0 thoughts on “Part 4 Continued: TIME article

  1. Ryan –My husband and me are working in Abilene Texas now, developing a house church network. I’m excited to read about the vibrant family of Jesus that you have in close reach there.We read this article when it came out the other day, and I thought the “House Synagogue” was an interesting read. (I believe it’s only in the paper version of TIME…)Anyway, Peace and Love, and all the best— thanks for the continued writing on the journey. We appreciate it.

  2. Ryan –My husband and me are working in Abilene Texas now, developing a house church network. I’m excited to read about the vibrant family of Jesus that you have in close reach there.We read this article when it came out the other day, and I thought the “House Synagogue” was an interesting read. (I believe it’s only in the paper version of TIME…)Anyway, Peace and Love, and all the best— thanks for the continued writing on the journey. We appreciate it.

  3. Thanks for chiming in, Katrina… may I ask how you found us?I’d also love it if you shared your story here. How far along are you in your vision? What joys and struggles have you experienced thus far? What are some of your philosophies and methodologies for making House Church work?Make sure and take a moment to look at our little ministry profile at http://www.thecoredowntown.com.

  4. Thanks for chiming in, Katrina… may I ask how you found us?I’d also love it if you shared your story here. How far along are you in your vision? What joys and struggles have you experienced thus far? What are some of your philosophies and methodologies for making House Church work?Make sure and take a moment to look at our little ministry profile at http://www.thecoredowntown.com.

  5. <>“… may I ask how you found us?”<>Sure, thanks for asking. Last August, Mark and I went to the National House Church conference in Denver with Neil Cole and the House2House guys – Felicity and Tony Dale, etc. George Barna’s people were there as well, and they shared some amazing information. (If you guys can find a way to get there this fall, it is worth it!) My husband Mark continues to live into some awesome coursework in a program called “Missionary Residency in North America” within the Graduate School of Theology, at Abilene Christian University. (His course books include “Revolution,” “The Shaping of Things to Come,” and “Organic Church,” just to name a few.) You can imagine: he loves it!Long story, short: I went to the House2House website and found your site listed in the forum there.My youngest sister (16) is moving back to Springfield out of some serious turmoil (and I fear, into some serious turmoil), and I was curious about the network there. I know that she has to be in close reach of a vibrant family of faith. My dad owns a store downtown on Walnut Street and Kimbrough, “Franks Uniforms.” I think she will be going to work with him regularly instead of going to straight into school. Dad does not believe nor does he know our Lord (or better said, he claims “nominal” believer status, but really remains a relative universalist – welcome to the USA). So, lately, Mark and I (organic wife) have been listening to God for their sake, and for the sake of the others in close proximity.Ryan, as far as the vision, joys, struggles, philosophies and methodologies: I’ll write more soon… (I’m blogging on the job – yikes!) :) Looking forward to collaborating more with you guys – Peace

  6. <>“… may I ask how you found us?”<>Sure, thanks for asking. Last August, Mark and I went to the National House Church conference in Denver with Neil Cole and the House2House guys – Felicity and Tony Dale, etc. George Barna’s people were there as well, and they shared some amazing information. (If you guys can find a way to get there this fall, it is worth it!) My husband Mark continues to live into some awesome coursework in a program called “Missionary Residency in North America” within the Graduate School of Theology, at Abilene Christian University. (His course books include “Revolution,” “The Shaping of Things to Come,” and “Organic Church,” just to name a few.) You can imagine: he loves it!Long story, short: I went to the House2House website and found your site listed in the forum there.My youngest sister (16) is moving back to Springfield out of some serious turmoil (and I fear, into some serious turmoil), and I was curious about the network there. I know that she has to be in close reach of a vibrant family of faith. My dad owns a store downtown on Walnut Street and Kimbrough, “Franks Uniforms.” I think she will be going to work with him regularly instead of going to straight into school. Dad does not believe nor does he know our Lord (or better said, he claims “nominal” believer status, but really remains a relative universalist – welcome to the USA). So, lately, Mark and I (organic wife) have been listening to God for their sake, and for the sake of the others in close proximity.Ryan, as far as the vision, joys, struggles, philosophies and methodologies: I’ll write more soon… (I’m blogging on the job – yikes!) :) Looking forward to collaborating more with you guys – Peace

