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The Global House Church Movement: A Missions Fest Vancouver 2008 Seminar with Dr. Randy Wollf Serving with The Journey house church network and as a church.

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Presentation on theme: "The Global House Church Movement: A Missions Fest Vancouver 2008 Seminar with Dr. Randy Wollf Serving with The Journey house church network and as a church."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Global House Church Movement: A Missions Fest Vancouver 2008 Seminar with Dr. Randy Wollf Serving with The Journey house church network and as a church planting missionary with the Evangelical Free Church

2 Seminar Outline House church case studies Characteristics of church planting movements Getting started

3 Seminar Outline House church case studies

4 Worldwide It is estimated that worldwide there are approximately: 450 million Christians within conventional churches 10 million in cell-based churches 450 million in simple, organic structures such as house churches, or meeting outdoors Source – Dale (2005)

5 Case study - China China went from having approximately five million believers (1949) to million today Tens of millions of believers are part of house churches Even if freedom came, the Chinese house leaders have said that they would continue to use the house church approach House church leaders hope to send out 100,000 missionaries into unreached Muslim, Hindhu, and Buddhist regions (initiative called Back to Jerusalem) Sources – Brother Yun et al (2003), Zdero (2004)

6 Case study - India Victor Choudrie, a leading spokesperson for the house church movement in India, estimates that 100,000 house churches started in India from These little house churches in India are like the starfish, the more you divide them the more they replicate. (Choudhrie, 2007, p. 308) An Indian housewife started 50 churches in just 12 months (Dale, 2005) A Ph.D. graduate and his 13 year-old son started a church with a street vendor (Dale, 2005)

7 Case study - Nepal Children as young as 9 or 10 are starting churches (Dale, 2005).

8 Case study - Philippines Eman Abrea and partners saw the planting of almost 50 house churches in just one year (Abrea, 2007). Romulos Nacua and a few others began 13 house churches in There are now 400 house churches in the Visayas House Church Network (Nacua, 2007).

9 Case study - Myanmar Ram Lian started the Household Church Mission (HCM) in In 2007, 10 students were planting 18 house churches. HCMs vision is to see 1,000 house churches planted by the year The HCM mission is to train leaders to start a church from their homes and multiply as God leads them to serve the world for Christ. Source – Lian (2007)

10 Case study - Ethiopia In 1982, the Ethiopian government outlawed the Meserete Kristos Church. It was comprised of 14 congregations with 5,000 members. The church went underground and started meeting in small groups. In 1992, when the Meserete Kristos Church could surface again, its numbers had grown to 50,000. Source – Case Study (Ethiopia) in Nexus (2007). Note: You can hear more about the story of the Meserete Church in the film Against Great Odds distributed by

11 Case study - Russia Harold Zimmerman and Home Fellowship Leaders International (www.homefellowshipleaders.com) supply literature to a growing number of Russian house churches (800 currently) Source – Zimmerman (2007)

12 Case study - Britain A house church movement emerged in Britain in the 1960s and 70s. Many of these house churches became New Churches as they moved into larger facilities. Noble (2007) believes that the house church movement in Britain, although it has waned in recent years, did much to restore vitality to the church in Britain.

13 Case study – United States It is estimated that there are 5 million people in the U.S. who are involved in house churches (Dale and Dale, 2007). Neil Cole started his first organic church in a coffee shop. This was the start of Church Multiplication Associates (CMA – In 2000, CMA started 10 new churches. Second year, 52 church starts. In 2002, CMA saw 106 churches started. In 2007, they had seen well over 1,000 churches started in 36 states and 31 nations. Sources – Cole (2007) and Cole (2005)

14 Conventional church70%30-35% Alternative faith- based community (e.g. house churches, cyber-churches, marketplace churches) 5%30-35% Family5% Media, arts, culture20%30-35% Churchgoers Putting Feet to Their Longings in the U.S. Source - Barna (2005)

15 Conventional church70%30-35% Alternative faith- based community (e.g. house churches, cyber-churches, marketplace churches) 5%30-35% Family5% Media, arts, culture20%30-35% Churchgoers Putting Feet to Their Longings in the U.S. Source - Barna (2005)

16 Case study – Canada The Canadian House Church Network serves as a resource for house churches (www.outreach.ca/OC2-Planting/7- HouseChurches/HC-home.htm). Ross Rains started Pathfinders Fellowships, which now has 11 house churches across Canada (www.pathfindersfellowships.com). The Journey (www.journeypath.com) seeks to help individuals, groups, and churches start simple churches.

17 Case study – Cuba In the 1990s fuel shortages and government restrictions on the registration of churches led many Cubans into house churches. Today, it is estimated that there are approximately 10,000 house churches in Cuba. Source – Belz (2007)

18 Case study – Ecuador Guy Muse and other missionaries of the International Mission Board have helped national plant over 250 house churches in Ecuador since 2000 (though only half continue to function). Source – Muse (2007)

19 Case study – Basic Ecclesial Communities House churches are not limited to Protestant Christianity. In 1985, it was estimated that there were over 100,000 Basic Ecclesial Communities associated with the Catholic Church. Source – Allen (2007) and Driver (2007)

20 Case study – Muslim world In an Asian Muslim country, more than 150,000 Muslims embrace Jesus and gather in more than 3,000 locally led Isa Jamaats or Jesus Groups (Garrison, 2004).

21 Seminar Outline House church case studies Characteristics of church planting movements

22 Characteristics of Church Planting Movements Show Like a mighty wave: Church planting movements video at or search for it at in their videos section.

23 Characteristics of Church Planting Movements Extraordinary prayer Abundant gospel sowing Intentional church planting Scriptural authority Local leadership Lay leadership Cell or house churches Churches planting churches Rapid reproduction Healthy churches How do these characteristics and associated practices contribute to church planting movements?

24 Seminar Outline House church case studies Characteristics of church planting movements Getting started

25 Getting Started Where are you at right now? A rhetorical embrace A simmering vision Faith seeking understanding Passionate pursuit Riding the wave

26 Getting Started Make room Strengthen your prayer life Begin at the end Think strategically Identify non-Christians in your life Look for and reach out to people of peace (Luke 10)

27 Getting Started Engage in spiritually meaningful discussions with people of peace Disciple the seekers Baptize those who repent and receive Jesus as Lord Equip them to grow, to serve fellow believers, and to reach the lost Send them out to repeat the whole process

28 Conclusion Many Chinese Christians believe that: It is good for a Christian to lead someone to Christ. It is better to plant a church. It is best to start a church-planting movement.

29 Possible Next Steps Prayerfully work through the relevant parts of the Getting Started worksheet Attend a Getting Started training event (9:00-3:00 on April 5 in Langley) Note: You can sign up on the signup list on the resource table (max. 15 people) or contact me.

30 References Abrea, E. (2007). Case study (Philippines): From traditional pastor to house church planter. In R. Zdero (Ed.), Nexus: The world house church movement reader (pp ). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. Allen, D. (2007). Case study (Brazil): A house church movement becomes visible. In R. Zdero (Ed.), Nexus: The world house church movement reader (pp ). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. Barna, G. (2005). Revolution: Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Belz,. (2007). Case study (Cuba): How Fidel Castro launched 10,000 house churches. In R. Zdero (Ed.), Nexus: The world house church movement reader (pp ). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. Choudhrie, V. (2007). Case study (India): How 100,000 house churches were started in five years. In R. Zdero (Ed.), Nexus: The world house church movement reader (pp ). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library.

31 References Cole, N. (2007). Case study (USA): The story of Church Multiplication Associates – From California to Chiang Mai in seven years. In R. Zdero (Ed.), Nexus: The world house church movement reader (pp ). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. Cole, N. (2005). Organic church: Growing faith where life happens. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Dale, F. (2005). Getting started: A practical guide to planting simple churches. Manchaca, TX: Karis Publishing (available through Dale, F. & Dale, T. (2007). Case study (USA): A city of house church networks. In R. Zdero (Ed.), Nexus: The world house church movement reader (pp ). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. Driver, J. (2007). Case study (Latin America): House churches in a Roman Catholic context. In R. Zdero (Ed.), Nexus: The world house church movement reader (pp ). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library.

32 References Garrison, D. (2004). Church planting movements: How God is redeeming a lost world. Midlothian, VA: WIGTake Resources. Note: For a free booklet that has the main parts of what the book has, go to Lian, R. K. (2007). Case study (Myanmar): Planting house churches in a Buddhist country. In R. Zdero (Ed.), Nexus: The world house church movement reader (pp ). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. Muse, G. (2007). Case study (Ecuador): The story and strategy of The church in your house. In R. Zdero (Ed.), Nexus: The world house church movement reader (pp ). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. Nacua, R. (2007). Case study (Philippines): The wanderer: Unplanned house church planting. In R. Zdero (Ed.), Nexus: The world house church movement reader (pp ). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library.

33 References Noble, J. (2007). Case study (Britain): A retrospective on the British house church movement of the 1970s. In R. Zdero (Ed.), Nexus: The world house church movement reader (pp ). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. Vision Video & Eastern Mennonite Missions. (2007). Case study (Ethiopia): How an underground church survived persecution. In R. Zdero (Ed.), Nexus: The world house church movement reader (pp ). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. Yun, B., Yongze, P. X., Wang, E., & Hattaway, P. Back to Jerusalem: Three Chinese house church leaders share their vision to complete the great commission. Atlanta, GA: Authentic. Website - Zdero, R. (2004). The global house church movement. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. Zimmerman, H. (2007). Case study (Russia): The house church movement of Mother Russia. In R. Zdero (Ed.), Nexus: The world house church movement reader (pp ). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library.

34 Other Resources Books Banks, R. & Banks, J. (1998). The church comes home. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. Choudhrie, V. (2006). Greet the ekklesia! The church in your house. Victor Choudhrie. Dale, F. & Dale, T. (2002). Simply church. Manchaca, TX: Karis Publishing (available through Fitts, R. (2001). The church in the house: A return to simplicity. Salem, OR: Preparing the Way Publishers. Hattaway, P. The heavenly man: The remarkable true story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun. Grand Rapids, MI: Monarch Books. Simson, W. (1999). Houses that change the world: The return of the house churches. Emmelsbull, Germany: C&P Publishing. Webber, R. E. (2002). The younger evangelicals: Facing the challenges of the new world. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. Zdero, R. (Ed.) (2007). Nexus: The world house church movement reader. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library.

35 Other Resources Video Like a mighty wave: Church planting movements (available from – click on videos and then search for video title) Tidal wave: An exploration of simple church (available from When you come together: Simple church gatherings – what do we do? (available from Websites


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