Canadian House Church Resource Network


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This is a resource that was developed the early part of this decade. It gives a background to the history of the Canadian House Church Movement.

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Canadian House Church Resource Network

  1. 1. "Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you...and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare" (Jeremiah 29:7) C anadian H ouse C hurch R esource N etwork Welcome to the
  2. 2. More about our vision coming up . . . First, a brief introduction: The Canadian House Church Resource Network came into being near the beginning of 1999 when several local Christian leaders in the Greater Vancouver region found out that they shared very similar vision. After meeting and praying together, they felt that the Holy Spirit was directing them to provide encouragement and support, resources and opportunities for others of like heart and mind who would desire to network together. The reason for this would be so that the various people and house churches/house church networks that God is in the process of raising up across our nation of Canada could get connected and begin to build relationships with each other, pray for and support each other in order that our neighbourhoods and cities can potentially be reached and experience the Presence and Life of Christ Jesus, and so that, together with other Christian gatherings in this nation, we can work/pray together to see this nation discipled!
  3. 3. We seek to establish a facilitating and resource network for those who are planting Christ-centered, multiplying, reproducible house churches across the Lower Mainland and Canada.
  4. 4. The Canadian House Church Resource Network will provide ‘ RRSP's’ for those involved: R: RESOURCES. We have an updated resource list of key books, articles and people. R: RELATIONSHIPS : The CHCRN hosts quarterly Network meetings. S: SPECIAL EVENTS: The CHCRN holds occasional meetings for the general Christian public who wish to know more about house churches. P: PRAYER: One of the primary functions of our network is to pray for one another.
  5. 5. “ By the power and leading of the Holy Spirit, we seek to mobilize, resource, encourage, network, train and facilitate those that God is raising up in Canada who, while complimenting other forms of Christian gatherings in Canada, share and carry out the vision of establishing Christ-centered, easily reproducible, multiplying house churches in house church networks as a vital part of seeing Canada discipled and taking a more effective role in discipling the nations, in order that Jesus will be glorified as King of Kings among all nations. We desire to see His life lived out through us in every aspect of life.” Short version The CHCRN is about "facilitating reproducible house church networks." Long version:
  6. 6. HOUSE CHURCHES - a VITAL PART OF DISCIPLING THE NATIONS =============================== Over the past number of years especially, there has been a growing movement of house churches around the world (including many different streams) which God seems to be initiating in order to help to not only reach with the Gospel many of the missed segments of society, but also to more effectively disciple/nurture believers and encourage the development of spiritual growth/godly character by providing the loving accountability we all need through the kind of close fellowship that is available in house fellowships. Jesus Christ is looking for whole-hearted worshippers whose entire lives exude His powerful Presence and life.
  7. 8. House churches can be catalysts to help us to mature spiritually and to be what God has called us to be as we live out our part in the Great Commission. They can also help to solve many of the financial struggles of more traditional models of churches and of seeing the Great Commission financed by freeing up funds which would not normally be available. House churches can be a vital part of raising up, training and multiplying many servant leaders (resulting in much less burn-out of leaders). <ul><li>CATALYSTS TOWARD SPIRITUAL MATURITY </li></ul>HOUSE CHURCHES - a VITAL PART OF DISCIPLING THE NATIONS (cont...............) =============================== BENEFITS OF HOUSE CHURCHES
  8. 9. Another benefit house churches can provide is a built-in protection system in case of persecution due to the very low profile and flexibility of movement. It can also provide the sense of family and belonging that we all long for (Generation X especially seems to cry out for this dimension, as do many internationals, immigrants, refugees, etc. and other segments of society such as do people in the entertainment/media industry) and it can be a living example of the daily authentic reality of living the Christian life in the world today. <ul><li>PERSECUTION ‘PROOF’ </li></ul>HOUSE CHURCHES - a VITAL PART OF DISCIPLING THE NATIONS (cont...............) =============================== BENEFITS OF HOUSE CHURCHES (cont...............)
  9. 11. Quality of believers and Quantity of believers can be multiplied and can mushroom because when the groups grow to a certain number (between 10 or 20), they can multiply by beginning additional groups, which can then also multiply. It is important to see easily reproducible churches multiplying in order to see growing numbers of godly disciples discipling others, since Jesus called us to 'disciple the nations' (Matt 28), and it is therefore important to have a strong sense of the Great Commission integrated into the very ‘DNA’ of the initial beginnings of the house church/house church network. <ul><li>FASTER MULTIPLICATION OF BELIEVERS </li></ul>HOUSE CHURCHES - a VITAL PART OF DISCIPLING THE NATIONS (cont...............) =============================== BENEFITS OF HOUSE CHURCHES (cont................)
