“God wants us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all time… this is the New Covenant I’ll make with my people, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts so they will understand them, and I will write them on their minds so they will obey them.” Heb. 10:10 & 16
What is Simple Church? According to statistics, more than 80% of people will never see the inside of a Church Building. Attendance in many churches are declining. It is already recorded that the divorce rate under Christians have exceeded worldly standards. Young adults and teens have no recollection of basic Bible stories like Noah, Moses, and even David. Youth in general lack the basic knowledge of right and wrong. Families are to busy and fathers struggle to take up their roles as priest, king and prophet of the households. The moral standard of society is at it’s lowest in many decades and government is taking basic Bible teaching out of our schools. Many businesses are open 7 days a week, forcing employees to work on rest days. Satan’s works are evident in society and therefore it is as clear as daylight that we are failing as Christians. We have become so program-driven and busy, that many churches have neglected the basic key: relationship with God and fellow-man. To truely ‘connect’ with people’s hearts, still remains the most powerful tool in spreading the fragrance and Word of God’s Kingdom on earth.
During many years of ministry, we have come to realise that the body of Christ [leaders and followers alike] is not “whole” and therefore we struggle to be “holy”. Many Christians have sat in churches for many years, attending Bible Colleges and all kinds of courses/camps, yet, the body of Christ still suffer brokeness; disfunctional families and financial dillemas.
Simple Church/Organic Church is a world wide growing phenomenon of hungry individuals and families desiring to have more. They are waking up to an urgency in wanting to be carriers of the “grace” of God – making a difference in their own families and society… to become the “change agents” of society. Rather than focusing on quantity and numbers, they focus on the quality of coaching/mentoring and discipleship. Small groups are not just gathering in houses, but also at businesses, coffee-shops, parks and any place that accomodates a designated group of one-hearted individuals. The brave [and ‘called’] even infiltrate – ‘Heaven forbid’, the pubs; slums and other dark places of this world like prositite houses. Movies like “Furious Love” and “Father of lights” inspire to do the unthinkable for the untouchable…
After God has called us into full-time ministry at a wonderful and well-known mega-church for five years, He lead us into marketplace-ministry and fellowship on a home-church basis as part of our Makarios Communities vision. The home-church fellowship came unexpected but very spontaneously! The heart of home-church is a deeper dimention of relationship – sharing the joys and challenges of our lives with one another; eating together and sharing the responsibilty of being Christ in the family; the marketplace… and last but not the least: reaching out to places and people that God points out to us – in compassion and practical help. We also visit other churches and strenghten other ministries where we can – as lead by the Holy-Spirit. The Holy-Spirit has a funny way of stirring God’s prepared works up in your heart!
Something we’ve also experienced to be different in home-church is that the financial offerings to God are firstly distributed towards meeting some needs in your own fellowship before reaching out to other ministries or worthy causes in society. Charity begins at home doesn’t it? We were amazed by true stories of other pastors – one of them, instructed by the Holy-Spirit, sowed half of the income [tithings & offerings] towards the care of his own congregation and outward missions before meeting the salaries of the staff and paying for the maintenance of the building! It goes without saying that the Lord backed them all the way in this! Another breath-taking true story is that of a pastor who for about three years sowed almost ALL THE FINANCES towards making the members of his church debt-free! This happened after he (braggingly) presented the Lord with a debt-free church (building), upon which the Lord informed him quite simply that His church was actually NOT debt-free! Very surprised, he then heard the Lord saying that His church (inside the building) were under heavy burdens of debt.
As pastors of our home-fellowship, we have also learned through mistakes and hurts that it doesn’t help to have a forward drive in helping others when your ‘own family’ is not healed or in a good place. It became a priority to work towards healing our own ‘sick’ first and keeping the healthy strong before we could really consider going after the ”young and the lost’ big time? Like Paul, we can’t say that we have achieved perfection yet, but we can say that God has changed our priorities…
Whether we are part of a mega church set-up with cell groups or a smaller gathering in the marketplace / homes / a farmstead in a rural community, we still face the same realities in our desire to be more effective:
Only in surrendering to become the “New Wineskin [in renewed ways of thinking and doing]” will we become more effective in all areas. Every individual/disciple is a potential leader and can fascilitate a small group. Where 2 or more gather in His Name, is He not in our midst? We sometimes need to get uncomfortable to get into God’s plan for our life.
It is in every person’s heart to become a hero for God!
“God, send us!”
Andre & Christa
Some interesting links: