Everyone recognizes the need for more Free Grace churches. But how do you start them? It’s something I’ve been wrestling with. Here are four church models:
- House Church: This would be the most familiar way to start a church from scratch. You start with a Bible study in a home and grow from there. Maybe you never outgrow meeting in a house on purpose. This certainly has NT precedent (see image).
- Dinner Church: The NT church often met in the context of a full meal. Dinner Church recaptures that meal-centered meeting. People meet to eat dinner together and worship. It has been pioneered by a network of churches in Seattle (see here and here).
- Breakfast Church: My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. If you’re going to meet around a meal, and people are used to meeting on Sunday morning, why not do a breakfast church? Cook up a serving of eggs, bacon, and Bible teaching! (see here). I’m especially interested in this model.
- Coffee Shop Church: I recently heard about a small church (of 60-70 people) who run a coffee shop. During the week the coffee shop serves beans and ministry and the church meets there on Sunday. A friend tells me he has seen that church model at work in China and Japan.
The Lord has given us a great amount of freedom in deciding when and where to meet for worship. I don’t feel tied to the traditional “church building” on Sunday-morning model, do you? It’s a matter worth investigating. Why not meet up with some friends and discuss it over dinner?