Dan ministers among a community of House Churches called The Summit Fellowships. He encourages a simple, relational and generally "free-range" practice of Christian faith. He is a writer and a teacher. He and Jody, his wife of 40 years, live in Portland, OR. Their blog is at www.tween2worlds.us
Today’s guest is Sinisa Hamp, a former pastor from Croatia presently studying in Calgary. This interview examines the landscape of the church in this predominantly Catholic country. The question that emerges from this conversation is whether there is a nascent house church movement in Croatia? Are the youth of the country beginning to seek a church of a different kind? Are Croatians open to a new kind of church?
One of the greatest strengths of a Summit Fellowship is its ability to be a community. The potential for genuine transparency and relationship draws us toward each other as we are drawn toward Jesus. It’s an environment where we can respond to Jesus’ command to love one another.
But, have you ever heard the saying, “Your greatest strength can become your greatest weakness”? You probably have. You have probably also recognized that it’s very often true. It is certainly true of small fellowships like the Summits. Small, cohesive communities can become so satisfied with their relationships that they become self-absorbed and don’t see much of the world beyond their own dinner table.
Recently, I’ve gotten to know another simple church in the Portland area. Formerly a more traditional fellowship, Emmaus has decided to downsize to a house church in a local apartment complex with plans to multiply into a network similar to The Summit Fellowships.
The day I visited, there were a number of the regulars who were either called into work or were sick. 20+ people would have been there if all had been able to show up at the same time, including as many as 17 kids! Not surprisingly, Emmaus has become skilled in involving the young ones. Below are some pictures of the activities the fellowship had prepared for the children, including a short video from the Bible Project (see the “Learning as a Group” link at right. Also, there was a demonstration worthy of a science class, working together on an ongoing prayer journal, and finally a celebration with bubbles.
Michelle, Bethany and Faith offered to make their projects and lesson plans available to other simple churches that are looking for some creative things to do with the kids.