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July 05, 2006



I'd be curious as to what qualifies as a "house church" for the purposes of Barna's study. Do highly independent small groups from a large church qualify? Even Stetzer says that Barna has been less than forthright in how he defines a Biblical church (http://www.newchurches.com/public/resources/reading/Barna.php).

Anyway...I get this weird vibe with Barna's fascination with the house church. I can't tell whether he's simply reporting his findings or pushing an agenda.

Sitting in circles is better

As I understand it, Barna is most profoundly known for independent quality research. He has pointed out figures and trends for decades, most of which I have heard from traditional pulpits. No one ever questioned them until he started 1) finding trends that threaten the traditional methodologies and 2) adopted them himself. His research group has always had a reputation for reliability. In keeping with that, his house church research seems to be of the same quality. I have to say I'd like to see the source data, because the numbers he quotes in attendance (of house churches) seem VERY high to me. HOWEVER, my local experience (St. Louis) resonates with the trend. Barna isn't the initiator of the movement - this is clearly an effort of the Head of the Church.
Perhaps the weird vibe people are getting is the beginning of what it feels like to see, quite directly, what it is like when the Holy Spirit initiates movements personally. It seems to me He's just doing this, a huge movement turning the current systems onto their head, born without a PR campaign....sound familiar?

I don't get your point about small groups...from what I read he did NOT include those as "house churches". Rob

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