  7. Welcome to the core blog, Katrina. So nice to meet you, in the e-sense. Glad the Lord is moving in your midst. I’m sorry to hear about your lil’ sis, but i pray she does get connected to a vibrant body of faith when she arrives. We’re here with open arms, and have connections with other churches who would gladly receive and care for her.Re: the times article, the thing that jumped out to me right off the bat was the comment about home churches lacking accountability. And it got me thinking, “You know, one of the reasons i feel so strongly about home church is because of the level of accountability it does provide.” But i guess that’s a different kind of accountability. They can lack denominational accountability, but then again, you can find any denomination or religious affiliation you want, to suit your own beliefs… guaranteed. So what’s stopping people from doing just that? However, the individual accountability of home churches is superior to that of institutional churches on the whole. But why is that? It’s not because the congregational/small group model cannot provide such accountability. Obviously a small group or cell group of a larger church can look identical to an independent home church. So what’s the diff? Why do we find that “Sunday school classes” and “small groups” often do not have open, vulnerable, accountable relationships with one another?I don’t have a nice, neat answer. This is a question i am seeking answers for myself. And i think i have the answer, but it’s both way oversimplified and exremely complex. How ’bout i give my simplified answer, and let the complexities arise out of that.The simple answer, actually, has already been mentioned… several times! The answer is that a huge majority of “Christians” in America have a disease of the heart, that God has not yet healed. Many of those have never truly surrendered their lives to Christ’s lordship, and thus have never received the Holy Spirit and the gift of salvation. And another great many have surrendered and received once, but have become so bogged down with the stresses and demands of life, that their faith has been put on the shelf for lack of ability to nurture it.So the problem boils down not entirely to structure and form, but to individual priorities. But how American of us to think so individualistically. How much do we realize that the Church suffers because people within the Church are suffering? I know that sounds circular, but think about what i’m saying. When a huge percentage of “the Church” are rendered completely ineffective in their witness and their service to God and man, because of a variety of other gods they have chosen to serve, then the rest of the Body is weakened, and in many cases, crippled.The point in the article that carried the MOST weight was the point about leveraging resources, or as we call it, stewardship. And really, this is the primary significant difference between home and congregational church models. Not only from a monetary perspective, but from a time perspective. More on this to come… but i’m sure you all can fill in the blanks as to what those differences amount to. :)

  8. Welcome to the core blog, Katrina. So nice to meet you, in the e-sense. Glad the Lord is moving in your midst. I’m sorry to hear about your lil’ sis, but i pray she does get connected to a vibrant body of faith when she arrives. We’re here with open arms, and have connections with other churches who would gladly receive and care for her.Re: the times article, the thing that jumped out to me right off the bat was the comment about home churches lacking accountability. And it got me thinking, “You know, one of the reasons i feel so strongly about home church is because of the level of accountability it does provide.” But i guess that’s a different kind of accountability. They can lack denominational accountability, but then again, you can find any denomination or religious affiliation you want, to suit your own beliefs… guaranteed. So what’s stopping people from doing just that? However, the individual accountability of home churches is superior to that of institutional churches on the whole. But why is that? It’s not because the congregational/small group model cannot provide such accountability. Obviously a small group or cell group of a larger church can look identical to an independent home church. So what’s the diff? Why do we find that “Sunday school classes” and “small groups” often do not have open, vulnerable, accountable relationships with one another?I don’t have a nice, neat answer. This is a question i am seeking answers for myself. And i think i have the answer, but it’s both way oversimplified and exremely complex. How ’bout i give my simplified answer, and let the complexities arise out of that.The simple answer, actually, has already been mentioned… several times! The answer is that a huge majority of “Christians” in America have a disease of the heart, that God has not yet healed. Many of those have never truly surrendered their lives to Christ’s lordship, and thus have never received the Holy Spirit and the gift of salvation. And another great many have surrendered and received once, but have become so bogged down with the stresses and demands of life, that their faith has been put on the shelf for lack of ability to nurture it.So the problem boils down not entirely to structure and form, but to individual priorities. But how American of us to think so individualistically. How much do we realize that the Church suffers because people within the Church are suffering? I know that sounds circular, but think about what i’m saying. When a huge percentage of “the Church” are rendered completely ineffective in their witness and their service to God and man, because of a variety of other gods they have chosen to serve, then the rest of the Body is weakened, and in many cases, crippled.The point in the article that carried the MOST weight was the point about leveraging resources, or as we call it, stewardship. And really, this is the primary significant difference between home and congregational church models. Not only from a monetary perspective, but from a time perspective. More on this to come… but i’m sure you all can fill in the blanks as to what those differences amount to. :)

