The House Church Revolution (50 page book) - Rad Zdero

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A Manual for Theory and Practice RAD ZDEROThis book, The House Church Revolution (by Rad Zdero), can be downloaded free from the “Resources” section at For more information about the house church revolution or to invite Rad Zdero for visits, seminars, or conferences: Rad Zdero P.O. Box 39528 Lakeshore P.O. Mississauga, ON Canada L5G-4S6 Copyright © 2008Rad Zdero-2-www.housechurch.caCONTENTSPart 1: The World House Church Movement

Text of The House Church Revolution (50 page book) - Rad Zdero

A Manual for Theory and Practice RAD ZDERO

This book, The House Church Revolution (by Rad Zdero), can be downloaded free from the Resources section at For more information about the house church revolution or to invite Rad Zdero for visits, seminars, or conferences: Rad Zdero P.O. Box 39528 Lakeshore P.O. Mississauga, ON Canada L5G-4S6 Copyright 2008

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CONTENTSPart 1: The World House Church Movement Today Part 2: New Testament Foundations for the House Church Movement Part 3: House Church Movements Across the Ages Part 4: Practical Lessons for Starting a House Church Network Recommended Resources 4 22 33 42 51

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Part 1: The World House Church Movement Today

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What is a House Church?House churches are fully functioning, self-governing churches, in and of themselves. They desire to get back to the Bible basics of church life and mission. They are free to eat the Lords supper, baptize new believers, marry, bury, exercise church discipline, and chart their own course. They are volunteer led and meet in homes in small groups for participatory and interactive prayer and worship, Bible study and discussion, mentoring and outreach, and the use of all spiritual gifts. They are not event oriented, building centered, or clergy led. They are part of a movement of grassroots Christianity that is spreading all around the world!

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How are House Churches different than Cell Groups?Cell Groups House Churches

PHILOSOPHY of MINISTRY Operating Principle Practical Application Scripture is descriptive for church forms Retrofit or add on to otherwise traditional church structure Scripture is prescriptive for church forms Restoration of apostolic patterns for church life and mission

EXTERNAL ASPECTS Operating Principle Practical Application A segment of the church (church OF small groups) Pyramid Structure of Cells Full-fledged church in itself (church IS small groups) Peer Network of HCs

INTERNAL ASPECTS Operating Principle Accountable and Dependent - Big decisions (e.g. church discipline) by board/pastor - Format/Content approved by board/pastor Self-governing and Self-sustaining - Internal decision making - Participatory meetings involving all spiritual gifts

Practical Application

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Whats the Difference?

Church WITH Small Groups

Church OF Small Groups

Church IS Small Groups

Traditional ChurchRevitalization of Status Quo

Cell Church

House Church NetworkRestoration of New Testament Patterns

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House Church Movements around the GlobeCanada HC networks forming in cities & towns (approx. 500 HCs) India 1995-2001 saw 3500 HCs planted in Madhya Pradesh with 70,000 new believers China 80-100 million believers in HCs

USA approx. 1600 HCs on internet alone Cuba 6,000 to 10,000 HCs formed since 1992 petrol crisis Ethiopia growth from 5,000 to 50,000 believers in HCs during 1980s Marxist oppression Cambodia 1992-1999 saw 200 new house churches formed with 10,000 new believers

Burma, Hong Kong, and the Philippines new HC leaders and groups being formed Australia Oikos Australia: national, informal, network of HCs

This is just the tip of the iceberg !

300,000 house churches started (outside China) between 1998 and 2006!

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INDIA (1990s)Madhya Pradesh

In 1995, Victor and Bindu Choudhrie begin an experiment in church planting in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh

no buildings, no Sunday morning services, no professional clergy

deploy young men with basic

training from low caste as church planters

3500 house-churches by 2001, with 70,000 people Strategy plant a house-church in every one of 17,000 villages in Madhya Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh

In 2001, 1250 new house-churches formed and 6000 new believers willing to be trained

young believers go door-to-door and offer prayer healings and demonic deliverance are common converted families host houses of prayer that become multiplying house-churches 100,000 house churches started between 2001 and 2006!

