The desire to have fellowship with other believers among some who felt out of sync with their local churches was the initial motivation for meeting. As time went on, the motivation grew to be one of concern for those who are considered “nones,” who have a background in the Christian community but have walked away, as well as for those who don’t have any faith background. To reach this growing population of people, a model other than the traditional church was needed, since this has not been effective in reaching this group.
Looking at various models, house churches looked attractive but tended to become too ingrown and are not big enough to provide for the needs of most people. They also tend to do a poor job of providing worship through music and song, as well as fewer opportunities for quality training and equipping. Cell churches, or traditional churches with small groups, also showed promise but tended to recruit from those who were already believers and part of the church. Additionally, there was an urgency to grow and multiply the group which fractured the deep relationships that had grown over time. Or worse, churches had short term groups that were constantly changing, never allowing deep relationships to take root.
Primarily seen overseas, a model has developed that is now also spreading within the United States. This model seems to resolve some of the difficulties with the cell church, traditional church, or house church models. The model is described as a network of house churches, or microchurches. The model doesn’t focus on growing the group or growing the church. Instead, the focus is on growing the individual, regardless if they are a new Christian or seasoned believer. Each person is introduced to, and equipped to lead a simple, reproducible Bible study that engages them directly with Scripture and focused on applying in their lives what they are reading. They are then aided in reaching out to their unique sphere of influence and begin another microchurch, which in turn equips others to launch another microchurch, etc, etc.. This enables believers to live out their Kingdom roles as priests to God and missionary to others. The network functions in a role best suited for larger group experiences, such as worship gatherings, training and equipping events, children and youth group activities, larger ministry projects, sharing of resources, etc..
While early in the process, we feel confident God will honor our commitment to build His Kingdom, rather than one of our own making.
If you feel your heart stirring to step out in faith and join, or launch a microchurch, let us know of your desire and see if we can encourage each other through this process, all to the glory of God!
© Copyright 2021 by Restoration Fellowship Network