If we think that a model of church is our solution to reaching the world we are already in a bad place, whether that model is a mega church or a micro church.
There is a vast difference, however, between an attractional posture and an incarnational/missional understanding of church. The difference is not in the organization, but in the release and flow of God's kingdom. The church is not meant to be sedentary but sent-"one holy, apostolic (sent) church."
Today we expect the lost to come to us. In the Bible, God is always the Seeker going after those who are lost. He pursued Adam in a garden and Moses in a desert. He found Jonah at the bottom of the sea and Peter on top. Jesus found Matthew in an office and Paul out on the road.
God became a man and entered the world through a birth canal just like the rest of us. He chose to come to us on our turf, rather then expecting us to rise to His. Jesus preached everywhere that the kingdom of God has come near. He came to seek and to save the lost, and He now invites us to join Him.
Person of Peace (sometimes called “a person of good will”)…this individual is someone
who is receptive, of reputation, and is a person of referral. By being receptive, he/she is
eager to have a relationship with you. Regarding reputation, it could be either good or
bad, but people know this person. He/she is also a person of referral in the sense that
there is an influence over others, either good or bad. Every community will have people
of peace. (Lydia - Acts 16:11-15; Philippian Jailer – Acts 16:29-34).
1. Finding a Person of Peace – Luke 10:2-11
A Person of Peace will:
• Welcome You
• Speak Kindly to You
• Be a Person of Hospitality (i.e. invite you into their surroundings/home)
• Have a heart of Compassion
• Share a Similar Vision
• Sense the Need for Change
• Note: you will find in this person an instant friend, who will open the door to
others. Make this your base of operation, and your first indigenous leader.
It is hard to believe that our website has been in existence for four years. During that time we have posted almost two hundred different articles. More importantly, through the website, we have been able to get to know many of you personally and we have been able to help one another in our walk with God and in the ministry that He has called us to. We are particularly amazed and blessed by the number of people across the Russian-speaking world that have contacted us and let us know that the principles discussed on this website are close to their heart and are a reality in their ministry.
There is no real way to measure the influence and impact of this website, but as we hear stories of changed lives, new disciples, and new churches, we realize that God has had a plan to use this website as at least a small instrument in the building of His kingdom.
Church planting is easy!” we thought. Within a few months of landing in a North African city, we already had a group of men and women meeting in our home. Joining that fellowship were some Muslim-background believers who had previously come to faith in the Lord through the testimony of others. We lined our living room with couches, in the local style, served sweet mint tea, and wore djellabas. We hoped a contextualized fellowship could grow into a solid church.
Tim, a seminary graduate, functioned as the pastor, but rotated leadership. We sang and studied the Bible in English, Arabic, and French. The participants came from Berber, Arab, French, Spanish, Scottish, and American backgrounds. We even collected an offering for the poor. We thought we had planted a truly multi-cultural New Testament house church.
Right doctrine without relational integrity is dead orthodoxy. You do not learn to be friends by sitting in a classroom listening to someone lecture. You learn to be friends by following Jesus together in daily life. The New Testament is full of relational commandments. Forty “one another scriptures” are given here but the list could be extended to about seventy if you included similar verses which use words such as “brothers”, “neighbors” or “members”.
These commands, sown through out the New Testament, enforce the reality of communities of friends in flat relational structures who are to act from the heart to serve each other and in so doing serve the King who lives in each one of them.
Editors Note: Do you ever have friends asking you to explain what simple church is all about and how it is different from a more traditional church? In this short article, Alan Knox does a good job of answering this question. By the way, Alan’s blog has many great thoughts on the nature of the church. Here is a link:
In this post, I’m going to examine some of the differences between modern, traditional, institutional churches and simple/organic churches. If you are looking for a rant against or a condemnation of institutional churches, then this is not it. Those who have read my blog for a while know that I prefer more simple, more organic church.
Many people are finding the church planting training done by David Watson to be very helpful. We know of several people that have recently began to use these principles and accompanying materials effectively in Russian-speaking countries. You can find the video teachings for this training under the resource section on our site-Video Training
You can also find the written materials and tools that David Watson speaks of under the resource section- E-Books and Other Written Material:
-Discovering Jesus Bible Study
-Discovering God Bible Study
-Obedience Based Discipleship Bible Study ( http://simplechurch.com.ua/en/resursy/e-books-and-other-written-material.html)
Please share your stories, as well as struggles and questions, concerning using this principles with others on the site. Thanks!
“You want to know what I’ve learned this weekend?” the man said as he drove me to a Midwest airport early one morning. We’d just spent an incredible weekend together with a house church he’d helped foster and another group of believers who joined us when they heard I was in town. The latter were deeply conflicted about their current involvement with a congregation that sounded abusive. “I’ve been selling the wrong thing!” he continued.
“What’s that?” I asked oblivious to what we were talking about.
“I’ve been selling house church,” he said shaking his head with a sigh, “instead of Jesus.” Obviously he wasn’t talking about ‘selling’ anything, but I love his discovery. Almost everywhere I go people are preoccupied with finding the right way to do church. It seems our hunger for church outstrips our hunger for Jesus.
As I coach church planters all over the world, I get to evaluate a variety of approaches to this difficult task. God has relentlessly brought two facts to my attention—the two main obstacles to church planting movements across our world.
ONE: What we are doing is too complex. Even though we stress to those we train that they must reduce the “heavy package” of ‘Church As We Know It’ to bare New Testament essentials before carrying it to an unreached people group, most church planters are still struggling to strip away the cultural elements that slow or stop reproduction in the new cultural setting.
For example, dispensing with the need for a special “holy” building to meet in on Sundays may be easier than modeling active ministry by every believer. The church planter often does so much of the work himself that the fledgling church sees ministry as something only full time religious professionals can accomplish. The movement is stillborn since “qualified leadership” can never reproduce itself rapidly enough. One thing we really need is a simpler and more Biblical view of what “church” actually means. When I speak of “church” ...I mean the living organism that corporately forms Jesus’ Body and Bride on this planet, not a religious organization. In practical terms: a gathering of any size, committed to one another and to obeying the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have been lugging around a model and definition of “church” that is far too complex and encrusted with layers of nonessential, non-Biblical “barnacles.” We need to get radical in simplification.
About the Site
All across the world, people are gathering in small groups to serve and worship God, be family, and encourage and affect each others lives. These gatherings are called by many names including simple church, organic church, and house church. Whatever you call it, the people involved value incarnational ministry to the lost, living radically for Jesus and each other, and are willing to get rid of anything that gets in the way of being fully devoted followers of Christ.Detailed...