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CUBA (1990s)History

1992 petrol crisis led to traffic standstill

Protestant church re-organized congregations into neighbourhood house groups

by year 2000, emergence of 6,000 to 10,000 house-churches

Thanks Castro !Characteristics

house-church within walking distance of nearly every Cuban 1 house-church for every 1,500 people part-time preachers/teachers traveling from group to group

Critique of some Cuban house churches o very traditional services and meetings o very traditional mindset re: clergy and leadership o would construct buildings if they had opportunity

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Top 10 Ingredients for Church Planting Movements TodayA Church Planting Movement is a rapid and exponential increase of indigenous churches planting churches within a given people group or population segment. (David Garrison, Church Planting Movements, 2004) 1. PRAYER 2. ABUNDANT GOSPEL SOWING 3. INTENTIONAL CHURCH PLANTING 4. SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY 5. LOCAL LEADERSHIP 6. VOLUNTEER LAY LEADERS 7. HOUSE CHURCHES (10 to 30 people) 8. CHURCHES PLANTING CHURCHES 9. RAPID REPRODUCTION 10. HEALTHY CHURCHES: outreach, discipleship, worship, fellowship

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Christianity in Canada50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0Committed Life to Christ Attend Church Weekly

% Canadians




(Source: Ipsos-Reid Poll, commission by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, 2003,

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TRADITIONAL CHURCHES ARE CLOSING THEIR DOORS72 existing churches shut down every week 24 new churches started every week

net loss of 48 churches every week(Source: Larry Kreider, House Church Networks, 2001)

TRADITIONAL CHURCHES ARE NOT REACHING THE LOST75 % of churches 24 % of churches 1 % of churches no growth growth by migration growth by conversion

(Source: Rick Shrout, New Culture, New Church, Chapter 54, in Nexus: The World House Church Movement Reader, Rad Zdero (ed.), William Carey Library Publishers, 2007)

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10 years or more 4 - 7 years 3 years or less

85 7 3

1 1 1

(Source: Larry Kreider, House Church Networks, 2001)


1000 or more people 300 - 400 200 - 300 100 - 200 1 - 100

4 7 17 23 63

(Source: Wolfgang Simson, Houses that Change the World, 1998)

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HOUSE CHURCHES ARE MORE MISSIONALIn a survey of 255 house churches in the USA: 91 (or 36%) were missional! In a study of 33 missional house churches in the USA: 24% to 43% of members are new believers!

missional house church = baptized at least 1 person in previous year, and planted at least 1 other house church in previous 3 years

Ratios of this size automatically place these [house] churches among the most effective evangelistic churches in North America.

(Source: Prof. J.D. Payne, Missional House Churches, 2007)

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The Changing Church in North AmericaYear 2000Alternative Family Church 5% 5% Marketplace Ministry 20 %

Year 2025Alternative Church 30-35 % Family 5% Traditional Church 30-35 %

Traditional Church 70 %

Marketplace Ministry 30-35 %

Source: George Barna (2005), Revolution.

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House Church Movement in North AmericaIn addition to many independent HC networks, the following groups are sponsoring the HC movement in a North American context Denominations The Canadian Evangelical Christian Churches o Waterloo (Ontario) Dove Christian Fellowship o cell group and HC focus internationally Evangelical Missionary Church in Canada The Free Methodist Church in Canada o HC projects in BC and Alberta The Foursquare Gospel First Canadian House Church Roundtable 2002 Church of Canada (Sponsor: Evangelical Fellowship of Canada) o National director for cell and HCs Partners in Harvest o Barrie (Ontario) The Presbyterian Church in Canada o Cariboo (BC) The Southern Baptist Convention o Church Planting Movements internationally o HC networks in Dallas area and Colorado The Vineyard o Cincinnati (Ohio) Mission Agencies DAWN (Discipling a Whole Nation) o HC coaching network - vision for 4 million HCs The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada o National HC database and regional facilitators YWAM (Youth with a Mission) international HC ministry of Robert Fitts, Sr.

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Church Multiplication Associates (U.S.A.)Number of House Churches 1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 10 1 168 28 2 80 1000

36 States in USA 31 countries








Year (1999 - 2006)

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The House Church Movement of the Lake Ontario Region (Canada)

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Rochester (