June 6, 2011
Vision for NEO, every member a church planter, reproducing leaders, sending and connecting the Church with the church
a.Saturation Church planting: one for every 1,000- 1,500 citizens
•Greater Cleveland is a city of many communities.
•One church (committed gathering of disciples) per neighborhood or region of a town.
•One house church is a start but is only a start. The goal is to reach a neighborhood/town
•A city of 20,000 needs 15-20 starter house churches whose minimum goal should be to reproduce X10 each. This over time becomes 150-200 house churches that represents at least a tithe (10%) of the city. At this point a church starts to shape the community, if members are discipled. Non-discipled people influence little.
•Greater Cleveland needs 1,000 starter house churches, 1,000 leadership teams
b.How a House/Simple Church Multiplies
•Each house Church must take the initiative for it’s immediate smaller community. i.e. Middleburg Heights, Strongsville, University Circle etc….
•Bathes it’s neighborhood/small town (sphere or region of responsibility) in prayer: prayer for individuals and the spiritual atmosphere. A forerunner for salvation.
•Reaches out and includes people the Holy Spirit has been preparing for salvation.
•Participants are cared for.
•Each house church reaches its maximum size at 20 adults.
•An average person can only have between 10-20 “close friends”. Beyond that intimacy dramatically declines.
•At fifteen regular attenders the group prays and hears God on how to multiply. Action is based on revelation not vision. (Vision tells us that multiplication is the thing to pray about, Revelation tells us how to multiply)
•Everyone attending is connected in Life Transformation Groups (LTG) as the basic building block of each house church. 2 or 3 is about the maximum size of a group to which a person will reveal intimate details of their life. Over 5 intimate sharing often does not happen.
•Multiplies into a network of house churches that each interrelate as smaller parts of a larger community parish. Example Strongsville North may have ten house/simple churches of cumulatively 150-200 adults.
c.Parishes (Or Hubs or Networks)
•Once a group of House Churches multiplies in the same part of town (or close enough for easy interaction) it forms a parish/hub/network. This could be as small as two and as large as 15.
•When a parish/network grows to include 150-200 committed adults it should prayerfully seek to launch a new parish. The overseeing Presbytery will participate.
•150-200 people is the maximum number an average person can reasonably know, as an acquaintance or friend. The comfort/friendship test: “ Can you give me a lift home?” Larger than this people often feel disconnected.
•Parishes have at least one full-time pastor/elder who serves the House Church leaders. This full-timer shepherds the under-shepherds (house church leaders).
•Parish (Hub/network) pastors/elders are part of the larger House Church Network from across all areas of the city. The larger group of leaders is called a presbytery.
d.The City-Wide Church
•Consists of a presbytery of elders/pastors who oversee individual networks or parishes of house churches.
•This presbytery is led by a smaller team of senior leaders who give care to the pastoral members of the Presbytery.
•These senior leaders, while still co-elders, tend to be apostolic (strategic) or prophetic (visionary).
•Senior leaders lead with the consensus approval of all the elders.
•There is an active congregational voice in direction: Budget, elders etc…
•Do very large worship, celebration, teaching events….
•Mercy ministry to disasters: sending resources and people
•Helping others plant churches in other regions and countries. (as soon as we have modest success the requests will come)
•Sending teams to plant elsewhere.
•Investing our best to plant with the C&MA domestically and internationally.
•Investing in groups like YWAM, partnering and sowing people into them.
•Investing in a church planting movement: 200 in 2 years in three generations of
•Networking with other church and para-church groups to accomplish the task.
f.Essential characteristics for a core member
•Detoxed from conventional church stuff
•Willing to be depended on
•Rejects the audience mode, embraces the participatory mode.
•Growing in prayer.
•Clears schedule of the unessential
•Shifts from receiving mode to giving mode.
•Passionate about being Spirit-led
g. Essential characteristics of a House Church
•Inviting, welcoming & evangelistic
•Refuses to fall into a comfort zone, always pressing in.
•Spirit-led and Spirit-filled.
1.Not everyone has a heart for adventure, do you?
2. Is convenience critical to you?
3.What overarching purpose defines your life?
4.Is being part of a team of value to you?
5.Is closeness and deeper community valuable?
6.Is discipling others into a Christ-like walk important to you?
7.Do you value growing, even if challenging?
8.Are you willing to suffer rejection for Christ?
9.Do you welcome taking responsibility?
The Plan on the Back of A Napkin
Five things: G,D,G,M,P
gospel…..proclaim, broadcast, missional…engage people
disciples….meet, read, study and pray by the 2s and 3s, briefly 4,
subdivide, then 2s and 3s
gather….with these disciples form house churches as mini Christian
communities that build together closely and reach into their
neighborhood and communities.
multiply…..house/simple churches grow and subdivide….make
new house churches, that in time, reproduce.
partner ……house churches stay connected with a common
leadership team, share resources and a mission to
reach NEO and the world.