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Micro Church, House Church, Simple Church. What’s the Difference?
Episode 32924th May 2021 • Everyday Disciple Podcast • Caesar Kalinowski
00:00:00 00:55:27

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It is becoming increasingly popular for churches to pioneer new models of "micro church". You may know them by various names, but these intentionally simple, streamlined expressions of the church are often small, volunteer-led, and casual. Could this be the answer for post-congregational Christians?

In this episode of the Everyday Disciple Podcast, Caesar is joined by Gino Curcuruto, as they discuss these new micro church experiences. Are they all the same thing with different names, or are there real, important differences and goals behind each?

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Not all of these newer expressions of the church are the same.
  • Is a Missional Community a micro church?
  • Why existing churches need to check their motives when beginning.
  • The Top 3 priorities when starting a new "micro church".

Get started here…

micro church house church simple church

From this episode:

“A lot of the churches are saying, ‘Well our people aren't coming back… so we're going to start micro churches.’ And what they're doing is just basically their church service in their house. In fact, they're not really developing anybody. They're just, ‘Hey, turn on the live stream... And then maybe hang out afterward and have some food.’ I kind of like that aspect better, that's an upgrade from just sitting in pews in silence. And yet it still leaves people, unfortunately, just doing a church service in their homes.”

 

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Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Free Download of the Big 3 For Episode #329

The Table Philidelphia

Coaching with Caesar and Tina in discipleship and missional living.

Free Discipleship and Missional Resources

 

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Transcripts

Speaker:

You have said so often, I think it's true, that discipleship happens necessarily in relationship.

Speaker:

And my only pushback is that I think discipleship is relationship.

Speaker:

I would say it not just starts, but I think that's the whole part and parcel of the whole thing.

Speaker:

Because what happens is churches that don't

Speaker:

prioritize discipleship within relationship or as relationship, is that we don't build the fluidity into our structures for people to be in relationship.

We build structures that say:

let's gather thousands of people.

We build structures that say:

So no one knows one another.

We build structures that say:

And we wonder why there's no discipleship happening.

We build structures that say:

Welcome to the Everyday Disciple Podcast, where you'll learn how to live with greater intentionality and an integrated faith that naturally fits into every area of life.

We build structures that say:

In other words, discipleship as a lifestyle, this is the stuff your parents, pastors, and seminary professors.

We build structures that say:

Probably forgot to tell you.

We build structures that say:

And now here's your host Caesar.

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Kalinowski okay.

We build structures that say:

Back together.

We build structures that say:

I love it.

We build structures that say:

This is the best.

We build structures that say:

Thanks for being here.

We build structures that say:

Thanks for joining me again here at the Everyday Disciple Podcast.

We build structures that say:

I am feeling so good and so rested and ready for everything for stuff.

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I just came back from vacation up in the beautiful mountains up in Tennessee, Tina and I, and a handful of other couples.

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How fun.

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Amazing.

We build structures that say:

And.

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Oh, yeah, we just, we had some good food.

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We had some uh rest, we had long walks and long talks about the Gospel and our kids and life and laughed a lot.

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And in the free state of Tennessee, there's no masks right now.

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So you don't have to wear any kind of medical masks.

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Yeah.

We build structures that say:

And so we both been vaccinated, so we weren't worried about it kind of either way, but.

We build structures that say:

We want to be sensitive to others, but there it's the law.

We build structures that say:

You, they, they don't want it.

We build structures that say:

And they, in fact, they, they can't make you and they've passed laws that no one else can make you.

We build structures that say:

So it was a blast, but I, I'm glad to be back here with you today.

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Hey, before I dive in and I'm going to get started because I've got a great guest on today.

We build structures that say:

I'll tell you more about that in a second.

We build structures that say:

Join me over on the Facebook group.

We build structures that say:

Join the group of people.

We build structures that say:

There's thousands.

We build structures that say:

I don't know, thousands and thousands of people in the Everyday Disciple Podcast group on Facebook.

We build structures that say:

And we get to kind of stay in touch, let you know what's going on.

We build structures that say:

Let you know about new episodes links.

We build structures that say:

Get to have conversation there about the Podcast or Missional living or finding each other.

We build structures that say:

And Hey, where do you live?

We build structures that say:

And I live here in all of that kind of stuff.

We build structures that say:

You can find it real easily on Facebook.

We build structures that say:

But you can also go to Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash Facebook, just as a link.

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And it'll take you whoop right to our page.

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All right.

We build structures that say:

I hope you'll do that.

We build structures that say:

Okay.

We build structures that say:

To today's topic, whatever the cool name or term of the day is, there's an overlap in ideas for what people are today.

We build structures that say:

Calling micro church.

We build structures that say:

Okay.

We build structures that say:

Some people call it that they're just calling them micro churches or some call it a mini church or simple church, organic church house, church hybrid church, dinner church, or good old school Missional Community.

We build structures that say:

And none of these seem to have universally accepted definitions and practices.

We build structures that say:

So, but maybe there.

We build structures that say:

They're implying some similarities.

We build structures that say:

And we're going to talk about that.

We build structures that say:

I'm gonna talk about that with my guests and in the past, these types of church experiences and communities like smaller ones, house churches, or whatever hybrid churches were seen as offshoots of the more traditional church.

We build structures that say:

They were sort of started and led by people who were worried that much of the church now felt too complex or institutional or performance-based maybe they wanted something simpler more back to the basics.

We build structures that say:

While I want to talk about all that today.

We build structures that say:

What are these new micro church experiences?

We build structures that say:

All about, are they the same thing with different names or are there real practical, important differences in goals perhaps behind each of them?

We build structures that say:

Well, I'm excited to have a really good friend of mine joined me today for this conversation, the perfect person for this we've worked together for years and years.

We build structures that say:

We've traveled all over the world together.

We build structures that say:

I have the utmost respect for him and his thoughts on all of this, because not only is he a great guy, but he's the real deal, a daily practitioner, him and his family of Disciple making that definitely lives all of this as a lifestyle.

We build structures that say:

Discipleship's a lifestyle for them.

We build structures that say:

Okay.

We build structures that say:

So my pal is Gino Kircher Rudo.

We build structures that say:

And just to give you a little, who's this guy, he's a bi-vocational pastor, which means he and his wife work and they have to make their income and all that.

We build structures that say:

But they're with the table Philadelphia.

We build structures that say:

That's what it's called.

We build structures that say:

And they've started this.

We build structures that say:

It's a church plant in Philly.

We build structures that say:

That's made up of several very nimble, intentionally smaller communities.

We build structures that say:

And he has been leading in local church contexts, all kinds of different ones for nearly 20 years.

We build structures that say:

So a lot of different perspectives.

We build structures that say:

Now, along with his wife, Jill and their kids, they've started communities of people who center their lives in the love of Jesus and make disciples in both urban and suburban contexts.

We build structures that say:

Now he's also coached leaders and.

We build structures that say:

He's worked for me as a coach and I've coached him and he he's.

We build structures that say:

Yeah, he's the goods.

We build structures that say:

And he's coached leaders and lay people across the country to help him do the same.

We build structures that say:

So you're going to love this guy.

We build structures that say:

I know you're gonna really like his style and his insights.

We build structures that say:

Take a listen to our conversation and I'll be back at the end to wrap things up and give you the big three for today.

We build structures that say:

Here we go.

We build structures that say:

Hey Gino.

We build structures that say:

It is so good to, well, see you here, but also to be with you, man, man.

We build structures that say:

See, it's good to see you too.

We build structures that say:

It's really good to be on this podcast with you.

We build structures that say:

I've been listening.

We build structures that say:

I'm excited to be here with you.

We build structures that say:

I feel like a way back though, too.

We build structures that say:

We do.

We build structures that say:

And I feel like you should have probably been on episode one and then again at 10.

We build structures that say:

And so here it is like many, many episodes in and I'm like, how could I never have had my buddy Gino on what in the heck?

