Monday, May 7

Quotes from "Houses That Change The World"

One of the great, all-time, paradigm shifting reads for me in the areas of church reformation, global Christianity, and church planting in general is Wolfgang Simson's Houses that change the world: The return of the house churches. The book has been around for nearly ten years, but for those who haven't yet gotten hold of a copy, here are a few quotes (lifted out of their original context) that give a taste of what is inside the 299 pages of this "must read" book...
  • The devil's plan has long been for the pastors to stand in one corner, the prophets in the other corner looking out of the window, the teachers sitting in the library, the evangelists drinking coffee outside and the apostles roaming overseas.
  • It is no surprise to me that churches who are not built on apostolic and prophetic foundations (Eph.2:20) have no apostolic and prophetic mind-set.
  • The number of people alive today--more than 6 billion--is more than all those in history combined. If ever we needed to recover a New Testament church to disciple the nations, now would be a good time.
  • Over the millenia, the great divide in Christianity has never really been between denominations, Catholics and Protestants, or charismatics or non-charismatics, but always between Spirit and Flesh.
  • The core reason Christians come together is to share and transfer life, and since life is not predicatable, their meetings are not really predicatable also.
  • We need to stop asking God to bless what we are doing, and start doing what he is blessing.
  • We have all the right pieces. The Word of God, people, houses, prayer, motivation, money. But could it be that we put them all together according to a wrong original?
  • There are more than 22,000 denominations in the world. How lucky are you that you happen to be just in the right one!
  • The quickest way to "church the un-churched" may very well be to un-church the Church.
  • Unlimited growth is not the ideal--multiplication is. The fruit of an apple tree is not an apple, but another apple tree. The fruit of a church is not a convert, but other churches that plant other churches.
  • Statistically, usually 1 out of 100 who "makes a decision for Christ" in evangelistic meetings (rallies, conventions, crusades) will actually start attending a church.
  • It is a fact of church history that it has always been a swift step from organized religion to institutionalism and fossilization.
  • If real church growth is spelled m-u-l-t-i-p-l-i-c-a-t-i-o-n, then growth may not be upwards at all, but sideways.
  • Most changes in history come from quite unbalanced persons, radical in most senses. Very little innovations and true and radical changes were initiated by committees and boards; most came from visionary people who saw what no one saw, said, what no one dared to say, and did what was "forbidden" and taboo at their time.
Have you read the book? What did you think of it? Which of the above quotes speak to you? Do you have any of your own favorites?

7 comments:

jps said...

My own favorite section of the book is where he addresses the necessity of fathers and sons supporting each other. I read that to my 22 year old son, and he agreed. We can encourage each other to stand firm in the Lord.

James

GuyMuse said...

James,

Welcome to the M Blog. Yes, the section on fathers and sons is good. Another great section is the intro where Simson comes out with "Fifteen Theses towards a Re-Incarnation of Church." I may blog on this section in a future post in that these "15" are still alive and well today.

Larry Who said...

I bought this book five years ago at a Tony and Felicity Dale seminar. It is a great.

My favorite quote is:

"No expression of a New Testament church is ever led by just one professional ‘holy man’ doing the business of communicating with God and then feeding some relative passive, religious consumers, Moses-style. Christianity has adopted this method from pagan religions, or at best from the Old Testament."

GuyMuse said...

Larry,

There are so many great quotes in this book. When reading a book I usually try and highlight the parts that speak to me. But in this book, I didn't highlight a single page, simply because so much of the book was "highlightable" and didn't want to color the whole book in yellow!

bryan riley said...

Great stuff. I really liked these:

We have all the right pieces. The Word of God, people, houses, prayer, motivation, money. But could it be that we put them all together according to a wrong original?
There are more than 22,000 denominations in the world. How lucky are you that you happen to be just in the right one!

I haven't read the book, but it sounds like one i would want to!

Darrell said...

This is not a Wolfgang saying, but it is one that helps me in the CPM work.

"Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly"

Of corse the more something is worked at the better it gets done. So often I think I must master something before I can use it, or others I work with feel they must be a "Professional" before they can do something. This saying puts it all in perspective for me.

GuyMuse said...

Bryan and Darrell,

One of the huge gaps in churches today is the abscense of genuine prophetic ministry. I personally do not know many whom I would consider truly gifted "prophets", but Wolfgang is without a doubt, the "real thing." He constantly challenges, exhorts, warns, and questions the status quo. True prophets have a way of making us feel uncomfortable. "Houses That Change the World" is as much a prophetic book, as it is a book on house churches, church reformation, or global Christianity.