Episode 9: Neighborhood Church Pt. 1
In this episode we define house churches, neighborhood churches, and community churches. We detail why each are distinctly different, and all have an ongoing place in our church context.
- Say, yes! Don’t look back and wonder what could have been. God has something for you right now. So why not take a chance. What’s the worst thing that could happen? - Robert Cortes Click To Tweet
- Have IC in YOU conversations that allow people to set up and serve. – Mingo Palacios Click To Tweet
- Our hope is you create spaces where people feel welcomed, they feel seen, and walk away feeling valued and known. – Mingo Palacios Click To Tweet
About Episode 9:
00:01 > introduction of Mingo Palacios & Robert Cortes
3:25 > beginning for people already connected to our network.
7:51 > Neighborhood church defined.
12:10 > 3 Phases explained.
14:50 > Roles Explained. (Venue Host, Service Host, Hospitality)
21:00 > Service formats
option 1: plug and play
option 2: part live – part video
option 3: all live (teaching and/or worship)
25:56 > short recap
Last one: 27:00 > Proximity and geography
What do we do at this moment when they are speaking to churches to “regather”? I’m sure you’ve been more missional and open to pivoting during this time.
What’s the best route? Do we open, do we not?
Robert and Mingo use the microsite experience.
What is a neighborhood church verse a home church?
What’s the WHY behind the WHAT of a neighborhood church?
The past three months have been a blur. We’ve been doing a shelter in place church experiences with growth groups meeting over Zoom and youth meetings over Instagram and Tik Tok. We’ve been honoring the not coming together to respect our community and government.
Imagine gathering 3-5 families or households, and we are calling this a neighborhood church. The microsite model is being retooled into a neighborhood church to build it uniquely for your community.
Some benefits of microsites are to gather people who live in the neighborhood. You get to know your neighbor and get to know people who frequent the area.
Now in this season, people are concerned about their physical health…
A neighborhood church is “an open community that gathers by the dozens, connecting in homes, apartments, dorms, parks, and backyards to host particular services and churches.”
You aren’t getting together more than 20 folks.
You could also do this in a local business or a beach.
Right now, we are considering neighborhood churches and dealing with heavy restrictions here in California.
- Everyone is masked
- Everyone is 6 feet apart in all directions
- You are only allowed up to 25% of that room’s capacity
- Then you have to cap it at 100 individuals
Do you have a CONCERN? And are you saying “Hey, I want to run a church, but I don’t’ want to deal with all the things of running a service”…
Here are the essential components of running a microsite/neighborhood church. There will be three main roles, plus helping hands.
3 Roles of a Neighborhood Church:
- Venue Host – they come to your condo or home, and you communicate with the team how many people we can have couches for.
- Service Host – the logistics of what will go into an actual service. Be ready with a quick devo even if it doesn’t match the message, and you won’t fail. You need to know how the service will go…like two songs of worship, announcements, and we are studying the book of James, an opportunity to pray for people and discussion questions.
Service hosts, you just need to watch the YouTube video to prepare for the Sunday service.
Here’s example info:
- Venue Host says – “Hey I’m pastor Mingo and welcome to your neighborhood church, i”m going to take one minute to present our service host before we get into the program:”
- Service Host says – “ Hey, that’s me. If you need anything, I”m here. When he is done with his part, I’ll have mine”.
Make sure the internet is working, and everyone has water! Think of what will be a great experience for everyone coming to your location.
Think of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, who always goes ahead.
You don’t have to have a team. It could be a married couple, then you maybe flip-flop those two roles and empower people coming to your neighborhood church.
Have “IC in YOU conversations” that allow people to set up and serve.
“To get more people, should you host an open bar”? – Robert
Listen at 19:00 minutes to hear the response from Mingo.
Our hope is you “create spaces where people feel welcomed; they feel seen and walk away feeling valued and known” – Mingo.
When we did Microsites, it was a plug and play service then you’d play the “catcher” at the end where you try to contextualize for the group.
As the service host, you get to decide what kind of neighborhood church you want to be.
3 Versions For Your Neighborhood Church:
Version 1 – You just have people over and click play on the YouTube video. When the YouTube video is over, you say, “what does that mean for us”? Then you facilitate a conversation.
Version 2 – It is 50/50 on the teaching. Set up a shorter sermon, and from YouTube, you set up the talk and provide notes for the service host to take on the second half of the message. Before the week prior, you can get on a ZOOM call with your pastor to get the download of where we are trying to take each of our neighborhood churches.
This is great for people who have the gift of teaching. It’s for people who want to elevate their ability to host, teach, study, and communicate God’s Word.
In a traditional service model, there aren’t many opportunities for people with the gift of teaching to teach. They may get an opportunity to teach in student ministries, a growth group, or a one-off Bible study.
Pastors, in this season, you can disciple and cultivate in their gifting. Even if it is rough getting started, you will have a group of people who are able to teach scripture well.
Version 3 – We are calling this “Unplugged Neighborhood Church.” Ultimately that means whoever is the leader of that group will have already connected with your worship pastor for the worship setting, and your teaching pastor knows the teaching setting. They practice and deliver a live service both worship and teaching for their neighborhood church.
Some people may be thinking, “there is NO WAY I’d do that”!
Or others have been saying, “this is what I’ve been praying for.”
This will be a crazy regathering season as you release control. We want this to be high touch with teams, but we know and understand that it can’t be high control.
We know we have to go “trial and error, ebb and flow, wash and repeat and get better.” – Mingo
Most likely, this is in line with your church’s mission. Our mission is “people helping people find and follow Jesus.”
A neighborhood church is PHASE 2 of the regathering plan. We gather in dozens, but not many people have room for over 24 people. The emphasis is on hyperlocal, so you invite your close friends and family and open your home up to others in your neighborhood.
You may get the questions, “but my closest friends aren’t in my neighborhood; they are 5 or 10 miles away. So if she is 25 miles away, does that mean that I can’t invite them to my neighborhood church”? NO! Start with who you know—the people you love and are comfortable with. But if you stop there, your neighborhood church falls short. Invite non-believers and new believers to have a conversation that will change your life.
If you look at social media, people are so polarized. So it isn’t an either-or. You can’t force someone out of their comfort zone. Don’t go finding the holes, then go to Facebook and share all your woes.
This will be a FUN ride!
If you are feeling tense, belong to one before committing to lead your own.
“Say, yes! Don’t look back and wonder what could have been. God has something for you right now. So why not take a chance. What’s the worse thing that could happen”? – Robert
You aren’t stuck, and you are part of a team. You are on a community adventure with people you love.
Imagine if the speaking pastors you watch on YouTube show up to be apart of your neighborhood church.
Is this firing in your mind? SHARE this!
“If my bullets fit your gun, shoot them.” – Rick Warren
If you want more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Connect with the speaker, and check out the resources mentioned in this episode:
- Microsite Ministry: https://micrositeministry.com/
- Mingo’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mingo2/
- Robert’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rebelfishlocal/
DM us if you’d like to be considered to be interviewed on the podcast.