Give three ways house churches might help penetrate our growing post-Christian culture.

Monday is for Discussion

This is a discussion, I started over on LinkedIn. I thought it might be helpful to bring both it and the start of the discussion thread over here to the blog.

Russell Wimberly • House churches will not penetrate anything if they are not evangelistic/missional minded. This is the prevailing problem with house churches. I would dare to say that this is one of the differences between a house church and a glorified bible study.

Marty Schoenleber

Marty Schoenleber • Amen. No church that is not engaged in the mission of God to redeem lost people and expand his Kingdom will ever penetrate our culture in any meaningful way.

Tommy McElwrath

Tommy McElwrath • What “house” churches open the door for is …

1) an ever increasing focus on community/fellowship

2) allows for a greater in depth discipleship process (that tends to get put on the back burner in larger congregations, this is based on what I have seen in four different churches) and

3) I believe it actually has a great potential for growth because of the intimate proximity and allowance for greater development of relations. I agree completely that If a group is not missional minded, meaning they are not concerned with reaching the lost and glorifying God, then there is not hope, but if they ARE concerned and their focus is on expanding the Kingdom of God, then investing in just one or two individuals would have a great impact.

So there is the beginning thread.

Can you give three ways house churches might help penetrate our growing post-Christian culture?


4 thoughts on “Give three ways house churches might help penetrate our growing post-Christian culture.

  1. I have to say that all the arguements that apply to a house church apply to a church, it is all about having no other goal than to serve Christ, either way it is still a group of sinners getting together to hear from God and obey, either could fall and become misguided. One is not better than another just different. I have seen both fail and succeed. As soon as we decide that one is more right than the other we have lost the focus and mission. We waste so much time on this and it could be better spend in quite time with our Savior. Church started in houses do we really think a mega church is the answer to the worlds needs, we dear not, Christ is the answer, He will use both to his glory, in His perfect time.

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    1. Hey Georgia, welcome to the conversation. I think you are probably right. House church or traditional church, the people composing both types of assemblies are still made of clay, prone to wander (Lord I feel it), desperately in need of shepherds who will teach and care and love them.

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  2. I really desire to see this work in our country, though there still seems to be a lot of “it’s a cult” dismissal from the lingerings of churchy paradigms in America. Plus, I’m not crazy about the ‘house church’ label, because the issue is not house, but church! (Another issue) Here are my three offerings to the question.

    1) Simplicity – Doesn’t carry the organizational baggage of larger gatherings. (Organizational overload is a big turn off to our post-Christian culture.)

    2) Intimacy – Offering up close discipleship, hands on mission/outreach and fellowship. (Up close and personal interrelationships is a crying hunger to our PCC.

    3) Exponential Replication – Can be reproduced efficiently because of absence of overhead and simple pattern. (Relieves the mind of the PCC crowd of the fear of stagnation which they presently view in the average church and despise.) [PCC = Post Christian Culture]

    ***Must add, each of these also have their unique pitfalls which must be guarded against. However, the landscape of American Church is shifting quickly and church as we have known it is, for the most part, an old and dying dinosaur according to statistics. Oh Lord, awaken us all and send a revival to the country of our youth.

    Interesting discussion Marty…sorry for the side track comments–there is just so much to unpack in this topic.

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  3. Terry,

    I like your outline. SIMPLICITY, INTIMACY, and EXPONENTIAL REPLICATION. Clear and I think spot on.

    Here’s a few more I might add;

    1. Local penetration – house churches have the opportunity to really change a neighborhood. Not just reach people and export them to a Christian sub-community, but take up real sacrificial residence in the midst of hurting people.
    2. Leadership development – leaders rise from within an indigenous environment. They know the fields in which the flock resides and get hit the ground running.

    Hope that is enough to stimulate others to contribute.

    Very exciting stuff happening in you Project India ministry. Thrilled for the King and the people hearing the gospel through the sacrifices of the church planters you are working with. May their tribe continue to increase.

    marty

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