  10. 12. House churches can be very effective lights in dark neighbourhoods/apartment buildings, restaurants, schools, businesses (or wherever) in which they exist/function, and can become houses of prayer for the nations, with not only a growing passion to reach the lost in their communities but around the world. The very nature of house churches encourages the possibility of enabling them to be an excellent incubator, nursery, Bible school, hands on training site, etc. for new believers all the way to seasoned/mature believers. It is also poised to be an excellent missionary sending support network. <ul><li>EFFECTIVE ‘LIGHTHOUSES OF PRAYER’ </li></ul>HOUSE CHURCHES - a VITAL PART OF DISCIPLING THE NATIONS (cont...............) =============================== BENEFITS OF HOUSE CHURCHES (cont...............)
  11. 13. House churches can provide an excellent atmosphere to develop and utilize the spiritual gifts and to benefit from the overseeing and equipping ministry of itinerant five-fold ministry teams. The 5-fold ministry of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher can also be utilized throughout the networks to bring greater effectiveness to these churches, and to multiply new pastors, teachers, apostles, prophets and evangelists to also train and multiply others with these giftings. <ul><li>UTILIZATION OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS </li></ul>HOUSE CHURCHES - a VITAL PART OF DISCIPLING THE NATIONS (cont...............) =============================== BENEFITS OF HOUSE CHURCHES (cont...............)
  12. 15. Throughout history God has used, and continues to use, various forms and models of church gatherings, though He only has one Church. Each model reaches certain types of people and meets certain needs. ALL of us, as we work together, are needed to see the desire of God's heart satisfied . . . that all nations be discipled and worship Him wholeheartedly as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! And so, while complimenting other forms of Christian gatherings in Canada, it is our desire to focus on utilizing the form that we feel we are being called to implement in order to reach the unreached segments of society in our country as we cross cultural barriers with the unchanging and powerful Gospel as we seek to live incarnationally amongst our neighbours. <ul><li>WORKING TOGETHER TO SEE THE GOSPEL INCARNATED </li></ul>HOUSE CHURCHES - a VITAL PART OF DISCIPLING THE NATIONS (cont...............) =============================== BENEFITS OF HOUSE CHURCHES (cont...............)
  13. 16. House churches are more flat in structure and less administrative by nature thus cutting out a lot of the bureaucracy and politics that often are part and parcel of the structure of more traditional models, so they are freed up to be more flexible and to move and act quickly as God leads. The low administration also keeps down the costs which can be then be directed towards the poor and reaching the lost. <ul><li>UNENCUMBERED STRUCTURE AND FINANCES </li></ul>HOUSE CHURCHES - a VITAL PART OF DISCIPLING THE NATIONS (cont...............) =============================== BENEFITS OF HOUSE CHURCHES (cont...............)
  14. 17. Although house churches also have imperfections because people are still people, the nature of house churches is a model which is very conducive to Christ's command to DISCIPLE THE NATIONS, especially as house churches network with other house churches in their community and throughout their country, and indeed with other house church networks throughout the world to share resources and to support and prayer for each other, and to partner together on various ministries, etc. as God leads. <ul><li>CONDUCIVE TO DISCIPLING THE NATIONS </li></ul>HOUSE CHURCHES - a VITAL PART OF DISCIPLING THE NATIONS (cont...............) =============================== BENEFITS OF HOUSE CHURCHES (cont...............)
  15. 18. <ul><li>MORE POTENTIAL BENEFITS (summarized): </li></ul>* Reaching missed segments of society * Discipleship/godly character development * Loving accountability * Close fellowship * These types of gatherings can meet almost anywhere, almost any time, and be very low-key and inconspicuous - yet effective! * Conducive to more rapid and consistent spiritual growth * Encourage us in our roles in the Great Commission * Free up finances for the Great Commission * Training and multiplication of servant leadership * Help prevent burnout of leaders * Built in form of protection re persecution * Multiplication of churches * Provide sense of family/belonging * Conducive to reaching Gen X, immigrants, refugees, poor, etc., etc. * Conducive to 'discipling the nations' * Biblical Christianity lived out in daily life * Others can 'know us by our love' * Reproduction can happen quite easily/easily reproducible * House churches are much more able to hold/disciple the coming harvest * Multiplication of churches leading to people movements * Able to contain and disciple the growing harvest * Spiritual gifts and five-fold ministry are developed/exercised * Five fold ministry equips next generations of leaders * Every member of the family important * Every member of the house church involved in ministry * House churches can be poised to be flexible with what God is doing * House churches can be poised to respond to needs * Natural as &quot;Houses of Prayer&quot; * Natural sender of missionaries * Natural 'missionary care/support' function * Low administrative needs * Low costs to function * Worship * Conducive to evangelism/discipleship * Conducive to reaching the poor * Conducive to ministering to the hurting -- by Grace Wiebe, March 99 HOUSE CHURCHES - a VITAL PART OF DISCIPLING THE NATIONS (cont..............) =============================== BENEFITS OF HOUSE CHURCHES (cont..............)