We build structures that say:

I was thinking the same thing, man.

We build structures that say:

I was thinking like, what, how many episodes do you have to do before I get invited?

We build structures that say:

I'm just kidding.

We build structures that say:

But what I wanted to say, you probably has, it's probably has crossed your mind.

We build structures that say:

I'm sorry, but here we are.

We build structures that say:

And we're going to rock hard today.

We build structures that say:

We are, um, we are so close, like man, like how many guests have you had that have slept in the same room as you and your wife in like, um, Prague like anyone else?

We build structures that say:

Or is it just me?

We build structures that say:

No, this would be, this would be guest number one that is actually shared a room with my wife and I.

We build structures that say:

I, I think I slept on the footstool.

We build structures that say:

So I've really like slept at your feet, right?

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

All right.

We build structures that say:

We won't get into, yeah, I was going to say, we want to talk about exactly what you slept in the room.

We build structures that say:

All, you know, a little Gina sandwich.

We build structures that say:

I just want to make that it's clear that I was at another, I was at another piece of furniture, but yeah, same room.

We build structures that say:

Okay.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

No, it's it's awesome.

We build structures that say:

Hey, well, we've chance to catch up a little bit on what you're doing, but I want you to tell us a little bit about your family and Philly and your community there.

We build structures that say:

Philadelphia and the church you're really helping establish.

We build structures that say:

Cause it's not, it's not your average pair of pants per se, but, but for, you know, but it really flows right out of who we are and how, you know, we've been really building community and making disciples for quite a while now, actually, but it still doesn't look like a traditional church model.

We build structures that say:

So just, yeah.

We build structures that say:

Tell us real, real quickly, like a little bit about what's going on, uh, with your family and the community there.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

So we, um, a few years ago we, uh, started to establish like disciple-making communities.

We build structures that say:

Those are idea, just people getting to know people in our neighborhood and seeing the church form around people rather than establishing a form for the church and trying to squeeze people into it.

We build structures that say:

So what, what we kind of call it is we'd say we call them table communities be, and we'll talk about this probably more on this episode, why we chose that name because of all the meaning assigned to everything else.

We build structures that say:

So we've started these communities that try to really get involved in the neighborhood, getting to know neighbors and people around us.

We build structures that say:

And then we've kind of gathered those communities together for one worship service.

We build structures that say:

Of course, everything's on zoom now.

We build structures that say:

So any kind of idea you guys are still on zoom.

We build structures that say:

We, yeah, we're just able to start gathering our table communities back in person outside because of the weather has warmed up.

We build structures that say:

So we're still, we have some restrictions it's still here in Philly, but the thing that I think is worth emphasizing here is the differences we started with people gathering in homes in the neighborhood or in.

We build structures that say:

Coffee shops in the neighborhood or cigar lounges in the neighborhood around people that are not interested in the church rather than creating a church gathering and trying to get people.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

And, and we just had an episode last episode on, uh, are we.

We build structures that say:

Uh, like, should we be building out stuffing, like neighborhood or network?

We build structures that say:

And then I kind of early, I went through like, there's advantages to both, but there's disadvantages to both.

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And I was pretty, I was pretty, you know, honest about it too, and came down and said, but if you can, you got to go for proximity.

We build structures that say:

And so you're all about proximity there with the table network.

We build structures that say:

You guys

We build structures that say:

Yeah, we are.

We build structures that say:

I mean, w w with the table filling, we want to focus on our neighborhoods, but we've noticed this as we contextualize things, we've noticed that a lot of people don't do lights within the neighborhoods because of the way the neighborhoods are now built, you know, with, with public schools, people don't often go to the school in the neighborhood or have their kids in that neighborhood school.

We build structures that say:

They're in a charter school.

We build structures that say:

So people do life in different pockets.

We build structures that say:

So we talk about this too, like yeah.

We build structures that say:

There are neighborhood focused issues that we can, we can get involved in, but there's also networks of relationships that are probably gonna drive a lot of our, our multiplication or our Disciple, um, discipleship efforts as well.

We build structures that say:

So yeah, that's, that's a beautiful thing to, to know, and you're doing this as a family.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

You and Jill and the kids.

We build structures that say:

Four kids, four kids.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

They're almost all teenagers now.

We build structures that say:

See, can you believe it?

We build structures that say:

Nine, 1916.

We build structures that say:

That's Ella and Sayla girls and 14 and 12 are boys, Tim and Nate.

We build structures that say:

So that was our church.

We build structures that say:

Planting bathroom was just smell like a locker room all the time.

We build structures that say:

What's worse than that is that we only have one right now.

We build structures that say:

That's what I mean.

We build structures that say:

So it's like the line out the bathroom is the hard part.

We build structures that say:

Oh, my gosh.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

You know, I grew up with one bathroom.

We build structures that say:

I mean, most people did.

We build structures that say:

Right, right, right, right.

We build structures that say:

And, and I remember one time, this is going to sound really bad.

We build structures that say:

This is completely off topic, but one time, um, our, we have three kids.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

But when our kids were younger, um, we had a little problem with them, not flushing the toilet, like with consistency.

We build structures that say:

And we were having some overflow issues to the point of it.

We build structures that say:

When so many times, you know, coming like raining down, you know, toilet water in the kitchen, you know, from up above that we lacked, we locked their bathroom for about six months.

We build structures that say:

Nice.

We build structures that say:

So they had to come downstairs and use like the powder room and then they would either shout, which open it for showers or they'd shower.

We build structures that say:

But that way we could monitor it.

We build structures that say:

Cause it was, it got ridiculous.

We build structures that say:

Anyway.

We build structures that say:

No, that makes no sense to, I said what we're talking about today, but you know, maybe some actions cause some connections there.

We build structures that say:

Hey, like, like I was saying, you know, given in my opening that given the interest now in smaller communities, especially as we're, as we're emerging from COVID and, and a lot of churches aren't really.

We build structures that say:

Seeing their gathering back.

We build structures that say:

You know what I mean?

We build structures that say:

Like if you believe the statistics it's about 30 to 33% of people have kind of come back, like when it's open.

We build structures that say:

Right, right.

We build structures that say:

And they say 33 or 35% they think are online, but that's tough to monitor.

We build structures that say:

Cause you know, everything's a stream, right.

We build structures that say:

One second, you know, three seconds or whatever.

We build structures that say:

Um, and then they think they've lost about a third.

We build structures that say:

Probably like, Hey, you know, once we pop the top off of this that you don't have to be here.

We build structures that say:

They're not right.

We build structures that say:

They're all dialing up Tim Keller or something.

We build structures that say:

Um, but so I really was excited to be able to talk to you about what you're seeing.

We build structures that say:

You know, good, bad, and the ugly, um, as church leaders and regular folks forge out.

We build structures that say:

Into newer expressions of being the church together.

We build structures that say:

Cause I mean, there's like that all today.

We build structures that say:

We're going to talk about it all, I guess, under the auspices of the term micro churches, you know that, and there's meaning smaller, but they're called many church, simple church, organic church house, church hybrid church, dinner, church, even Missional Community.

We build structures that say:

Right?

We build structures that say:

I mean that term hasn't died.

We build structures that say:

Some people.

We build structures that say:

They tried something, they called the Missional Community.

We build structures that say:

It failed.

We build structures that say:

So they go like, ah, we don't do that anymore.

We build structures that say:

It's like we do micro church instead.

We build structures that say:

Okay, wait a second.

We build structures that say:

You know?

We build structures that say:

Right, right.

We build structures that say:

So, which of those have you participated in so far?

We build structures that say:

There are micro church, miniatures, simple church.

We build structures that say:

I feel like, I feel like it's so great because the most of these terms have become like what I'd call empty signifiers.

We build structures that say:

They don't actually mean anything.

We build structures that say:

We just attach the them to try to change the meaning of what we're already doing.

We build structures that say:

And as, as you know, like we've seen that happen with.

We build structures that say:

With all.

