Saturday, October 14

Simple church interviews

Jon Dale of House2House has produced an interesting video entitled, "Simple church interviews". I've had the priviledge of meeting and visiting with several of the people featured in this video. I hope you will be as challenged and inspired by what they have to share as I am.


Darrell said...

Hey Guy since I am here in the good old USA and have met and talked to, and emailed most of the folks in this video I thought my perspective on this might shed some light on why we are not seeing the CPMs here.

When I left the traditional church (on good terms) to start a house church I was looking for a way to meet so that we could actually teach people to OBEY Christ rather then just tell them what Jesus said. I read everything I could get my hands on (much of it was written by the some of the folks on this video) and we started a house church. It was not until a year later that I happened upon Garrison's book and my world radically changed. What I read in Garrison's book was very different from what I had experienced and learned before. Since that time I have done everything to learn more about the kind of CPM you all are engaged in and then apply it. Since then over half of our house church left. The vision of a real CPM was way too radical for them. However the 5 families that are left now believing that God can do this thing and we can be apart of it!

Here are some of the major, and I believe significant, differences I have found between most of the approaches here in America and the approach taken everywhere else:

1. No Strategy. In fact the word usually starts an argument. Most of the folks here in America believe that God is going to explode this movement here and we will just watch it happen. The idea of people taking responsibility for a portion of a city is not part of the vocabulary. I had not heard of this concept until I had a week with David Watson and others.

2. No intentional training of leaders. Again this idea of official training is resisted. They believe that it will naturally happen along the way.

3. No abundant sowing. The idea of targeting a segment of a population and saturating it with the gospel is completely foreign to the folks here in America.

4. No accountability. None of these approaches in America hold CPM workers accountable for what is or is not happening.

5. No extravagant prayer. This is just the way it is here. By and large I have not been able to get people in house churches to commit to radical prayer. This is an area that I am just now growing in real significant ways.

Yes God is at work here in America. I am living proof. I fear however without the strategy, training, accountability, abundant prayer and sowing, we will not see a real CPM here in America. For me to get the understanding I have has not come easily or cheaply. There are very few Americans who have been trained in CPMs by those who are doing it for real. This must change.

Another obstacle I have come across that really concerns me is that the folks who are doing CPMs in foreign lands are supported by traditional churches here in America. These traditional churches are threatened by the idea of a CPM happening here. So when the missionary comes home they are reluctant to be involved in training others. I understand the cause for the reluctance, and if I was in their shoes I don't know if I would have the courage to do differently. Non-the-less this is an obstacle for folks like me learning about real CPM here in America.

Please pray for America. As you know we are a mess, and it is only getting worse. We do not deserve a CPM here, but we need many in the worst way. A CPM here in America will not only bless America, but it could be the greatest thing for missions. Imaging all the $$ freed up for missions that used to go to buildings and staff. Imagine all the believers learning how to do missions as a normal part of being a Christian. When God calls then to the unreached in foreign lands they will be ready, because they have been a missionary where they live. I long for such a day!

Please God have mercy, glorify your name in America, and use your Church in America to bless all peoples everywhere!

GuyMuse said...

DARRELL--They have a saying here, sin pelos en la lengua which literally means saying something without any "hairs on your tongue." The idea being "not holding back" but "saying something as one sees it..." You touch on a number of touchy issues that arise both Stateside and overseas in church planting. My own observation is that the house church movement in the USA is not one united movement. There are what might be called the left side, hc "liberals" and go all the way to the right side extremist hc "fundamentalists." This is not so much a classification of theology as it is of church planting metholdology. Most of those in the video I would personally categorize somewhere around the middle. My contact with these folks is that they are passionate about wide-spread, massive church planting, and are certainly open to CPM concepts. Anyone talking about planting 1-million new churches would be in the league that I would want to associate myself with were I back Stateside. Much of what you struggle with there Stateside are the same issues we deal with here in Ecuador. Hang in there, keep praying, and working away. The harvest is just around the corner!