A New Kind of Church: Strategy

This is the final post in the series for a new kind of [imaginary] church (see the vision and values and mission statements).

You know the drill. Provide comments answering the question: “If I were to land on a website of a new church in my community with the info below, what do I see that is attractive? What issues raise concerns or additional questions that I would ask?”

The means for accomplishing the mission is developing a caring community of home groups where members share their spiritual journey and encourage one another to know Christ and grow in Christ. Home group communities should not be confused with the “House Church” movement per se. Members may or may not include people who are already involved in an established church. Simply put, our target audience includes anyone interested in connecting with others around the central theme of Christianity. Home groups, therefore, are a network of friendships and families that participate in four key components intended to move every member toward maturity in faith.

  1. Practical, Biblical Instruction: Learning Scripture and applying it to everyday circumstances so members increasingly think and act “biblically” in all of life. This activity primarily involves the systematic exploration and explanation of God’s truth in the context of teaching and open discussion. Some guidelines for teaching and open discussion are:
    • Sharing passages that speak to the situation; i.e., minimize opinions and maximize truth
    • Teaching and admonishing one another without displacing our Wonderful Counselor and Paraclete
    • Encouraging obedience to the clear teaching of God’s Word
    • Extending grace to all by allowing every member the necessary space to grow; i.e., no unbiblical demands or ideals imposed upon other members (Jm. 2:13)
    • Respectfully disagreeing with others and/or requesting one-on-one discussions for further clarification
  2. Fellowship: Sharing how God is uniquely moving in us as we experience His progress in our personal lives, our community, and our world. Useful guidelines for fellowship are:
    • Intentional commitment to practicing the “one another” principles found in Scripture (e.g., Jn. 13:34-35; Rom. 12:10; 14:13; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:2, 32; 5:21; 1 Th. 5:11; Jm. 4:11; 1 Pt. 1:22; 5:5; 1 Jn. 1:7).
    • Attending home group meetings regularly (Heb. 10:24-25)
    • Sympathizing with others without offering unwanted/unnecessary counsel or guidance (Pr. 10:19; 17:27; Gal. 6:2)
    • Growing in love for other members by meeting individual/group needs where possible (Gal. 6:10; 1 Pt. 1:22)
    • Sustaining a healthy, biblical dependence upon others yet taking responsibility for our personal growth
  3. Prayer/Praise: Expressing our gratitude and needs to God in the company of other group members. This activity entails bringing requests to God with thanksgiving as we expectantly await His response (Dan. 9:17-19; Philip. 4:6; Jm. 1:5-6) and exalting the work of God in worship and song. Guidelines include:
    • Being honest and transparent with group members without compromising our personal intimacy or confidentiality with God, spouse, or others
    • Reflecting carefully upon God’s activity in ourselves and others so we come prepared to offer words of encouragement, genuine requests, and thanksgiving (Rom. 14:19; Philip. 1:3)
    • Heartfelt singing of songs that are addressed to the Lord and to one another (Eph. 5:19)
    • Seeking God’s answers with a biblical expectancy (Mk. 11:24; Lk. 11:9-10; Jn. 16:23)
    • Respecting “silent” prayer requests (Pr. 14:10)
  4. Outreach: Communicating the Gospel message in a biblically faithful, culturally relevant way so as to bring others into an understanding of their need for a committed relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior. The Gospel message is to be defined for clarity and defended for purity as the only means of eternal hope and happiness (Acts 17:2-4; 1 Pt. 3:15). The primary, though not exclusive, means of declaration is through relational-evangelism built on trust, biblical lifestyles, and a keen application of Scripture to human need (Jn. 4:10; 1 Thess. 1:4-9).

2 Comments on “A New Kind of Church: Strategy

  1. this “new kind of church” definitely has much in its vision/mission statements that are attractive. perhaps I could sum it up by saying “orthodox belief couched in humble and receptive posture?” I think the “outreach” piece of the mission is not as clearly articulated and leaves me with questions. I understand the idea of engaging and building relationships, but this is very broad. where does mercy and social justice come into play? is this part of the identity of the Church? i think it is…

    • Thanks for the comment! Sincerely appreciate your thoughtful comments. Your summary statement nicely captures the quintessence.

      You’ve identified a gap in the outreach (aka “missions”) aspect. Could not agree more that mercy and social justice is part of the church’s mission to the world and a clarification/expanded articulation is in order.


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