the weblog of Alan Knox

Church in Ethiopia and the Home…

Posted by on Jan 11, 2007 in blog links, community, fellowship | 2 comments

Here are a few articles worth reading:

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First, Becky Lynn Black has published another article concerning their recent trip to Ethiopia called “Surprises from Heaven“. It seems that Dave Black is not the only writer in the family! This is an excellent article! I loved reading about how the church reached out to prisoners and a barber, and how those around them (even the prison guards) noticed the love. What a beautiful portrait of our Savior and of his church.

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Second, Lew Ayotte over at The Pursuit, calls for thoughtful use of language – especially words found in Scripture – in his post “George Orwell, Language, and Words“. This article caused me to think again about how I use words.

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Finally, ABC News has an article on house churches called “Living Room Liturgy” (HT: House Church Blog). While this is an interesting article, there are a couple of comments that I think are unfortunate.

For example, the author (Steve Grove) says, “Forgoing pastoral leadership, formal liturgy and, most often, tax-exempt status, house churches redefine what it means to be a church”. I have not read many (if any) house church enthusiasts who call for “forgoing pastoral leadership”. I am surprised that the journalist associates “tax-exempt status” with being the church. I wonder if that is his misunderstanding, or the church’s mis-representation?

Also, Tony Dale, founder of House2House, calls traditional sermons “rather infantile”. While traditional sermons may not be the only (or the best) way to communicate God’s Word, I think calling sermons “infantile” is a little extreme.

Finally, two mega-church pastors (one from Saddleback and one from Willow Creek) describe how their churches have started small groups in homes. I do not think we can equate home-based small groups with house churches simply because they both meet in homes. There is an essential difference in the two.

I hope you enjoy reading these three articles.


2 Comments

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  1. 1-11-2007

    I do not believe that home churches and small groups are the same — I feel that often times small groups can have a tendency to be cliqueish (not all of them), whereas small church/home church is exactly that — a group of believers gathered to worship and for mutual edification, not always the same demographic, or the same interests, but truly the Body.

    With all that being said — I am not against small groups, but there are what I consider to be, fairly significant differences in focus and methodology.

    A nod goes to Steve for expanding my knowledge about home churches.

    And, as always, this is simply my .02

  2. 1-11-2007

    Ray,

    I agree completely: a house church and a home-based small group are different.

    -Alan