The desire to engage with other believers among some who were isolated from fellowship for various reasons was the initial motivation for meeting. As time went on, there was a sense that God was calling us to something more than comfortable fellowship. We saw others around us with new eyes, people who were isolated from fellowship, people who seemed to be more open to connecting with God, or, are part of the growing group of people who have a background in the Christian community but have walked away. To reach this growing population of people, a model other than the traditional church is needed, since the traditional church has not been effective in reaching this group. The search began for a means to meet this growing need.
Looking at various models, house churches look attractive but tend to become too ingrown and are not big enough to provide the full range of most people’s needs. 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 show promise but tend to recruit from those who were already believers and typically already a part of the church. Additionally, there is an artificial urgency to grow and multiply the group which fractures the deep relationships that have grown over time. Even more problematic are churches with short term groups that are constantly changing, never allowing those 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 of whether 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 or ministry interest 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 a priest 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! Watch the video to see how this model ties into our Mission “to empower and equip every disciple to be a missionary and a catalyst for an expanding network of Simple Organic Christian Communities.”
Click below for a 2021 update on global house churches.
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