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Moving Toward Simple Reproducing Churches

Moving Toward Simple Reproducing Churches
I was recently moved by this quotation by a Brazilian theologian, J.B. Lebanio. Simple reproducing churches…”are not a movement, an association, or a religious congregation… They are not a method (or the only method) of building up the church: They are THE CHURCH itself… They are THE CHURCH committed to the ordinary person, to the poor, to those who suffer injustice.”
Simple reproducing churches (organic churches, home churches) are absolutely theologically necessary. They are the foundational level of the church for the church to be THE CHURCH, the first level at which the church is to exist. The second level is the regular coming together of these basic communities to worship and fellowship together. A third level is the periodic coming together of all congregations to express Christ to the city. Are we focusing on the second level of church meetings while short changing the absolutely necessary foundational level? I think so!

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Who's In Your Simple Church?

Who's In Your Simple Church?
J.D. Payne has done a study of house and simple churches, specifically those that he calls “missional house churches.”  Many interesting tidbits are found in this study.  For example…
Payne identifies four types of people who are typically involved in house churches.  I think looking at these categories of people can be very informative and provoke some excellent conversations about our own simple/house churches.

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When a new wineskin is not enough

When a new wineskin is not enough
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.
Many people take Matthew 18:18-20 as the basic building block of church.

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The Church that Jesus Builds - Part 1

The Church that Jesus Builds - Part 1
"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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The Church that Jesus Builds - Part 2

The Church that Jesus Builds - Part 2
Though I don't expect to see a perfect expression of the body of Christ on the planet before Jesus returns, that doesn't keep me from beholding her glory nonetheless. I have witnessed again and again all over the world the miracle of people sharing the life of Jesus together in growing compassion, wisdom, care and freedom. I've watched God connect people who had a profound impact on each other's lives and had great joy in doing so.

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Windblown: What Life in Him Looks Like

Windblown: What Life in Him Looks Like
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. 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.

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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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Expressing Christ in Organic Church

Expressing Christ in Organic Church
I’ve found that when people hear about a church that gathers without a designated leader to present a prepared sermon or teaching, it is difficult for them to imagine how else the church would gather. The pastor-pew format is so ingrained in today’s church culture, it is hard to picture anything else. But there are, in fact, organic churches that meet with no human person designated as her leader, where all of the saints gather together and share the riches of her Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, and allow Him to be the head of the church meeting.

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Restoring the Supremacy of Jesus Christ

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.

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What is an Organic Church?

What is an Organic Church?
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.

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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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