We build structures that say:

So I think, but if we, if we're going to go by, uh, distinct definitions for each of these, I think I've participated in all of them and decide this to some degree, um, and said, and I think there's, there's emphases on each one that are really healthy and good.

We build structures that say:

But at the end of the day, I think the there's one distinction that we could probably talk about the most is like, what is the, what is the primary.

We build structures that say:

Um, portion of the church, like what is the basic building unit of the church?

We build structures that say:

What is a church and then move from there?

We build structures that say:

Because that's where I see the differentiation, like a small group is not the same as a Missional Community and my understanding because of where you're starting from and what you mean.

We build structures that say:

Well, your focus is exactly right.

We build structures that say:

We've talked about it a lot on the podcast.

We build structures that say:

Generally, if people are honest, you say, Hey, who or what is the focus of, of your churches?

We build structures that say:

Small groups.

We build structures that say:

Us.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

It was us.

We build structures that say:

In fact, they were created if anybody is old enough, like me to remember when small groups started, um, they were created.

We build structures that say:

Very consumeristic like, Hey, let's, you know, like no one feels connected at the church service because we're sitting in silence.

We build structures that say:

So let's try to create some sort of a vehicle where we can close the back door of people leaving and attrition.

We build structures that say:

They don't feel like they know each other and that, and so then you started these small groups, but let's let them pick what night of the week works best and the same age and stage of life.

We build structures that say:

Let's not cause any kind of friction because you have to learn to bear with one another.

We build structures that say:

Why would we do that?

We build structures that say:

And we're certainly not gonna invite our neighbors because they won't want to talk about.

We build structures that say:

The pastor's sermon from last night or whatever.

We build structures that say:

And then you get to, like, this is like a pet peeve where it's like, well, we have a closed small group now.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

And then we take the summers off and it's just got worse and worse and more consumers sexually driven.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

So from its inception, it really wasn't an outward focus.

We build structures that say:

Hopefully when we hear terms like Missional Community, it's, you know, it's Missional, what's the mission it's make Disciple.

We build structures that say:

So right from the get go, the goal is.

We build structures that say:

Hey, we're going to start trying to make disciples of ourselves and others and, and, and there's an more outward expression to it, but what's been your like years past when you heard the term house church, what did that represent?

We build structures that say:

Do you think?

We build structures that say:

Oh man, house church, when I first.

We build structures that say:

Thought about it.

We build structures that say:

And first got experienced in it.

We build structures that say:

It was like, Hey, there's this one patriarch.

We build structures that say:

That's going to teach the Bible to all of his kids.

We build structures that say:

And you might get included in there now that's really, um, kinda kind of condescending and rude, but that's only 60% of house churches.

We build structures that say:

I was going to say.

We build structures that say:

It's a little bit of an over, over reach, you know, but, but it, and then th the another iteration of that when people were like, Hey, no, it's not that it's, it's more than a Bible study.

We build structures that say:

We're trying to do life together.

We build structures that say:

And that's, that's a beautiful thing, but then it became like let's try and cram everything we do as a church into a three hour gathering in someone's home.

We build structures that say:

So it became like, Church in a house, not house church.

We build structures that say:

Well, and I think we're seeing that again right now is, you know, regardless of what you're calling in, a lot of the churches are going to war people aren't coming back.

We build structures that say:

And so we're going to start micro churches.

We build structures that say:

And what they're doing is they're just basically doing their church service in their house.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

In fact, they're not really developing anybody.

We build structures that say:

They're just like, Hey, turn on the live stream.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

And then maybe, and then maybe hang out afterwards and have some food, which I kind of like that aspect better.

We build structures that say:

You know what I mean?

We build structures that say:

Like, I feel like that's an upgrade for years.

We build structures that say:

We've said, Hey, if you're gonna, if you're going to do streaming to multi-campus stuff, you know, why not just stream it to houses and let people be in smaller groups that actually know each other.

We build structures that say:

So in that sense, I'm for that, you know, like.

We build structures that say:

I think it's a better upgrade than that.

We build structures that say:

And yet it still leaves people, unfortunately just doing a church service in their, in their house.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

And then they go, but you know, we could stream it at any time.

We build structures that say:

So let's do it.

We build structures that say:

Let's do it Wednesday night.

We build structures that say:

I can't make ones, you know?

We build structures that say:

So now you get into that stuff too.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

See, like I've seen, um, a lot of different, and I've said this to people too.

We build structures that say:

Like we don't, we don't define the church by where it gathers.

We build structures that say:

Cause when we would call it like school, gym, church, you know, or cafeteria church or something like that, the church isn't defined by the location that it can, or, or an ought not to be at least in my, my thinking will language, culture.

We build structures that say:

Right, right.

We build structures that say:

But what's the purpose of the gathering, use a label that speaks to your purpose, which is why I'd always preferred a Missional Community because it's a Community on mission, but we've like we said, I used to debate this years ago.

We build structures that say:

Like, should we call it a small group?

We build structures that say:

You call it a Community group.

We build structures that say:

Should we call it a tribe group?

We build structures that say:

Should we call it, uh, you know, the name of the church group, you know, like it's part of a church in New York called grace, grace groups.

We build structures that say:

I'm like, yeah, that's okay.

We build structures that say:

That's really, you know, very us centered again.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

Um, yeah, and I always opted, I always opted for Missional Community, if nothing else, for us to be reminded of what we're here even doing.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

And then we always fought the trend too.

We build structures that say:

You know, how we call it, going to church.

We build structures that say:

And we hate that, you know?

We build structures that say:

Cause like the building is like the church instead of the People.

We build structures that say:

Well then we saw people starting to do the same thing with like, Hey, what are you doing on Thursday?

We build structures that say:

Oh, I'm going to Missional Community.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

It's like, I'm a part of a Missional Community.

We build structures that say:

Um, we're the church, you know?

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

I think that, I think that all also, you know, part of the challenge is that we hear language, especially if we're transitioning existing.

We build structures that say:

Movements or structures or systems.

We build structures that say:

And we hear language and we love the description that's attached to it.

We build structures that say:

So we change our language, knowing that language creates culture, but we never actually do any training or modeling.

We build structures that say:

So we call our small groups, Missional communities, and then we say, Missional communities fail.

We build structures that say:

I've seen this a lot of times has, have you.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

Same thing with micro church.

We build structures that say:

They're like, well, I'm afraid just on a frame or something, but I feel like.

We build structures that say:

There is there's this tension there because there is a need to define it, something new.

We build structures that say:

Like I can see the, the desire to have the term micro church be significant and meaning, because we've had all these transitions.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

We'd call it Missional Community, but it's not, you know, and so we're going, okay, great.

We build structures that say:

We got to scrap this and call what we're trying to do something else or what we're doing something else.

We build structures that say:

And so we're perpetually just coming up with new names for some of the same old ideas, which is let's have a community that is discipling.

We build structures that say:

One another and makes disciples as well.

We build structures that say:

Yeah, no kidding.

We build structures that say:

And language does create culture.

We build structures that say:

We're big on that.

We build structures that say:

So I think, I think choose what you want to call it, but make sure you infuse it with meaning now.

We build structures that say:

Yes.

We build structures that say:

Um, in the past, whenever there was like house churches or Missional Community, if they weren't like part of the traditional church itself, which in most cases they weren't.

We build structures that say:

I think that, I think the traditional church always saw those types of things.

We build structures that say:

You know, communities or expressions, um, like they were rebels.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

And many times they just created smaller versions of what they had come from.

We build structures that say:

But now with no one telling them what to do, do or not to do.

We build structures that say:

And there is still a whole, there's a whole strain of it that were like, you can read books and get training on how to start your own house church.

We build structures that say:

And it's like, and there's even like a whole huge stream and there's no leaders, nobody leads.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

And, and I think I love what they're trying to say.

We build structures that say:

It's like the only Jesus leads, he's the leader.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

I get it.

