Thursday, September 10, 2009

Barna Survey: How Many People Really Attend a House Church?

Barna's last survey was very interesting. He is focusing quite a bit on house churches in the past couple of years. In fact, he has advocated for a new book called "The House Church Book" which provides a simple but compelling discussion about why house churches are valuable entities in the kingdom of God.

The author, Wolfgang Simson is a German who has tracked the organic church for more than two decades.

He writes, "Church as we know it is preventing church as God wants it" as he discusses the attributes of the New Testament Church in contrast to our current churches.

He writes, "The New Testament Church was made up of small groups, typically between 10 and 15 people. It grew, but not by forming big congregations of three hundred people, rather it multiplied sideways, dividing like organic cells once these groups reached 15 or 20 people. This then made it possible for all Christians to gather in citywide celebrations, which facilitated a greater sense of the Body of Believers in an area as well as dynamic worship and growth experiences."

Simson also said it is important for Christians to "Stop bringing people to church, and start bringing church to people."

However, he is very realistic about the challenges in doing this as it is hardest to be spiritual withthe people who know us the best. All our attempts at creating a good image fall flat as we reveal our true selves. Home, is where everything we do and say is automatically put through a spiritual litmus test against reality, where hypocrisy can be effectively weeded out and authenticity can grow.

Does any of this sound familiar? This is Missio Lux. We are seeking to do the very things that Simson is writing about. It is challenging and messy, but the rewards for sticking with it are very great and much bigger than we can currently see. We are helping pave a path that many others are going to follow in the years to come.

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