I often think about opportunities for simple or house church multiplication in my region. When I pray, Appalachia frequently comes to mind. Eastern Kentucky is often characterized by its economic and drug challenges. However, when I think of of Eastern Kentucky and the Appalachian region, I see opportunity–opportunity for disciples and churches to multiply.
A recent article online from the folks at Exponential about Clarence Greenleaf (1915-2004) highlighted the faithfulness he and his church family (Grundy Church) in the region. While many the churches he helped plant ended up going the way of brick and mortar, he had a passion for church multiplication throughout Appalachia.
Grundy Church had many strategies for multiplication. For instance, they sent a bus to one target area to bring in a dozen or more people to their services. That sounds like a typical church growth strategy, right? Nope. Eventually, when the bus was full of people from that area, they stopped sending the bus and just started a church there. Grundy didn’t see the busload of people as a way to pad their attendance statistics; they saw it as the nucleus for a new congregation. Then they sent the empty bus to a new target area to do it all over again!
Greenleaf’s vision was for there to be a “church in every holler.” That is a great vision! I believe that vision could become a reality in Appalachia–especially if the brick and mortar costs (monetary, mental, and otherwise) could be avoided.
Will you join me in praying for the multiplication of disciples and simple/house churches in Appalachia?