Church planting House church Organic church Simple Church

For such a time as this…

Photo credit: alles-schlumpf (Creative Commons)

God has used house churches in many nations to avoid persecution–think China, the Middle East. Thankfully, here in the West, we are not in that same persecuted situation. But maybe there is another reason for the rise of simple/organic/house churches.

The world situation is becoming increasingly uncertain.  Questions and confusion abound. High unemployment and, according to a United Nations report, “the failure of policymakers, especially those in Europe and the United States, to address institutional and regulatory deficiencies… adds to existing risks for the global economy.” Economic chaos is potentially a real risk.

Just recently, we met with a couple who lead a legacy church. The finances are no longer there. They have to let go their building and the husband is looking for “secular” work. (I put secular in quotes because whatever job we have, we are all called to be full-time for the Lord.) They see this as a huge opportunity from the Lord to follow their calling within a simple/organic framework.

I am no prophet of doom and gloom, but if there is a major economic depression to come, many more churches may have to close their doors for lack of funding. Already across the church landscape, church leaders are being asked to cut back or find other work, and giving to missions has suffered.  While I’m fairly sure that many mega-churches, or those with their buildings already paid off will survive, simple/organic churches with no buildings and no paid staff may be one of the few options left for many others.

Could God be raising up the simple/organic lifestyle of church for such a time as this?

4 replies on “For such a time as this…”

I’ve been expecting this for quite a few years, and I believe it is God’s blessing, not His judgment (well, maybe that too, but in the sense of drawing us back to Him).
My kids are among those who haven’t been able to find work, and my brother and his wife are suffering also. My own job (teaching art/pottery lessons to kids) is less than half the time it was. So I’m not exactly speaking from the lofty heights of personal security here. Nevertheless, I do believe God is working in the western world to call us back from our idolatry in trusting our national economies to trusting Him alone.
Naturally, this is going to put a giant crimp on the financial security of legacy churches as well. Several in our area have been forced to close doors, too, but the members just switch to another church. (There are so many, after all.) The time will come, though, when that is no longer a feasible option, especially as the government seeks to exercise more and more control over what is taught and not taught, using the tax-free status as a lever to force compliance.
God is good, and He will do all His will with us. These are exciting times as we look to Him to see what He will do.

Cindy, Great to hear from you. I know that some of our most difficult times have been when we have gone through financial challenges–but they’ve also been some of the times when we have learned the most too.
You are right. These are exciting and interesting times…

Yep. I totally agree w/ Cindy. Less money in the familys, more reliance on others, opportunity to give sacrifically, more people helping people because we can’t afford to pay for as many services, learning to raise chickens from my neighbor, learniing to hunt 😉 Showing love by helping our neighbors…..the saints acting like the church…. What’s not to like..??? 🙂
I think this is God’s gentle hand helping us ‘affluent’ Americans into faith adventures we have not had to experience before. He dosen’t want us to miss out on what our brethern in the rest of the world live daily…”love one another as I have loved you”… Yes painful for the flesh…but envigorating for the spirit…

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