  9. Hi, all. Received an e-mail from Ryan to come check this out. He must have found my blog.I’m also from the Abilene simple church/emergent crowd – about 5 years in a Christ family network. Only left because we finished school, moved out of the counry and then overseas. But we had some great experiences with Sean, Miller, Kent and Karen, and a bunch of other people I’ve seen mentioned or linked to here and in Katrina’s blog.We have two sites. One is soon-to-be -nonymous (once the search engines cache-out) thoughts on our simple church experience – http://HopeChina.blogspot.com – and the other is invite-only, related to our ongoing international adventures. Please feel free to stop in of course. We’re finishing a second degree, and often my reflections return to emergent church and our experienes. New posts are fairly often.It’s great when the organic/simple/house/Christ family/emergent crowd can connect in the blogosphere.

  10. Hi, all. Received an e-mail from Ryan to come check this out. He must have found my blog.I’m also from the Abilene simple church/emergent crowd – about 5 years in a Christ family network. Only left because we finished school, moved out of the counry and then overseas. But we had some great experiences with Sean, Miller, Kent and Karen, and a bunch of other people I’ve seen mentioned or linked to here and in Katrina’s blog.We have two sites. One is soon-to-be -nonymous (once the search engines cache-out) thoughts on our simple church experience – http://HopeChina.blogspot.com – and the other is invite-only, related to our ongoing international adventures. Please feel free to stop in of course. We’re finishing a second degree, and often my reflections return to emergent church and our experienes. New posts are fairly often.It’s great when the organic/simple/house/Christ family/emergent crowd can connect in the blogosphere.

  11. Matt, this is wacky, but I just realized “who we are.” We met in real life seven or so years ago with “the happening”. Man, it’s nice to have bumped into you again – even it is an e-bump.Regarding the issue of accountability in the TIME article, I have to piggy on your back with two things. First, each simple church carries the DNA of it’s tradition. Mark and I come from a restoration tradition (Church of Christ, Christian Church, Disciples of Christ) – it seems that you guys come from a Baptist tradition. So the culture of the church community must carry the character of the people that came before. It obviously <>looks<> different, because of the unique culture it carries, but that doesn’t mean that the people have lost accountability with the people of the tradition. Those people paved the way- Now, I must say that the hope of simple church is to connect people with Christ in their own culture. And this means that new forms of “tradition” must emerge. (These are the people that will never step foot inside a traditional church building. And we have to respect them in their authenticity and honesty, even it doesn’t match our history of what church looks like. This goes for our own SIMPLE churches, as well. There are people who feel overwhelmed in a church building, and they feel equally overwhelmed in my house. We have to remember this movement toward Christ is not about conformity. It’s about unity, and that’s uncomfortable and unorthodox.)And it remains obvious that you guys think about this often in your work, from what I’ve read so far.Finally, I agree with you Matt, on stewardship of God’s resources. The network in Texas of just six churches just raised their first million dollars toward benevolence. (http://housechurchchronicles.typepad.com/my_weblog/2005/12/index.html)Think how much money one saves when they don’t have to maintain the church parking lot! Amazing!!!Time wise, living in simple church at this point is the greatest exhale we’ve ever experienced. (But as of last night, Mark decided to transition to full-time simple church, so I’m sure this will all get messy and burdensome very soon, as you guys pointed out in a recent post…) It is nice knowing that the time (sometimes up to four hours) I would devote toward preparing to teach can be devoted to God for people. Removing the external, self-imposed pressures is wonderful. Now we spend those four hours in real Sabbath. One has to believe that God is smiling when he sees that. “Delight in the Lord, and he will fulfill the desires of your heart.”Peace like a river –

