Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Means to an end

Was discussing with my Listening Group today the concept of house churches. We've been having some really fantastic discussions in there and I know I've really appreciated it. I think our church is really on the verge of branching out into some new exciting stuff, and I'm really pleased by the level of excitement about mission stuff-as thats totally my passion.

I was questioning the perception that house churches were just a means to an end, the end being hiring out a hall, then buying a building of your own, then trying to attract people to that building... (OK so maybe that bit isn't always expressed, but I think thats often the mindset when you have a building?)

I personally don't see house churches, or smaller services in cafe's or wherever, as only a starting point. The Acts model of church doesn't seem to do house churches just so they can then grow and move out of those houses.

Totally different situation, but the church in China is just growing off its nut, and they only meet in house churches. And us Christendom model churches with our big congregations and sitting-in-rows is in decline. Theres heaps of other factors, but I think thats a contributing one.

I'm not poo-poo ing big churches and buildings, just re-iterating my feeling that they are not the only way, and need not be the aim of all church plants.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great comment Digger. I think that it is difficult to get out of this mode of thinking, because we are captive to the idea that a certain model of worship is "real" church. So, even if we accept that a different model will be successful at reaching and impacting particular groups of people, we retain the idea that it is still not "real" church, and that we need to move people towards that.

I see that much of the seeker sensitive movement (and for that matter some of the alt worship movement) has an element of this - this is an outreach tool only.

Sounds like your listening group is doing really well.

dan@signposts.org.au

Garth said...

Hey Digger. Your early church comments etc are just what I'd love to see happen. I once tried it but it didn't work (of course!) but I have a real passion to see the small home church type divide into more cells as they get beyond a certain number. Those groups could then meet together maybe fortnightly in a bigger context like a 'service' which would be good for those who still need to retain some sort of corporate identity. But that larger service is less regular with far less emphasis on what it is there to achieve. Real church then happens in the home or wherever the group gathers. The small groups would have different styles and approaches.

As it stands the large church model is the focus at the moment with mid week groups merely encouraged if you want to connect with people.

Garth
http://emerginblurb.blogspot.com

Ontario Emperor said...

It all has to do with what people think about when they hear the word "church." To many, "church" refers to a building. However, I believe it truly refers to a body.

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