(If you are looking for House Church Basics, scroll down to the next post).
This is the vision statement for Robert Fitts and Outreach Fellowship International. I thought it helped to more clearly define what "church" really is.
Our vision is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who will be trained to multiply house churches.
What we Affirm
We affirm the church in all of its historical expressions, but we believe that a redefinition of church is necessary for our day.
We affirm the concept of being the church in small transformational communities rather than going to church. We call this "House Church", "Simple Church", or "Organic Church."
We affirm participatory gatherings rather than spectator gatherings; everyone has a contribution to make as the Body of Christ ministers to itself in love. (1 Cor. 14:26).
We affirm that each person is a minister; that House Church allows for the best expression of the "one-another" admonitions that we find in the New Testament. The meetings are not sermon centered.
We affirm the calling to make disciples. (Matt. 28:19-20) A church is a group of disciples using their gifts to minister to one another and to reach out and give the gospel to others.
We affirm that the distinction between clergy and laity has hindered church growth because the laity has relied on the clergy to do the work of the ministry.
We affirm the equipping and releasing of all believers to do the work of the ministry. (Eph 4:11-13)
We affirm that we are to practice the disciplines of worship, instruction, fellowship, and evangelism, as found in Acts 2:42.
We affirm the value of lateral growth above vertical growth. Building outward is better than building upward. We seek to avoid the distractions of buildings, budgets, and big business so that our time and effort can be put into building relationships and reaching out to the world with the message of Jesus Christ.
We affirm that house church can take place in homes or in any other place at any time, wherever Christians gather in the name of Jesus.
We affirm the principle of multiplication through evangelism, so that when the house church reaches 15 or 20 people we will lay hands on a few individuals or couples and commission them to start another house church. This is cellular, organic growth.
We affirm that the House Church Movement is a Church Planting Movement and we invite you to "come over and help us."