  12. Matt, this is wacky, but I just realized “who we are.” We met in real life seven or so years ago with “the happening”. Man, it’s nice to have bumped into you again – even it is an e-bump.Regarding the issue of accountability in the TIME article, I have to piggy on your back with two things. First, each simple church carries the DNA of it’s tradition. Mark and I come from a restoration tradition (Church of Christ, Christian Church, Disciples of Christ) – it seems that you guys come from a Baptist tradition. So the culture of the church community must carry the character of the people that came before. It obviously <>looks<> different, because of the unique culture it carries, but that doesn’t mean that the people have lost accountability with the people of the tradition. Those people paved the way- Now, I must say that the hope of simple church is to connect people with Christ in their own culture. And this means that new forms of “tradition” must emerge. (These are the people that will never step foot inside a traditional church building. And we have to respect them in their authenticity and honesty, even it doesn’t match our history of what church looks like. This goes for our own SIMPLE churches, as well. There are people who feel overwhelmed in a church building, and they feel equally overwhelmed in my house. We have to remember this movement toward Christ is not about conformity. It’s about unity, and that’s uncomfortable and unorthodox.)And it remains obvious that you guys think about this often in your work, from what I’ve read so far.Finally, I agree with you Matt, on stewardship of God’s resources. The network in Texas of just six churches just raised their first million dollars toward benevolence. (http://housechurchchronicles.typepad.com/my_weblog/2005/12/index.html)Think how much money one saves when they don’t have to maintain the church parking lot! Amazing!!!Time wise, living in simple church at this point is the greatest exhale we’ve ever experienced. (But as of last night, Mark decided to transition to full-time simple church, so I’m sure this will all get messy and burdensome very soon, as you guys pointed out in a recent post…) It is nice knowing that the time (sometimes up to four hours) I would devote toward preparing to teach can be devoted to God for people. Removing the external, self-imposed pressures is wonderful. Now we spend those four hours in real Sabbath. One has to believe that God is smiling when he sees that. “Delight in the Lord, and he will fulfill the desires of your heart.”Peace like a river –

  13. What an encouraging testimony.It certainly is noteworthy how much more money a simple church is free to “waste” on Jesus, isn’t it?I think our plan is a corollary of that. Because we want a building.However, it’s not for us.Some people feel convicted primarily with those who need food and shelter. I am in constant awe of those who focus their lives on meeting those needs. A person who dies of hunger today cannot invite Jesus into his heart tomorrow. Nor is it easy to get a starving person to focus on spiritual truths.As much as I hope that get the opportunity to provide for the materially needy, God has given us a different calling, I think. He has shown us the desperate need people have for LOVE. For companionship and fraternity. The need to know and be known.That is why we want to use our money primarily to lease a streetside storefront in downtown Springfield, Missouri, where we live. We want people to be able to come in and get free coffee, soda, bottled water any time, not to mention a listening ear and the opportunity to let your guard down in the presence of caring, accepting people. The property can be used for lots of different things, but mostly it will be for expressing our fascination for people of all walks, and building a real, REAL, community of faith.Katrina, you can give your sister my e-mail address for when she gets into town. Or if you want, I can e-mail you my phone number to give to her. I just hope she gets plugged in somewhere vibrant and loving. But who knows… maybe that’s us.

  14. What an encouraging testimony.It certainly is noteworthy how much more money a simple church is free to “waste” on Jesus, isn’t it?I think our plan is a corollary of that. Because we want a building.However, it’s not for us.Some people feel convicted primarily with those who need food and shelter. I am in constant awe of those who focus their lives on meeting those needs. A person who dies of hunger today cannot invite Jesus into his heart tomorrow. Nor is it easy to get a starving person to focus on spiritual truths.As much as I hope that get the opportunity to provide for the materially needy, God has given us a different calling, I think. He has shown us the desperate need people have for LOVE. For companionship and fraternity. The need to know and be known.That is why we want to use our money primarily to lease a streetside storefront in downtown Springfield, Missouri, where we live. We want people to be able to come in and get free coffee, soda, bottled water any time, not to mention a listening ear and the opportunity to let your guard down in the presence of caring, accepting people. The property can be used for lots of different things, but mostly it will be for expressing our fascination for people of all walks, and building a real, REAL, community of faith.Katrina, you can give your sister my e-mail address for when she gets into town. Or if you want, I can e-mail you my phone number to give to her. I just hope she gets plugged in somewhere vibrant and loving. But who knows… maybe that’s us.

  15. Thanks Ryan. As far as my sister Tabatha goes, she really needs an academic tutor – a good, one-on-one mentor who has a lot of patience and time. In response to your offer regarding the email – I will mention your email to her. Who knows, right? She may feel comfortable contacting you. I think she is considerably different from all of you from a cultural POV, but it is worth a try. In the next couple of weeks, if you have the need to buy a bowling shirt or handcuffs or a new pair of shoes, you might drop by Frank’s. (My dad’s name is Allen; his new bride is Amy, and as I mentioned before, my little sister’s name is Tabatha.)Have you guys heard of the Church of the Saviour? This man named Gordon Cosby and his wife Mary with a group (very similar to yours) did the storefront thing in Washington DC. His story is POWERFUL! <>Briefly: He was chaplain for the army in Europe during WWII and became convinced of the people’s need for intimate and authentic community. He came back to the states and visited a “traditional” church on Sunday morning. That night, he stayed in a hotel room above a local pub and noted that the people below were engaging in authentic community to a much greater degree than the brothers he met with that morning.<>This is a crude and simplified version, but not much later, he and a group of friends collaborated and the Potter’s House (storefront with coffee, books, etc.) emerged. This was 50 years ago, and they are still meeting. Families have joined and created their own “expressions” of what God has called them to be. (One group is the Jubilee Jobs group, another created a “free” medical clinic, etc.) They became a 501(c)3 organization. And Mark and I had the pleasure of meeting with this group in August when we were sent to Washington DC. If you happen to be in that area for some reason, make sure to head toward the Potter’s House, and make sure to meet Dot. Man, we could talk about this all day.Here are some sites and a book related to all of this–http://www.pottershousebooks.org/index.htmlhttp://www.slschool.org/index.htmlLight reading:Servant Leaders Servant Structures O’Connor ISBN: 9992068752

