Current research indicates that institutional or traditional expressions of the church are struggling to maintain current congregations and engage their communities with the Gospel. The unchurched and the de-churched no longer look to the institutional church as a source for truth or justice. This has led to a sharp decline in the number of people who will set foot in a church building or make decisions to follow Jesus through institutional models of ministry. It is conservatively estimated that 40% of the US population will never enter into a traditional house of worship. Because of this reality, the church must be nimble enough to move to various locations and become faithfully present where people are already going and already live – the neighborhood.
We hope to develop a dynamic network of House Church Gatherings that reflect the image of God and his work in the world. The house church network would serve as a new (but ancient) expression of the church in which participatory discipleship and missional activity in local communities is the norm. This network would work alongside the institutional church to engage the world on mission and empower people for the ministry of the church.
The Crowded House Network is committed to seven practices of the church that will help us discern the presence of Jesus, submit us to his Lordship, and shape us for joining him on mission.
1) Proclamation of the Word
2) Reconciliation between each other and the world
3) Extending the Lord’s Table into all spaces
4) Being present with the least of these
5) Caring for children
6) Recognizing and empowering the gifts of all people for service
7) Living the Sermon on the Mount as our primary social ethic
By embracing these practices and structuring the church around them, The Crowded House Network will be a nimble and dynamic church that can thrive in our post-Christian culture. These practices will lead to the development of an empowered church-missional network that follows Jesus together as a way of life.
This ministry is a huge risk and financial endeavor. We are looking for sponsors who will partner with us to cover the cost of staff and our ministry budget. We ask that you prayerfully consider giving of your resources to further God’s mission through The Crowded House Network. Simply give.
We believe prayer is effective in creating change in the world. In ways not fully known, God responds to our prayers. So please pray that God would move and that our family would be faithful in the process. Simply pray.
If you are in central Florida and this intrigues you, let us know. God may be leading you to begin a gathering in your home or place of work. Let us walk with you in this process and bring you into the network. Ask us questions and let us take you to lunch. Simply participate.
By sharing this post on your social media accounts or by emailing the link to friends and family, the vision of this mission will spread faster than we could imagine. Simply share.