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  • Why was this site started?

    slide06.jpgLet us begin with a very important fact. The goal of the site is not to criticize traditional or institutional churches. Yes, some of the articles make comparisons and some of the writers do strongly question traditional practices. However, those of us who have created this site did so for several reasons:

  • Our Best Articles

    bestartikle.jWe have over one hundred articles available on our site, so if you are a new visitor, you may be overwhelmed. Where should you start? Here you will find some of our best articles that we have posted since the s...

  • Incarnational Practices

    slide05.jpgYou are church before you do church. This is one of the fueling insights of the missional church movement. This isn't a new idea...but it is pretty provocative, especially when one considers its implications. If we take Jesus at his word when he says (as recorded in John 20:21) "as the Father has sent me, I am sending you," then we realize that our being sent is the basis of our "doing" church. In oth...

  • What is an Organic Church?

    slide04.jpg Organic Church. I've been using this term for around fifteen years now. Today it's become somewhat of a clay word, being molded and shaped to mean a variety of different things by a variety of different people.

    T. Austin-Sparks is the man who deserves credit for this term. Here's his definition:


Principles of Simple Church
Dangerous Sunday- The Man Part 4 PDF Print Write e-mail
Friday, 14 September 2012 08:15

In the previous posts in this series, I suggested that it is dangerous to the spiritual maturity of believers to place an extraordinary emphasis on Sunday as “The Day” or a specific location as “The Place” or a specific set of activities as “The Program” for Christians to meet together as the church.

In this final post of the series, I want to focus on another “danger” of the modern, traditional Sunday: a focus on a specific person or group of people who must “lead” the church meeting. Usually, this person is the senior pastor, sometimes combined with other “staff” such as “minister of music” (minister or worship) or perhaps another “associate pastor.”

And, what happens when that person (the senior pastor) can’t be there – rare though that must be? He (or she) hand picks a replacement.

 
Dangerous Sunday- The Program(Part 3) PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 06 September 2012 21:58

In the previous posts in this series, I suggested that it is dangerous to the spiritual maturity of believers to place an extraordinary emphasis on Sunday as “The Day” or a specific location as “The Place” for Christians to meet together as the church.

Besides teaching people that they are only the church on a particular day and at a particular place, the practices of modern, traditional churches also dangerously teach people that the church is only meeting when they follow a particular program. Sometimes this is called liturgy. Sometimes it’s a specific set of activities or events that must happen.

Can you imagine what would happen on Sundays among most churches if there were no songs? What if no one preached a sermon or delivered a homily? What if certain creeds or prayers were not recited in unison?

And, yet, none of these things are necessary for the church to meet. However, because most churches practice these things “religiously,” people are taught that they are necessary and if they don’t happen (sometimes in a certain order) then it is not church.

In this case, it is not the day or the place that is defining the church, but a certain set of activities. Interestingly, these activities typically have little to do with the people involved. Anyone could sing the songs or recite the creeds/prayers, and it would still be considered church. The people themselves are replaceable. The people no longer define the church; certain activities – the program – defines the church.

 
Dangerous Sunday- The Place (Part 2) PDF Print Write e-mail
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 21:02

In a previous post in this series, I suggested that it is dangerous to the spiritual maturity of believers to place an extraordinary emphasis on Sunday as “The Day” for Christians to meet together as the church.

But there is another more dangerous emphasis that is often found among the modern, traditional church today: the place – typically a building designated for church meetings (i.e., worship services). (Of course, those who ‘house church’ could look at their particular house in the same dangerous manner.)

When I was growing up, the church building was like the temple in many ways. Oh, we SAID that our bodies were the temple of God, but we ACTED as if the church building was. There were even different levels of holiness attached to the church building.

There were things you could do/say elsewhere that you did not do/say while on church grounds. There were things you could do/say on church grounds that you did not do/say while in the church building. There were things you could do/say in the church building that you did not do/say while in “the sanctuary.” There were things you could do/say in “the sanctuary” that you did not do/say while on the platform. There were things you could do/say on the platform that you did not do/say while standing behind the pulpit.