  16. 19. Some Differences Between Home Groups/Care Groups, Cell Churches and House Churches The Main Small Group Models : -------------------------------------------------- 1) Home groups/care groups 2) Cell churches 3) House churches
  17. 21. This is the model which many churches use in order to help their people have some place within the context of the local traditional church model, where they feel they can get to know people more personally in a bigger church, and where they can be nurtured more deeply than in the big meeting assembly. Churches have found these to be a main type of 'glue' that holds traditional churches together. In these groups there is usually a fairly structured meeting which includes prayer, worship time, Bible study, some sharing/fellowship, some snacks and perhaps some ministry time. Home Groups are not usually intergenerational and usually focus on a particular age group or other specific group in the church - i.e.. musicians, seniors, youth, singles, truck drivers, etc. With Home Groups, the Sunday corporate service is considered the primary meeting. Often the weekly home group meeting will be a follow-up to the Sunday sermon. Home Groups/Care Groups are often not greatly concerned about multiplying, because a main focus is on nurture. Leadership style: Usually very structured. Some Differences Between Home Groups/Care Groups, Cell Churches and House Churches 1) Home groups/care groups
  18. 22. Some Differences Between Home Groups/Care Groups, Cell Churches and House Churches 2) Cell churches This model, which has been used by Pastor Paul Yonggi Cho in Seoul, Korea for several decades has become increasingly utilized around the globe. Cell churches function very much like a house church, and their primary meeting is the cell rather than the larger weekly corporate meeting. The cells are accountable to the local church which has birthed the cell churches. These meetings usually are a follow-up to the weekly sermon as well. Cell churches are often much more evangelistic than home groups, which are usually more inward and nurture-focused. Cell churches are often intergenerational, and usually encourage the use of spiritual gifts in their midst. Although much nurture happens in cell churches, they are not focused on nurture but on evangelism/discipleship. Cell churches usually have the vision/mandate to multiply through evangelism and are much more conducive to leadership development/discipleship within the cell church, than the Home Group/Care Group model. Leadership style: remains fairly structured.
  19. 23. Some Differences Between Home Groups/Care Groups, Cell Churches and House Churches 3) House churches It is important to note that what we are saying as a network is not intended to criticize traditional churches, but rather to say that we have been seeing how the biblical model of house churches seems to be potentially much more conducive to doing the things and living the life that we as the Church were called to be and do than the traditional model is. It is also more conducive to reaching the various segments of society that are not a part of traditional churches. As is stated in our vision statement, it is our desire as the Canadian House Church Resource Network to compliment other forms of Christian gatherings in Canada, since God has called us to unity, to love one another and to work together to see His Kingdom expanded in our nation. There is more than enough work for all of us and we NEED EACH OTHER.
  20. 24. Some Differences Between Home Groups/Care Groups, Cell Churches and House Churches 3) House churches House churches tend to be intergenerational and tend to see children as having a vital role in the Body of Christ even at a young age. House churches are able to flex more easily as the Holy Spirit leads since there aren't the normal structures or financial stresses that traditional churches tend to have. House churches are the primary meeting. If there is a local network of house churches, they may meet together corporately for worship perhaps once a month or so locally and potentially work together in various ministries as the Holy Spirit leads. The corporate meetings are seen as a secondary meeting.
