In the New Testament church, the local leadership was made up of elders and deacons. Charles describes in this article the role of elders in the church. What do they do? What are the character qualifications for becoming an elder? What is their role compared to apostles, prophets and evangelists?
In this article David Watson describes four ways to kill a church plant:
1) Establish a “Come To” environment, instead of a “Go To” environment.
2) Make converts, instead of disciples.
3) Grow churches, instead of establishing new churches.
4) Teach stuff, instead of obedience to all the commands of Christ.
In this book Malcolm Gladwell describes three points that can converge to bring about dramatic change in society and start a movement. The first one is the context (the situational environment), the second one the idea, and the third one the people involved. Very small changes in any or several of the context, the quality of the idea (which he calls ‘stickiness’) and whether the idea reaches a very small group of key people can trigger a dramatic epidemic of change in society. Three kind op people are important to catalyze a movement: Connectors (they know everybody and bring people together), Mavens (people who know everything about a subject and spread this knowledge) and Salesmen (people who share, inspire and persuade people). We, as simple church people, can learn from Malcolm how to fuel a movement for Christ.
Roland Allen describes what the nature is of spontaneous expansion of the church: the Holy Spirit urges people to share from their hearts the gospel out of which He expands it beyond our control. He talks about the common fears and blockages for expansion and describes how the churches in the New Testament could multiply soo rapidly.
What can we learn from people who have seen Church Planting Movement happen in the East? Jeff Sundell shares about his experiences in fueling church planting movements (CPM) in Nepal. In the first interview Jeff talks about the keys to a CPM in Nepal. One of them is a strategy coordinator: someone who strategically thinks, prays and plans about reaching a whole segment of society or people group. Another key point is the houses of peace concept (that does work in a Western context!). In the second interview Jeff talks about how to apply these principles in the West. He found that people in the West needed a paradigm shift. Their minds needed to be renewed on questions like: what is church? How to make disicples? Besides this they needed obedience oriented training. Jeffs tells great stories how they applied the house of peace concept in a Western context. Listen and be inspired!
In this practical training guide you will learn to start simple churches based on seven practices from Matthew 10: Pray, People/place, Preach, Power, Person of Peace, Plant, Persecution. Peter trains simple church planters in the UK by giving them teaching on these seven practices over the course of four weeks. During the week the trainees put these into practice and evaluate the next week. Learn how to plow the ground and start new churches!
What similarities are there between a starfish, a spider and simple church? Simple church networks normally function as a starfish. A starfish is a decentralized network: no head, organs are multiplied throughout the arms and when cut in half you will get another starfish. A spider on the other hand is centralized: it has a central body with legs and when you cut of the head it dies. Ori and Rod take us on a journey to discover the power of leaderless, decentralized organisations. They share their common characteristics, give good reallife examples (as Skype, Wikipedia, eMule) and help us to understand how to build a decentralized organisation. The unlocking power to a succesfull decentralized network is the catalyst. No big boss, but someone who connects, inspires, has passion, has a desire to help and invest in others, does not control and works in the background.
Book summary: House Church and Mission: The Importance of Household Structures in Early Christianity
In the New Testament the Kingdom grew through establishing house churches. Roger Gehring describes in his book how Jesus, his disciples (before and after Easter) and Paul planted house churches. The gospel travelled and bore fruit in the early church through oiki (extended family around one household). Leaders of the house churches were the leaders of their oikos prior to conversion. The house churches served as a mission base, from where people were send out so that the Kingdom of God could expand to entire cities and regions. Enjoy reading this great resource!
What does it mean to be an apostle? Bill Scheidler shows from the Word that an apostle is not someone who dominates and manipulates. No, an apostle is someone who serves the people and is like a father to them. Paul founded the church in Corinth and was like a spiritual father to them. He says in 1 Corintiers 4:15 “...you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers”. A father is someone who serves his children, has patience and is full of love! Read on to learn about the true heart of apostleship.
Larry Kreider describes what house church is and how they function. What is the difference between cell church and house church? What is the place of leaderschip? How do they multiply? What is the role of spiritual fathers and mothers? How do you deal with children? Larry acknowledges different kind of forms of churches, but sees that we need new wineskins for the wine God is pouring out. He proposes to go back to the basics, to the book of Acts. Read on to learn more what house churches are and how to start one!