The Original Design for the Church
THE RETURN OF THE MICROCHURCH
The missional conversation in the West has been snowballing for decades.
Leslie Newbigin, who is considered by many to be the instigator of this conversation, poised the question in his book Foolishness to the Greeks: “What would be involved in a missionary encounter between the gospel and this whole way of perceiving, thinking, and living that we call ‘modern Western Culture?” We’ve been wrestling with that question for forty years.
Of course, microchurch is not a new form of the church, but the most ancient one. A compelling case can be made that the microchurch is the original design within the pages of the New Testament. In addition, it is also the primary expression of the church in the most significant Disciple-Making Movements on the planet today, in places like India and China. Now is the time for us to return to the microchurch in the West for biblical, cultural, and missiological reasons.
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In our present moment, Microchurch is at the fore-front of the conversation for many in light of the changing cultural landscape we find ourselves in, coupled with the ongoing deconstruction and reform back to what many believe is a return to a more biblically faithful expression of church. Call it Missional Community or MicroChurch (MCs for short in this article), there really is a big difference between typical small groups and MCs.
ARE MICROCHURCHES JUST SMALL GROUPS WITH A DIFFERENT NAME?
by Jeff Vanderstelt
Meet the directors of microchurch next
Rob is a ragamuffin who lives to love Jesus, his wife, his daughters, and his extended spiritual family in his neighborhood. He’s also one of the founding leaders and directors of the Kansas City Underground, a mission agency and decentralized network of microchurches and missional leaders committed to filling Kansas with the beauty, justice, and Good News of Jesus. Rob also serves on the Global Leadership Team of NewThing, a global tribe equipping catalytic leaders in every nation of the world who believe in building networks around the Jesus Mission.
The Starfish and the Spirit: Unleashing the Leadership Potential of Churches and Organizations is his latest book, which he co-wrote with Lance Ford and Alan Hirsch.
Brian Johnson serves as one of the founders and directors of the Kansas City Underground, a mission agency and decentralized network of missionaries and microchurches in Kansas City. KCU’s forty-year vision is to have a missionary on every street and a microchurch in every network of relationships, connecting with training Hubs throughout the city, saturating Kansas City with the beauty, justice, and Good News of Jesus.
Brian and his wife Kristen live as missionaries with their five kids in their neighborhood, seeking to build an extended spiritual family there.