Over the past few months Steve Lyzenga and myself have been brainstorming regarding what House2Harvest Network will look like. This blog is adding to that discussion, and of course the round table discussion after the close of the 2008 House Church Conference in Dallas, TX will provide further discussion and hopefully implementation.
Here is what we have written up so far:
Ideas / Notes / Concepts
[The following description is a work in progress. It is here that we have merely written some of our ideas, dreams and brainstorming results. House2Harvest Network will begin to take shape during the “roundtable” discussion held after the close of the 2008 National House Church Conference in Dallas, TX on August 31, 2008. Here is what we have come up with so far.]
House2Harvest Network – an equipping/serving ministry – a prophetic voice to the Body of Christ regarding facilitating the end time harvest.
House2Harvest will serve the thousands of simple (house, emerging, post-modern churches and the like) churches by helping them become a part of a major mission movement focusing primarily on reaching the unreached, the marginalized, the poor, and the development of strategic missions both locally and internationally.
We desire to help Simple/house churches and networks do the following:
a. Be mobilized to the least reached ethnic groups (nations), the marginalized, and the poor sending apostolic teams to make disciples among them.
b. Provide training to those who are called to minister cross culturally.
c. Develop a plan to send teams to the least reached, the marginalized and the poor.
d. Establish their own sending council or missions organization (via their regional house church network) so that they can effectively and strategically send apostolic workers to the frontiers (i.e. Strategic Church Network – http://www.strategicchurchnetwork.org).
House2Harvest will provide training, consultation and resources to facilitate mobilization, deployment and engagement to the unreached as well as wisely engaging in ministry to widows and orphans and the poorest of the poor.
- Acts 1:8. In areas where foundations have never been laid (the unreached) as well as targeting the marginalized poor (such as refugees, widows and orphans). This will be done via sending apostolic teams and partnering with already sent apostolic teams.
Values & Ideas (in no particular order):
- Never separate training from doing. Our philosophy of training needs to be “doing” based rather than just knowledge based. When we do trainings, it must involve real ministry and missions.
Short term trip
House churches set up exclusively for training servants to the nations and to reach specific communities, neighborhoods and social groups.
Partnering with viable models that can be used as training points.
Connect what they have learned with a ministry activity or project that allows them to put it into practice in the real world – not contrived exercises.
- Emphasize the role of the apostolic over the traditional professional missionary.
- Maintain the network via actual relationships rather than organizational and institutional tools and methods. This network will not only be focused in the USA but in other nations as well.
- Encourage sending teams rather than individuals. This would also include partnering with already sent teams.
- We are NOT to be an information monopoly – but work “flat” (starfish principles). Share what we have openly and not for the profit of an organization.
- Income will come from training, consulting and coaching activities as well as hosting trips. Funding will also be secured from partners and grants.
- Use different terms to communicate values:
o Instead of Missions – use “Serve the nations”
o Instead of missionary – use “servant to the nations”
o Instead of church planting – use “making disciples”
- Be willing to develop in areas where models do not exists as well as use of existing models.
- Hold Conferences – round table style consultations in order to facilitate networking and sharing of ideas, resources, and strategies.
- Provide Resources, web based, etc.
- Provide consulting and coaching.
- Assist in the Process of (this will be an integrated process – not linear):
- Develop a network to connect, to send, to train/do. This will begin at the Roundtable discussion in Dallas (August 31)
- Find out what House/Simple Church networks we can work with and develop a data base of resource people and networks. (part of Steve’s research)
- Find out what projects need to be developed.
- Develop Website and find a talented web designer willing to serve as webhost.
- Mobilizing simple churches to:
a. The unreached – the least reached ethnic groups (Matthew 24:14).
b. Strategic mercy ministries such as orphans and widows and the poorest of the poor. Providing counsel to assist the SC to connect with ministries of integrity.
- Serving house church networks and ministries for the purpose of advancing the kingdom of God. Thus, keeping a Kingdom of God focus, and not an organizational, network, or ministry focus.
- Work towards helping ministries/networks become mission, church planting, disciple making movements. This begins at home and will then spread to the areas of the world where Jesus in unknown and the gospel of the Kingdom is not yet preached.
- The goal will be to stay flat (i.e. starfish, open sourced). Be viral – produce viral tools.
