What is your church’s greatest challenge? — 4 Comments

  1. Interesting questions. I think the kids question is really a non-question, but one driven by a lack of anything familiar except what we’ve always known. Wonder how the first century Christ followers dealt with children in their meetings?

    On the giving, that too is an interesting question perhaps driven by years of indoctrination to “you have to be giving” instead of a “they shared all things in common” approach.

    Leadership… instead, shouldn’t everyone be involved in discipling and discipled relationships? If we are doing that right, would this not solve itself as every believer would be becoming a discipler?

    Multiplication… hmm… this one is tough. Perhaps the multiplication we are supposed to be most worried with is ourselves into those with whom Christ has charged to us. If each believer were multiplying him/her self into the ones brought across their paths, there would need to be no focus on multiplication.

    So, that only left me with the networking option. How do our pockets of Christ Followers connect with each other as part of the larger Church. That’s my interest.

  2. Re What to do about giving:

    The early church had 2 voluntary giving emphasis’-sending apostles to the lost (especially to new ethnicities) and helping those in need and the poor.

    Spending on buildings, local pastor salaries, and programs was foreign to the early church. Tithing was not introduced until the 4th centrury AD and not common until the 8th century AD (see Frank Viola’s Pagan Christianity).

    What if we prioritized sending missionary apostles to start new churches to ethniciites that do not have any believers, and used money to help those struggling within and around our oikas?

    If our ekklesia’s really are a body, then seeing a brother or sister with a need and not responding is a bit like my doing nothing if my arm is bleeding. If I have a gash in my arm, well I take care of it.

    Most of us see Acts 2 and think it was communism but in a simple church context its just taking care of family. Of course we might not get a tax deduction, but imagine if instead of supporting buildings and programs and local worker salaries people spent money to edify one another, the poor, and to send apostles to new people groups? Wouldn’t the lost be dying to get into something that cool?

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  4. Sat, 8-2-08, 8:00 pm EDT –

    Exploring “church” is where I am, church in general and house/simple church, and exploring integration of the children is where I am within that. All this is head and heart stuff, so far. I am not yet in a house/simple church with my hands.

    In mid-December 2007, I left the new congregation of a small innovative (particularly for my rural South area)storefront church which had a dynamic, high energy, and attractive children’s program. The church is purchasing approximately twenty acres of choice property for a “ministry center.” After paying off the property mortgage, the church plans to begin construction.

    I have read voraciously from the internet material re house church. My interest began before my 3-4 years of involvement in my recent church. I also attended one house church conference some months back. I would like to visit some house church meetings as part of my continuing study.

    Without seeing the practical, hands-on ministry to, from, and with kids in house church, I am theorizing a good bit. I am hearing and reading togetherness in the same meetings. The concept is really attractive, but I am really sensitive to the challenges. I think the kids factor in house church requires a hearty acceptance of fluidity, flexibility, and adaptability.

    Acceptance of CHANGE and willingness to CHANGE seem to be key in moving from traditional church to house church not only regarding worship and ministry with children but across the board.

    I welcome the help, experiences, and suggestions of those of you “out there” in the trenches with kids in house church, whether you are meeting in homes, offices, or elsewhere.

    I appreciate the pollsters and the participants. The other areas are pertinent for me to explore also.