The second of two parts taken from the Micro-Church Conference of several years ago. This segment answers some questions from the audience about church paradigms, transition and why people try house churches but sometimes go back to the more traditional structures.
This new breed of believers views church as a set of relationships rather than a set of prescribed practices and is free to embrace treasures such as contemplation, silence and solitude, devalued by the Reformation, and refresh them for this new age. This new ‘reformed’ church is free from clericalism to find the space to rediscover church as a deep expression of solidarity and love in community. And it is freed from the endless dance around the holy grail of orthodoxy to journey with others to discover what it means to live Jesus’ call to live life to the full.
These new forms of church are small and numerous, fleet of foot and flexible in form. They meet in cafes and community centres, pubs and gyms. They will never have the power, prestige or public face of the traditional church. This is ‘a church from below’, a church with a purpose shaped not by the limited arguments of the Reformation age of right belief, but by the common hunger for spiritual community and authenticity in the service of Christ.
Paul Bradbury is Pioneer Mission Coordinator for Church Mission Society.
I have been meaning to let y’all know that a few of us among the Summit Fellowships have been exploring a course called Church 101 that is prepared and presented by a friend of mine in Denver. I have known John White for many years and recently did an interview with him for the the Church of the Heart Podcast.
As a network of fellowships, I have been wondering if we are being intentional enough about equipping people to do church more simply. What if more people come to us asking for advice and encouragement in creating simple churches?
So, a group of six of us from three different Summits have been taking the course–sort of a beta test–to see if it might be helpful to recommend to people who are interested in house churches. It involves a lot of video learning, personal interaction and even online video conferences. So far the response among our intrepid little team has been positive. I’ll try to keep you posted about our progress. Eventually, I may even interview some of the beta team to share our experiences.