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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
Word Time in the House Church PDF Print Write e-mail
Tuesday, 04 October 2011 22:36

The house church context provides a unique environment for the study and application of God’s Word. When you have 10-20 individuals gathered in close proximity, it is different than speaking to 1000 people in an auditorium or even 40 people in a classroom. The house church gives a great opportunity for people to ask questions, to develop their understanding in a group, to share what the Holy Spirit is saying to them, and to develop points of application in community. In the context of the house church setting we do not want to be the “Sage upon the stage but the Guide along the side.” As such, we have the following guidelines for those who lead the “Word Time” in the House Gathering setting.

 
Five Unmovable Principles PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 11 August 2011 01:35

This is an excerpt from the book Finding Organic Church by Frank Viola.

We are unable to publish this excerpt in English. If you are interested in this book or other books or resources by Frank Viola, you may go to the following website:

http://www.ptmin.org/books

 
Examining the differences between simple church and institutional church PDF Print Write e-mail
Saturday, 30 July 2011 00:56

Editors Note: Do you ever have friends asking you to explain what simple church is all about and how it is different from a more traditional church?  In this short article, Alan Knox does a good job of answering this question. By the way, Alan’s blog has many great thoughts on the nature of the church. Here is a link:

<http://www.alanknox.net/2011/04/examining-the-differences-between-simple-church-and-institutional-church/#comments>

In this post, I’m going to examine some of the differences between modern, traditional, institutional churches and simple/organic churches. If you are looking for a rant against or a condemnation of institutional churches, then this is not it. Those who have read my blog for a while know that I prefer more simple, more organic church.

 
New Testament Principles on Giving PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 02 June 2011 00:43

The beauty of simple church is - it's simple! We enjoy the simplicity of sharing our lives with each other, growing in our walk with God, and reaching out to the lost with the gospel.  However, one area that can be neglected is giving.  Some people even got involved in a simple church due to the troubling focus of some bigger churches on budgets and money.  Perhaps they were in a situation that was even legalistic or manipulative. However, it is really important that we not neglect this area of service to the Lord, for the welfare of others, as well as for our own spiritual growth.

I have noticed two extremes when it comes to finances and giving. The first is where leaders demand that the members give. They may not come out brazenly and say it that way, but through manipulation, guilt, or the promise of financial blessings from God, they will get your money out of your hands and into “the work of God.” Some leaders are experts at this, to such an extent that those who give are unaware they have been taken advantage of.

 
Church at its Simplest PDF Print Write e-mail
Sunday, 13 February 2011 18:02

What is Simple Church?

There are many definitions for simple church, our preferred term for what is sometimes called house church. One of the best comes from the Dawn North America Web site (it is also found on the House2House Web site). Rather then reinvent the wheel, I list their definition below.

  • By "simple church," we mean a way of doing and being church that is so simple that any believer would respond by saying, "I could do that!"
  • By "simple church," we mean the kind of church that is described in the New Testament. Not constrained by structure but by the needs of the extended family (oikos) and a desire to extend the kingdom of God.
  • By "simple church," we mean a church that listens to God, follows His leading and obeys His commands.
  • By "simple church," we mean spiritual parents raising spiritual sons and daughters to establish their own families (oikos).
 
Is This Really Church? PDF Print Write e-mail
Sunday, 12 December 2010 20:35

Is This Really Church?

This is a video that we highly recommend that you watch. Francis Chan, well known author and former pastor of a mega-church, underscores some of the key principles that we try to emphasize here on this website. Namely, that the real issues facing the church do not so much concern size or model, but being honest to recognize that much of what we call church today often does not align with the truths we see presented in scripture. Francis Chan can be respected for his courage and honesty after having been very successful in building a mega-church and then personally recognizing that there were many issues in which his church was not reflecting the essence of the church as it is seen in the New Testament. His straightforward look at what the scripture teaches about the church is both challenging and inspiring. The key part of this video starts at 34:00 and continues to the end.

Thanks to Vitally Keller of St. Petersburg, Russia for translating this video and making it available to us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq3DfUPAQiY

 
Current Question for Discussion PDF Print Write e-mail
Friday, 05 November 2010 13:12

Current Question for Discussion

We want to try an experiment to encourage more interactive learning among those who visit our site.  We will call this experimental feature- Current Question for Discussion.
We will put a question or questions here on the front page from time to time that we hope will encourage interaction and learning from one another. We will start with the topic of committed relationships and being a spiritual family. Share any verses or thoughts (it can be short) on this topic that you want, but here are a few questions to stir your thinking.

  • How can a church be a true spiritual family, instead of just programs and meetings?
  • What does it mean to live in committed relationships with other believers? What does it practically look like?
  • What are you learning about relationships and being a spiritual family in your church?


Encouraging and teaching one another is one of the biblical principles that we promote on this website, so take a few minutes and share your thoughts with our online community. Feel free to ask questions as well. You will need to be registered to add a comment, but it only takes a minute to do so. Thanks for your participation in the website.

 
Authentic Relationships PDF Print Write e-mail
Monday, 13 September 2010 20:43

Whenever I read through the gospels I am amazed at how little Jesus said about the church. Only Matthew records him even using the word and then only twice. Why didn't he tell his followers more about how to organize a church, run its ministries and plan its services?

I think I know why. He didn't talk about it is because he was too involved living it. He became a friend to Zaccheus, James, John, Peter, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Nicodemus, a rejected woman at a well who remained nameless and countless others that came into his proximity. Look at the ways he engaged them, built relationships with them centered in the Father's love and served them with no thought for himself. That was the power of his kingdom and the secret to living in the joy of his family. "I no longer call you servants... I have called you friends," (John 15:15) and in that simple declaration Jesus identified for all time the nature of the relationship God has always desired with those he created-intimate friendship.

