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How can you start a simple/organic/house church?

"I would love, love, love some direction about getting started. I am the only person I know in my area who has a heart to move into simple/organic/house church. Where do I begin?"

A few days ago, I asked people to answer the question, "What is one thing you would like to learn about simple/organic church." The above was one of the responses. So here goes… the next few posts will be on how to start a simple/organic church.

"Starting a church" is perhaps the wrong term to use. We are to make disciples, and Jesus builds his church. However we all know what is meant by that phrase.

We have started several simple/organic churches over the years. Here are some of the things Tony and I have done:

  • We pulled together a group of not-yet-believing businessmen to study business principles using the Bible as our textbook. They all found the Lord–a church was born.
  • We started a kid's Bible club–on a Sunday morning so that we reached the kids from non-Christian families because the Christian families were in church. When some of the kids found the Lord, some of their parents asked to join in too.
  • I started a couple of churches in retirement centers. (I didn't use the word "church" when approaching the management). Fairly soon, they were led by the residents.
  • We have started several churches with our kids and their non-Christian friends.
  • A new-Ager was led to the Lord by a friend who asked us to follow up with her. She pulled a group of her friends together and they too became believers. Right from the start it was led by the new believer (who we mentored).
  • We followed Luke 10 principles to start a church in the low-income housing projects.
  • We have started church at work.

Note that the vast majority of these started with not-yet-believers. The next few posts will explore some of the principles.

4 replies on “How can you start a simple/organic/house church?”

If what you are after is deeper relationships with God and people, I would say it is important to ask the Lord to help you develop Christ centered friendships first, and if you enjoy getting together, He may direct you to meet regularly and you will already have some core relationships in place before you add more. If you just get a bunch of people together that aren’t interested in friendships, but are more interested in having a meeting, it can begin to feel just like it did in the big impersonal institutional church, and you may end up thinking, why am I doing this. My experience was that we were excited about a new way of meeting for about a year, but when it became obvious that some were more interested in meetings than real friendships, there came a parting of ways because it seemed like we couldn’t walk in agreement as to what was most important, the meetings or the relationships. Don’t assume that just because you are Christians and you are meeting together that you will have real relationships, ask God to help you develop real friendships first and see if it leads to a regular meeting.

There is a good article on Lifestream with Wayne Jacobsen called Friends and Friends of friends, living in the relational church, that was helpful to me . The site is

Arthur, I’ll be answering your question in the next few posts, although the short answer is yes. Find some unbelievers and create community with them and watch a whole community find the Lord. But I agree with Jim’s comments if you are working with believers.

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