The answer is: slowly!
Photo credit: Balaji.B (Creative Commons)
I know several legacy churches that have successfully made the transition to a network of simple/organic churches. When I’ve asked their leaders about the process, they have always told me that its been a lengthy one–a couple of years to complete.
Usually they have taken about a year of preparation to teach the principles of simple/organic church covering questions like these:
- What is church?
- What happens in a simple/organic meeting?
- How will it differ from what we know now?
- Luke 10 principles
They take plenty of time to dialog and answer people’s concerns. They bring in others who are more experienced in the journey.
Then the transition begins. Things are no longer led from the front in the same way. They split up into small groups for interactive Bible study instead of having a sermon. They break into pairs to pray. They encourage people in the congregation to participate in the worship time by suggesting songs, praying, prophesying, reading a verse of Scripture. The object is to get everyone to take part where before, they would have been spectating.
Finally comes the time when one week a month, there is no church in the main building but everyone meets in homes. After a few months like this, it happens twice a month, and finally, they just get together occasionally as one large group.
Are there problems with this? Of course.
Do any of you have experience in a church transition? What was it like?