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  • Why was this site started?

    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 w... Read More

  • Our Best Articles

    bestartikle.jWe have over one hundred articles available on our site, so if you are a new visitor, you may be overwhelmed. Where should you start? Read More

  • 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 movi... Read More

  • Incarnational Practices

    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... Read More

  • What is an Organic Church?

    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 i... Read More


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Rekindling Passion PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 05 June 2008 10:27

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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.

Can you remember the last time you awoke in the middle of the night, not to anxiety or fear, but to Jesus' invitation to spend some time with him? Or when last God's presence was so real neither of you needed to say anything and the minutes raced by as if time itself no longer had significance? How about the last time being obedient to God landed you in hot water because someone misunderstood or because, "that's not the way we do things around here"?


 
The Nut Test PDF Print Write e-mail
Tuesday, 28 September 2010 21:25

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.

"You mean I'm not nuts!" No statement has been spoken to me more often by such a wide variety of people than this one.

Sometimes it's a question. Sometimes it's spoken with great joy, other times with quiet relief. I've heard these words in virtually every state of the union, and from countries half way around the world. Every time, I hear them, I am blessed to be there.

 
How to Prepare for Simple Church PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 16 April 2007 21:10
Years of sitting in traditional church has not prepared us to do church in the manner described in the New Testament. We have been taught to come. To sit. To watch and listen to what others have prepared. (Someone described it as "sit, soak and sour".) This is Spectator Church. And it is no way to train believers to be priests!

By contrast, the churches described in the Bible engaged in Participatory Church. This kind of church requires preparation on the part of all of it's members. This is new. We haven't been taught how to do this.
 
What is an Organic Church? PDF Print Write e-mail
Friday, 27 April 2007 23:32
slide04.jpgOrganic 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.
 
Incarnational Practices PDF Print Write e-mail
Friday, 27 April 2007 23:59

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 other words, missiology precedes ecclesiology.

 
Simple Church Basics - Part 1: What Is Church? PDF Print Write e-mail
Friday, 27 April 2007 23:49

Our first challenge in grasping what God intends church to be, is to stop looking at it through the lens of our background and through the lens of 2,000 years of "church" as a formal institution.

 
Combating Heresy in the Organic Church Movement PDF Print Write e-mail
Tuesday, 08 May 2007 01:33

When teaching about the organic church, a question I am asked more than any other is how we handle the threat of heresy. I understand this concern and want to address it in an intelligent and articulate manner because it is very important. The organic church movement is not going to last if we simply ignore the challenges it faces. But I also believe that the issues that are raised in response to our movement can find solutions that are not only satisfactory but even better alternatives to the way the church has addressed these issues in the past. If the organic church movement is not a move forward toward better health and wholeness, then it is not worth pursuing at all.

 
Listening to God as a Church- Making Jesus the Head PDF Print Write e-mail
Sunday, 13 May 2007 00:26

In Alcoholics Anonymous, The 12 Steps are read out loud at every meeting.

For those of us who are still in detox from programmatic Christianity, there is value in repeating what we have said before:  the simple church revolution (reformation?) is not about doing conventional church in a home. It's not "Honey, I shrunk the church!"  It's not 20 minutes of singing, 30 minutes of Bible study, 10 minutes of prayer and then refreshments.  (Or, any other prepackaged way of meeting.)

"OK.  If it's not about that, what is it about?"

 
Let's Stop Planting Sterile Churches! PDF Print Write e-mail
Sunday, 13 May 2007 00:57

"I have a question I've been wanting to ask you for four years," I said to Charles Brock, author of Practicing Principles of Indigenous Church Planting, when I met in the Philippines a few years ago. "You go into the poor areas of Manila, you plant churches rapidly, they always produce their own leadership, they are never dependent on outside funds and they always reproduce.

 
Simple Church Networks vs. The Cell / Small-Group Church PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 17 May 2007 00:12

It is vital to understand that house (or simple) church networks are not the same thing, in any way, as churches with small groups (even if those small groups are called "house churches."

The cell church (I will adopt the term "cell" church to refer to all types of small-group-based churches) has been a strong movement in North America over the past 30 years while the house (or simple) church network is only just beginning to emerge.

 
Discovering Participatory Church Meetings PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 02 July 2007 12:34
The traditional Protestant worship service today strongly resembles a show business performance. In both we find ushers, programs, music, costumes, lighting, a chorus, a stage, a script, an audience, and a master of ceremonies. (Christian Smith, Going To The Root, Herald Press, p.88.) The congregation sits passively as the audience while the pastor performs. When the congregation is permitted to participate in the meeting, they are restricted to singing in unison, antiphonal readings, dropping money into the offering plate, and taking notes during the sermon. The ordained clergy are expected to perform all significant ministry. Meanwhile, ninety-nine percent of God's people attend worship services Sunday after Sunday for years on end, without ever contributing any true spiritual ministry to the body of gathered believers.
 
Increasing the Workforce for a Greater Harvest PDF Print Write e-mail
Sunday, 08 July 2007 17:19

"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Therefore, beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest fields."

Jesus tells us the key to seeing many people saved through a great harvest of souls is to pray for more workers. The more prayer, the more workers; the more workers, the greater the harvest-It's a simple equation.

Many have used these words to challenge believers to get out of the pews and into the fields. And it must be so. What will it take to get the workers out into the fields? The word Jesus used to "send out" workers is the same Greek word used of "casting out" demons (ekballo). It is a violent term as if the Lord of the harvest must grab us by the collar and thrust us out into the fields. Unfortunately, that may be what it takes for most of us Christians.