 
Dangerous Sunday- The Day (Part 1) PDF Print Write e-mail
Tuesday, 21 August 2012 12:46

This is the beginning of a four part series by Alan Knox noting the dangerous emphasis we can place on a certain day, a certain place, a certain program, and a certain man.

Typically, I try to write about the church from a positive perspective. Instead of writing about what’s wrong with the modern church, I usually write describing the positive characteristics and activities of the church as we see it in Scripture. Now, many of my readers automatically recognized the negative side of what I write. However, I still try to write from the positive perspective. I write about what the church should be, not what it shouldn’t be.

In this series, though, I want to write about modern, traditional church. Now, right away, there are problems with the design of this series. You see, no church will exactly look like or do the things that I write about. But, I hope that each reader will consider their own church and their own practices in order to determine if some of these aspects of the “general” modern, traditional church may apply. I think that we can all find “dangerous” practices of each of our churches.

 
Церковь как Обед! PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 13 August 2012 21:26
There are no translations available.
 
Defining "Church" (Webster Has It Wrong) PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 19 July 2012 06:37

Church according to Miriam-Webster's online dictionary:

1: a building for public and especially Christian worship

2: the clergy or officialdom of a religious body

3: a body or organization of religious believers: as a: the whole body of Christians b: denomination <the Presbyterian church> c: congregation

4: a public divine worship <goes to church every Sunday>

Webster defines church according to the way this word is used today. I was taught this same definition as a little boy when I would put my hands together and recite the rhyme: "Here is the church, and here is the steeple; open the door and here are all the people."

Jesus, however, introduced the term "church" with a very different meaning in mind. He used a word "ekklesia" that simply described a group or assembly of people. This is the original definition of the word. He described "church" as those people who were following Him-people walking in allegiance to him. People. His followers. Nothing more than that.

 
Loving Extravagantly PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 25 June 2012 23:17

Editors Note: Though many of the articles on our site deal with very practical aspects of evangelism, discipleship, and church life; our underlying passion is the exaltation of Jesus Christ in our lives and in our churches. We want people to discover the surpassing greatness of Jesus and the opportunity that we have to live in deep relationship with Him. This article is one that really expresses well that which is most important for all of us.

I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.

Luke 7:47

Women have a large part to play in the New Testament story. They funded Jesus’ earthly ministry (Luke 8:1–3). They were also the most faithful of His disciples, staying with Him to the bitter end.

But of all the women mentioned in the New Testament, none can compare with Mary of Magdala.

 
Weakness and Foolishness PDF Print Write e-mail
Friday, 01 June 2012 18:35

God delights in choosing the things that are weak and foolish in the eyes of the world to usher in the holy and glorious.  He wants to rub this into our consciousness, and that the way of the kingdom is utterly contrary to the way of the world.

I feel like declaring war on Charismatic and Pentecostal “Amens” and “Hallelujahs”—anything that presumes to know anything, and I just want to be utterly foolish and celebrate failure, confusion and everything that characterizes what I believe is the true work of God; for only the true work of God will compel the attention of the world.  I am suspicious of anything that is outwardly impressive, well-funded, runs smoothly, has an ambitious building program, or has programs producing shining examples of disciples.  It seems to me to be not of God, but has rather the stink of man precisely because it is too efficient.  If something works too well, and has been accomplished without the suffering of the cross, we are likely out of the purposes of God.

It is not until you are saved and come into the church that you really begin to learn and understand the dimensions of human depravity.  The revelation of what we really are as man truly begins at that point.  That is why the church, the real church, is such a horror and a mess, full of confusion and contradiction, such an ugly revelation of the condition of your and the rest of mankind’s condition.  If that has not been revealed in your church conduct, then where you are fellowshipping is not true church; it is something less that keeps the lid on, and allows you enough activity to give the semblance of services, the euphoria of meetings and songs, and a good preaching, but not sufficient to reveal what you are and what we all are together.  That is why grace is not yet upon us all, because it is reserved for the wretched and the sinner.  Until we have come to recognize how wretched we are, how totally bankrupt and incapable we are of anything, and just how much we really live in the spirit of the world, then grace is not available to us.

