Friday, September 21, 2007


The first century church met "house to house plus." They convened primarily in their homes, but also assembled in "the temple courts." That is, they were both private and public; underground and out in the open. This is our modus operandi at CTK with our "small groups" and "Worship Centers." In fact, our vision statement states "This church will convene in hundreds of small groups with Worship Centers strategically located in every community." At CTK we envision small groups scattered throughout and area, but the groups coming together in a larger public assembly.

Where are "the temple courts" today? In addition to the rented, leased or owned facility in which we have regular services, it could mean:

The city park. CTK Oak Harbor moves one Sunday service each summer to the city park.

The campground. CTK Sedro Woolley takes the entire congregation camping one weekend each year.

The high school stadium. CTK Anacortes rented the football stadium for a combined worship service this summer.

The nature center. CTK Coupeville broke the congregation into smaller groups and took a guided tour through stations on a nature walk one Sunday.

The community center. CTK Durango hosts a monthly "Dinner Church" at the community center.

The roller rink. CTK Mount Vernon held "Roller Church" at the local roller rink.

The theater. CTK Burlington presented a video taped service at the area Cineplex.

There is value in getting your ministry "out there" wherever "there" is. This is a value that was recognized by the early church but is largely missed by today's "house church" movement. The "house church" gets the cellular part of the equation, but misses the congregational part of the equation. To be a "first century church" you need to experience both elements: house to house and the temple courts.

In my experience at CTK, small groups and Worship Centers need each other like peanut butter and jelly. The Worship Center provides context for the small group. The small group provides connection for the Worship Center. Small groups make your Worship Center strong. Worship Centers make your small groups significant.

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