Friday, July 3, 2009

OC-Based House Church Says Church Building Got in the Way of Discipleship

OC-Based House Church Says Church Building Got in the Way of Discipleship

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., July 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- A recent study found many megachurch goers are content to be spectators at church, and one house church leader sees a lesson there - but it isn't what you might think.

A recent study by The Hartford Institute for Religion Research at Hartford Seminary and Leadership Network found that nearly half of megachurch attendees say they never volunteer at church and 32 percent say they give little or no money to the church.

But, house church leader and pastor Ken Eastburn of The Well isn't blaming megachurches for this finding. While he acknowledges the sheer size of megachurches may allow spectator Christians to more easily worship anonymously alongside active, engaged Christians, Eastburn cautions other church leaders not to miss what he sees as the deeper message from the study.

"Every church has spectator Christians in attendance and being a disciple of Jesus isn't for spectators," Eastburn asserts. He believes the core lesson from the study is that a church of any size can become complacent about challenging its members to deeper personal relationships with Jesus Christ. "It is a painful reminder," he continues, "that every church must never neglect its basic purpose - making disciples."

Getting back to the basics was one of reasons The Well, once a traditional Southern Baptist church, left its building in 2005 to begin meeting in houses. "For us, our building was standing in the way of our call to building and growing the body of Christ," according to Eastburn. The Well now meets in homes across Orange County, Calif. and is openly learning what it means to be a network of house churches. "We believe this house church model encourages a greater level of engagement with one another and God. And, we're learning new things every day." The Well shares its story and discoveries on its blog at

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