We build structures that say:

But like, none of us know what we're doing, so who's going to tell us well that person's leading, you know what I mean?

We build structures that say:

There's lead.

We build structures that say:

Like they, they, uh, they're so fearful of someone leading and I think really it's like, don't be fearful of leadership.

We build structures that say:

Be fearful of.

We build structures that say:

You know, over-lording, right?

We build structures that say:

That's, that's what Jesus spoke out against, but he clearly, he clearly led and then he said in it now all authority is mine and now it's yours.

We build structures that say:

I'm sharing with you.

We build structures that say:

So I don't think we have to fear that.

We build structures that say:

I think what we want to be careful is is that we're.

We build structures that say:

Really inclusive, hyper inclusive, that we're always looking to see everybody mature and grow in their ownership and use of their gifting and all the fivefold and all that.

We build structures that say:

And so, I don't know.

We build structures that say:

What's your thoughts on how the, it used to be that all these little things used to be seen as like, Hey, those are the rebels and now it's like, yeah, I think it goes back to what do we define as the primary organizing structure of the church?

We build structures that say:

Because if we're saying that it's the Sunday worship gathering that unless you have that you don't have a church, then I think that would necessarily require us to look at a house church and say, that's not really a church.

We build structures that say:

Those guys are rebels or Missional Community as being rebel.

We build structures that say:

And, and we, so we it's going back to, well, what is our.

We build structures that say:

What is our end goal here?

We build structures that say:

And what do we define as the church?

We build structures that say:

Like I look at it acts two and it has a pretty good description of most of the church activities eating together, fellowshipping apostles, teaching prayer, and then Matthew 28 saying that, yeah, as we go, we're going out into the world, we make disciples, baptize them.

We build structures that say:

You got, you got all of the, the ordinances or sacraments wrapped up in those two passages.

We build structures that say:

That's the church, right?

We build structures that say:

Are those things being practiced.

We build structures that say:

Usually each of these labels that people are pointing the finger at, they're not practicing all of those things.

We build structures that say:

They might be heavy on the gathering together and fellowship and study, but not the go and make kind of masks.

We build structures that say:

I've seen it plenty.

We build structures that say:

And maybe you have to wear those when connected to a larger church or traditional church, even when they sort of sanction those smaller micro church gatherings.

We build structures that say:

And they're letting them go beyond small group.

We build structures that say:

Now they're calling, you know, how's church or simple church or micro church, they're still saying, but you can't baptize and you can't do communion there.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

And you're forbidding what Jesus said, right.

We build structures that say:

Always do this, you know, which is exactly.

We build structures that say:

I mean, that's, that's where it makes it not church.

We build structures that say:

Then in some ways, like, that's what you need to be.

We build structures that say:

I'm going to say that, that, like, that might be where we ruffle some feathers, you know, I'm not looking to do that.

We build structures that say:

That's not my aim, but I'm saying what is the primary structure of the church?

We build structures that say:

I would say.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

What we call a Missional Community or a table Community in our context.

We build structures that say:

Yeah, they do all of those things.

We build structures that say:

We encourage and equip people to practice those things as part of a larger church where a church of communities, because we see the, the help that is brought in by having your.

We build structures that say:

Teachers and equippers do group teaching and equipping rather than expect each one of your communities to be able to pull off that kind of stuff at the same time.

We build structures that say:

So until there's a maturity of the gifting there, right.

We build structures that say:

Until there's that maturity of gifts, which is that's called like a family, like I don't.

We build structures that say:

You know, like my, my wife cooks in our family until the kids could cook a little more, you know, and I would cook and now she's training the grandkids, but she still does most of the heavy lifting when they're around, you know, it's not like, Oh, wait a minute, how come we can't like get up there and burn our hands, you know?

We build structures that say:

And they, and now that they're on their own, you know, they don't just like not eat right.

We build structures that say:

They do.

We build structures that say:

Now they have some experience and training that they can cook.

We build structures that say:

Exactly.

We build structures that say:

And they take that on.

We build structures that say:

Elsewhere.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

Well, you're, you're speaking to them.

We build structures that say:

What's the primary structure of the church, probably organizing principle.

We build structures that say:

We've been using that language for a long time and we really do believe it's the smaller communities based on what we see in scripture and it's discipleship as the mission.

We build structures that say:

So wherever you best get to make disciples and have the most amount of interaction and.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

The ability to have the Gospel speak into all of life, that's going to be your primary organizing structure.

We build structures that say:

So it's going to, for sure, it's going to be smaller communities because as we've said, a trillion times sitting in rows in silence, listening to one person talk is not a killer environment, therefore for discipleship.

We build structures that say:

So therefore that's not the primary organizing structure.

We build structures that say:

It's a legitimate one, but it's not our primary one.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

I'm glad to see the churches getting back to that a little bit.

We build structures that say:

Now, do you think as, as churches are starting.

We build structures that say:

You know, a micro church or a house church or individuals are, do you think they all have the same goals in mind or do you, do you see people using these new sort of smaller expressions with different hope for end goals?

We build structures that say:

Well, I mean, I can speak in extremes and polemics and say, I know it's not true because I've been approached by other pastors in my city saying, Hey, you do those Missional communities.

We build structures that say:

I need you to come and teach us how to do that.

We build structures that say:

And, um, how's that financially viable.

We build structures that say:

I was actually asked that in a coffee shop.

We build structures that say:

So I know that everyone doesn't now that's one example and an extreme, but I think that's not going to be all of them.

We build structures that say:

But I, I know that they don't, because like you mentioned earlier, a lot of people are trying to manage people and have them have relationships.

We build structures that say:

And so they start these smaller things too, kind of occupy space for people to have relationship there's value in that.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

Or they think if we put people in smaller groups, they'll automatically go out onto mission into mission, you know, they'll automatically like involve themselves in the lives of people around them, because it's more, um, I guess it's simpler with a smaller group of people.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

And all of those things are good, good ideas, but it's not how it works.

We build structures that say:

So not yet been discipled.

We build structures that say:

Exactly.

We build structures that say:

And there again, it's like, they're trying to measure containers, not right.

We build structures that say:

Disciples made.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

And so when yeah.

We build structures that say:

And that's what we're seeing too, is these, uh, really sincere, really smart leaders who are now saying, Hey, there's we gotta get some, you know, smaller things going.

We build structures that say:

Cause that's where our people are at.

We build structures that say:

That's what they're wanting.

We build structures that say:

They never themselves were all usually discipled.

We build structures that say:

And they certainly weren't equipped to make disciples in community and grow in the gospel fluency that it's going to be needed to actually Disciple people's hearts and help their own people die to their fear of man and even, you know, how to speak good news to things.

We build structures that say:

Not just hand out a track.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

They still haven't gotten any yeah.

We build structures that say:

Equipping.

We build structures that say:

And now they're just, they're just organizing people into, like you said, containers and it's like, that's, that's not our goal, is it?

We build structures that say:

Yeah, no, I think, I think one of the issues of the way, the way that I define it is there's a difference between, um, our values and our practices, like values are aspirational.

We build structures that say:

You know, we, we are a church that makes disciples and I would say, well, what are your practices that actually make disciples?

We build structures that say:

You know, so a lot of people have aspirational values when they create these communities, but don't have experienced practitioners to walk in that and model that.

We build structures that say:

So we have a couple of practices that we named for people.

We build structures that say:

I'll just give you two of them.

We build structures that say:

One is, um, ironically it's called the table.

We build structures that say:

Um, because we end up means, you know, not just the Lord's supper, but also.

We build structures that say:

Um, tabling having meals together, having time together with people over, um, coffee in different tables throughout the city.

We build structures that say:

And so that, that says that we practice that we practice shared life through that, that, um, practice.

We build structures that say:

And also we'll say ordinary life.

We build structures that say:

We named that we named ordinary life because it gets missed that these aren't extraordinary things.

We build structures that say:

When you are hosting a huge party, though, it could be that it's the normal season of life in which you practice hospitality and all of this, this life together.

