(Please see my previous posts to get caught up on our story!)
In January, 2016 several things happened. First, four more planters arrived to help us. Sarah Buffaloe moved to Sandy Springs from Huntsville, Alabama. David Batchelder moved here from Philadelphia. Jason Kelley came from Washington to help us in Dunwoody, as did Logan Kafer, who moved from Kentucky.
Second, our small group “birthed” a new group. (Whenever a group reaches 25, we take about eight folks out of the existing group to start a new one.) So now we had two groups meeting in our apartment community.
Third, we moved our meeting time to Sunday mornings, and began meeting as “official” house churches. At the same time, a third house church began in the home of Bobby and Betsy John in Dunwoody, GA. Bobby is one of my closest friends, and my partner in this venture. And within the past week, Jason and Logan have begun planting a church in their apartment complex in Dunwoody.
So what is a “house church” anyway?
The simple answer is a house church is a small church that meets in someone’s home. It’s not a new idea – read the book of Acts and you’ll find that this is what the early church did – they met “from house to house”. There are a lot of things that led us to house churches:
- Intimacy and community are much more easily achieved in a smaller setting.
- Discipleship is much more easily achieved in a smaller setting. Literally every person in our house churches is being personally discipled.
- Multiplication of new churches is much more easily achieved through the house church model. (We’ve had four churches come online in four months.)
- There is literally no cost involved.
- The millennials are all about relationships. I repeatedly hear millennials tell me they walked away from large churches because they had so much difficulty in connecting with other people there. (Before you start sending nasty letters, I’m NOT anti-megachurch. I just think that model is becoming less effective in reaching this generation.)
- If you want to reach people that no one else is reaching, you have to do things that no one else is doing.
Our churches are multi-cultural and multi-generational, and everyone really likes it that way. People visit us because they were invited by a friend. Everyone is welcome. The churches are a safe place to explore faith.
This is certainly not the only way to “do church”. It may not be the “best” way. But it’s the direction God has led us in, so I’m going with that.
Hey, would you consider a couple of things for us? First, would you please remember us in prayer? God has already acted supernaturally on our behalf in so many ways, and it is because of prayer. Second, would you prayerfully consider supporting us financially in this ministry? Just click on “Support our 320 Network Planters” on our website. Thanks!