All posts by Dan

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 48 years, live in Portland, OR. Dan's web portal is at

Called out…the ecclesia

Thoughts on new community

The following are excerpts from a longer piece posted on my personal web portal.

As followers of Jesus we are now being called to a separate peace and a new community. No more business as usual…

As reactionary as it may sound, I believe we have come to the time of ecclesia, that is the calling out of an assembly. The old American church has been too dependent on the culture in which it was formed. That culture, in ways both subtle and obvious, is turning against it.

To read the piece in its entirety click to Dan's personal site. The essay is called A New Community. 

A post Covid church

When the pandemic is over let’s not go back to church … let’s go forward.

What if we use this “compulsory Sabbath” to explore an idea: “vine churches,” small, simple mobile fellowships connected to larger churches, or even to other simple churches of similar kind? They would start virtually, but when the pandemic is over, they will come out of this voluntary isolation and meet face-to-face.

The quarantine experience may very well leave a legacy of church life that surprises us. Maybe this lockdown can be the incubator for new churches—vine churches—that are small, agile, and significantly, everywhere.

What if, after the quarantine ends, a church of 500 could emerge as a church made up of 50 interconnected small churches, each ready to live, love and, like a vine, multiply and extend?

And consider this: what if this isn’t the last time we’re locked down and locked out? Next time we’ll be ready with a network of vine churches, small communities ready to survive and thrive no matter what.

We are learning important lessons from this isolation experience. We’ve learned that we can still have access to teaching, we can stay in touch virtually, we can pray together online. Moreover, we have learned we can stay together even when we’re apart and that we can be intentional about meeting. Here are some thoughts about the post-COVID church.

  • Let’s use the this accidental COVID Network (church online video network) to give your church a HAND: Homes Available for Neighborhood Discipleship.
  • As we anticipate life after the pandemic, let’s become a church with ARMS: Active Relationships Made for Service.
  • Finally, we can become a church with LEGS: Locally Established Gathered Servants.

Let’s not just go back to church as it was. Instead, let’s move forward to a church with arms, hands and legs.

If you want to talk more about it, feel free to contact Dan.

Fall 2018 Catch-Up

Yup, it’s been a long time since I uploaded a Church of the Heart episode. Like, since the beginning of May. OK,  I’m back. Today’s episode is catching up and a brief introduction of something I’m calling “The Decapolis Initiative,” which has as its goal the starting of 10 new Summit Fellowships or, as we call it in the podcast, churches of the heart.  I’ll also discuss some of the work we’ve been doing with Luke 10 Community.

In this episode: