship started. I was only 15 at the time and felt intimidated and slightly uncomfortable by all these American young adults, but as soon as we sat down in the living room and started worship, I felt at home. Despite the cultural and age differences, I knew that we all shared the same love for God and passion for Him.
Fast forward a few years, life got busy and church dynamics changed. Love War became a thing of the past for me and the worship leader who hosted it was no longer at our church. I heard rumor that they had outgrown the living room and started gathering at another location, but I was occupied with high school and attending the youth group at church. I would occasionally think about the leaders of Love War and wonder how things were going. During the year or so we had attended, we had shared some special moments like when they adopted 3 boys or the surprise engagement party for one of the couples.
Soon, I graduated high school and went back overseas for 10 months. While I was over there, I was in the classroom with my co-teacher cleaning up from the long day of teaching preschool and she turned on some music that sounded really familiar. At first I dismissed it thinking, whoever it was probably just sounded like someone else I knew, but I couldn’t get rid of the feeling that I had actually heard this person before. After inquiring of my friend who the artist was, she informed me that the band is called United Pursuit. I had never heard of the band. She started to elaborate saying how she loved the spontaneous style of Will and Andrea Reagan. Suddenly it hit me! The song I was listening to was by the same people who started Love War - the same people we had done the surprise engagement party for - the same people who lived in Knoxville and faithfully met week after week to worship. Somehow, what seemed to me like it had happened overnight, the songs sung in Michael Ketterer’s home (otherwise known as Live at the Banks) had gone literally to the other side of the world and what had started so small was changing history!
As I opened my eyes back at the Mansion, I realized that Tannon had just started singing Simple Gospel, a song by United Pursuit. I marveled at how similar this gathering in an old creaky living room was to the one I had attended years ago. Now I got to be the one like Ivy (Michael’s wife) making delicious snacks and providing a place of nourishment for the body, soul, and spirit for every individual that walked in. Now I was the one on “the inside” who knew the leaders and had the privilege of welcoming friends and strangers into my home and family.
You might be asking yourself “But the Mansion doesn’t have a band and they aren’t creating music that’s going across the world. How can you compare the two?” It’s true that we have not created a label and our songs haven’t been sung across the world (at least not that I know of), but what we have seen is HOPE ignited in hundreds of individuals that have come through the Mansion over the years. Hope to believe that God has a purpose for them. Hope to believe that the Father will provide everything they need. Hope to believe that Jesus is worth risking everything. We’ve seen countless leaders, young and old, from Harrisburg and beyond marked by encounters with God in this living room. God has poured out His Spirit on different individuals on Monday night in intercession, visions, prophecy, and so much more!
What would it look like if God’s children gathered in homes across Harrisburg, across Pennsylvania, across the US and beyond and consistently gathered to encourage each other and seek the Lord? What would that look like in your city? It might not result in a band or young leaders being sent out, but I guarantee you that if you commit yourself to the process, you will begin to experience God’s heart for your city and your church in ways you never even thought possible.
There are currently no comments...