Transitioning from a legacy church to a network of simple/organic churches generally involves letting go of the building, and may result in the paid staff finding other means of income. Of course, many hybrid forms are also possible.
Here are some of the reasons why a church might consider transitioning:
- Finances are tight; they’ve already had to fire some of their part or full-time staff. The building payments are beyond their reach. It’s either transition into something else, letting the building go, or close the doors permanently and let people fend for themselves. They know that there’s little finance involved in meeting in homes so they decide to try it. In these challenging economic times, this is becoming more and more common.
- Simple/organic is one of the new buzz-words.Many churches are moving towards the organic end of a continuum. They want to be on the so-called “cutting edge” of what God is doing. So they change the name of their home groups to home churches, and empower their leaders to baptize and give communion. They may or may not expect everyone to turn up on Sunday too. In a complete transition, the Sunday service will at least become sporadic.
- God is speaking to them as a church. He’s telling them that it’s time to transition–either wholly or in part. He’s challenging them that this is a way to reach out to their communities and make a difference.
Obviously the third reason is the best, but God could easily use a combination of two of these things. For example, a church might realize that their financial resources are dwindling and it’s only a question of time before they have to let the senior pastor go, but as they seek the Lord about the situation, he reveals to them some of the principles behind simple/organic church. Another example: some of the church members start reading some books on simple/organic church that convict them about reaching out into their neighborhoods, and again, as the church seeks the Lord, he reveals to them a plan for transitioning.
What other reasons might a church consider the transition?