Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Rabbit and the Elephant


I'll admit I was a bit skeptical when I got this book in the mail. I'm glad I didn't resist my initial inclination to put the book down. Actually, when I started reading the book I couldn't put it down.

While it is a book about house churches it is amazingly relevant to our small groups. I think I'm going to buy a copy for each of our Hub Group leaders (if I can find the cash under a couch cushion).

There's a section on page 205-206 that lists out the following principles they've learned. I think they are worth sharing.
  • True Christianity is not a weekly event. It's a 24-7, Kingdom lifestyle.
  • Jesus is the head of His church. He really does speak to His people. We must surrender control of the church to Him.
  • We must listen to each other and to the Lord, and obey what He says. Both community and mission will result.
  • Jesus was not religious.
  • Simple is easily reproducible; complex is tough to duplicate.
  • Jesus used ordinary, untrained men and women to change the world.
  • Leadership is servanthood. We must die to ourselves.
  • God's concern is for the harvest. We must ask Him to touch our hearts with the things that are on His heart.
  • The resources are in the harvest.
  • It is more effective to start something in the home of a person of peace with his friends and family than to invite the person of peace to come to your church.
  • You can work with a group of not-yet-believers and see them become disciples together.
  • Churches are meant to multiply.
Here's my only other thought. I'm a big fan of the house church movement. I hope it does turn into a movement here in USAmerica like we're seeing in other parts of the world. But I do not think it is the only expression of church. In no way shape or form was this proposed in the book. The authors were extremely gracious towards all churches.

But here's where I think gathering together in a larger group can be beneficial. First, we can do more corporately than we can do individually. Second, there is value in a large group gathering. We get to have a band and good teaching. These things are helpful and beneficial, not essential, but beneficial. They are not all that church is (even thought they have become that in a lot of churches), but the are privileges, and they help people connect with God and grow in a relationship with Jesus. Third, not everyone will get connected first through home group/church. Some people need the safety and anonymity of a larger corporate gathering.

But this book was fantastic. One of the best books I've read in a long time.

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