After the last post concerning the House Church Movement in China, I ran across this article at World Mission Impact:
“200 Christian leaders from 40 nations met in New Delhi, India, Nov 11-14th, 2009, to explore the scope and significance of house-based discipling communities and emerging house church movements worldwide. Known best from the history of the underground house churches in China that report by now an estimated 100 million members, a similar phenomenon has emerged in the last 15 years in numerous nations outside of China. Conference reports indicate that, from very small beginnings, in many nations fairly sizeable house church movements have emerged, including on the continents of Africa and Latin America.”
God will use many different ways to reach the nations. However, there seems to be a momentum growing in the House/Simple/Organic Church around the world. There is also a shift in evangelism, discipleship and Church Planting to a Kingdom focus with a change from sharing the Gospel to build churches to sharing the Gospel to build the Kingdom. This is causing the Church to be more relational and decentralizing the Church and its leadership by encouraging all members of the body of Christ to function in their gifts.
The House Church Movement is bringing the Church into a natural flow and rhythm of people’s lives. Two things seem to be affecting this change and it’s growing momentum: 1. The shift from planting a Church to planting multiple churches and… 2.The decentralizing of hierarchical leadership to a Kingdom focused leadership that is recognizing all members of the body as equals by submit to one another based on their gifts and functions not titles of spiritual superiority. This is becoming more and more attractive to those in their 20’s and 30’s, who think more globally.
Previous generations have thrown stones at the children of the digital age as escaping relational connection and developing pseudo-relationships through the internet and cell phones. However, I believe the opposite is true. This generation sees itself as a part of a global community and believes it can affect global change. They are utilizing the tools of their generation to reach around the world. I believe this has made them relational in a global community rather than just a local community.
We need to embrace the zeal of our youth while our youth need to embrace and appreciate their father’s in the faith. We must encourage the House Church movement while not dismissing what God has been and still is doing through the Traditional Church. God always reveals new tools for each new generation. However, these are not replacements.
Each generation of leaders has to deal with insecurity and legitimacy. We need to embrace what God is giving us and what He wants to do through us without delegitimizing what God has done in and through others in order to feel secure about what God is doing through us. God will not honor sons who do not honor their fathers. Instead, He wants the fathers to turn to the sons and the sons to their fathers. Unless we get this, we will bring immaturity into the next generation of the Church. As my father taught me:
“You cannot be a father unless you first know what it means to be a son.” John W. Hobbs