What’s the difference between a church that meets in a house and a simple/organic/house church?

All over the country, people are meeting in homes instead of in buildings as their main expression of church.  According to George Barna, that figure is about 5% of the adult population of this country!  Similar results were obtained in surveys by Ed Stetzer of the Southern Baptists and the Pew Forun.

Amazing!  Who would have thought…

However, just transferring the location of church isn't enough.  If all we do is exchange the pews for couches and the steeple for a chimney, we have done what our friend, John White, calls, "Honey, I shrunk the church!"  And we have missed out on the glorious freedom of simple/organic church.

Miniature church

We suspect that many people in house church still do what they used to do in the buildings–and usually they do it badly.  Someone has been asked to lead the worship, another person gives a talk, another is responsible for the kids.  Unfortunately, the lone guitarist lacks the professional expertise of the worship band that led worship in the building and the person who gives the sermon hasn't had hours to prepare a stimulating talk because he's been working at a job all week. To be honest, we might be better off staying in the building!

So what should we do differently?  What's the difference between a church that happens to meet in a house, and a simple/organic/house church.  Watch this space…

 

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