Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Random Thoughts about House Churches

I’m working my way through an excellent book by Wolfgang Simson titled, Houses That Change the World: The Return of the House Churches. Simson has made some insightful and refreshing observations throughout the book—mostly about matters unrelated to house churches. So, it’s very much worth reading, even if you’re not that interested in the house church movement.

I've read a couple of books about house churches and I’m not sold on house churches as the next step for the church of America. If more professing Christians had a truly Biblical worldview, then house churches would be ideal. But, in my opinion, most Christians don’t know what it really looks like to follow Jesus. And those who do are often too scared to step out and try it. So, shutting down the institutional, attractional model to switch to house churches would result in the blind leading the blind. There just aren’t enough theologically astute men and women out there to lead orthodox and mission-minded house churches.

And, I’m afraid that the broken small group model has made an indelible impression that is wicked hard to break free from. How do we overcome our life group mentality when the house church experience still gives off a pretty strong life group “vibe”? We’re struggling with that at The Well. We call our small community environments “house churches”, and I really believe that these smaller communities function more as the church than the larger group. However, just today, I spoke on the phone with a Weller who referred to her house church as a life group. I bristled, but let it slide. However, I do believe (and I pray) that some upcoming changes with our house church structure will help people readjust their approach to house church.

This post is a little random, I know. I didn’t actually intend to post this, but my thoughts found their way to the word processor. I’ll share a quote with you later from Simson’s book that has really got me rethinking the purpose of the worship service.

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