“What About House Churches?”
As a result of some recent conversations* we have been having around the district I was asked if we considered house churches as a viable option for church planting. In this questions was also the statement, “many house churches are small and for various reasons will never grow”.
My response to the original question was, “We continually say, ‘It takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people!’” However, the necessary response to the issue of size and lack of growth is much more complicated and one I frequently address in many different contexts. And it also applies to all kinds of churches, not just house churches, not just rural churches, and not just to older churches. In reality, this issue is at the heart of us becoming a district of church planting churches!
Multiply Everything! When discussing with pastors the possibility of their church becoming a multiplying church (multiplies leaders, ministries, services, other churches) I continually come back to the importance of 1) their definition of a mature believer and 2) the importance of leaders multiplying themselves. Allow me to over-simplify. If a mature believer is a disciple maker who makes disciples who makes disciples, then a leader must be reproducing him/herself.
For example, let’s say I lead the nursery and toddler ministry in a church that believes they are to be a multiplying church and has a vision to plant a church in an adjacent community. I would therefore, consider my ministry to include the raising up and equipping of someone to be able to do what I do in our future church plant. When that church develops that mindset they will become a church that multiplies everything!
I consider the equipping of churches to develop this mindset as critical to our district becoming a district of church planting churches. In the next Pulse, I hope to announce two “Multiplying Church Boot Camp” one day conference that targets this need.
*These conversations have been with pastors concerning the vision of us moving from being a “district that plants churches” to a “district of church planting churches”. (You may need to read those two phrases again to notice the difference!)
Greg Pugh – Director of Church Planting & Development