Around the world we see numerous examples of the church growing through networks of multiplying small, simple communities. It is the mission and heart desire of 1God.Community to encourage and facilitate this movement within the fellowship of Biblical Unitarians. It is also hoped that these simple gatherings will continue to be affiliated with 1God.Community, not in a role of oversight or authority, but one of fellowship and cooperation in continuing the church multiplication mission. We choose to label this a "SIMPLE ORGANIC CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY,” or simply Communities, to emphasize that:
these are simple and easily reproducible, there are no demands for performance or certain things that have to happen, the relationships are more important than the structure, in other words, people based rather than program based
they are organic in nature in that they are a dynamic organism rather than an organization, each community is as unique as the people in the community, everyone is involved in giving and receiving ministry to each other, as lead by God which requires trust and flexibility
they are gatherings for believers in Christ to aid in fulfilling the purposes of God together
they function as a close community or family rather than as a club or a clique, cliques desire to maintain the status quo and exclusion, rather than inclusion, our Father is overjoyed when we include others in the growing family of God
it is helpful to unload the baggage associated with the term "church" and instead use terms such as gathering, community, etc (learn more about the Greek word "ekklesia.")
The model is quite simple and reproducible. In general:
multiple means are available to begin gathering individuals committed to simple, organic church principles and practice but the primary means is prayer, other means are developing LifeChange Partners, seeker group Bible studies, outreach to non-believers, neighborhood potluck meals, etc.
when there are 5-6 people committed to God and to the guiding principles of being a Simple Organic Christian Community, it may be time to prayerfully and officially commit together that you desire to identify as a Community. You may choose to mark this occasion with a celebration of new beginnings (click here for recommendations on How To Meetas well as an easy to follow Bible study format called Disciples Bible Study, as well as Frequently Asked Questions).
as the Community grows, eventually it must multiply, starting a connected network of Simple Organic Christian Communities. We think it works best to follow a “Chain Link” Principle. This encourages each person to remain connected to two groups, one you are in now, and the one you are starting or have started. This helps people not feel like they are losing connection with family yet can still fulfill the mission of launching new communities.
periodically, the Communities join together for special occasions of prayer, teaching, or worship. It may happen as often as monthly or as infrequently as quarterly.
as disciples move to different cities or countries, either due to work/family reasons or purposefully in service to God, the launching of new communities starts all over again!
Although there are numerous examples of this model, I will only give links for three examples One is facilitated by well known Christian pastor/author, Francis Chan who stepped down as pastor of a mega-church to start "We Are Church" in the San Francisco area. Very similar models given as examples include Home Church, a network in Oklahoma, and Summit Fellowshipsa network in Oregon.
(while these resources may espouse doctrinal perspectives you disagree with, they generally present universal principles applicable to all)