“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Jesus message was startlingly simple. Despite our attempts over the past 2,000 years to complicate and obfuscate his words, they remain revolutionary. These simple words from a middle eastern itinerant preacher slice through time to remind us of a powerful truth: the world will know we are His by our love for each other.
In the house church, or “simple church” movement, we carry this spirit of powerful simplicity into our ecclesiology (what church is).
As my mentor in organic church, Neil Cole, used to say, complexity is not always good. As a certified techie and owner of a web design company, this is most certainly the case in my field. There are literally dozens of available technologies for every client we work with. We select the tool that not only has the features they need, but is simple enough for them to use effectively. Regardless of the features a tool possesses, if it is too complicated for our clients to operate it has become useless to them.
The same is true in how we do church. I recognize the usefulness and blessing of a variety of church styles and expressions. However, for too long we have required a particularly high level of complexity in our church expressions. It requires an almost “professional” class of highly trained Christians, which is neither biblically required nor practical.
“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.”
Jesus disciples were anything but trained, professional, clergy. If we desire a worldwide movement of Christ, it will require lowering the bar of what it means to do church and raising the bar of what it means to be a disciple (from “Organic Church” by Neil Cole).
In closing…apologies for my incredibly cheesy article title. What can I say, I’m a cheesy guy