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    Southwest Church Planting

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Food for thought…pastor, author and Microchurch network leader Bob DeSagun shares on the Microchurch movement.

Smaller definitely has its advantages. Recently a movement of smaller, simplistic, and streamlined models of churches have been emerging and gaining momentum. The microchurch is one of those models.

So what’s a microchurch? By definition, it is a church of three to fifteen individuals, who meet in face-to-face interaction, with an assigned or assumed leader, and capitalize on the strengths of doing ministry on a small-scale for the purposes of Christian discipleship and the multiplying other microchurches. So how is this different from a house church, simple church, organic church or missional communities model? It doesn’t limit its meeting locale to a home (though it typically will meet in one), but does intentionally limit the number of people in order to keep itself small yet multiplying.

The unique distinctives of this church ministry model is its intimacy, simplicity and versatility. Intimacy lends itself to effective and meaningful Christian community and discipleship. Simplicity is easy and easily reproducible. Versatility allows for adaptability practically anywhere and in any context. The size of the church positions itself for a more sustainable and reproducible model of ministry that is effective towards fulfilling the Great Commission.

Microchurch ministry looks and feels different from your typical ministry model. And that’s not a bad thing. The churches typically meet in private homes but can also meet in spaces that require no cost. They typically meet on Sundays but can meet on a different day and time that’s most convenient for its members. They have the freedom to use various and innovative approaches that exemplify the practices that were evident in the early New Testament church (Acts 2:42-47) for the purposes of Christian worship, discipleship, community and mission. This church model typically serves a fellowship meal during their gatherings. Depending on their role and the extent of their ministry responsibilities, microchurch leaders are typically not compensated. Leadership, finances, administration and training are typically centralized using a network model so that individual churches can focus on discipleship and missions. Each individual church has the flexibility to operate and function in the biblical expression of the body of Christ in its unique ministry context.

Microchurches are uniquely situated financially to accomplish so much more than they appear to. With the elimination of the two largest budget line items (building and salary), more funding can go towards benevolence (taking care of those inside the church) and missions (taking care of those outside the church). The financial position of the churches affords greater opportunity for multiplication and church planting (other microchurches) with very little to no cost.

Some say that the small simpler model of microchurch ministry is the church of the future (as it was the church of the beginning). It’s “a” model and not “the” model, but definitively has merits in positioning itself towards becoming more effective in fulfilling the Great Commission. The microchurch is another model God is using to reach those He loves with the life-transforming gospel message.