Monday, 7 March 2016

So we're asking the question

Should we get involved with a church plant?

The answer isn't clear yet, but we met together with them for the first time yesterday. There's a side that say "yes, this is the next phase, throw yourself in there, even if it's only for a time" and there's a side that says "Ummm. Not sure this is quite what I expected."

So we're exploring. Of course life is enormously more complicated than that, with all kinds of feelings that muddy the waters and make cooly rational decisions difficult, not least our friendships and the manner in which there appears to be a significant exodus of people from our present church family (all for good reasons, not falling out).

OTOH that might be part of establishing a new pattern of church (yes, seriously) involving multiple communities dispersed across an area instead on one central mass community, but that's another story. When our Austraian friend, Phil Walters came across a couple of years back he was talking about new models of church that were much less congregation-oriented, it it felt like God said "listen to him: you need to hear this".

Of course this tears to bits the traditional church model with significant numbers of paid staff, big building and trying to scrape all the possible attendees together into one place on a Sunday. I had a brief look at the idea of liquid church a few years back and decided that it was just chaos and a route to disorganisation and everyone eventually forgetting what it meant to live as Christian community. This *should* be different, with an emphasis on community as part of something larger too.


  1. Isn't that the cell church hypothesis? The small, home-based group becomes the definining structure - the cell - while there are larger gatherings on a fairly regular basis to maintain the context of a wider community. Indeed, aren't many 'community churches' the result of 'house churches' from the 70s and 80s which grew from 'new' ways of doing church and ended up in a rather recognisable end result?

  2. I've only ever seen cell churches used to support a single big congregation, so that although there was a focus on the cell as a place of moving people forward & growing the church, overall the emphasis was to build a single large congregation. To me, this is more like raising the level of importance of house groups to make them effectively small churches that are part of a larger whole.


    I wonder if, sometimes, we worry far too much about structures and not anything like enough about whether God is obviously at work or not.


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