  16. Thanks Ryan. As far as my sister Tabatha goes, she really needs an academic tutor – a good, one-on-one mentor who has a lot of patience and time. In response to your offer regarding the email – I will mention your email to her. Who knows, right? She may feel comfortable contacting you. I think she is considerably different from all of you from a cultural POV, but it is worth a try. In the next couple of weeks, if you have the need to buy a bowling shirt or handcuffs or a new pair of shoes, you might drop by Frank’s. (My dad’s name is Allen; his new bride is Amy, and as I mentioned before, my little sister’s name is Tabatha.)Have you guys heard of the Church of the Saviour? This man named Gordon Cosby and his wife Mary with a group (very similar to yours) did the storefront thing in Washington DC. His story is POWERFUL! <>Briefly: He was chaplain for the army in Europe during WWII and became convinced of the people’s need for intimate and authentic community. He came back to the states and visited a “traditional” church on Sunday morning. That night, he stayed in a hotel room above a local pub and noted that the people below were engaging in authentic community to a much greater degree than the brothers he met with that morning.<>This is a crude and simplified version, but not much later, he and a group of friends collaborated and the Potter’s House (storefront with coffee, books, etc.) emerged. This was 50 years ago, and they are still meeting. Families have joined and created their own “expressions” of what God has called them to be. (One group is the Jubilee Jobs group, another created a “free” medical clinic, etc.) They became a 501(c)3 organization. And Mark and I had the pleasure of meeting with this group in August when we were sent to Washington DC. If you happen to be in that area for some reason, make sure to head toward the Potter’s House, and make sure to meet Dot. Man, we could talk about this all day.Here are some sites and a book related to all of this–http://www.pottershousebooks.org/index.htmlhttp://www.slschool.org/index.htmlLight reading:Servant Leaders Servant Structures O’Connor ISBN: 9992068752

  17. I have a few ideas for a tutor. Wouldn’t be me–probably ought to be a lady.What do you mean by Katrina having a different “cultural point of view?” You might be surpised.Thanks for the links. We have a coffee house near the Missouri State campus here in Springfield that’s called the Potter’s House. I’m not sure if there’s an affiliation there or not. But it’s a great place.

  18. I have a few ideas for a tutor. Wouldn’t be me–probably ought to be a lady.What do you mean by Katrina having a different “cultural point of view?” You might be surpised.Thanks for the links. We have a coffee house near the Missouri State campus here in Springfield that’s called the Potter’s House. I’m not sure if there’s an affiliation there or not. But it’s a great place.

  19. Ryan…hey, found your blog through an e-mail you sent out. I finally decided to check it out (I’m procrastination in the flesh!) and I’m glad I did. I’ve got you on my “favorites” toolbar and will probably be stopping by again in the near future.I haven’t read through all of your posts yet, but I like what I’ve gone through so far. Looking forward to some good conversation.Thanks for the invite. Peace to you.

  20. Ryan…hey, found your blog through an e-mail you sent out. I finally decided to check it out (I’m procrastination in the flesh!) and I’m glad I did. I’ve got you on my “favorites” toolbar and will probably be stopping by again in the near future.I haven’t read through all of your posts yet, but I like what I’ve gone through so far. Looking forward to some good conversation.Thanks for the invite. Peace to you.

  21. Thanks for paying a visit, St. Valdez…On blogger.com, you can do searches for those who have the same words in their profile that you do. You and I both happen to list “house church” on our respective profiles.Looking forward to some great input!

  22. Thanks for paying a visit, St. Valdez…On blogger.com, you can do searches for those who have the same words in their profile that you do. You and I both happen to list “house church” on our respective profiles.Looking forward to some great input!

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