Wednesday, November 05, 2008

a beach bum on missional house church

It can be tough and terrifying to keep house church from defaulting to koinonitis or cultic.

Maybe even from being marginally missional.

And an insular insula.

Check out the phrases I have highlighted in excerpts from
Kyle ("God, beach and breasts" )Phillip's

He is no missional slouch.

You know the opposite (and in some senses worse?)
ditch would be a house church that did outreach in a cheesy old school buttonhole 'em with 456 spiritual laws..

We are living in a day when the Lord is stirring in remarkable ways to restore the church in our land. If you're like us, you've experienced forms of institutionalized church that fall short in fulfilling Jesus' mandate to "make disciples." Throughout our culture many who profess Christ "hold the form of religion, but deny the power of it" (2 Timothy 3:5). Too often church leaders (at both local and denominational levels) serve the best interests of the religious institution rather than the cause of Christ. As we work to fulfill the Lord's call to us, we see the "house church" as a way of being the church that looks like the New Testament church. ...

...We believe that Jesus is fully present in the lives of his followers whenever two or three are gathered in his name to watch over one another in love (Matt. 18:20). We recognize the value of various kinds of small groups like Bible studies and prayer groups. However, we believe that the "house church" is a renewed form of church that the Lord is using in our day to equip the body for more effective outreach and ministry.

When we say "house church" we mean a small gathering of believers meeting regularly under the care of gifted, equipped and called leadership to share the Word of God, the Sacraments, mutual accountability, praise and worship, and outreach. We expect a house church to be a gathering
"where divine life and power is manifestly present to glorify God and meet the needs of repentant human beings"
(p. 246, Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart).

A healthy house church conforms to the description of the early church found in the Book of Acts.... And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46,47) A house church has its own spiritual integrity. It is not merely an adjunct small group of a larger group that is somehow more "church." While it participates with broader expressions of the church in the community in which it resides, a house church is nevertheless fully church. The Holy Spirit is present and at work within the gathered body to equip the saints for the work of ministry (Eph. 4:12) through sacrament, word, order, and outreach...
-Kyle Phillips, full article here

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