Simple Church Network…

CrossHope Chapel is interested in partnering with those called to help grow the Kingdom of God sideways through house, organic, and/or simple church group gathering at a “chapel” location.

We are a church that meets on Sunday morning in worship at our chapel in west Mobile, Alabama, with room to grow in our gatherings, but we are also passionate about growing “sideways” by affiliating with those called to start a small group church or a home church fellowship.

Wolfgang Simson says in his book, The House Church Book, “The New Testament church was made up of small groups, typically between ten and fifteen people. It grew, but not by forming big congregations of three hundred people… Instead it multiplied ‘sideways,’ dividing like organic cells once these groups reached about fifteen or twenty people. This then made it possible for all Christians to get together in citywide celebrations, which facilitated a greater sense of the body of believers in an area as well as dynamic worship and growth experiences.”

 

A Simpler Way…

The word church comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones” so according to the Bible, the church is the body of Christ—all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.

Our society has benefited from the traditional brick and mortar church building as a beacon of light in its presence and mission. However, we know that today’s lostness is in need of a cooperative partnership of biblical minded leaders planting various types, sizes, styles, and approaches to being the church in the darkness of our communities.

So if you have a pastoral calling, why not start a house church and answer God’s call on your life to contribute to the Kingdom of God?

As you scroll down you’ll find some links so you can explore what others are doing in the ministry of simple churches, also known as “organic church” or “micro church” or any type of evangelical Christian group gathering for the purpose of doing church in a simple way.

 

An Organic Way…

A house church is not a one-size-fits-all or a cookie-cutter singular approach, but rather a zero-budget mission that is developed organically according to God’s leading and your calling. You can read more about my thoughts at my Simple Church category of my blog (www.stevedurkac.org), but let me just share some simple thoughts for your prayers and planning…

First, start with a call upon your heart. God uses pastors in His ministry and house churches that are led by pastoral care leaders are certainly following the biblical example (read my post on “Pastoral Calling“) that best feeds God’s flock.

Second, I suggest starting by forming the foundations of beliefs, mission, and values of what your house church will be and look like. Too many house church formations in America are led by disgruntled church members who only want to start something different than what they’ve left – start something that God has defined in your heart so clarify that on paper. Another reason you want to form some definition and identity for your house church is because some house church gatherings avoid organization and end up as an all-day event led by whims and weirdness.

Third, don’t do house church on smaller scale or in a smaller way than you did at the corner Baptist church. A house church is not defined by its program, liturgy, attendance, size or location, but by its basic biblical format and purpose which allows for variables within each individual house church fellowship. It’s simple, with the basic Acts 2:42 format of Bible teaching, prayer, song, and food. It’s purpose is a regular gathering that serves as the primary spiritual community for two or more people (Matthew 18:20) for the purpose to “grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord” (2 Peter 3:18).

 

Smaller is Bigger…

Mega churches are great when it comes to outreach, but drawing a crowd isn’t what a pastor is called to do. Smaller gatherings is where disciples are made and sous are brought to Christ. Any executive can lead a mega church, but only a pastor can lead a small gathering of souls.

Hundreds in our world are really wanting to grow their faith in the Lord, but have already ruled-out the traditional church as the means to do that. For what ever reason, right or wrong, good or bad, they need a bridge to do that and your willingness to launch a simple church ministry may be just the thing to impact a handful of people for the Great Commission!

If Jesus would have died on Calvary’s cross for only one soul, why should we think church ministry is all about building bigger congregants? A bigger church, does not necessarily mean a bigger group of people are going to heaven. Jesus said the greatest prophet was John the Baptist – not exactly a mega-church pastor.

The beauty of a simple church is it is about winning one, not the multitude. It’s about the individual, not the crowd. It’s about biblical pastoral care, not a paycheck-backed pulpit or organizational budgets.

   

Network & Partnership…

Is God calling you to start and lead your own small group gathering, but you could use a little guiding support, help, or affiliation recognition?

CrossHope Chapel offers a partnership, through a voluntary covenant with CrossHope Chapel, for those in agreement with our Statement of Faith and Governing Values

We seek to help those called of God to plan, start, and successfully lead their own small group or house church ministry that provides simple church leadership equipping, ministry encouragement, fellowship with ongoing advisement, and appropriate ministerial credentials.

CrossHope Chapel is seeking like-minded individuals who have been with Jesus and have a biblical Shepherd’s heart of compassion, conviction, and care for others; those who are able, capable, or trainable to facilitate a weekly or monthly fellowship centered on a conversational Bible teaching through the Bible.

We seek to partner with seeking like-minded individuals who have a calling on their heart for pastoral ministry, not the prestige of a position, the need to prove theological exactness, or a deposit of funds in a payroll account, or to receive the acknowledgement of ministerial peers; those who care more about sharing faith in Christ, hope through the Bible, and love for one another than they know about proof texts, prophetic interpretations, or debating skills.

We want to partner with individuals – layman or ordained, formal education or no education, male or female – who have enough faith to trust in the Holy Spirit to lead others to conviction and growth in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, while avoiding non-salvific contentions.

   

Research the Movement…

Want to do some more exploring first? Let me suggest a couple online visits you can make to explore the concept of house church ministry. The sites I’ve listed below do not imply an endorsement, but they do give some clarity to today’s house church movement.

• YouTube video: “What is Simple Church?” 

Ed Stetzer on House Church  

Francis Chan’s We Are Church

Dr. Randy White on Starting a Home Church

• A Practical Guide to Planting Simple Churches 

North East Ohio House Church Network

Kauai House Church Network

• Simple Church at Home

• Oikos Australia

• Simple Church: A House Church Perspective

• SimpleChurch Journal 

• UMC House Network 

Joel Comiskey Group 

 Got Questions?: “What is simple church and is it biblical?” 

Simple Church – Blog Posts by Pastor Steve Durkac 

 

Contact Pastor Steve Durkac…

Want to ask a question or learn more about how we can help you launch your own simple church ministry? Please contact Pastor Steve Durkac for any additional information or question that you may have about house church ministry or partnership with CrossHope Chapel.