We build structures that say:

And with your neighbors, with your networks of friends, with people in your community.

We build structures that say:

And that's something that people can hold onto and say, I do that well now, are you doing that with the intention of the Gospel?

We build structures that say:

And that's see, that's so experiential though.

We build structures that say:

That's almost, yes.

We build structures that say:

Uh, hard to teach in a class or a course or something.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

Maybe impossible.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

Remember, remember all the years of us leading Soma schools together and people would come and they'd stay, you know, for a week, 10 days.

We build structures that say:

And they not only were they always by God's grace blown away, but they all said this it's so normal.

We build structures that say:

Like it's so normal yet.

We build structures that say:

Intentional.

We build structures that say:

Like, I dunno what I was expecting, but it's so normal, but full of the Gospel, we just had a friend here a few weeks ago, staying with us.

We build structures that say:

Someone would have coaching and her and her husband and their church planters.

We build structures that say:

And they're great.

We build structures that say:

And, and we had a really nice three or four days together and she said the exact same thing.

We build structures that say:

Yeah, like your life's really normal.

We build structures that say:

And we met friends and we hung out and we laughed and we cooked and we cried a little bit and we hugged and we talked Gospel a lot and we, we, we watched comedy and it was, it was really normal, but the whole thing seemed kind of bathed in intentionality, in the Gospel, all soaking into it all.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

I mean, that's, that's my experience with you when I went to Soma school and then I was, I had time to kill afterwards and I was going to sit in the hotel while.

We build structures that say:

The person I went with was going to prep the sermon that he was going to be preaching the next day.

We build structures that say:

And you're like, why don't you just hang out?

We build structures that say:

And I thought, who does that?

We build structures that say:

Who invites me over to their house to meet their family, watch a movie, have dinner together.

We build structures that say:

It was so normal.

We build structures that say:

And I, I mean, as much as you can in any way, like if you don't want to come, you know?

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

And so I say as much as I got from Soma school, which was helpful in many ways, what?

We build structures that say:

That, that like afternoon evening with you, I went back home and I was like, well, this is pretty simple.

We build structures that say:

I am going to be doing these things.

We build structures that say:

I might just want to include people into those.

We build structures that say:

And that's informed how I've led this church plant and equipped others to say, this is really normal and that's a missing piece.

We build structures that say:

So to your question, that's missing from most people's transition is that is to make it normal because we think it's gotta be really exceptional because it's hard, but it's simple, right?

We build structures that say:

It's, it's hard, it's hard work, but it's simple to do.

We build structures that say:

And, uh, having practitioners to lead and model that.

We build structures that say:

In the normalcy is how you make these, these things actually happen.

We build structures that say:

And it's not just the hanging out part cause people can hang out like, okay, I'm gonna start invite neighbors over more.

We build structures that say:

But I have no idea how to bring the good news of the gospel to bear to the myriad of bad news things going on in their heart and life and emotions and dreams and shattered dreams and abuses and joys of life in all of it.

We build structures that say:

And so that's the other part of it.

We build structures that say:

And we're constantly reinforcing that with the folks that we coach saying, if is if an, as you'll grow in gospel fluency and it's a language, so you're not gonna learn it in a weekend or two courses or reading my book or Jeff's bars, you know, like you're, but as you grow in gospel fluency and.

We build structures that say:

You were up in that interaction, a normal life where people are doing that.

We build structures that say:

You're going to see people moving from unbelief to belief, coming to faiths, walking in the ways of Jesus.

We build structures that say:

But you can just end up being either an isolated church, culdesac of Christians, or you could be a few Christians that are like the nicest people in the world that never get around to Jesus with anybody outside of that circle.

We build structures that say:

Yes, because I think we, and especially now, um, nowadays in our cultural moment where there's more and more, um, hesitancy to share good news.

We build structures that say:

We don't, we won't, we'll say evangelize, I'm not going to evangelize, you know, I hear that from people.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

And I, and I understand a lot of where that's coming from and some of that is worth digging into for sure.

We build structures that say:

And analyzing, but I think the missing piece is that our imagination for this as either, we.

We build structures that say:

Force feed People, this Gospel, or we on the other extreme, the other ditch we fall into is we don't say anything until they bring it up.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

And something in the middle is learning to listen, engage, ask questions, and tie the story that God's unfolding with the story that they're telling in simple ways.

We build structures that say:

And that, and that's, that's a beautiful thing that makes this ordinary.

We build structures that say:

But it's also really hard because it takes some experience to learn how to do that.

We build structures that say:

It takes some failing.

We build structures that say:

There's some intentionality to say I'm going to apply myself to being discipled and learning and getting help and equipping and coaching and help.

We build structures that say:

Otherwise probably look down the road five, 10 years.

We build structures that say:

It'll be the same situation.

We build structures that say:

Let me ask you this in light of all of that gene, Geno, um, how structured do you think these smaller.

We build structures that say:

Experiences, you know, call we'll call them whenever we want.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

But how structured do they need to be?

We build structures that say:

So they don't just end up being a, a smaller version of the once a week.

We build structures that say:

Sure.

We build structures that say:

Service now done in our home on our own terms.

We build structures that say:

Yeah, I think that's good.

We build structures that say:

I think that they, they, there should be some structure there needs, there necessarily needs to be some structure for the reasons you just said, like, we're not just going to come and hang out.

We build structures that say:

We can do that.

We build structures that say:

And I think there's value in doing that, but I think there's value in having an intention for why we're hanging out, like when we're starting a community and we say we're hanging out because we're getting to know one another and.

We build structures that say:

Hear each other's stories and how we're relating, but that's a structured, that's a structure that we work in, right.

We build structures that say:

It's not just no structure.

We build structures that say:

So at the same time, they need to be fluid because that's one of the beauties of these smaller communities is that they're flexible.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

So we want to have.

We build structures that say:

We want to have kind of some, I would say like, like a spine to it.

We build structures that say:

Not, not an exoskeleton, that's like a really hard shell that you can't get in.

We build structures that say:

We're going to call these jellyfish communities now.

We build structures that say:

Exactly.

We build structures that say:

That's right.

We build structures that say:

Um, so, so that's where I get the ideas of the practices as well.

We build structures that say:

Become very helpful for a structure.

We build structures that say:

We don't name specific things that you have to do.

We build structures that say:

We say things that we're doing that we're going to do with intentionality.

We build structures that say:

So shared meal is something that we really value, um, pre and post COVID that'll be actually happening for Austin.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

And, uh, um, and other things.

We build structures that say:

Prayer.

We build structures that say:

Um, we, we just, we asked the question, what's God doing in your life and what are you going to do about it?

We build structures that say:

I mean, we might not say it so starkly, but that's basically the conversation that seemed to happen and what basically what you're Disciple describing there, Gino is the terms.

We build structures that say:

And I know you're familiar with these.

We build structures that say:

We talked about there's organized aspects to our community, and there's a lot of organic stuff that then flows out of those few things.

We build structures that say:

And that's just like our families.

We build structures that say:

You look at your family, there's some organized stuff, but really there's only.

We build structures that say:

Probably less than a dozen, 10 things that you organize, like religiously in a family and a million organic interactions that now you have, you reap, you have that opportunity.

We build structures that say:

And I think that's the thing is people need to decide what will our organize things.

We build structures that say:

And it, if it's just a once a week meeting where we try to.

We build structures that say:

Basically have a small church service.

We build structures that say:

Right?

We build structures that say:

Well, you're kind of just having a smaller version of what you had when you went and sat in silence.

We build structures that say:

There, maybe it's a little funner and I, like I said, I think it is an upgraded to stick around, have meals because at least then there's some organics happening.

We build structures that say:

Right, right.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

Go ahead.

We build structures that say:

I was going to ask you if we could talk a little bit about, um, the, the necessity you said flows out of when you talked about.

We build structures that say:

Organized and organic and I'm sure I know you've talked about this on episodes in the podcast.

