The Rabbit and the Elephant

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There are two types of churches that seem to be growing more rapidly in the United States–the very large and the very small. A few years ago, Tony, my husband, felt very strongly that we should try and get some dialog between the two, and so we arranged a meeting for about 20 leaders from both styles of gathering to come together for two days of conversation. Northland: A Church Distributed,  in Orlando hosted the time together. Northland is a multi-site church that has consistently found ways to bless the house church movement. 

The most poignant moment occurred some time into the conference when Dan Lacich, one of the leaders at Northland shared. He effectively said, "Can you not trust me to have heard from the Lord that he is leading me to stay within the traditional church structure?"

When we feel very strongly about a topic, it's easy to assume that others just haven't seen the light yet. If only they would seek God more, he would show them what he's shown us.

Not so. 

For a long time, since we first realized that God was going to do something major with the simple/organic church movement, we have been praying that God would overturn church history. Usually when a new move of God occurs, its primary detractors are from the move that came before it. So we began praying that God would cause traditional churches to bless the simple/organic/house churches, and that we in turn would only speak well of and bless the churches we have come from. It's for this reason that we like the term "legacy" churches (originally coined by our friend Kent Smith).

A few years ago, Tony and I wrote a book with George Barna entitled, "The Rabbit and the Elephant." (This book has since been republished in paperback under the title, "Small is Big.") The obvious analogy is for small and large churches, and refers to the ability of the small to multiply quickly. Because of where the Lord has led us, the book is primarily about the principles of how to make disciples and gather them in simple/organic churches.

God is far more interested in our hearts than he is in our structures or correct doctrine. Rabbits and elephants are not renowned for cooperating together in the wild, but can we, as large and small churches and everything in between, find ways of cooperating together synergistically for the sake of the Kingdom of God? 

Small is Big!: new release

Small-is-big-150 (1)

Tyndale House Publishers is releasing Small is Big!: Unleashing the big impact of intentionally small churches today. This is essentially an updated, paperback version of our book The Rabbit and the Elephant, but contains two totally new chapters on what is happening with mega- and legacy churches too. Many of these larger churches are working with those of us in simple/organic church  and using the principles of simple/organic churches to reach out to the communities around them. 

The book is available via Amazon, (who are still linking the contents to the original hardback version although this is due to change soon). You can see it here.

Here's the product description from the Amazon site:

"Church planters Tony and Felicity Dale and acclaimed researcher George Barna bring a big message to God’s church. How might we change the world if our Christian faith began multiplying at a rapid pace—through a way of life that is explosive and transformational? It happened once before, in the early days of the church; what will it take to bring us to that point of urgency and determination again? Small Is Big (originally published as The Rabbit and the Elephant) offers keys to 21st-century evangelism: leveraging the power of the small—and taking the gospel to where the people are and the pain is. And as God uses us to channel Jesus’ love into a hurting, desperate world, we’ll see his church grow beyond anything we could have imagined."

We would love your help to get out the word about this new edition of the book. You will be doing us a big favor if you  tweet and pass on this message via Facebook and other social media sites.

Many thanks for your help.

Small is Big!: new release

Small-is-big-150 (1)

Tyndale House Publishers is releasing Small is Big!: Unleashing the big impact of intentionally small churches today. This is essentially an updated, paperback version of our book The Rabbit and the Elephant, but contains two totally new chapters on what is happening with mega- and legacy churches too. Many of these larger churches are working with those of us in simple/organic church  and using the principles of simple/organic churches to reach out to the communities around them. 

The book is available via Amazon, (who are still linking the contents to the original hardback version although this is due to change soon). You can see it at http://amzn.to/smallisbig

Here's the product description from the Amazon site:

"Church planters Tony and Felicity Dale and acclaimed researcher George Barna bring a big message to God’s church. How might we change the world if our Christian faith began multiplying at a rapid pace—through a way of life that is explosive and transformational? It happened once before, in the early days of the church; what will it take to bring us to that point of urgency and determination again? Small Is Big (originally published as The Rabbit and the Elephant) offers keys to 21st-century evangelism: leveraging the power of the small—and taking the gospel to where the people are and the pain is. And as God uses us to channel Jesus’ love into a hurting, desperate world, we’ll see his church grow beyond anything we could have imagined."

We would love your help to get out the word about this new edition of the book. You will be doing us a big favor if you  tweet and pass on this message via Facebook and other social media sites.

Many thanks for your help.