Here is a list of frequently asked questions which will hopefully help you to further understand Small Churches and the network.
Currently we have a variety of leaders from different backgrounds and nationalities. Some are ordained Anglican clergy and/or have theological training, but not all. Each fulfils the following criteria:
- The character described in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9.
- Gospel convictions that protect the church from false teaching. This means they will have completed (or made a significant start) at least one year or the equivalent of theological study. They also must commit to attending and contributing to ongoing training in the network.
- Church planting competencies. That is, they understand how to apply the 11 values to their context to multiply churches.
Our leadership training is multi-faceted. Each leader has received or is planning to undertake at least one year of diploma level training that includes a biblical theological framework. Then on the job all leaders have ongoing training to develop their Bible knowledge and ability to teach. They also meet weekly for training in elements of church planting and are provided with a coach. We want to be intentional to equip leaders to lead churches that plant churches not ones that become insular and inward looking.
One of the key benefits of these Small Churches is that the form of church is flexible depending on things like culture, people, needs etc. But all our gatherings follow our 3 thirds method which includes:
Stop: Worship and accountability
Listen: Studying and learning from the Bible together. Go: Plan to do and share what we have learnt
The short answer is anywhere! But typically, they will be meeting in people’s
homes or in public spaces such as parks.
CHAC has a high view of the authority of Scripture, so we strongly affirm the place of teaching and preaching in a way that allows us to clearly hear God’s Word to us. So our time in the Bible focuses on both teaching and participatory learning. It anticipates our obedience to it, and growth in Christian maturity. Often the teacher will give a short monologue as well as facilitate an interactive discussion on a Bible passage. Most weeks the church will work through a passage together using a method called CAFIYS. CAFIYS stands for Context, Asking questions, Flow, Important words and themes, Your words, Summary sentence.
Small Churches are great places to invite people to come along to! However, sometimes in a multicultural context, if you meet someone who wants to learn about Jesus, it can be better to meet them and their friends and family separately with the hope that a new church will be formed around them. This is particularly the case with some cultures or people groups.
The short answer is, sometimes it will be better to invite someone into your church, and other times it will be better for you to go out. We encourage you to chat to your leader and fellow church members to decide what’s best.
Each month we have an all-in larger network gathering. All members are encouraged to invite their friends to this.
The activities of mission and evangelism will look different in each church depending on the context and cultures they are trying to reach. Part of the role of your Small Church is to understand your chosen mission field and to get to know them and the best way to reach them. It might look like sharing the gospel with your colleague at work, or door knocking in your neighborhood or simply hanging out at the park to meet people and build relationships with them.
One of our Small Churches who are trying to reach Muslims are a great example of this. They learnt about migrants and realized that providing cheap driving lessons would be a great way to connect with Muslims, show them love, and build relationships with them. So that’s what they did!
This is something each church needs to prayerfully decide together. Most churches have been spread out geographically and as each church gets to know the area, they can prayerfully decide together where they think is best to concentrate their efforts. You can choose through what God puts on your heart, what gifts you have (e.g. perhaps you speak another language!) and what opportunities arise. You don’t need to worry too much – everyone needs to hear about Jesus, we just encourage groups to be intentional in the way they go about reaching others.
Jesus in our lives means reaching out to our neighbours. In today’s connected world, our neighborhood doesn’t stop after a few kilometres! Yes, God has given us people from many nations who have come right here to our doorstep but we remain equally mindful of the millions of people who have not heard of Jesus in lands far away. With that in mind we will do our best to support whatever link missionaries and/or Compassion children God gives us. We will keep informing ourselves of the needs around the world and consider specifically how we might meet those needs. We also pray regularly for the wider world.
Being a Small Church allows pastoral care to happen in a more natural way, like it might in a family, rather than depending on the professional. Everyone is responsible for loving and caring for each other. Of course, there may be times when the leader or other leaders in the network, or a professional, might be required to give further assistance.
Small Churches will gather each week and come together once a month for a larger all-in church service.
These churches will have a high degree of autonomy as they will each be led by a biblically defined elder/pastor. However, each church leader will be accountable to the Small Church Network leaders who will in turn be accountable to the CHAC Parish Council.
They will all uphold the 11 values although they will express these in very unique ways.