Be the Global Church

Tomorrow I leave for India. This trip is one of those God things. It came out of left field a couple of months ago and I have to admit, I was a little hesitant at first. India was not on my radar for this year. “Why are you calling me to go there, God?” Of course, I’m sure many Bible characters from Abraham to Paul and many others in between asked the same thing. But God has shown me in a number of ways that I was to go on this trip. So, here I go.

This trip has caused me to think a lot about the simple church movement in the West and how we can impact simple churches around the world. Here are some things that you and your church can do:

Pray. This might seem obvious but praying for our brothers and sisters who live in areas with little resources and among people who are hostile towards Christianity is crucial. They need our prayers daily. Don’t forget them.

Support Financially. This is a tricky one. Sometimes just sending money can hurt a situation more than help. You should seek wise counsel and contact someone who has actually been to the area where you are sending financial help before doing so. Some people believe that Americans are all wealthy and will support them for life. Our goal is to partner with Christians so that Kingdom work can be done.

Go. Meeting the people you are praying for and seeing the work first hand is always the best way to be educated. This will give you a heart for the church abroad more than anything else you can do. Would you like to go to Africa, South America or South East Asia? I know some simple church pastors who would love to host you and your organic community. If you would be interested in going on an overseas mission trip with House2House please contact me at I would love to talk to you about it.

A phrase that we often hear in simple church is, “Don’t go to church, be the church.” Being the church can happen anywhere. It can be small and simple. But we can’t forget that Jesus died for all people and has commissioned us to “go into all the world.” If our simple, house Churches are truly going to be missional then we need to love our neighbors all around the world. This can be risky, uncomfortable and hard work. It can also be a wonderful adventure.

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10 Ways to Fail at Planting a House Church

Simple Organic Churches are easy to start. Right? Anyone?
Yes. They are simple, but there are a lot of ways to screw them up. And yes, they are organic which means they need care and nurturing. It is easy to plant a seed, but maintenance can be difficult.
If you want to fail at planting a simple church, trust me, I’m an expert. I have started many simple house churches that have thrived for years. But, many more that were doomed from the start. Mostly because of my arrogance and lack of trusting that Jesus can do this a lot better than I. If you would like to totally kill and organic church from day one, then follow the 10 steps below:

  1. Invite people who are fed up with traditional church. They’ll bring their baggage and agendas. You will have lots of fun hearing them whine about the evils of legacy churches (OR you might want to invite the unchurched and lost in your area. They are usually much more pleasant).
  2. Talk a lot. Prepare a sermon and make sure you get heard every week. Remember, this is all about you (But seriously, if you are the one doing all of the talking, please stop yourself before others have to).
  3. Read all of the church planting books, blogs and articles you can get your hands on and try to reproduce what they have done. If it worked for them.
  4. Delegate more time for preparation, less time for communion with God. You must prepare to lead just in case something goes wrong. You are, after all, the leader, church planter, head elder, or whatever. You need a plan; you have to be on your A game. God will be there if you need him. But, hey, you’ve got this.
  5. Avoid listening to the Holy Spirit. How do we really know if it’s Him or us anyway? Just do your best and, again, be prepared.
  6. Avoid people who are different than you. Watch out for anyone who has different political beliefs than you, people who smoke, drink alcohol, have tattoos, are homosexual, are poor, are rich, are abusive or who have never been involved in a “church” before. These people are trouble.
  7. Intend on the SOC to be a stream of income. If you are in this for fun and profit, you had better find another line of work. I have never met anyone, and I mean ANYONE who has gotten rich or for that matter even made a decent living off of the organic church movement. If you know of someone who is doing it and can prove me wrong, please send me his or her name. I would love to interview them.
  8. Be inconsistent. Randomly change meeting times and locations with little or no notice. People love this.
  9. Hang on to your money and never discuss giving. Now that there is no building to maintain or pastor to pay I guess that whole giving guilt trip can finally end as well. I’m sure there are needs around us somewhere, we’re just waiting on God to tell us where to give (Seriously? Look around).
  10. Avoid calling yourself a church. “A church?” “Us?” “No, we’re just a little ol’ home bible study.” A church is a big building with a steeple. A hand full of people sitting around a living room could never be a church. Right? Wrong. You are The Church of Jesus Christ. Embrace it, live it, be proud of it.

Its not about a location, its not even about you.
It’s about Jesus and what he did on the cross.
It’s about the Holy Spirit working in you to be the body of Christ.
(OK, I’ll stop preaching)… **drops the mic.**

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10 Things Organic Churches Could Do Better (Part 2)

Last week I gave you the first five from a list of things that I believe Organic churches could do better. I received some great feedback from that post.
Let me present five more. Again, this is just my opinion and I know that many of you are already excelling at some of these. Also, I’m not trying to be critical of the entire Organic Church movement; I’m simply offering some constructive criticism.

#6 Train Leaders

We tend to think of leaders as charismatic personalities who stands in front of the masses. I believe that the best training of leaders happens one life at a time, one on one.
We have been so conditioned not to look like a typical church leader that we fear being considered the “head” of the church. We know that Jesus is the head, not you or I. But leadership is a biblical concept. Last month I wrote a blog titled, “Organic Churches are Not Leader-Less.” I would invite you to read that post if you haven’t. It is a brief explanation of what I mean by “leadership” in the organic church.