 
Fifteen Theses towards a Re-Incarnation of Church PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 16 July 2007 23:46

Editors Note: God is doing some fresh things in His church around the world. He is speaking to many people in similar ways. Due to our varied gifting, levels of of maturity, and even personalities, not all of us will see and understand these things in the same way. Not even the handful of us who manage the site see all the articles presented here the same way. Our heart is simply to encourage those to whom God is speaking about simple churches. We want to let you know how God is speaking to others around the world. This article is an example of some of things that believers are thinking about and discussing in regards to the church. We found these statements by a German brother to parallel some of the things that God has been speaking to us. These thoughts are challenging, and there may be something here you don't agree with. We, however, believe it is helpful to prayefully consider such statements and to allow God to speak to us as He would want to.

May our goal be fully aligned with God's goal-to see Christ exalted and for all men to be drawn to Him.

 
We Already Have a Shepherd PDF Print Write e-mail
Tuesday, 23 October 2007 21:03

{mosimage}Leadership in the Relational Church. What did Jesus have in mind when he spoke of leadership among the incredible community of the Body of Christ?

Here is the best definition I've ever heard of spiritual leadership: If you were going to be caught in your worst failure, who would you want to catch you?

If you really want to experience the fullness of life in Jesus, wouldn't you want someone who would treat you as gently as Jesus treated the woman at the well while offering you the truth in a way that you could understand and follow into God's freedom?

 
More Than a Meeting PDF Print Write e-mail
Friday, 25 January 2008 02:45

 Have you heard recently these common phrases after church: "Have a great week!" or "See you next Sunday..."?

Nothing imaginable makes me cringe more than hearing these statements over and over again, like "going to church" is something akin to next weekend's "golf outing". Until the church - be that simple, house, or regular - sees Christianity as more than a meeting, we will have little to offer the unsaved masses around us.

 
Pastors & Plumbers PDF Print Write e-mail
Saturday, 19 January 2008 19:03

 Having just bought my first home, pipes have taken a more significant place in my life. A broken pipe is bad news. It has occurred to me, however, that the reason pipes are so important to me is that water is important to me. In fact, we don?t really think much about pipes until they break, but we think about water every day.

I am coming to see that much of what we give attention to in church leadership these days are pipes. Most of the programs, principles and practices of church growth and mission are really just pipes - conduits of living water. Whether they be small groups or Sunday school; seeker services or traditional services - they are really just different pipes.

 
Church at its Simplest. What is Simple Church? PDF Print Write e-mail
Friday, 08 February 2008 01:09

Church as its simplestThere are many definitions for simple church, our preferred term for what is sometimes called house church. One of the best comes from the Dawn North America Web site (it is also found on the House2House Web site). Rather then reinvent the wheel, I list their definition below.

  • By "simple church," we mean a way of doing and being church that is so simple that any believer would respond by saying, "I could do that!"
  • By "simple church," we mean the kind of church that is described in the New Testament. Not constrained by structure but by the needs of the extended family (oikos) and a desire to extend the kingdom of God.
  • By "simple church," we mean a church that listens to God, follows His leading and obeys His commands.
  • By "simple church," we mean spiritual parents raising spiritual sons and daughters to establish their own families (oikos).
 
Windblown: What Life in Him Looks Like PDF Print Write e-mail
Tuesday, 15 April 2008 17:41

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He was a religious leader who sought Jesus out in the dark of night. He knew Jesus’ miracles were proof that God was with him and he wanted to be part of his kingdom. But he had no idea what it would demand from him.

Perhaps Nicodemus wanted some instructions to follow, new rules that would let him in on the life Jesus lived. But Jesus didn’t offer any. He simply told him that he needed to be born all over again. The idea sent Nicodemus’ head spinning as he tried to conceive how he, an old man, could be born a second time. Jesus must have smiled at the thought.

 

 
Leadership and the People of God PDF Print Write e-mail
Sunday, 18 May 2008 15:49

washingfeet.jpgRecently there has been a lot of dialogue on the role of leadership. What is this thing called leadership? Who leads? Who follows? What difference does it make? Who cares? The question of leadership always leads into a lively debate. The great urgency always comes down to-who the heck is in charge around here?

My intention here is to share some of my thoughts on the role of leadership.

 
The Real Question PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 28 April 2008 16:20

quest.jpgAs I travel among the body of Christ one of the questions I am asked the most is, what do I see Jesus doing in his church today? Am I excited or discouraged by what I see?

Before I answer that here, let me admit at the outset that my vantage point is in some ways incredibly blessed and in other ways severely limited. While better traveled than most, perhaps, there is much I don’t see and certainly my teachings, writings and web postings put me in touch believers who have a specific kind of passion. But I do get to sit down fairly often with some of the most incredible followers of Christ on the planet—those who are experiencing a depth of relationship with him that is transforming how they live in the world. Many of those had been in ‘positions of ministry’ at some point, but found themselves unable to fit into the religious landscape that proved insufficient for their hungers even though few others could validate their passion or obedience.

 

 
Why House Church Isn't the Answer PDF Print Write e-mail
Friday, 21 December 2007 03:55

When 20 years of countless prayers didn't fix it, I had to conclude either that God was ignoring me, or that I was asking for the wrong thing. Anxiety used to be my constant companion, and quite honestly he was no fun to hang with. He used to punch me in the pit of the stomach when I least expected it and his ravings kept me awake at night.

 
Word Time in the House Church PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 02 June 2008 16:27
bible-study-group.jpgThe house church context provides a unique environment for the study and application of God’s Word. When you have 10-20 individuals gathered in close proximity, it is different than speaking to 1000 people in an auditorium or even 40 people in a classroom. The house church gives a great opportunity for people to ask questions, to develop their understanding in a group, to share what the Holy Spirit is saying to them, and to develop points of application in community.
 
Leadership - Spiritual and Christian PDF Print Write e-mail
Friday, 27 June 2008 15:45
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