 
Ignite Dreams and Passions PDF Print Write e-mail
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 14:34

A few years ago I was working with refugee populations as a support person to help them learn the English language, find employment, etc. One of the families I worked and developed a close relationship with was from Uzbekistan, where they had lived under Soviet rule and communism for all of their lives. As Christians, they had encountered persecution and therefore they were granted refugee status to immigrate to the United States. I had been working with them for a few months and our English conversations had advanced to the level where we could begin to discuss their future aspirations and job possibilities. You know the type of conversation because we have it with children all the time.

It goes something like this; "so, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

Implicit in the question is the assumption that each person has a uniqueness about them and a special destiny, purpose, and passion that will be propelled by their own intrinsic motivation.

We get familiar and common responses from children when asked this question like, "a doctor", "a fireman", "a soccer player", "a horse trainer".

 
Looking for a simple, organic and missional church? PDF Print Write e-mail
Saturday, 12 May 2012 11:43

One of the ways our family lives missionally, is by having students from other countries live with us while they attend college. They learn U.S. culture in our home which is a safe place where they can ask questions, make mistakes, practice their English, and see and experience how Christians live and relate to each other and the world around them. This has worked out great for all of us - until this semester. The two girls who came to live with us lasted just 6 weeks, and then they left because according them, "the environment was not good". They went back to their previous environment.

Many jump into the adventure of simple, organic and missional church and then end up leaving because the experience was not what they expected. They return to old environments that feel safe, require less, are more familiar, and fit their expectations. Not everyone likes to live in a simple, organic, and missional way once they find out what the environment requires of them. It requires personal responsibility for their own intimate relationship with God, and then with others both Christian and not. It requires initiative. It forces a deeper level of accountability, and a participatory expectation that many are surprised by, and don't have the motivation to pursue.

 
Expressing Christ in Organic Church PDF Print Write e-mail
Saturday, 28 April 2012 16:40

I’ve found that when people hear about a church that gathers without a designated leader to present a prepared sermon or teaching, it is difficult for them to imagine how else the church would gather.  The pastor-pew format is so ingrained in today’s church culture, it is hard to picture anything else.  But there are, in fact, organic churches that meet with no human person designated as her leader, where all of the saints gather together and share the riches of her Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, and allow Him to be the head of the church meeting.

 
7 Shifts Towards Organic PDF Print Write e-mail
Sunday, 11 March 2012 19:14

Many churches are looking to become increasingly relevant to the society around them by shifting to a more organic form of church.

Here are some of the shifts toward organic:

1. We're moving from being building and event focused to lifestyle and family focused. Church is no longer an event to go to or a building to assemble in. We may meet together, but church is more like a family. You don't go to family; you are family. It's based on relationship and lifestyle.

2. Church is missional rather than attractional. We're looking to make disciples rather than converts.

3. We no longer need specially trained people to do all the work of ministry. Ordinary people are fully equipped to minister. The clergy/laity distinction is becoming less and less relevant.

 
Миссия Господа PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 02 February 2012 17:55
There are no translations available.
 
Letter to Nickolay # 17 PDF Print Write e-mail
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 16:44

Dear Nicolay,

Greetings my dear brother. I trust you are well in the Lord's work in Ukraine.

Two weeks ago I visited a new church in Western Ukraine and I must admit that I was very frustrated by the messages which were spoken by the preachers. There was zero interaction and the young man I was with said nothing from the 40 minute message spoke to him at all. The preacher could just as well as speaking to the walls.

I am attaching an article that I wrote several years ago encouraging dialogue as a method - very Biblical- of communicating the truths of God's word.

 
The Importance of the Simplicity of Hearing from God PDF Print Write e-mail
Saturday, 22 October 2011 17:09

A question that if often asked is, “how can house churches be simple?” How can they become “simple churches”? What are the simple patterns that are important?

Some years ago, the Lord linked for me this idea of simplicity with Mt. 18:20. “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” The Lord seemed to say, “What would you do if I physically showed up at your house church meeting?” My response was, “Well, I would immediately turn the meeting over to you!” And, He said, “Exactly.”

 
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