We build structures that say:

I think that's, I just want to put like a highlighter over that because that's really important that a lot of people will see or experience or hear stories that you or I, or others might tell of what they've seen in life Disciple making.

We build structures that say:

And they think that sounds so normal and organic and it's because it flows out of.

We build structures that say:

The organized as well.

We build structures that say:

So it's not just kind of anything goes, it can't be because you can't organize anyone around that.

We build structures that say:

Yeah, exactly.

We build structures that say:

Exactly.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

And I think we get to, we get to choose what those organized will be.

We build structures that say:

Yes with intention.

We build structures that say:

And what would you say are the top, like if there's a church, there's people who are church leaders that listen to the podcast and we haven't scared them off just yet.

We build structures that say:

Um, what, what, what would you say should be, or could be the top, maybe three priorities for a church that's trying to start new.

We build structures that say:

You know, more out there, more outward focused micro churches or Missional communities or whatever they want to call them as part of their ultimate church expression.

We build structures that say:

What might their, what my three top priorities be for them as they start these smaller micro versions.

We build structures that say:

Yeah, I think, I think the first, the first question that I've learned to ask is like, where is God present and at work already?

We build structures that say:

And I don't mean just in your church, body, I mean, in your city, in your neighborhood, in your town, what are you seeing that God is doing?

We build structures that say:

Because oftentimes we take this approach that unless we do something, there will be, you know, discipleship, we're bringing in Jesus to the inner city.

We build structures that say:

Exactly man.

We build structures that say:

You know, you know that I said heaven last week.

We build structures that say:

I said, here I circled some areas you might want to consider joining us in.

We build structures that say:

I tell people all the time that want to come in and bring Jesus to the inner city.

We build structures that say:

Like he's already here and we don't want you please stay out.

We build structures that say:

I don't really say it that frankly, but I just said it to a lot of people.

We build structures that say:

Oh, it's okay.

We build structures that say:

I probably did.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

Um, yeah.

We build structures that say:

But I think, I think it's important to notice what's going on and how you might participate with God.

We build structures that say:

So that, I mean, that's, that's like one point that has many sub-points like who are the people that are already experiencing disciple-making within the church and are know their neighbors kind of have this apostolic edge, um, lean on them.

We build structures that say:

That would be one thing that I'd say is, um, is really important.

We build structures that say:

The second, like priority would be who is willing to learn this.

We build structures that say:

Together.

We build structures that say:

Like who's, who's a learner and wants to participate in failing forward to do this because it's not going to be perfect the first time.

We build structures that say:

Yeah, for sure.

We build structures that say:

Now, do you think there's any differences between the PR and by the way, I got to just back up a second.

We build structures that say:

I love the fact that that's outward focused first.

We build structures that say:

Yes.

We build structures that say:

Right?

We build structures that say:

I know it's not this same old.

We build structures that say:

Consumeristic like, well, we gotta get, we gotta keep our people somehow attached to the church and they're not going to come back to the building anymore.

We build structures that say:

And you know, it's, it's, you know, you know, it's really weird.

We build structures that say:

It's paralleling what's going on in the culture when it's the work from home thing.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

Everybody's like, Hey, you know what?

We build structures that say:

We kind of proved that the company grew like seven last year, we were all working from home.

We build structures that say:

Like the year before when I said, could I work from home Fridays?

We build structures that say:

And you said, absolutely not.

We build structures that say:

Like, but now I've been home for like a 52 Fridays or something.

We build structures that say:

Like, and I'm hitting my numbers, like crazy boss.

We build structures that say:

Could I maybe have a couple of, you know, so, you know, things have changed.

We build structures that say:

And I, and I really think for the better, I think we're finding more margin and more space and an opportunity.

We build structures that say:

And I know this is not a crazy thing right now, it's going on.

We build structures that say:

And we, we predicted it would be, but as COVID restrictions are lifting, and I know they're not lifting everywhere in the same fashion, but where they are even a little, uh, the folks that we're working with in our community and, and the people we coach, they're saying there are so many people come into our open table and our barbecue.

We build structures that say:

Like we started it up again.

We build structures that say:

We're getting back into a predictable pattern.

We build structures that say:

It's crazy.

We build structures that say:

I got a Voxer this morning from one of our groups.

We build structures that say:

They said we just did our first one.

We build structures that say:

35 people came, you know, everybody else is like, how did you get the word out?

We build structures that say:

It's like, all you have to do is just like flash the front, like twice the people like, is there something is there, let's go there.

We build structures that say:

People there let's go.

We build structures that say:

People there's humans.

We build structures that say:

Now, do you think there's any different priorities?

We build structures that say:

If it's a church trying to start these new, smaller things, or if it's an individual, you know, trying to, yeah, I think, I think, um, I think, I don't think the priorities are different.

We build structures that say:

I think maybe how you're able to.

We build structures that say:

To do those or live in those might be different.

We build structures that say:

Like the first, one of seeing where God is present in at work, you can do that regardless.

We build structures that say:

The second one of who wants to learn with you, that might be harder if you're starting out.

We build structures that say:

Like for us, it was who wants to learn with me?

We build structures that say:

Well, Jill and my four kids.

We build structures that say:

But you know, that, that was it.

We build structures that say:

Did I remember you guys?

We build structures that say:

You remember.

We build structures that say:

Hard for a long time by yourself.

We build structures that say:

And we would celebrate like, there's another couple that you know of faith.

We build structures that say:

I mean, you had people always, you always had PTs, but there was a couple of faith that have like, they'd been Christians more than a week, you know?

We build structures that say:

And then they're not getting transferred to a job in another city because that was happening for years.

We build structures that say:

And, and so that one's harder.

We build structures that say:

But I think then that will also determine what I would say is the third thing is like, how and why.

We build structures that say:

And what are you going to do?

We build structures that say:

Like, how are you going to do these things?

We build structures that say:

Why are you doing them and why I'm not knowing that, but what are you going to do?

We build structures that say:

So I think all of those questions, so that means like, are you going to gather weekly?

We build structures that say:

What are your you're organized?

We build structures that say:

Actions, how are you going to get to know people in the neighborhood?

We build structures that say:

What kind of gatherings might you get involved in or places might you inhabit, or people might be inviting you into things?

We build structures that say:

Are you inviting them into things?

We build structures that say:

So living in the suburbs for a while, where we started some communities, we found that there everyone liked each other, but there was no organizing place for people to gather because everyone just.

We build structures that say:

Parked in their garage or their driveway and went inside.

We build structures that say:

So we brought the barbecue into the front yard and just put out flyers and had 40 50 people join us in the front saying, thank you for doing this right now in the city.

We build structures that say:

We don't have front yards.

We build structures that say:

We don't have any yard in our current place.

We build structures that say:

And so, but where people gather are in the local pubs and in the coffee shops or the barbershop, and I'd go to those places and gather with people there.

We build structures that say:

So I wasn't the one bringing the environment.

We build structures that say:

I was just participating.

We build structures that say:

And those are things that we need to name.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

And I think as much as trying to decide those things is, is also, you've given some thought and, and, or getting some help figuring out what's the order of those.

We build structures that say:

Because oftentimes I find people say like, well, we have to have some Bible study.

We build structures that say:

We have to have a period of time and we should have a worship time into, by that they need singing time.

We build structures that say:

And then we have some time with our neighbors and then we it's like, wait a second.

We build structures that say:

What's the order of those?

We build structures that say:

Like, if it's, if this is church starting.

We build structures that say:

Uh, you know, on micro-community and there's a whole bunch of Christians that are gathering to do it.

We build structures that say:

Are they doing in proximity?

We build structures that say:

Do they know any common people?

We build structures that say:

It's like, you get to, you get to do this in proximity versus I just like them.

We build structures that say:

I know, I know they're 40 minutes away, but they, our kids love their kids and it's like, well, wait a second.

We build structures that say:

You're starting off on the, this is about me foot.

We build structures that say:

Um, but if you're going to do that great.