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The Pixar Story

I watched an interesting documentary yesterday on the creation and history of the Pixar animation studio.

In the early 90’s the Disney animation studio was threatened by computer animation so they fired John Lassiter. It was the fear of the unknown that brought about Lassiter’s dismissal. Lassiter eventually went on to be one of the founders of Pixar and directed the first feature length computer animated movie, Toy Story. It was a great success that made over $360 million and the beginning of the Pixar Empire. Eventually Disney and Pixar would reunite and succeed in making a string of animated hit movies. Eventually Buzz Lightyear and Woody the Cowboy would be reunited in Toy Story 2 and 3.


But before all of the success, Disney was afraid of Lassiter and his computer. They had no idea of its potential. I see this same fear in some legacy church attendees when I tell them about organic church. First it is skepticism, then sometimes sarcasm and occasionally denial. They will say something like, “That’s good for you but God has given me a different vision.”

What are they afraid of? I could speculate but I’m not trying to criticize or start a fight here.  I have pastor friends who love the house church model but are deathly afraid of losing the big three: The pulpit, power and paycheck.

But it goes deeper than that. There is a commitment to the status quo. To do something so radical and depart from everything they know and have been taught seems unthinkable.

So how can we be open to new ideas and not trapped in the status quo? Even if that status quo is Organic church. We need to be committed to continuously taking that leap of crazy faith that got us here in the first place.

A couple of days ago my nine-year-old son asked for a big favor. I said I would consider it if he was good. Since it was a big favor I knew I had some leverage. I said, “you have to be a Saint for the next couple of days.” He asked, “What’s a saint?” “You know, like 12 disciple good. Like one of those Bible guys.” He nodded as if to say he understood, turned around and walked out of the room being careful to walk slowly and cautiously.

I realized that he was communicating something that we had apparently taught him without knowing it: to be good meant to be slow and cautious; to be bad was to run, take risks and be dangerous. What a sad lesson to teach a nine year old.

Sometimes running into crazy faith and leaving fear behind is the best thing we can do. My wife taught me that one. And if Buzz Lightyear has taught me anything its that “falling with style” is sometimes the only way to fly.

Lord help us not to fear the unknown and to trust you in every circumstance.

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10 Things Organic Churches Could Do Better (Part 1)

Organic house churches are my passion, of course. As I visit and observe house churches I find some similar patterns. I love what is happening within the house church movement, but there is always room for improvement. So, let me present some things that I believe many house churches should focus on doing better.

But first a couple of qualifiers: First, when I talk about Organic House churches I am mainly referring to ones in the West. There are some of the items on the list that are not an issue with many house, simple, organic churches in developing countries.

Second, there are always exceptions. If your house church excels at one or two of the items on the list please don’t take offense. I’m not talking about you. Give yourselves a collective high five and pray about other areas in which you can improve.

Here are the first five. The next five will come next week.

#1 Set Goals

For many years I was part of churches where the staff would meet for a day or weekend at the beginning of the year and plan the calendar for the entire year. This would leave little room for the direction of the Holy Spirit as we moved forward.

On the other hand, many house churches do the opposite. They become so dependant on being spontaneous that they avoid anything that looks like planning. For many of us this is a reaction to living in an over-programmed paradigm. I see God being very intentional throughout Scripture. He told Noah exactly how and when to build the Ark. God seemed to be setting and executing goals with the Israelites, Gideon, Paul, and the list goes on. Even Jesus was subject to the Father’s timing and plan.

Of course we need to seek the Holy Spirit as we set goals. And of course we need to be willing to hold our plans loosely. But if your Organic Church does not have a mission and vision then it will not be sustainable for any length of time.

 Click Here for the Rest of the List

(This will take you to my website)



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India This Summer


Christianity is growing all over the world. As the name of Jesus is being proclaimed to the nations, simple, organic churches are being planted in record numbers. As the director of

House2House I believe God is calling me to India.

In 2007 my wife Ali and I traveled to the North of Ghana, Africa to help share the love of Christ. My mission was to train leaders and Ali had just founded a ministry called With This Ring.

Now after several return trips to Africa God has given me the opportunity to go to India with my wife Ali. While there we will meet local pastors, assess needs and see how Christianity is exploding in the region.

Although this will be the first trip for us to India we already have contacts there that we will be working with. With This Ring has dug clean water wells in Africa, Central America and now India. I will be visiting church leaders and Christian communities. 003

We have a lot to do to prepare and it will come quickly. I am convinced that God wants me to go to India. Your support will help me to get there.

Please follow the link to FundRaiser, where you can securely give to help send us to India.

Thank you.

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20 Blogs You Should be Reading

If you want to get your finger on the pulse of what is going on in the Organic, Simple Church movement in real time, then I think that blogs are one of the best ways. Most of the people in this list are friends that I have grown to love and admire. A couple of them I have never met but love their writing. They have all taken “the red pill.”

Click Here to go to my website for this Great List…

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