Why House Church?
Should every believer participate in evangelism? Of course, we all know that every believer is to share their faith in Christ. Should every believer do follow up? Yes of course. Should every believer make disciples? Yes that is clearly found in Mathew 28:18-20. Should every believer start house churches? You pause. Evangelism, follow-up and discipleship are for every believer but aren’t starting new house churches something for a seminary trained expert? Let’s look at some scriptures and see.
I know one young man, named Kumar, who has started so many house churches. He was not a pastor or chaplain. He was a young man who worked in the hospital canteen and served meals to the patients. He got saved in what is now referred to as the canteen revival at a hospital.
He was just a single young man working in the canteen. He went back to his village and has started house churches. So many people have come to Christ and many new house churches have started through his ministry.
You can go back to your town or village and start a house church. You cannot imagine what God can do with you when you have a vision to start house churches that multiply.
Real Lessons from Real Urban CPMs
In February 2009 a meeting was held of several urban church planting practitioners from nine urban centers ranging in population from three million to twenty-five million. The selection criterion for these cities was that more than one hundred churches had been planted to at least the third generation.
The goal was to learn about how these practitioners are getting to CPMs in the cities, as well as to help them each move forward. They were trying to determine what common significant factors were present in these cities and the lives of the practitioners where God is clearly at work in an extra-ordinary way. The prevailing common factors included abundant and fervent prayer; close personal relationships between the strategy coordinator and the local partner; one or more significant local partners who champion the vision and work; abundant evangelism; segmentation of the city for strategic targeting; consistent tools and methodology for training that facilitate generational growth; and a passionate work ethic on the part of the strategy coordinator and local partners.
Church Planting Is Messy
Church planting is messy, because people are messy. Four nights of every week are spent training four different groups of church planters. All are in various stages with their newly forming house church groups. Anyone engaged in church planting will quickly find they are up against some messy situations.
We usually approach the tough messy questions from three angles. I admit to having used the first two, but believe the third is the best. 1) The urge is often to run to my library of heavily marked writings and see what David Watson, Neil Cole, Curtis Sergeant, Wolfgang Simson, Tony and Felicity Dale, Steve Atkerson, George Patterson or Frank Viola have to say about the matter. After all, they are the CP experts, right?
What Are CPM Churches? Part one in a series
Outside the office I once occupied in the International Mission Board’s headquarters in Richmond, Virginia hung a beautiful posterized photograph of a group of Maasai warriors clustered beneath an acacia tree on the savannahs of East Africa. It was not until I visited the Maasai plains in 1999 that I returned to my office to immediately see that the photograph was a picture of a Maasai church. The Maasai conduct all of their important business beneath the shade of an acacia tree, so it was only natural that their scores of newly planted churches would meet beneath the same.
How can you recognize CPM churches when you see them? This is a good question, and one that does not have a simple answer.
Leadership in Church Planting Movements
Early in my missionary career, I investigated an emerging Church Planting Movement in West Africa. By the time I was able to interview one of the missionaries at the heart of the movement, the movement itself had already collapsed.
“What happened?” I asked.