What follows is a brief sketch of how we actually go about planting house churches in our context. Many are interested in the church planting going on in Guayaquil. This paper seeks to describe in a few words a sort of "case study" on the churches being planted giving both the positive and negative side of what we have experienced. Any and all comments are most welcome in that we feel we are continuously learning and adapting to what the Lord continues to show us.
Starting House Churches in Guayaquil, Ecuador
(July 2000-January 2006) following Luke 10:1-9 pattern
We call our church planting, "La Iglesia en Tu Casa" (The Church in Your House). LIETC began in July 2000. Our team at that time was composed of seven Southern Baptist missionaries (IMB-SBC) - all assigned to church planting. The team now consists of two IMB units, one SIM couple from New Zealand, and two national brothers who fully participate in all plans, teaching, decision making, etc. Our team is led by one of the national brothers.
None of the missionaries actually plant churches; rather, we are catalysts for church planting. The reason for this is that, if we set out to plant a church, we individually might plant 1 - 2 new churches a year. But as church planting catalysts, the only limitation of church starts is the number of people who respond to the Lord's call to go out and plant New Testament churches.
Lay leaders, whom we call "servant-leaders," lead all the house churches. At nearly any given moment, we are training between 20 to 30 men and women who are likewise in various stages of training and starting new house churches. Most of them tend to come out of established traditional evangelical churches and thus carry a lot of baggage with them in their seeking to begin new works...
We feel there are four requirements for anyone who wants to start a house church:
1) Willingness to win-disciple-train at least eight others each year.
2) Willingness to be trained in the basics of evangelism, discipleship, teaching, etc.
3) Willingness and commitment to visit, evangelize, and minister to the local community where the church is being planted.
4) Willingness to lead in the house church meetings (especially in the beginning as they are being started with non-believers.)
While there have been well above 250 new churches started since July 2000 , less than half are currently meeting and functioning as churches...While this �short shelf-life� of more than half the churches started is a source of great concern, we are nevertheless encouraged in that those won through the ministry of the new house churches tend to have had genuine salvation experiences... [read the full article HERE. ]