Around the world we see numerous examples of the community of Christ growing through networks of multiplying small, simple communities. It is the mission and heart desire of R-Fellowship to encourage and facilitate this movement. It is our hope that these simple gatherings will remain affiliated with Restoration Fellowship Network in a role of fellowship and cooperation in continuing the mission of multiplying simple home churches. We choose to describe these Gatherings as "SIMPLE ORGANIC CHRISTIAN 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 or institution. Each community is as unique as the people in the community, everyone is involved in giving and receiving ministry to each other, as led by God which requires trust and flexibility.
They are gatherings for believers in Christ to aid in fulfilling the purposes of God together: Community, Mission, and Worship.
They function as a close community or family rather than as a club or a clique. Cliques desire to maintain the status quo and exclude, rather than include. Our Father is overjoyed when we include others in the growing family of God.
This is what the groups of believers in the New Testament looked like. We should look like this too!
It is helpful to avoid the bias associated with the term "church" (from both Christians and non-Christians) and instead use terms such as gathering, community, assembly, fellowship, etc., that more accurately reflect the New Testament word translated “church” (learn more about the Greek word "ekklesia"). However, we acknowledge people are more familiar with the word “church.”
The model is quite simple and reproducible. In general: Multiple means are available to begin gathering individuals committed to simple, organic principles and practice but the primary means is through committed prayer. Some examples of developing connection are: seeker Bible studies, LifeChange Partners, outreach to non-believers, neighborhood potluck meals, “Matthew parties,” service to others, giving away copies of the DBS Journal, volunteering as a neighborhood chaplain, etc.. However, the best place to find a “person of peace” (Luke 10:6) is your current sphere of influence. Link here for a sample outline of the First 4 Gatherings (you could also consider a single meeting as an “Introduction to Restoration Fellowship” and cover the main ideas). When there are 4-5 people committed to God and to the guiding principles of being a Simple Organic Christian Community, the group should prayerfully consider whether they want to officially commit together as a Community. You may choose to mark this occasion with a celebration of new beginnings, or signing a Covenant of Commitment and Community Commitment. You can find recommendations on How To Meet, as well as using an easy to follow Bible study format called Disciples Bible Study, also explore our Frequently Asked Questions.
As the Community grows together, it will also grow outwardly as members launch new home churches, creating an organically connected network of Simple Organic Christian Communities. We think it works best to follow the “Chain Link” Principle. This encourages each person to remain connected to two groups, the one they are in now, which is their “family of origin,” and the one they are starting or have started, which is their new “nuclear family.” This helps people not feel like they are losing connection with family yet can still fulfill the kingdom mission of launching new communities.
Periodically, the home churches join together in a “family reunion” for special occasions of prayer, teaching, and/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, launching new communities starts all over again!