Last week, he sent me a copy of a report on simple/organic/house/missional churches in the UK and Ireland. You can read more information and download the complete report here: “Simple/Organic/House/Misisonal Church in the UK and Ireland (2011).”
While I would encourage you to read the entire report, I want to highlight a few of the statistics. (By the way, the report is NOT a list of statistics. Instead, it includes much more information, including some suggested steps forward.)
We asked people to describe their simple/organic/house/missional church and the top answer was – “We are a group of Christians seeking to live out New Testament principles/models of church.”
We asked people to describe their journey so far in terms of seeing people baptised.
– Approximately 60% of people said that they had seen some people baptised and discipled.
– No-one said that they had seen many people baptised and discipled.
– 40% of people involved with simple/organic/house/missional church in the UK and Ireland said that “It has been a challenge to keep persevering on this path when it seems that we have seen little fruit from our efforts.”
Do you see the disconnect? While most of the people in the report said they were trying to “live out New Testament principles,” very few were actually baptizing or making disciples. In fact, a large number (40%) said they had seen “little fruit.”
Now, I’m sure these 40% have seen many changes when it comes to church practices, methods of gathering together, and leadership. But, they have seen “little fruit” specifically in terms of baptism and discipleship.
Should we expect “fruit” if we are living according to New Testament principles? If so, is there something missing? What?