We build structures that say:

Okay.

We build structures that say:

That's, that's a family sort of dinner time as it were or whatever, or maybe you're listening to the service together, uh, as, you know, sermon series or stream or whatever.

We build structures that say:

Okay.

We build structures that say:

Then what's the other rhythm.

We build structures that say:

That's going to be like an open table or something that you are you're building relationships and looking for.

We build structures that say:

People a Peace to identify and invite them in.

We build structures that say:

And then what are you inviting them into?

We build structures that say:

Is there, is it just one step from, Hey, my neighbors seem to really be digging us and we're becoming good friends.

We build structures that say:

I guess my only next step would be, you want to watch my church's live stream?

We build structures that say:

You know, like you gotta sit and think through some of those things because.

We build structures that say:

They probably won't Hey, a bunch of us get together and we watch this one guy talk for 45 minutes and its kind of interesting if you know him and we sing a bunch of songs that aren't so great.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

I'd love to, maybe it'd be helpful to just kind of walk through the some of the.

We build structures that say:

I mean a fast forward of an, a couple of years of our process.

We build structures that say:

Access was meeting people in the neighborhood.

We build structures that say:

I'm finding that a lot of people weren't going to come into our home initially, but would spend lots of time with them in public spaces.

We build structures that say:

So we spent a lot of time building those relationships.

We build structures that say:

Seeing people come to faith and gather in our home or somewhere in that, that process, other people moving into the neighborhood or, or other Christians in the neighborhood joining with us.

We build structures that say:

To where we kind of filled our house, which isn't saying much.

We build structures that say:

Cause it was a tiny house.

We build structures that say:

You get 14 people in there.

We build structures that say:

Do you guys have, do you have a really long table, bro?

We build structures that say:

Yeah, we do have a huge, it was mostly table in our house.

We build structures that say:

Um, and then what we decided to do is we said like, Hey, we have these people that we're in relationship with.

We build structures that say:

They're interested.

We build structures that say:

They just are kind of like in this process of what's their relationship.

We build structures that say:

Like, so we started having.

We build structures that say:

Community meals.

We build structures that say:

We rented a space that we could fit 40 people instead of 14 and had what we called dinner church, and then brunch church.

We build structures that say:

We switched it during football season brunch church.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

You should maybe consider calling it sometimes of the year that pre football game church pre pre Eagles.

We build structures that say:

pre pre game church right here.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

And in that, like we just started that that'd be that filled up with people from the neighborhood that were curious and were in relationship with us, but didn't feel like meeting in someone's home was like a bridge too far for them at that point, at that point.

We build structures that say:

But, um, that didn't take long before that changed and we ended up with.

We build structures that say:

Two communities.

We build structures that say:

And we had to figure out like, okay, now what do we do with these things?

We build structures that say:

So I think you, when you say, like, how do we prioritize?

We build structures that say:

What do we do?

We build structures that say:

All of those things happen based on the people that were intentionally seeking to build relationships with, to Disciple, to Jesus and in Jesus, not some prefabbed idea that they fit into, but they have to fit into.

We build structures that say:

And so what I would say about that is.

We build structures that say:

Because that's fluid, you need help to learn how to do that.

We build structures that say:

We don't normally do that.

We build structures that say:

So we need people to walk alongside us, or maybe like some of the stuff that you do with coaching to help us kind of navigate that and say like, Hey, I'm seeing this, what do you think?

We build structures that say:

And then you can ask questions or we can ask questions.

We build structures that say:

You know, those things are really important because this is.

We build structures that say:

Is, like I said, it's hard but simple.

We build structures that say:

And you need someone to help you with that.

We build structures that say:

I think one of the hardest things is just trying to unlearn the only groove most of us grew up in with church and, and when there's a huge program at great expense and lots of people looking at that same, roughly two hours a week.

We build structures that say:

Well then your solution to everybody's next step is generally get them into some aspect of that program.

We build structures that say:

Yeah, they might, and maybe it's Sunday, maybe it's a mops thing or maybe it's, you know, an Awana for the kids or a VBS.

We build structures that say:

Cause it's nice route or whatever, but we're always still like, well, I guess our next step is get getting into program.

We build structures that say:

And what you're, what you're saying is as, as you see who God's bringing into your life and you're making disciples of them, cause that's the mission.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

Then the structures of that community.

We build structures that say:

Though they might have some commonalities with other communities, are the ones that sprung up out of the same.

We build structures that say:

They might be a little bit different and they're organized things might not all be exactly the same.

We build structures that say:

And certainly the organics, like, you know, like you're saying, like for people who.

We build structures that say:

Live in a neighborhood who have yards and all that stuff and, or a bigger houses and all that, their rhythms and even their organics, they're going to look real different than the organics of I I'm meeting guys at the cigar lounge all the time.

We build structures that say:

And a few of us got together for meals with our spouses and we got to know each other and then that one family started coming to faith.

We build structures that say:

And so now they're in our house more, but we can't have 40 people in our house.

We build structures that say:

There just isn't that much space other people have that much space.

We build structures that say:

So yeah.

We build structures that say:

But it's it's I love what you're saying.

We build structures that say:

It's People first, not a program.

We build structures that say:

And that's, that kind of brings me right back to the top of the talk here where some of the, some of the outwardness and new micro church expressions and smaller things, though.

We build structures that say:

I'm so excited.

We build structures that say:

They are starting program first.

We build structures that say:

Like yeah, because that's all they know and they're going well, we have a big program here.

We build structures that say:

We'll start a small program.

We build structures that say:

And what do you do next?

We build structures that say:

Get people into that.

We build structures that say:

And, and that's what they're working on.

We build structures that say:

So I really love your emphasis here of look for what Jesus is doing people first and get the help and equipping you need just don't assume that you're going to get through this.

We build structures that say:

And especially if you're not fluent in the gospel, it's like, what are you going to have to offer?

We build structures that say:

Yes.

We build structures that say:

I think that, I think that one of the ways that might stir the imagination of listeners, I hope or confront some of the challenges that they have is to say the church.

We build structures that say:

Um, the form follows the function that's and if we're not free to do that, there's a lot of F's there.

We build structures that say:

If we're not free to do that, we're gonna, we're gonna have a lot of challenges in making disciples, because what, so what I mean by that is how you gather, like, are developing brunch church.

We build structures that say:

Wasn't a strategy because we were like, Oh, this is going to be great.

We build structures that say:

Like, if we do brunch, that'll attract people.

We build structures that say:

Cause they like to eat brunches all over Philly.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

Yeah, exactly.

We build structures that say:

We're going to set these sites up all over.

We build structures that say:

Um, it was.

We build structures that say:

These particular people that we're building relationship.

We build structures that say:

This is when they're available.

We build structures that say:

This is what they'd like to do.

We build structures that say:

And this is a, this is a vehicle that we can use.

We build structures that say:

So the structure of our church formed around that because we prioritize disciple-making.

We build structures that say:

And what we saw is we'd have, um, people from other churches come in and visits.

We build structures that say:

They wouldn't even tell us.

We build structures that say:

Some of them wouldn't tell us that they weren't, uh, that they were from there.

We build structures that say:

And then they tried to replicate it and it didn't work.

We build structures that say:

And then I would get an email and I'd say, well, you're not following.

We build structures that say:

The, the pattern of what you need to do, which is where are your relationships?

We build structures that say:

We're not doing this because it's hip and cool, right?

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

Yeah.

We build structures that say:

And I think people need to consider that as like, what are you starting?

We build structures that say:

It's first, where is there actually God always already working in something.

We build structures that say:

And how do you gather around that and, and move it.

We build structures that say:

You're scaring the bejesus out of people because there, again, you know, I know you just dropped a lot of F words on people and it's going to come up with that in my social media, like, come listen, Gino drops the F word, you know?

We build structures that say:

So, um, but, uh, but you're, you're, you know, a scarier word for a lot of people is the R word.

