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    slide06.jpgLet us begin with a very important fact. The goal of the site is not to criticize traditional or institutional churches. Yes, some of the articles make comparisons and some of the writers do strongly question traditional practices. However, those of us who have created this site did so for several reasons:

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    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.

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    slide05.jpgYou 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 oth...

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    slide04.jpg Organic Church. I've been using this term for around fifteen years now. Today it's become somewhat of a clay word, being molded and shaped to mean a variety of different things by a variety of different people.

    T. Austin-Sparks is the man who deserves credit for this term. Here's his definition:


Simple Church Basics – Being a Missional Church PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 27 July 2009 22:28

Editors Note:
Every day new visitors are coming to our site. In order to expose them to some of our best articles, and to create fresh discussion among those of us who have been active on the site a long time, we will from time to time repost an past article like this one. This article has been a favorite of many people. We invite you to read it for the first time or read it again. Take a moment to add your thoughts and commentary and let's learn together how we can honor and magnify Jesus and join Him in building His kingdom.

Keys to missional community: 1. Go to the people 2. People of Peace. 3. Living Kingdom lives

One of the hallmarks of the simple church movement is that it seeks to be what the church, in fact, is: missional. Jesus went everywhere proclaiming and demonstrating the reality, love, and power of the Kingdom (healing the brokenhearted, setting captives free, proclaiming God’s acceptance, etc.) The church (the people of God) goes and does the same.

This means that church, first of all, needs to transition from being a “come and see” place to a “go and be with the lost” movement.

From Reggie McNeal’s book (The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church):

The Pharisees' evangelism strategy sounds eerily familar. Their approach to sharing God was, "Come and get it!"...Jesus' evangelism strategy directly challenged the Pharisees' approach. Instead of "Come and get it!" it was "Go get'em!"

Jesus' strategy was to go where people were already hanging out. This is why he went to weddings, parties, and religious feast day celebrations...Taking the gospel to the streets means we need church where people are already hanging out.

Bottom line: we've got to take the gospel to the streets. This is the only appropriate missional response to the collapse of the church culture. I am not talking about short trips into port off of the cruise ship. I am speaking of an intentional 24/7 church presence in the community, not tied to church real estate: (rather) office building, malls, school campuses, sports complexes, storefronts, homes, apartment buildings, and community centers. We need to go where people are already hanging out and be prepared to have conversations with them about the great love of our lives. This will require our shifting our efforts from growing churches into transforming communities.

They're not coming to us. We've got to go to them.

One of the fundamental potentials of the simple church movement: churches can go where the people are, churches can start quickly anywhere and reproduce rapidly. In this way, the church becomes what it is meant to be: a “going” movement.

In our own churches we work hard to make sure that reproduction is in the DNA of each simple church that we start. That means that they fully expect to grow and reproduce another simple church within a year (at most). We want it to be a “going out” thing. But we are still too new at this to see if we are reproducing churches that are reproducing churches that are reproducing churches which is the key to true multiplication.

Secondly, we are trying to keep our focus on the “Person of Peace” principle. We believe this is vital. This means asking God to show us people of influence, whom He is working in, who will become gatherers for Him.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, is the realization that we are meant to live and be the church in every situation, in every part of life, in every way. We take Jesus where we go and we live Kingdom lives because it’s who we are.

Kingdom living includes demonstrating care for the poor, the needy, the brokenhearted, the sick… It means washing the feet of others… It means living upside down lives from the values of the culture… It means loving the least… It means letting God creatively and uniquely work through us (according to how He made us) in every situation we are in… It means relating and loving wherever we go.

I’m writing all of this and my old thoughts are screaming, “But there has to be more. There has to be a program, a plan, a strategy that will call the masses to recognize their deep need for a Savior and Lover and bring them into an awesome encounter.”

My “new” mind knows all the right answers to this: true kingdom disciples are developed through relationships not programs; a little leaven will leaven the whole loaf as God’s Kingdom works through sphere after sphere of influence.

 

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