I’d like to thank my friend Brian for sharing this short video of Francis Chan “rethinking church.” Francis Chan left his mega church about the same time we started down the simple church road and . observing his journey from mega church to multiplying house or simple churches has been encouraging! Due to his prominent voice in the American church, he is also helping others who share his convictions find courage to explore church outside the box.
In this video, he gives is a great 10 minute explanation of simple church and what we are trying to encourage here! In recent posts we have discussed evaluating our churches. Does your church family look like this? What changes would have to be made in your life to help your church family function more like what Francis describes?
A couple of thoughts…
In this video, Francis uses a word that I have found myself using a lot over the past 8 years since starting down this path… “experiment.” Not only can we experiment in God’s Kingdom, but in many ways walking by faith is an experiment where we continually test and trust His leading and direction.
One thing I think I may differ with Francis slightly on is the role of elders and who is qualified to lead an individual house church (see additional comments in the discussion below). Another thing I’m not completely sold on is the 6-12 month “split.” I’ve written about this before but I think there are many ways that simple churches can multiply and several that may even be better than splitting up an existing group, depending on the situation. When I look at the church in the New Testament I don’t see these types of time frames, but that doesn’t necessarily make such a time frame wrong. I’m sure that the Lord could lead some simple churches to think of multiplication in this way to help them focus on the mission. I certainly agree with his main point and concern about becoming ingrown. I pray that we all are faithful in sharing the love of Christ with others and training new leaders to multiply disciples and new families of faith!
Ready to experiment?
If we can help you “experiment” with simple/house church that looks something like what he is talking about please let us know. We would love to walk along side of you the best way we can. We would be happy to meet with you in person, via phone or video call today!
I’ve seen this before and don’t agree with his splitting idea. I think it is too formulaic. I like Francis, but I still see a lot of “Churchianity” ideas and language in what he shares. He stresses the “great commission” a lot, which is good, but misses that the “great commission” is not God’s only mission and not His ultimate intention in saving man. God’s ultimate plan is the formation of a “House” to dwell in, a “Bride” for his son, “a Family” that He will be the Father of for eternity, and a “Church” that will minister with and before Him in the New Jerusalem. Forming community as saints and learning to be those “Living Stones” that are fitted together is as important to carrying out God’s plan as is the reaching of the lost. In the end He is in control of it all and we too only move as the Spirit directs us. Some churches may be seasonal, some may be foundational; best to let the Lord direct than carry out a rules we come up with.
Excellent comments Darryl! Thank you for sharing!
I’m also thinking that perhaps Francis and I would view church heirachy and the role of leaders and elders a bit differently. I generally see elders emerging as leaders in the city church and believe that there is not a biblical mandate to identify them prior to the start of new work. It seems that Paul would most always allow the church to flourish in a city and then return, several years later, to idenify who the elders where in that city church. I believe that was likely an acknowledgement of who the elders where rather than a political apoitment as we might think of it today. The folks he acknowledged as elders were likely functioning as elders before he arrived and were doing so simply as a natural function of who God had made them. Perhaps this can be a post all to itself in the coming weeks… We have discussed this at length in the “Keep it Simple” podcast, but maybe not so directly on this blog.