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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


Discipleship and Leadership
5 отличий умножающихся учеников от традиционного ученичества PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 15 June 2017 00:00
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Stop Just Going To Church PDF Print Write e-mail
Friday, 25 March 2016 20:21

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.

 
It is to your advantage that I go away! PDF Print Write e-mail
Sunday, 11 October 2015 00:16

Our fascination with celebrities often becomes personality cult.  One of the things which I simply do not understand about  American politics is the messianic fervor which seems to flow through the presidential process.  Can one person really solve the problems of a nation?  That leadership cult also flows through the church.  So much teaching on leadership seems to have as its goal the creation of dependency!  We have our own versions of the celebrity, personality, leadership cults!

In John 16:7,  Jesus is telling the disciples that  "It is to your advantage that I go away".  After three years with Jesus, after all the miracles and after all the dreams of the Kingdom it comes to this?  How could it possibly be better without Jesus?  How could it possibly be better without the moment by moment flesh and blood presence of Jesus?

 
Do We Only Disciple Those Who are Responsive? PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 08 June 2015 00:00

Five Truths Demonstrated by Jesus

1. Jesus told us to look for the good soil (parable of the soil, sower and seed) - he didn't say not to love hard, rocky or thorny ground, but he did put an emphasis on attending to those who are responsive to the good news as a priority over those who are not ready to obey him. We shouldn't choose between the "good soil" folks and others, but give the greatest attention to those who obey Jesus in contrast to those who don't. Keep loving the others, but invest most of our time in those who are prepared to obey...

2. It is not an issue of numbers, but of obedience - Jesus emphasized over and over again the necessity of obedience as a prerequisite for being one of his disciples...far too much of our time is spent catering to religious folks who are disobedient instead of investing in the non-religious who are desperate and responsive. Jesus loved the multitudes, challenged seekers and followers, but discipled the ones who would obey him.

 
LEADERSHIP AND THE PEOPLE OF GOD PDF Print Write e-mail
Saturday, 03 May 2014 23:25


LEADERSHIP AND THE PEOPLE OF GOD

Recently 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 role of leadership will be communally oriented, meaning it will not stand outside the context of the community, but rather will be Spirit-led from within the community. The purpose of biblical leadership is to serve, nourish, sustain, shape, and equip a community of people who will routinely demonstrate, announce and embody the purpose and direction of God.

 
Restoring the Supremacy of Jesus Christ PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2014 12:46

Restoring the Supremacy of Jesus Christ

Christians have made the gospel about so many things … things other than Christ.

Jesus Christ is the gravitational pull that brings everything together and gives them significance, reality, and meaning. Without him, all things lose their value. Without him, all things are but detached pieces floating around in space.

It is possible to emphasize a spiritual truth, value, virtue, or gift, yet miss Christ . . . who is the embodiment and incarnation of all spiritual truth, values, virtues, and gifts.

Seek a truth, a value, a virtue, or a spiritual gift, and you have obtained something dead.

Seek Christ, embrace Christ, know Christ, and you have touched him who is Life. And in him resides all Truth, Values, Virtues and Gifts in living color. Beauty has its meaning in the beauty of Christ, in whom is found all that makes us lovely and loveable.

 
I HAVE CALLED YOU FRIENDS PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 17 October 2013 23:23

“Greater love has no one than this,  than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:13- 15

The One who legitimately could claim all position, title, honor, glory and authority did not do so!  He looked into the eyes of men who would soon betray Him and called them His friends. When He did this He absolutely, totally and for all time destroyed all possibility of any hierarchy representing His kingdom. Pyramids are for dead people!

 
The Secret Source of Unlimited Leaders PDF Print Write e-mail
Sunday, 22 April 2012 00:13

Perhaps the single most consistent need among Christian leaders is for people who can lead ministries. The vast majority of churches I have encountered in my travels all could use more leaders to maintain their ministries. So many churches have more children than child workers and more students than student workers. Everyone could use more musicians.

There are always a few churches, however, that do not have this struggle. There seems to be at least one church in every city that doesn't have the same overbearing need. They have all the leaders they need, and more. Why is that? Why are some churches full of more leaders than they need, while the rest are all struggling in manpower poverty? I know the secret. I will share it with you now and you too can have more than enough leaders and resources to accomplish all the work God has called you to do.