  21. 25. In addition to focusing on knowing Christ and experiencing His Presence together, house churches are usually focused on evangelism/discipleship and usually have a vision/mandate of multiplying reproducible, Christ centered house churches. As in cell churches, though the focus is on evangelism/discipleship, nurture is a by-product of that. House churches (and probably cell churches), especially if most of those attending are from the same neighbourhood, try to get together much more often than just on a weekly or bi-weekly basis...they try to share their lives together as a witness to their neighbours and to grow in their relationships with the Lord and with each other. It is a very grass-roots way of seeing the church grow and has great potential for becoming a people movement. Some Differences Between Home Groups/Care Groups, Cell Churches and House Churches 3) House churches
  22. 26. A house church meeting usually includes a meal, the exercising of spiritual gifts, prayer, worship, fellowship, ministry to each other, everyone sharing a word or a song, etc. as in 1 Corinthians. Leadership style: plurality of leaders. Potentially mutually accountable to a local network of house churches and possibly receiving the ministry of an itinerant apostolic team who serves the local network of house churches. Wolfgang Simson also says that house churches are also part of the 'city church'. &quot;Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you...and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare&quot; (Jeremiah 29:7). Some Differences Between Home Groups/Care Groups, Cell Churches and House Churches 3) House churches
  23. 27. Why House Churches? GOD’S PASSION FOR HIS CHURCH ============================================== What is God’s passion for His Church? Following are some passages to help to give us some insight into God s purposes and passion for His Church. “Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God, with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbour as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 . “And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment TO BRING ALL THINGS IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH UNDER ONE HEAD, EVEN CHRIST.” Ephesians 1:9, 10 . You did not choose Me, but I chose you TO GO AND BEAR FRUIT FRUIT THAT WILL LAST. John 15:16 . ..The REASON THE SON OF GOD APPEARED was TO DESTROY THE DEVIL’S WORK. 1 John 2:6 Whoever claims to live in Him MUST WALK AS JESUS DID. 1 John 3:8b . “I raised you up FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE, that I might display My POWER in you and THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED IN ALL THE EARTH . Romans 9:17 . “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. THEREFORE Go and MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to OBEY EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED YOU.” Matthew 28:18,19
  24. 28. WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN? Children are a vital part of the Kingdom of God and the Body of Christ. We believe that God wants to reach out to/minister to and work through families, and to bring those without families into vital family relationships with others in the Body of Christ - of various ages. We all have things we need to learn from each other, and God is calling ALL of us, young and older :) to living out our lives as wholehearted disciples/worshippers of Jesus Christ. One excellent book to help encourage you with a vision for what God can and is doing among children, and some practical ways that you can move forward with this, is the following: “ SHOUTING IN THE TEMPLE: A Radical Look at Children's Ministry” -- by Lorna Jenkins, Foreword by Lawrence Khong For more info about Lorna's excellent resource materials, to order this book, or to find out more about Lorna's ministry, check out her web site at: To order a copy of the book, contact: FCBC Office,, 940-382-3035, PO Box 911, Denton, TX USA
  25. 30. Here is a Listing of places where there are folks involved or interested in house churches in Canada - and names of places where we are connected with networkers in these regions. Regional Networkers : (continually updated) See following slide for a complete listing AB BC Sask MB Que Ont
  26. 31. Moose Jaw Saskatchewan Montreal Calgary Edmonton Quebec Alberta Guelph Hamilton Kitchener-Waterloo Mississauga Ottawa Toronto Cariboo Coquitlam Kelowna Maple Ridge New Westminster Penticton Surrey Victoria Ontario British Columbia
  27. 32. Interested folks/involved in house churches ONT AB SASK BC NS MB QUE WASHINGTON See following slide for a complete listing.
  28. 34. WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU : 1) Provide resources/articles/book lists on the web site: 2) Network you with others of like heart/mind. 3) Coordinate local events/retreats/training opportunities which help to encourage and facilitate folks that are interested in or involved in developing missions-minded house church networks in Canada. 4) Provide seminars/workshops on topics related to house churches and discipling the nations (for Missions conferences, for example). 5) Be the coordination hub if you need some limited coaching from (or) referrals to experienced house church planters that we're connected with. 6) Encourage the development of local 'lighthouses of prayer' 7) Provide free missions resources via email Cont...
  29. 35. WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU : 8) Consulting/Encouragement/Facilitation, etc. 9) Coordinating local events with house churches in the networks (i.e.. corporate celebration times, conferences on house churches, etc.) 10) Coordinate local meetings with like-minded people who share the vision so that other house church networks can also become established in other regions. 11) Encourage the vision that God has put on your heart as it relates to what we believe God is calling us to...recommend some potential next steps for you to take in these directions. 12) Provide a local prayer networking opportunity for those involved in house churches. Cont..
  30. 36. WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU : 14) Options for networking house churches, etc. to become involved in local or overseas missions opportunities. 15) Resources for Great-Commission minded home churches. 16) Opportunity to promote God-honoring music/arts created by home churches to be displayed on or linked to our web site. 17) Encourage the vision that God has put on your heart as it relates to what we believe God is calling us to. 13) Provide a free quarterly e-mail newsletter for Canadians regarding house churches (which can freely be printed off and given to others as well)
  31. 37. Grace Wiebe Canadian House Church Resource Network 194 / 6832 King George Hwy Surrey, BC V3W 4Z9 Canada Email: [email_address] Phone: 604-584-9371 Or, see our website at: Or see our online newsletter at: Or subscribe for free e-newsletter to: [email_address] (Powerpoint Presentation updated May, 2002) For further information, contact: