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?