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.
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:
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.
Many people are finding the church planting training done by David Watson to be very helpful. We know of several people that have recently began to use these principles and accompanying materials effectively in Russian-speaking countries. You can find the video teachings for this training under the resource section on our site-Video Training
You can also find the written materials and tools that David Watson speaks of under the resource section- E-Books and Other Written Material:
-Discovering Jesus Bible Study
-Discovering God Bible Study
-Obedience Based Discipleship Bible Study ( //simplechurch.com.ua/en/resursy/e-books-and-other-written-material.html)
Please share your stories, as well as struggles and questions, concerning using this principles with others on the site. Thanks!
“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.
As I coach church planters all over the world, I get to evaluate a variety of approaches to this difficult task. God has relentlessly brought two facts to my attention—the two main obstacles to church planting movements across our world.
ONE: What we are doing is too complex. Even though we stress to those we train that they must reduce the “heavy package” of ‘Church As We Know It’ to bare New Testament essentials before carrying it to an unreached people group, most church planters are still struggling to strip away the cultural elements that slow or stop reproduction in the new cultural setting.
For example, dispensing with the need for a special “holy” building to meet in on Sundays may be easier than modeling active ministry by every believer. The church planter often does so much of the work himself that the fledgling church sees ministry as something only full time religious professionals can accomplish. The movement is stillborn since “qualified leadership” can never reproduce itself rapidly enough. One thing we really need is a simpler and more Biblical view of what “church” actually means. When I speak of “church” ...I mean the living organism that corporately forms Jesus’ Body and Bride on this planet, not a religious organization. In practical terms: a gathering of any size, committed to one another and to obeying the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have been lugging around a model and definition of “church” that is far too complex and encrusted with layers of nonessential, non-Biblical “barnacles.” We need to get radical in simplification.
This is an excerpt from the book Finding Organic Church by Frank Viola.
We are unable to publish this excerpt in English. If you are interested in this book or other books or resources by Frank Viola, you may go to the following website:
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.
we will never have a boring meeting
I believe we all want to see our gatherings fueled by the Holy Spirit’s leading and empowerment. It is good to remind ourselves some of the ways that we can help facilitate this.
1. Relax. This is not a performance-oriented event. In our past church-life we gauged the value of our gatherings by how “good” the church-event was. We have grown past that. Our church-life, now, is about being the church everyday, living a 24/7 lifestyle, and about being part of a community of people whom we love and share life with. We don’t look to the gathering to be the “big event” that will make up for our own lack of relationship with God. So, we can relax and enjoy whatever God does in our midst.
A fresh look at the question of leadership in the church
Slavic Church – Return To The Roots
The church in every generation needs to be a church which is participating in reforming itself to follow the words and life of its founder and source – Jesus Christ. (RETURN TO THE ROOTS) After several decades of wonderful growth, the Slavic Church finds itself in need of just such a reformation to reverse the current stagnation (Crisis) of its health and growth.
While some would like to repeat the 1990’s or modify today’s church, the only way forward is to fully return to the life, work, words, and model of Jesus Christ, and to follow His examples. Jesus gave us His example of suffering, sacrifice, obedience, submission, servant hood, mercy and love, and simplicity. Jesus was a missional (sending), itinerant, and incarnational God.
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.Detailed...