What Is a Micro Church?

What Is a Micro Church?

Bigger isn’t always better and the micro church proves this

Last week I wrote about the emergent church. Today we shift the discussion to micro church. Emergent church and micro church, are these alternate labels for the same thing or different? The answer is maybe.

The concept of a micro church can go by different labels. Other names, some of which might be more familiar, include simple church and organic church. Some micro churches are house churches, but not all of them. And some house churches are micro churches, but, again, not all.

It’s easiest to describe a micro church by looking at its characteristics:

Streamlined Structure: Micro churches have only a minimal amount of structure and just enough to allow them to function. Their organization tends to be flat as opposed to hierarchical, with a more egalitarian operation.

No Paid Staff: At micro churches people minister to one another and serve as priests to each other, as we find described in the New Testament. They don’t have a need for paid clergy or to maintain anyone on a payroll.

Priesthood of all Believers: Since micro churches have no paid staff, they have no clergy. This isn’t a problem since they embrace the priesthood of all believers. This means that the people in the community minister to one another, teach one another, and help one another. They feel no need to subjugate this to professional ministers. Because of the nature of their faith they are automatically priests.

Deemphasized Sunday Service: The micro church doesn’t place as much emphasis on a Sunday morning service as traditional churches do. In fact, they may not meet on Sunday or even once a week. Their gatherings may not even resemble a church service.At micro churches, weekly church gatherings prepare people to go into their community and serve. Click To Tweet

Missional: The micro church has a vision to serve. They have a mission. This makes them missional. However, their mission is not inwardly focused but outwardly focused. Their internal gatherings, be it like a Sunday service or something else, are to encourage and prepare the people present to go out into their community and serve. Therefore, many micro churches have at its core one particular vision, a mission, around which people gather.

Focused on Multiplication: The micro church isn’t concerned with growing its numbers, but it’s vitally interested in growing influence. Micro churches seek to do this by helping others start their own micro churches to address other needs in the community. Their simple structure makes this easy and fast. This is why they view themselves as organic. They’re constantly growing, changing, and reproducing more of their kind.

Perhaps Emergent: Last week we defined the emergent church as an effort to reclaim church practices from a biblical perspective to reform them to be relevant in a postmodern culture. In considering this definition and the above characteristics, it’s easy to see a connection between the emergent church and the micro church. This doesn’t mean they’re the same, however. It just means they tap into a similar underlying angst of spiritual speakers to pursue community and help the world in new and unexpected ways, ways that the traditional church has missed.

I embrace both the emergent church and micro church concepts as practical and effective ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a world seeking relevance and purpose in a confusing existence.

Join me on the journey!

How big is your tent   convertkit

Sign up for my weekly newsletter about biblical spirituality, and I'll send you a free e-book, How Big Is Your Tent?

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

3 Comments

  • Darryl Eyb Posted November 12, 2017 9:51 pm

    Nice summary Peter. You make some great points especially around the areas of priesthood of all, and missioanl and multiplying intentions. I would have included that micro churches tend to be highly relational in nature as one of the key characteristics. This is both a strength, and at times a potential weakness, of this style of church in my experience. What are your thoughts?

    • Peter DeHaan Posted November 13, 2017 5:43 am

      Darryl, you are so right.

      Micro churches, due to their size and structure, are highly relational, producing a tight-knit faith community. This is a huge strength, but the closeness can make them messy at times. However, I think the benefits far outweigh this risk.

      Thanks for adding to the discussion!

      • Darryl Eyb Posted November 13, 2017 5:59 am

        Yeah, I completely agree with you. Definitely worth the risk.

Add Comment

What do you think? Please leave a comment!

%d bloggers like this: