"We want to lower the bar of how church is done and raise the bar of what it means to be a disciple." --Neil Cole, "Organic Church"
Neil goes on to say: "If Church is simple enough that everyone can do it and is made up of people who take up their cross and follow Jesus at any cost, the result will be church that empowers the common Christian to do the uncommon works of God." (p.27)
Our "simple" church planting here in Guayaquil is known as "La Iglesia En Tu Casa" (LIETC)--The church in your house.
We have identified at least 13 guiding values that the Lord has seemingly been pleased to bless over the past 5+ years of church planting.
1.) LIETC is built upon a foundation of prayer, which is the most important work in which we are engaged. (Luke 10:2)
2.) LIETC is built upon the idea of "mobilizing the laity." The laity is empowered to go and do tasks traditionally assigned only to trained professional clergy. (Eph.4:11-12, 1 Pet.2:9-10)
3.) LIETC is built upon the concept of taking the church to where the people are, rather than bringing the people to the church. (Matt.28:18-20, Luke 10:3)
4.) LIETC crosses denominational lines and works with Great Commission Christians to plant New Testament churches. (Eph.4:4-6)
5.) LIETC depends on God to provide the workers, free of recruitment or manipulation. Prayer is the key. (Luke 10:2)
6.) LIETC is built upon the understanding that women are likewise called to plant churches. (Matthew 28:18-20)
7.) LIETC is built upon the understanding that it is Christ's responsibility to build His church, not ours (Mt. 16:18). Our task is the Great Commission; his to build His Church.
8.) LIETC is built upon an understanding that the missionary task is primarily one of praying, modeling, teaching, training, encouraging and mentoring. (Eph.4:11-12)
9.) LIETC is built upon the strategic use of locally available and reproducible communication media. We don't use or model anything that can't be done/reproduced locally by the people we work with.
10.) LIETC is built upon the idea of church being more a "family gathering" held in a home setting, and less a "traditional church service." (1 Cor. 12-14, 14:26, Book of Acts)
11.) LIETC is built on the twin pillars of prayer and lifestyle evangelism. There is a continuous emphasis on these two areas.
12.) LIETC is built upon the understanding that group multiplication is the focus, not addition to existing works. (Matthew-Luke, the "parables of the kingdom.")
13.) LIETC belongs to God, and He can do as He pleases. Change in the way things are done is an on-going process as God continues to open our eyes to his ways of building the Kingdom.