- Potential Projects:
a. Develop a prayer network that is missions focused.
b. Maintain a list of networking partners (both individuals and missions organizations) who willing to serve to see the least reached nations reached through Simple Church networks.
c. Maintain a list of what people are actually doing who are willing to serve as points for training and learning.
d. Bridge Centers (Forward Operating Bases) in the region of major affinity blocks. (see description below)
e. Develop and maintain a Web Site – Open sourced / equipping and resources. This will also serve as a communication hub taking all security precautions in mind.
f. Training team of cross cultural, apostolic workers that will itinerate to simple church networks to assist them in the cause.
g. Training Houses (M-Pact Houses – Missions Houses – see description below)
BRIDGE CENTERS – FORWARD OPERATING BASES
- Serve as a bridge/connector between the field and local churches/ministries/missions orgs.
o Renewals for field workers
o Exposure opportunities for supporters and potential teams
o Providing a forum and venue for a team of strategic coordinators for a specific affinity block and/or its sub groups.
o Strategic forums for field workers and partners.
- Local – in a non-threatening location
- Key Component – Serve
- Network with local practitioners in the affinity block and their organizations.
- Network with local businesses and humanitarian/educational organizations to provide opportunities for service.
- Host Short-Term teams, consultations, seminars, language studies, cultural studies, training initiatives.
- Relational Connections will make it work.
- Must be international.
- Possible locations. Locations will be in strategic location throughout the 10/40 window. The list is not to be publicized for security reasons. There is already a working model in South East Asia.
- Systems to be developed/administrated:
o Short-Term Teams – Hosting
o Guest House
o Member Care for servants to the nations such as retreats and counseling.
o Language School – UPG languages and trade languages of the region.
o Consultation and partnering events.
o Local Relationships with legacy/institutional/traditional churches, humanitarian organizations, schools and businesses.
o Library and resources for servants to the nations and study groups.
o Strategic Studies (i.e. IIS) and programs.
o Pre-field Orientation School
o Staging base for teams, research and community transformation ministries.
A Mission House Concept: A place to grow, be equipped and change the world!
M=Mission, Pact=A Covenant, A Promise until a certain goal is achieved. – Root Latin Pax = peace. Sounds like impact!
A. Gather together approximately six believers who want to live out a biblical discipleship model as a team in order to:
- Grow in Christ
- Experience simple/organic church
- Make disciples in their neighborhood seeing the Lord build his Church.
- Serve as the team leaders for short-term missions trips through House2Harvest.
- Prepare for the mission field in the areas of the world that are unreached.
B. Obtain house in needy urban areas to house the teams. These houses will need to be large enough to accommodate 6 singles. We will need a separate house for men, women and couples. The team members will need to be adults who are capable of living on their own.
- The House will be run by the team. It is the intention that each team member will be treated as an adult and will be expected to make adult decisions together.
o They will write up a covenant agreement among themselves establishing:
· House Rules
· Financial Responsibilities
· Discipleship goals
· Vision and Ministry goals for the neighborhood
· Methods of accountability.
· Training plan for cross cultural ministry
- The team will meet together regularly as the church (all the “mission houses” in the neighborhood – men, women and couples).
- The team will be responsible to make disciples throughout the neighborhood using the “Church Planting Movement” strategy and variations thereof seeing churches planted in various homes.
- The team may also be a part of the core leadership team for the House2Harvest short term mission trips in the USA and around the world.
- Each team member will hold down at least a part time job or attend college/university. This will be so that:
o The team members develop real-life skills and not be insulated from the integration of life and ministry.
o The team members will not be isolated from real life experience; their training experience will not be an “extraction” experience so that they will not produce disciples themselves via extraction.
o This will provide the financial needs for the house as well as their personal needs.
- Each team member will be responsible to raise the funds needed for mission trips. This may be done from the house churches which they have planted and other relationships they have developed through the Body of Christ.
- The team will have a one year commitment to be part of the house. At the end of one year the can choose to remain as part of the team or leave. The other team members will also have voice as to whether a team member remains on the team.
C. The coaching team will be responsible to:
- Provide guidelines through each of the above activities and processes.
- Provide training and coaching in the area of doing house church, reaching their neighbors, and cross cultural ministry.
- Meet regularly with the team members for fellowship, encouragement and mentoring/coaching times.
- Provide leadership and intervention when needed.
D. The House Churches
- The team will make disciples thus planting as many house churches as possible.
- Each team member will facilitate a house church until the attendees of that house church are prepared to grow and multiply without his/her assistance.
- The goal is that when the Mission House team leaves the area, the gospel continues to be spread throughout that neighborhood/community through the active ministry of each house church that was planted.
- The house churches planted will follow the basic philosophy of house church and will not be under any denomination or hierarchal entity preserving the priesthood of every believer and allowing the house church to be autonomous.
E. What do we need to begin?
- Houses to be used to the glory of God in strategic communities.
- Team candidates that are willing to follow the plan.
- Funding for set up costs and missional outreach.
M-PACT – “The adventure is out there!” M-PACT –“Whose life is it anyway?”
Well what do you think – let’s talk about it!