Often I get the question, “Are there any other churches doing this?” when explaining the idea of a “simple church network.” While we know that many Christians outside of North America experience church differently than our traditional Sunday service-centered church, consider the following findings of the Barna Group that may be surprising: The most prolific response (in nationwide studies concerning house church involvement) comes when adults are asked if they have “experienced God or expressed (their) faith in God in a house church or simple church meeting in the past month,” regardless of whether it is affiliated with some other… Read More »On similar paths
(On 10/21/10) Brian Williams on NBC’s Nightly News reported that, at a time when the Crystal Cathedral in California is filing for bankruptcy, 9% of American Protestants now attend only house church. This is an estimated 6-12 million people. (See the link below.) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/39787679#39787679 interesting extra footage: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/39787679#39784379
Wow! One of the books on the “recommended readings” list I posted here awhile back is actually available for free! You can download this book in a pdf format (reminder: you can read pdf files on your iphone or ipad and you can always read on your computer or print it out) or download it in a .lit format to be read with your with Microsoft Reader compatible PDA! If you have found yourself reading this post, I can’t encourage you enough to read this short book. I pray that it will challenge and encourage you as it has me!… Read More »FREE BOOK: So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore?
As we have worked through the vision class for the new church plant, we have identified 21 opportunities that a “simple church network” could provide. Perhaps you can think of additional opportunities? 1. Deepening of relationships with members of the church 2. Easier to invite some into home than to a “church” 3. More participation from all those involved 4. Not limited to a scheduled meeting time 5. Can remove some “extra biblical” stuff / doctrine 6. Dealing with dirt and conflict 7. Accountability to each other and to God 8. Kids involved in worship 9. Dialogue instead of monologue… Read More »21 Opportunities
Interesting Statistics From The Book, Lost and Found, by Setzer 1. 9/10 unchurched would be willing to listen to someone share his or her beliefs. 2. 3/5 would be willing to study the Bible with a friend’s invitation. 3. ½ surveyed said that they would be willing to learn more about the Bible and Jesus within the context of a small group. 4. 8/10 young adults said that “Christianity today is more about organized religion than about loving God and loving people.” 5. 9/10 believe they can have a good relationship with God without being involved in a church. 6. … Read More »Lost and Found
Let’s go and die with Jesus? I can remember sitting in my “second office” at Panera several months ago identifying with Thomas in John 11. In this chapter, Jesus invites the disciples to leave their present comfort to see Lazarus who has recently died. Thomas, mindful of just having come from Judea where Jesus escaped a stoning, declares to the concerned disciples, “let us go also, that we may die with him” (verse 16). As I have contemplated the church-planting vision that God has set before us, I have been tempted to have Thomas’ attitude. Part of me wants to… Read More »Let’s Go Die With Jesus?
I am updating those involved with the orientation class, “A Vision for Being The Church.” I’ve been so excited and encouraged by all of you as we have explored the vision for this new work in our community. Here is a brief summary of our discussion: CORE VALUES IDENTIFIED SO FAR Week 1: Community: The church is the community of believers who are “called out” to be the physical representation of Christ to the world. The church is not a building or a service. Week 2: Mission: The purpose of the church is to 1) love God and 2) love… Read More »“A Vision For Being The Church” UPDATE
“The greatest problem affecting church planting strategy today is a theological problem. And church planters must realize that the missionary task to which they are called requires that they teach the whole counsel of God and allow the cultural expressions to develop from the people over time. An ecclesiological shift is necessary. Not a shift away from biblical prescriptions, absolutely not! But there must be a shift away from expectations that may shackle new believers to longstanding preferences that, while near-and-dear to us, are problematic for their sanctification and mission. Let’s do evangelism. Let’s gather the new believers together. Let’s… Read More »Something to Consider
This past Sunday, we had a great conversation in the “vision” class for the new church plant about discipleship. In light of our conversation, I thought I would share a link to a great blog post on the subject. I would love to hear your thoughts! Click Here to read! “A VISION FOR BEING THE CHURCH” UPDATE Here is a summary of what we have shared so far in the class “A Vision For Being The Church.” You are welcome to join us any Sunday you can at 10:45 in room 13 below the sanctuary at First Alliance Church, Lexington… Read More »Simplifying Discipleship