Simple Church is a term used to refer to small congregations that primarily meet in homes. These Sabbath home gatherings start with a team of four missionary-minded Adventists (commonly called a CORE4 missionary team) who focus on reaching secular and unchurched people who typically will not walk into a conventional church on a given weekend. This fast-growing spiritual demographic now represent about 66 percent of your neighbors.
Simple Churches are not small groups because they are not a side-activity of a regular church. They are full churches on par with conventional churches whose congregations own, lease or rent a building where worship and ministry are conducted. Simple Churches tend to be smaller in attendance (5-35) and have a simpler worship format and organizational structure.
Research by The Barna Group reports that as of 2014 approximately 104 million people living in the United States walked away from their local church. Their reason? To go find God.
This may come as a surprise, but a massive cultural shift is taking place in North America. How will we reach these people with Bible truth about the God they seek? Are we willing to become modern-day missionaries?
Simple Church is more effective at reaching some groups than a conventional form of church, especially for the unchurched and younger adults. Since the majority of North American residents are not active in any religious congregation, this is an approach that can be used to successfully achieve the mission of the Adventist Church.
This is not a new form of church. The New Testament clearly reveals that early Christian believers met for worship in homes (Rom. 16:5, I Cor. 16:19, and Col. 4:15). Surprisingly, neither is this a new form of church for Adventists. During the early decades of the movement, most local churches met in homes or rented lodge halls. In fact, this concept lives on in Adventist heritage under the old-fashioned terminology of cottage meetings. Current church attendance statistics indicate it is time to dust off this old concept and reinvent it for the 21st century.
“The Simple Church planting network is working,” says Florida Conference president Mike Cauley. Currently, 54 percent of attendance in the average Simple Church is secular and/or unchurched people. The North American Division leaders endorse the Simple Church model as a missional, effective church planting method. Overseas church officials also have taken notice, and Milton Adams has been asked to develop a global network of house churches around the world. Welcome to the mission field that lives where you live!
How do I get started with Simple Church?
Minnesota Conference has scheduled a Simple Church Training Workshop for Sept. 23-25 at North Star Camp.
Registration information is listed below. Minnesota members will be given first priority in registering until July 1.
Can my family come?
Yes. Simple Church is about reaching “the mission field that lives where you live”—beginning at home. One of the best ways to reach this first mission field is to bring them alongside you as part of the mission team.
In keeping with this family-styled missionary work, children are welcome to come and participate.
There will be no child care provided, so please plan to bring quiet activities for young children. Parents are responsible for supervision.
How much does it cost?
Five meals served. Each meal is $10 per person, $5 for children ages 3–12, children under 3 years free.
Seminar fee is $25 per participant over the age of 12.
What are the lodging options?
$80 per cabin
$26 per tent site (bring your own tent) Reserve your place by Sept. 1.
Call Kristen Hallman at 423.508.5718
Send check or money order to:
North Star Camp
11287 Eagleview Drive NE Brainerd, MN 56401
For more information visit: SimpleChurchAtHome.com
Milton Adams is a Simple Church Plant Facilitator.