In this episode of the Future Church Podcast, Todd Wilson (President & CEO, Exponential) talks to Jason Shepperd from the Church Project.
Church Project is a church of house churches and is beginning a movement of planting and replanting churches to become decentralized in community, distributed in leadership, function with simplicity for the sake of generosity, and formed in a collective of house churches, under one common structure, oversight, and support. Today, Church Project has grown into 50 house churches locally with over 3,000 people, plus several church plants.
Listen to Episode 2 of the podcast and access the show notes below.
Future Church Insights:
1. Jason talks about the Biblical example of “House Church”
Jason notes that in Acts, there are thousands of people doing church together, meeting needs and discipleship through ‘house churches’ all across Jerusalem. So the “House Church” model is smaller groups (20 – 25 people) meeting in homes across the city.
2. Jason speaks about leadership within the Church Project.
Jason points out that leadership and pastoring for these house churches is done by lay leaders. The only people on staff are those who oversee the execution of these house churches and larger gathering meetings (he uses childcare as an example). But, he does note that to be a lay leader for a house church requires the “Biblical expressions or qualifications of an elder”.
3. Jason answers what the differences are between a house church and a traditional small group.
He states that the biggest difference is expectation and identification. The leader of a house church is the pastor of that house church. Jason also notes that there is a significant difference in being a “leader” vs. a “pastor”.
Goals and Desired Outcomes of Church Project
- To build the infrastructure and leadership necessary to grow the Church Project Network.
- To build a network of churches well beyond the Church Project identifiers, who hold common values of “A Church of House Churches” and other basic shared doctrines and practices, but who will also have diversity in other arenas of theology and philosophy.
- To codify and communicate and connect resources to help serve local and global church planters, existing pastors, and missionaries abroad who may be struggling in their expression of formation and function of church, to rethink their existing model, and move to a more basic biblical expression of church leadership.
More of a reader? Download the transcription here.
Key Quotes from the episode:
“We see this beauty of the early church in Acts. All that’s happening in house churches all across Jerusalem. And that continued to spread, but they didn’t neglect the large gathering.” – Jason Shepperd
“A house church pastor begets a house church pastor. A house church begets a house church.” – Jason Shepperd