The Problem with Recruitment

The churches that have the most leaders do not recruit leaders at all. That is why they have enough. The churches that recruit can never find enough. Below I will share some of the reasons why.

 
How is a Missional Community Different From a Bible Study? PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 19 March 2012 15:25

During our Missional Community leadership training we start with a definition of missional community. Then, we clarify what it is not. A Missional Community is not primarily a Bible study.

The goal of most Bible studies is to study the Bible. We believe the goal of a missional community is to make disciples who make disciples. We clarify that the mission of making disciples with our missional communities will require studying the bible, but often bible studies don’t require that you make disciples.

In fact, our discovery has been that many people have studied the Bible for years and have never led anyone to faith in Jesus, equipped people for ministry and sent out more to do the same. It’s as if we have come to believe that knowing the Bible equals faith in and obedience to God.

Often when I speak to leaders and people who wish we did more bible studies at Soma, I ask them what was the last book of the Bible they studied. Let’s say they’ve respond with “James”.

 
When a new wineskin is not enough PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 05 September 2011 19:28

Jesus said that new wine needs new wineskins (Luke 5:36-40). A new wineskin is only needed if there is new wine. If simple/organic church is like a new wineskin, what is the new wine? Is there something about the life we have together in Christ that needs a new container, that would burst an old wineskin?

This is part of a series on how to start simple/organic/house churches. Changing the structure of church gains nothing unless it is a response to something that Jesus is doing which wouldn't be easy to contain within the old structures. (If you read the story in Luke 5 carefully, it is obvious that Jesus cares about the old structures and the old wine too.) There's no point in doing church as we've always known it within the four walls of our homes rather than in a special building.

 
THE ONE ANOTHER SCRIPTURES PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 25 August 2011 12:29

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.

 
Why we don't judge PDF Print Write e-mail
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 18:37

Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind (Rom.14: 4-5).

Oh, come on Paul; give it to me straight, should we worship on Sunday or not? Can we eat meat sacrificed to an idol or not? Don’t hem and haw, just give me the rule and I’ll obey. But he doesn’t; why not?

 
Simple Church Basics -What About Leadership? PDF Print Write e-mail
Friday, 24 June 2011 10:45

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.

If we are going to transition from church-as-we-know-it (a box) to a dynamic Spirit-filled movement, we will also have to transition from leadership-as-we-know-it to something else.

Alan Creech says the WHOLE thing has to be reinvented:

I mean full-time, paid staff pastors who preach every Sunday and do pretty much all the ministry and stress themselves silly over every little thing in the community. I think this will kill us if we keep this up. It's beginning to happen, but we've really got to re-envision what it means to be a pastor, leader, elder, whatever in our new churches. I don't think we can afford to keep the old pastoral paradigm alive any more. We can't do that and expect to happen what we want to happen in these communities.

 
Leadership in the Kingdom of God PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 16 June 2011 03:59

altA fresh look at the question of leadership in the church

http://vimeo.com/19847639











 
A Vanishing God PDF Print Write e-mail
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 15:56

Jesus often comes to us in unexpected ways and unexpected means.

Think about how He came to Earth. For centuries, Israel had waited for a political Messiah. They expected Him to lead a rebellion and free Israel from Roman oppression. But how did the Messiah make His entrance? He came in a way that made it easy for His own people to reject Him. He came as a frail baby, born in a feeding room for animals. There He was. The promised Messiah who was expected to overthrow the Roman Empire and set Israel free from oppression. A needy Nazarene born in a manger.

When Jesus grew up, He ate and drank in their presence and taught in their streets (Luke 13:26). Yet they didn’t recognize Him. He was unassumingly modest. A mere craftsman; the son of a craftsman. He grew up in the despised city of Nazareth, fraternizing with the despised and oppressed. But more startling, He befriended sinners (Luke 7:34). As such, the people of God didn’t recognize Him. Why? Because He came in a way that made it easy for them to reject Him. And what about the disciples?

 
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