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 40 years, live in Portland, OR. Their blog is at

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:

A Call to Adventure

This episode is a podcast edition of an audio file that has been on the site for quite some time. It is a  message that Dan delivered to a The Vine, a gathering of all of the fellowships in the Summit network, back in January of 2014. The content deals with the nature of small-group churches and their relationship with what could be called “missionaries.” In the teaching, Dan argues that there are two essential parts of the church, those that go out with the message (expediti) and those that provide a stable location for believers to live and mature (communitas). This begs the question: is there someone in your fellowship that yearns to carry the gospel beyond your living room?


A Million Bucks

Sometimes I wonder what might have happened if, instead of choosing to meet in homes 25+ years ago, we had gone the more traditional route.

So, why didn’t we?

Well, for one thing, my experience with oiling the machinery of church structures caused me to want to avoid the administrative responsibilities of such an effort. I wanted to focus more time on relationship than on getting our organization ironed out.

Another reason was the expense of doing church in the traditional way. Recently, I became curious what the costs might have been had we decided to get a building and function more like a “real” church.

If I had paid more attention during the four years I spent pastoring a  small church in Vancouver I would have had some idea of the operational costs. Alas, I’ve never been much for budgets so I must have tuned that part out. Anyhow, I didn’t remember the numbers and I didn’t save any financial reports, so the question sent  me to the web looking for the budget of a typical smallish church.  Continue reading A Million Bucks