 
Living in the Shadows PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 26 August 2010 21:31

We grew up going to church where ordained ministers would hold services on Sundays. Perhaps it was only me, but I saw this as holy men performing holy services on holy days in holy places.

As I’ve continued to study Scripture, I see that my understanding while I was growing up is much closer to the Old Testament than to the New Testament. But, what’s the problem with that? The Old Testament is Scripture too, right?

Yes, but when it comes to things like the temple, the priesthood, the sacrifices, the Sabbath, and other aspects of life as the people of God in the New Testament, the New Testament tells us that these things are shadows of reality, and not reality themselves.

 
OPEN LETTER TO THOSE WHO STRUGGLE WITH THE IDEAS OF SIMPLE OR ORGANIC CHURCHES PDF Print Write e-mail
Friday, 23 July 2010 18:16

Dear Friends,

In the last two years, I have had many discussions about simple organic churches. Very often it boils down to the question, “Does this work?” or a criticism that this is just another method.

I confess that, in the last twenty years, I have often been guilty of pushing spiritual results and methods to accomplish those results. I am a very pragmatic person, who longs for the results we experienced in 1990-1998 in Ukraine.

 
Letter to Nickolay # 15 PDF Print Write e-mail
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 23:08

Dear Nicolay,

I was so glad to see you in April. Although it was such a short meeting, I am always delighted to see old friends. You seem to be keeping active serving our Lord. Let me tell you about several of the meetings I had on my travels throughout Ukraine.

In the South of Ukraine, I met another man named Nicolay who came to Christ in 1991. In twenty years, he has had many experiences as teacher, pastor and leader. I was encouraged because Nicolay understands that the churches growth has plateaued resulting in the need for change. He is exploring “Organic Churches” because it has spoken to his heart. We had a great time sharing experiences and hopes for a renewed church.

In Kiev, I met one of my first church planting students. He successfully planted a church in 1993, built a building, and received a theological education. He is now a leader in the Oblast. However, he sadly admitted that his church has plateaued and shows little life. He wondered “where did I go wrong?”

 
The System of Labyrinths (part 1) PDF Print Write e-mail
Thursday, 27 May 2010 18:05

The System of Labyrinths

If you watched the famous children's film "Adventure of Electronics", it is probably easy to remember how hard the mafia tried to find the "button", which would help them gain control over the electronic boy. No sacrifice of money or effort was too great.. They blindly believed that it would open the door to new opportunities.

Traveling through the labyrinth of pastoral ministry, I also was similar to the one who was desperately trying to find the "button". Sometimes I thought it was very close. This occurred especially in moments of successful ministry, when everyone was marveling at our fruitfulness or after the regular sermon, the words were said, "It was a good sermon." All of this seems so wonderful and it gives an impetus to move forward, but things are not what they seem.

All attempts to find a methodology or the secret of success in building the church lead nowhere. Again and again I was desperately continuing the search for a new system. Now, looking back, I understand what I did not in the past. I was already too deep in the system. I was part of it. It was part of me. I could not escape the system, and the system was using me. My mind was full of models and standard approaches. Moreover, I was not thinking about whether these models and approaches of ministry meet the Biblical principles of the teachings of Christ. And only now I realize I was looking for "button" for ministry success , but the Holy Spirit in His loving hand guided me to find a way out of the system. I think if I had heard this ten years ago, I would have been very terrified and could not even imagine the possibility of pastoral ministry beyond the traditional church system.

 
How to change traditional churches into New Testament churches PDF Print Write e-mail
Wednesday, 19 May 2010 19:29

How to change traditional churches into New 

Testament churches

*Victor Choudhrie's 15 essential steps for changing traditional churches into New Testament churches.

  1. Replace professional clergy with Priesthood of all Believers with authority to baptize, break bread and equip fishers of men. (1 Peter 2:9)
  2. Replace Church building with "House of Peace." (Luke 10:5-9; Matt. 10:11-13)
  3. Replace programmed Sunday service with daily informal gatherings. The Bride of Christ must have intimacy with her Lord every day and not just for a couple of hours a week lest she become unfaithful. (Acts 2:46-47; Hebrew 3:13)
 
CONTRADICTORY PORTRAITS? PDF Print Write e-mail
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 21:46

CONTRADICTORY PORTRAITS?

Scripture seems to paint two contradictory portraits of the Living God—a terrible judge and a loving Father. Which is it? Can he be both?

We read not only that God has prepared hell for the unbe¬lieving, but also that he commanded Joshua to practice ethnic cleansing in Canaan, poured out fire from heaven to consume Sodom and Gomorrah and opened the earth to swallow those who opposed Moses. Unapproachable in his purity, even the most righteous fell on their faces near his presence paralyzed by their unworthiness. He demanded unquestioning obedience and punished with unspeakable anguish those who did not comply.

No wonder we’re at least a little confused when he appears in the New Testament telling us how much he loves us and inviting us to be his children. We see Jesus healing the sick, forgiving prostitutes and murderers, going into the houses of sinners. He invited children in his lap and portrayed his Father as so tender that the most wayward sinner could run to his side in absolute safety.

 
The One Key Skill in Simple Church Life PDF Print Write e-mail
Wednesday, 03 March 2010 17:01

One of the main paradigm shifts within this movement of simple churches is the belief that ordinary men and women hear God.  They can be entrusted with the affairs of the Kingdom.  It does not need specially trained people to manage the church.  The Holy Spirit is able to run the church by speaking directly to His people.   He will do a far better job of it than our organizations and denominations ever can.

 
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