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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:


Letter to Nickolay # 16 PDF Print Write e-mail
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 13:41

Dear Nicolai,

Allow me to share with you two recent experiences which have led me to one conclusion.

The first was a recent visit to Madrid to spend time with Betel. Betel has begun 180 drug rehab homes and 40-50 churches around the world in the last twenty five years. One of their distinctives is that they work (businesses) to raise over 90% of their own support. The self-sufficiency allows them to have an apostolic spirit of reproduction - always looking outward and moving forward.


The second was a meeting with a Brazilian pastor/church planter at a recent mission’s conference. He told about the tremendous growth of the Brazilian evangelical church, which is now between 25% - 30% of the population. He told that no church would even consider calling a man to be a new pastor unless he had started multiple churches and was currently active in planting new churches. There is an apostolic spirit ruling the Brazilian church!

What do these two experiences have in common – I believe that they both have an apostolic spirit or environment just like we find in the early church as it grew to be 10% of the Roman Empire in the first 250 years.

I contrast this apostolic environment of Betel and Brazil with the state of Christendom, which is known by its dependence on professional staffs, large buildings, and bureaucratic organization. Whenever Christendom rules, the church stagnates primarily focusing on maintenance and the welfare and education of the saints.

Which spirit operates in the Ukrainian Church today? The apostolic spirit or the Christendom spirit? In the 1990’s, I clearly knew the answer to that question; however, today I fear that Christendom (natural to Ukraine’s church history) is the controlling environment. What do you think?

Could it be in twenty short years, we have gone from a short period with an apostolic spirit to return to Christendom?

My prayer is that God will raise up a generation of leaders who will know the difference between the two spirits. I pray that prayer because I sense that today’s church leadership is comfortable in their Christendom.

In addition, the Brazilian church planter talked about the key role played by small groups in the growth of the Brazilian church.

I suggested that small groups were not the only key to their growth. I believe it is the use of small groups within the apostolic environment which are the keys to their growth. It is an apostolic environment led by apostolic men and women which is essential. I have seen small groups struggle without an apostolic purpose.

One of my deep unanswered question is how do we manage to free apostolic men and women to have authentic leadership roles in both the Ukrainian and American church? How does one go about breaking the monopoly of pastoral position and power in our churches? How do we meld all of the gifted men of Ephesians 4 into the body of Christ – the local church or the church of the city?

Very honestly, I feel like a man lost in the middle. I know that Christendom churches are not the pattern of New Testament churches. Cathedrals, dominant pastors, programming, attractional nature, spectator performance services, and focus on more members are foreign to the biblical example.

I know that New Testament churches moved from house to house, were led by elders, were small, intimate and sharing, were incarnational, and they themselves were the message.

But in reality, few succeed in re-creating New Testament churches as the inertia to be Christendom is an awesome pull and pressure.

The drug homes, at their best, look much like New Testament churches. While all cannot be drug addicts, I cannot help but wish we were.

Your friend,

Rich

Rich Correll has been involved in Ukrainian church planting for 18 years. He pioneered church planting and church planting training in cooperation with many Ukrainian churches. He is currently encouraging simple, organic, reproducing churches. Contact him at: richcpti@gmail.com

 

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