Principles of Simple Church


Incarnational Practices

Incarnational Practices
You are church before you do church. This is one of the fueling insights of the missional church movement. This isn't a new idea...but it is pretty provocative, especially when one considers its implications. If we take Jesus at his word when he says (as recorded in John 20:21) "as the Father has sent me, I am sending you," then we realize that our being sent is the basis of our "doing" church. In other words, missiology precedes ecclesiology.

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The Awesome Power of a Transformed Life

The Awesome Power of a Transformed Life

The miracle we need most right now is one that the Lord has freely given us already. It is the power of a changed life. The world is poised and ready to see the relevance and power of our message if only we would let them see it firsthand.

There is no power on earth more potent than the gospel in a heart of belief (Romans 1:16). Ed Silvoso puts it like this, in his book That None Should Perish, “The church has been entrusted with something that every politician on earth would give an arm and a leg to have: the power to see hearts changed.” We have been given this power, though we generally leave it unused. Our pews are full of “Christians” whose lives show little difference from those who are in the world.

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What is 'simple church'?

What is 'simple church'?

slide02.jpgSome call them house churches. Some call them organic churches. Some call them simple churches. We prefer to just call them churches. They are rapidly multiplying, simple communities of believers, meeting in homes, offices, campuses, wherever God is moving. This is the pattern common to many parts of the globe, and is now becoming more and more common in the U.S. as well.

Where are two or more are gathered in His name, there is church.

Where "DNA" is present among people, there is church.

"D" stands for Divine Truth (loving God/Jesus)
"N" stands for Nurturing Relationships (loving one another deeply)
"A" stands for Apostolic Mission (being on Jesus' mission to the world)

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A natural meal with a Supernatural Family

A natural meal with a Supernatural Family

Scripture tells us that on the day of Pentecost three thousand people were added to the church. As they began to learn what it meant to be God’s people, some things about their lives changed, while other things remained the same. They continued to eat normal food; but the context of those meals changed:

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts… (Acts 2:46  )

Every day, or at least regularly, the believers met together in their homes to share their food with other people. Family meals were very normal. The meal itself had not changed. But, the family was now completely different.

Of course, this relationship change had be described earlier by Jesus. His disciples were simply following his lead:

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The Church that Jesus Builds

The Church that Jesus Builds

“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.

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Stop Just Going To Church

Stop Just Going To Church

It all began in a boat on a lake with a few fishing poles. It was there, surrounded by the lazy water, my dad and I would have a key conversation that would change the trajectory of my life. My dad was giving me a simple update on his life and shared that his church was hiring a discipleship pastor.

After I pushed past my internal dialog about how hiring a pastor for discipleship betrayed that the church didn’t see everything they did as discipleship, I heard my father say he was excited to learn how to make disciples—finally.

I was thankful for my father’s surge of energy toward Jesus’ commission but also a bit troubled. My dad didn’t seem to realize he raised me in a home where daily life was engaged as intentional ministry. He owned several small businesses and believed his business was meant to be a blessing to people and the city we lived in. As a result, we joined our parents in countless acts of kindness, generosity, and hospitality.

It was not uncommon for one of us four boys to give up our room for a season to make room for a young man getting a fresh start, a broken husband whose marriage was on the rocks, or a runaway teen who needed some stability. My dad would love and mentor these men during the day at one of his businesses while my mom would nurture and care for them like one of her own.

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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.

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Examining the differences between simple church and institutional church

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:

<http://www.alanknox.net/2011/04/examining-the-differences-between-simple-church-and-institutional-church/#comments>

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.

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The Church that Jesus Builds


“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.

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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.

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