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1. Are you guys describing a House Church model?
Actually we're not, but it can be easily adapted that way. While many people equate what the Jerusalem apostles did as a House Church model, in fact it's more accurately described as a House Discipleship system within a larger church model. The church model in Jerusalem was more than just meeting house to house. They also met in the temple. That large group identity was crucial to their community health. To be sure, churches can meet in a singular stand alone home - for e.g. Col. 4:15, Rom. 16:5 - but this not what the Jerusalem Church was. They were too big to meet in one home. So they held the tension of "to own or not to own" in perfect balance. Since spiritual formation was prime (per Mt. 28:19-20) -- which is best facilitated through meetings in smaller settings -- they already had a solution in place through the places owned by the members. They didn't need to or have to spend money on a big building where spiritual formation is not best facilitated. Spiritual formation is NOT the wheelhouse of temple meetings as exciting as these large gatherings are. Temple meetings are for experiencing the glory of numbers, inspiration, vision, corporate worship, and being part of a larger corporate identity -- all of which are important in building the momentum, strength, and visibility of the church. But the centre of spiritual gravity for a church, as given in Jesus' make disciples mandate, is to nurture the small church settings where disciples are truly forged. Thus the construction of "temple buildings" are negotiable to this overall priority, not primary. When you prioritize "temples" this way, copious amounts of cash can be freed up for the purpose of radical giving -- which is exactly what the Jerusalem Church did -- without sacrificing spiritual vitality or effectiveness. With that said, if a church is well off, it doesn't mean they can't have a nice temple as well as a well-honed spiritual formation system -- you can have both and do both well. However, human nature as it is, is prone to substituting the glamour of temple attendance for spiritual formation meetings. And that would be to invert the priority of the Great Commission.
Another way to see how temples facilities are negotiable but small group meetings are not is to see it through the experience of the persecuted church. They have no ability to meet en masse, and yet the church thrives through its secret, hidden meetings. Of course they long to meet together in stadiums and large venues, but their inability to do so does not hamper their long-term viability or witness for Jesus. Conversely, if the church could only meet in temple courts and not in small groups, one could safely predict the vigor of the church would be weakened. Case in point would be the many magnificent cathedrals in Europe that lie empty. They are breath-taking places for believers to gather in large numbers, yet the health of the church is not there. Europe has been in spiritual decline for decades, not to mention in many of these venues, they sit as empty caverns with just a few dozen people attending services on weekends.
2. How is the leadership structure set up in 611 churches?
Simply put, we follow the biblical pattern of elders (Titus 1: 1-5; 1 Tim. 3:1-7), deacons (1 Tim. 3:8-13), and five fold ministers (Eph. 4:11-12) as modelled in the book of Acts and the Epistles. We are after the New Testament leadership model vs. the traditional or denominational pattern (1).
3. Are you focused on planting English-speaking or "ex-pat" churches?
No. Our focus is to plant churches that will be led and sustained by national leaders. We want the main language of the church and church leadership to reflect the primary language(s) of the country or culture in which the church is being planted. Our goal is not to reach English-speaking people in global cities, but the locals and nationals of that city. 611.red is an "every tongue" initiative, not a "one tongue" vision.
(1) The Pilgrim Church, EH Broadbent, 1989, Evangelical Heritage Series
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