Tuesday, July 15, 2008

House and Mega Church in Conversation

Back in May I mentioned in a post that my friends at House2House were getting some inquiries and support from some folks among the megachurches. I asked them if there was more that they could say about that and Felicity Dale was kind enough to share the following, along with permission to post it here.

"Thank you for your comments on the Simplychurch.com blog. Yes, we are aware of the Willow Creek situation and like you, are blessed by their honesty.

We find ourselves increasingly excited about the potential of working with some of the megachurches (and the regular sized community churches for that matter too). Just in the last few weeks we have had contact with three megachurches, all of whom are interested in working with us in some way. One is asking us how they can bless the simple church movement. They did the same a couple of years ago, and made their video department available to us and produced the video component of the Getting Started course. A second here in Austin is asking us how we can help them to run true house churches as part of their outreach. And then a third leader from a megachurch asked to meet with us to find out more about what is happening within the organic church world. We had a brief time with him a week or so ago and now are in ongoing contact. We know that others are getting the same kind of opportunities too.

It is not just the megachurches, but denominations and mission groups are also showing interest. For example, just a few weeks ago we were asked to speak to the Texas rural regional co-ordinators (or some such title) of a major denomination to share what is going on.

Who knows where God is taking all of this. The potential is incredible. It is a huge privilege to be a tiny part of what is going on. Pray that we hear Him in it all and don't mess it up!"

That's certainly encouraging. If others know of partnerships between house churches and other, larger forms of church I'd love to hear about it here.



Brent said...

This could be good or bad. My concern here is that the big boys try to co-opt the organic church movement and attempt to find ways to control it. Will the organic churches be allowed to stay independent and serve only Jesus as He guides them, or will the institutions use them simply as another tool to increase institutional power and wealth? Or will they see what is going on and learn from it to let go of human control of the church to let it emerge and flourish as Jesus directs it?

Anonymous said...

The first task in making a partnership work will be to teach trust. If the brick and mortar congregation trusts the leadership, then they can learn to let go and let God. It will take a sharp eye and a deep commitment on the part of the brick and mortar leaders to head off any attempts to control what is happening. It will take deep trust of those leaders to ensure the organic community is shielded from any such attempts. Sounds like a teaching job, if you ask me.

Wayward Son said...

I agree with Brent, that it could be either good or bad. But my first thought, as a house church pastor of 8 years, was how blessed I would have been to have one of the (many) megachurches in our town offer to help us. How often we could have used the help!

As it is...sadly, in my neck of the woods, the house church/mega church relationship looks nothing like this.

Feral Pastor said...

Thanks for the comments. I think that the best thing for both the mega and the HCs - in terms of building trust as well as avoiding control/co-opting - will be the amount of clarity they have about their purpose and their non-negotiable values. If each party has those nailed down, they'll be able to see where they can be partners and where they need to keep themselves distinct.

Jeff - I'm interested to hear more about your experience. What kind of experiences have you had in your 8 years where you wished you had support from another congregation?