July 15, 2009

Neil Carter, Fruit Hunter

My old house church compadre from Georgia has been hunting for fruits in Ohio. (His words, not mine.) Personally, I think he's nuts. Okay, not really. I just like hassling Neil. In all seriousness, criticism and skepticism of church forms is always easy, but it takes guts to go investigate openly. How many 'lay' persons do you know who spend weeks away from their family and travel hundreds of miles just to find promising new ways of doing church?

Better question: how often do you find 70 autonomous house churches in one city that also meet together once a week for corporate worship, guidance and teaching? I honestly don't know, but here's this choice quote from Neil's preliminary report, to make you more curious:
These guys are holding together two separate models: organic house church and a traditional, congregational church structure. Their goal is that these churches be, not just "cell groups" following the mandates of the church staff, but fully functioning house churches, performing all of the functions of an independent church: baptism, communion, preaching, teaching, discipline, worship, etc. If that's really what they're after, then they're a rare bunch.

We live in Hope...

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