House Church

Growing Cafe Churches Singapore Style

Tim Wong flew home to Singapore yesterday but we are still talking about his cafe-churches or "missional cafe communities" as he calls them.

“It costs $20 million to buy land and build a church in Singapore. For that much money, we could buy 100 coffee shops.” Tim Wong

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What's interesting to me is that Tim's dad was the co-author of a church planting book that I was forced to read in Seminary called Growing Churches Singapore Style: Ministry in an Urban Context by Keith Hinton and James Wong.

Canon Dr James Wong, a speaker at Lausanne 74, has shared the same principles on sustainable church planting that his son espouses with his fresh expressions of church.

Less capital cost and funding is required to get new churches started. It also allows for more flexibility and mobility of the centers of witness and worship. The house-churches can always be located where people are found to be most responsive.” James Wong [Evangelism in High-Rise Housing Apartment Buildings, Lasuanne papers, PDF]

Want to read the full post? Go to this spanking new group blog and check it out.

House Churches: 1% to 9% in a decade

When our family worshipped in a house church in 1996, in the living room of our house in San Francisco, we were part of a movement that made up only 1% in the USA. Today, that number is 9%, according to recent research by Barna. Or to say it a different way, in 1996 I knew of a few hundred house churches. Today there are thousands and its now impossible to count them all.

A good article [HT: Rudy] released today on Religion Link has the skinny and a goodly amount . . . yes . .  i said 'goodly' . . . its a word, you know . . . a GOODLY amount of links to house church resources and organizations, both USA and UK. And some good words like this . ..
"House churches are a part of the post-modern trend in Christian worship that is marked by the breaking down and re-imagining of traditional forms of worship. The house church movement – and the broader emerging church movement – has the potential to reshape the mainstream way of doing church." Link.

And don't forget that Richard and I are working on a website/resource to help pull together resources and create new spaces in the UK. So let me know if you are starting a house church, or missional cell and tell us how we can help.

Related: George Barna's Revolution

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Any Women House Church Planters out there?

A journalist for a well known religious publication wants to know if there are just a few or a whole lot of house church planters who are female. And I already know that MOST of the church planters in China are female. But what about Western countries?
And I realize its often a team thang - and often a couple thang - but still, who has a list? or a NUMBER?

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House Church Today: China

Today we are having a house church love feast with a Peking Duck that i marinated all night. I just downloaded the story of Gladys Aylward. There are some prayers at the end we might pray together. One of my daughters (Elizabeth) is fascinated with China so she is cooking up the chinese pancakes as i write this. I am also looking for some Songs of Canaan by Sister Ruth to download. Be great to have them playing for our meal. I read of her in Aikman's "Jesus In Beijing".

House Churches Have No Sex Appeal

I just submitted an article to an English web site. Having writer's block, I edited one of my earlier articles for an English audience.

House Churches Have No Sex Appeal (And Other Gripes).
table3You cannot talk about emerging church without talking about house church. Only in wealthy post-Christian countries do we have the luxury of either a large pot of money (USA), an inheritance of ecclesial real estate (UK) or a government-sponsored theological training (Continental Europe).
For most of the world, starting new churches means cleaning up before the living room fills up with people. Millions of churches around the word are starting this way and millions more are needed.
If English researchers like Dr Peter Brierley are correct, then there are probably more followers of Jesus outside the institutional/alt. worship/charasmatic church in England than inside. What these "unchurched" believers create as a structured response to church life will largely define what house church will look like in the UK. And I don't see them taking collections to build cathedrals.
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