"Simple churches grow 22 percent annually... While the historic churches in Europe face a steady decline in membership, 'simple churches' - small, reproducible communities of faith with on average 3-20 people - grow with 22 percent annually. This makes simple church planting currently one of the most fruitful missions approaches in Europe."
"SCEU describes three kinds of simple church networks:
- (a) Apostolic networks: simple church groups started by an apostolic worker 'straight in the harvest', mostly along the lines of the instructions Jesus gave his disciples in Luke 10 (planting a new simple church group in a household/social circle instead of inviting people to an existing church meeting). These networks are primarily made up of new believers who just heard about Jesus, are being discipled, and win others to plant new groups.
- (b) Bridge networks: simple church groups made up of existing Christians who intentionally seek to be 'missional'. They try to build relationships with non-believers, often using conventional forms of evangelism and a 'come to us' approach.
- (c) Christian networks: simple church groups formed by existing Christians who mainly seek a more relational and participatory alternative for conventional church. These groups tend to be inward-focused and sometimes reactionary: seeing their way of church as more biblical and healthy than the churches they come from."
"Recommendations... Actively learn from the 'Apostolic networks' that form the vanguard of the simple church movement. These networks are at least 4 times more effective than the other simple church networks in reaching non-Christians. What can we learn from them about discipleship, missions, contextualisation, training leaders and multiplication?"
The full report is here.