We build structures that say:

Relationship.

We build structures that say:

Oh, you're kidding.

We build structures that say:

I don't know how to even do that.

We build structures that say:

I just, I just, uh, set up a post for next next week to share some thoughts on like, how come we don't know how to make friends anymore, you know?

We build structures that say:

And here's some, here's some real basic stuff, some categories now.

We build structures that say:

Here's what I, you know, here's how you say this and here's how you're transitioning, but like categories of thinking of like how this is, how friends are made, and guess what, if you don't have any friends, you're not gonna have anybody to Disciple.

We build structures that say:

Yeah, I know People there's old school.

We build structures that say:

People are like, Oh, I see you got to be friends with people before they can know Jesus.

We build structures that say:

It's like, no, you don't have to, but guess what?

We build structures that say:

You're probably gonna need to because they don't care about you.

We build structures that say:

They're not gonna care what you say about some life altering relationship with him.

We build structures that say:

And it's about today.

We build structures that say:

Not just about them.

We build structures that say:

Afterlife.

We build structures that say:

And so this is really count the cost.

We build structures that say:

Jesus, you can say, Hey, count the costs here because this isn't, you know, Jesus said, I'm the way the truth in the Sunday service or the micro church.

We build structures that say:

I'm the way the truth and the life I want all of it.

We build structures that say:

So the cost that's going to, that's going to take some relationship and it just is then that's why Jesus spent three and a half years, pretty much 24 seven with his.

We build structures that say:

Buddies and, and that breaks my heart.

We build structures that say:

It says that is essential and some still did not believe.

We build structures that say:

Yikes.

We build structures that say:

Jesus.

We build structures that say:

What did you miss?

We build structures that say:

You, you skipped over week nine of the study.

We build structures that say:

That was an important part of the discipleship course in the week nine.

We build structures that say:

Yeah, I think, uh, uh, see you say I, um, I'm not sure where we are on time, but I, I just, I don't want to open a whole can of worms, but you, you have said so often, I think it's true.

We build structures that say:

That discipleship happens necessarily in relationship.

We build structures that say:

And I, my only pushback is that I think discipleship is relationship.

We build structures that say:

I would say not just starts, but I think that's the whole part and parcel of the whole thing.

We build structures that say:

And if we don't know, because what happens is churches that don't.

We build structures that say:

Prioritize discipleship within relationship or as relationship is that we don't, we don't build the fluidity into our structures for people to be in relationship.

We build structures that say:

We build, we build structures that say, let's gather thousands of people, so no one knows one another.

We build structures that say:

And we wonder why there's no discipleship happening.

We build structures that say:

Well, there's no relationship.

We build structures that say:

And those vehicles, if you will.

We build structures that say:

Wow.

We build structures that say:

That's powerful.

We build structures that say:

Well, we're, we are running a little long, but I'm telling you that will not hit the cutting room floor as they say that was gold brother.

We build structures that say:

That was gold.

We build structures that say:

Hey, Gino.

We build structures that say:

I could keep talking to you forever, brother.

We build structures that say:

And I, again, I'm so sorry.

We build structures that say:

It's taken us so long to get you on the podcast.

We build structures that say:

I guarantee you will not be that much longer.

We build structures that say:

Again, there's so many things we could and should be talking about, and I know people are gonna appreciate your heart and your experience in this and, uh, the Peace with which.

We build structures that say:

You're living this, you and Jill are living this I, and I've watched it.

We build structures that say:

I mean, I've known you a really long time now, but I've just watched it.

We build structures that say:

You guys have gone through what other people would say was really hard times planting or starting these communities.

We build structures that say:

And you just did it with grace and fluidity and, and normalcy as you raise four beautiful, amazing children along the way who also love God and love people.

We build structures that say:

Hey, go figure.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

Right.

We build structures that say:

That's amazing.

We build structures that say:

So, Hey, it's been so good being with you.

We build structures that say:

Thanks.

We build structures that say:

Thanks for the time.

We build structures that say:

And thanks for your bringing your heart and the reality of your life and on the reality of this life, we all get to live to share today.

We build structures that say:

Thanks, man, man, it's been great being with you.

We build structures that say:

Thank you.

We build structures that say:

I love that guy.

We build structures that say:

So smart.

We build structures that say:

So humble, so normal and, and definitely one of my favorite traveling buddies ever.

We build structures that say:

I hope you love.

We build structures that say:

I love his heart as much as I do.

We build structures that say:

And, uh, wow.

We build structures that say:

He is a wealth spring of wisdom and good news and kind of, like I said, you know, in our, in our talk there in our interview, he's just so chill about it.

We build structures that say:

Even though he's been through, wow.

We build structures that say:

We could do episodes and episodes have some of the mountains that he's had to climb where people have thrown him into digits and all that, but he's, he is really centered on the love of Christ in his life and the Gospel.

We build structures that say:

So I hope you enjoyed that.

We build structures that say:

I hope it helps you think through this issue of micro churches, many churches, house, churches, whatever you want to call them and maybe gives you some ideas on how to either course correct.

We build structures that say:

Or if you're thinking about.

We build structures that say:

Starting to implement one of these or start one of these, some ways to begin and maybe some priorities there.

We build structures that say:

Well, as always, before I wrap up, I want to leave you with the big three takeaways from today's topic so that, you know, if nothing else you don't miss these and you can get this as a printable PDF.

We build structures that say:

If you like these three big three sort of summary statements here, you can just go to Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash big three and zoom we'll send it right out to you.

We build structures that say:

Here are the big three for this week.

We build structures that say:

First when starting any new expressions of the church in your city, begin by looking for where God is already at work.

We build structures that say:

I loved when he said that, join him, join God and ask the spirit to show you what to begin to do to build relationships for the sake of the gospel, where God's already at work.

We build structures that say:

And if there are more Epistolic types in your church that are already doing fruitful ministry out there, we'll fan those flames and send people and resources to join them.

We build structures that say:

So instead of trying to just create structures, second discipleship is relationship.

We build structures that say:

Oh, that was also powerful when he said that.

We build structures that say:

And it's what it is.

We build structures that say:

It's relationship with God that we're inviting others into.

We build structures that say:

As we do normal life with people bringing the gospel of the kingdom to bear in and through those relationships, discipleship is happening.

We build structures that say:

See discipleship is relationship.

We build structures that say:

God is not looking for more smaller containers of people popping up all over.

We build structures that say:

He's looking for relationships with people who are disciples of his son.

We build structures that say:

Jesus.

We build structures that say:

And third, get the equipping and help you need to seed fruitful new micro churches.

We build structures that say:

Most people in church leaders were not taught or discipled in these ways.

We build structures that say:

And to throw a bunch of new, smaller, simple structures and programs together without the needed gospel, fluency and relationship building skills is sure to fail and frustrates you and your people.

We build structures that say:

So you could guess at it, or he maybe can get a little bit of help and I'd love to help.

We build structures that say:

And maybe Jean will, could help.

We build structures that say:

I'll give you a link to the table church in the show notes, so you can kind of see more what's going on there, table Philadelphia.

We build structures that say:

And if you're interested in learning a full framework, For discipleship and mission, that's really how you would start these types of communities and even grow in your own gospel fluency in everyday life.

We build structures that say:

I'd love to set up a short zoom call to get to know you better answer any questions you have about how we coach and how we do it.

We build structures that say:

Tina and I do it together as couples with couples and we can get you started and love to help.

We build structures that say:

You can learn more about that and what we do by going to Everyday Disciple dot com forward slash coaching Everyday Disciple comfort slash coaching.

We build structures that say:

Leesy well, time's up, I've run a little long today, but I think it was worth it.

We build structures that say:

Join me next week as we'll continue to dig into discipleship and mission as a lifestyle together.

We build structures that say:

Talk to you soon.

We build structures that say:

Thanks for joining us today.

We build structures that say:

For more information on this show and to get loads of free discipleship resources, visit Everyday Disciple dot com.