Simple/organic church has become mainstream here in the United States. According to the statistics, although the rate of growth is slowing down, 3-5% of the adult population of this country now finds their primary form of fellowship within a home or similar context. While at most levels this is very encouraging, and God is doing some extraordinary things with very ordinary people, there are some definite pitfalls and disadvantages to becoming acceptable:
- The terms, house church, simple church and organic church are popular. Groups of people are changing their names without changing their DNA. Home groups are becoming house churches with no discernible difference in lifestyle.
- We've become a fashionable fad, the latest phenomenon in church statistics. People are hopping onto the bandwagon because they want to be part of the latest thing, not because God is leading them.
- Many people meeting in homes are doing, "Honey I shrunk the church!" They've not yet begun the adventure of letting the Lord lead their times together.
- Many churches meeting outside the four walls of traditional structures are comprised of people who have left their legacy church but have not yet found a missional emphasis. Until that happens, even though our numbers may increase by transfer growth, we'll be a movement without Kingdom momentum.
- With some outstanding exceptions, we as a movement are still immature in terms of both finances and mission. Financially, we give generously to missions and benevolence, and most churches use less than 5% of their budget on internal needs, but we could have more strategic impact if we worked together on financial projects. In terms of missions, we have not yet fully understood what "simple/organic missions" will entail.
I believe God is working to fix these situations. There are more resources available than ever before; coaches are working across the spectrum to help produce healthy organic churches, and there is a greater understanding of what it means to be missional.
Do you see other problems too?