a future church plant?

January 9, 2006

I don’t know how you got to this blog, but it could have been by one of two addresses. This blog is hosted by WordPress and is found at https://nmabry.wordpress.com. However, I currently own the domain name of www.pilgrimagecommunity.com and I have it forwarded to this blog.

More than 6 years ago, I was riding along a local road when the thought came to my mind (whether divinely or randomly) that I should plant a church. Furthermore, the name “Pilgrimage Church” came to mind as well. I immediately registered the domain name of www.pilgrimagechurch.com. After a couple years, I let that expire (foolishly), settling on the name “Pilgrimage Community.”

The word church is derived from Greek words meaning “Lord’s house.” I believe the New Testament concept of an ekklesia is much more closely related to “community” (note, I am speaking of the concept of what we find in relation to the NT ekklesia, not the specific Greek definition for the actual word). I suppose there is also the part within me that immediately thinks of certain structure paradigms when I hear the word “church” that caused me to lean toward “community.”

What kind of “community” do I envision? I would like to start as a “house church.” I would simply start meeting with a group of people in my home. We would meet for Bible Study, prayer, a common meal, or for simply fellowship. The idea of a geographically centered church is what appeals to me most. Recently, I left a staff position at a more traditionally structured (Southern Baptist) church. In the course of driving to the place of meeting, I passed numerous churches that taught a similar doctrine. I am not of the opinion that everyone should attend the closest gathering to their home, but why can’t it be that way?

If God saw fit to bless, another house church could be borne out of the original. Continuing in that process you develop a group of house churches. I would certainly consider at that time pushing for a corporate gathering of all involved. You could gather corporately once a month, or even every week. The point is, small groups are the foundation.

Too often the leadership in established churches foresee the benefits that the congregation could receive with a strong small group ministry. However, it is hard to demonstrate the importance of small groups and build support for it when the church has reached its current plateau without such.

These are just some preliminary thoughts. There will be many continuing thoughts in the future concerning the philosophy I will maintain in planting a church.

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