House Church Talk - recent gathering sponsored by Off The Map

Bob Bowen bob_bowen at
Wed Mar 17 13:14:41 EST 2004


David Anderson asked for an update from the recent gathering sponsored by 
off-the-map.  Here it is:

It wasn't really sponsored by Off The Map.  Off The Map, Emergent, The OOZE and some others did promote it on their web site.  Nearly 260 people attended "Mayhem" in Cincinnati in January.  I think 15 states and Canada were represented.  House Churches from as far away as Seattle, San Diego and New Hampshire attended.  It was an awesome opportunity to dialog with folks doing House Churching/Missional Communities from across the country.  These were folks who are passionate about mission, community and Kingdom discussed, worshipped, prayed, reflected, interacted with tension, encouraged etc. etc. 

On interesting thing that happend was we asked the group how they found out about the conference.  Less than 50 said they heard about Meyhem thru the web sponsors.  The remaining 200+ folks found out about Mayhem through reading our blogs, or networking with other folks.  It was like the person you were talking to would know someone who know someone that knew you.  It was awesome how the whole house church networking thing worked. 

Brian McClaren led 4 discussion and he did his usual outstanding job.  There were 2 sets of 5 breakout sessions covering topics from living in community, to belonging, leadership issues, etc.  All were well received.

Coming out of this, the team that put this conference agreed that were are not in the business of putting on conferences, training seminars, inspirational workshops or the like. We are not in the business of becoming a hub for all things emerging church/missional communities/simple church/organic planting/fill in the blank. We are not in the business of hiring speakers, providing multi-media resources, creating a new denominational affiliation or becoming known. We are not in the business of postmodern arrogance or deconstruction of the church. We are not in the business of top-down structures or creating Christian industry. All of these are not a big enough idea to compel us to lay our lives down for.

We are in the business of Kingdom come. We swear singular allegiance to the King who has called us out and told us to fight. We are in the business of sniffing out wherever the enemy is opposing those in the way of Jesus and kicking his ass back into the shadows of his deceit. We are in the business of connecting leaders and servants one to another. We believe that these relational networks are the bridges that the Holy Spirit is naturally and organically traveling across to accomplish his task on earth. We are in the business of encouraging leaders and communities to think local and to think neighborhood. We are in the business of believing that the future is open to being co-created with the God who has initiated relationship. We are in the business of taking responsibility for mission here on earth and believing that it entails the redemption of the whole of creation here on earth. We are in the business of thinking simple, doable, communal, monastic, missional, relational and catholic. We are in the business of embracing mystery, suffering, death to selfish ambitions and vain conceit. We are in the business of the prophetic without concern for any other audience except for the voice that has called us. We are in the business of becoming irrelevant (as Nouwen says it) in order that we can finally be free to love our neighbor. 

Bob Bowen
Denver Bronco Fan Since 1961

House Church Talk is sponsored by the House Church Network.

House Church Talk has been renamed. These discussions, via the web, now occur at the Radically Christian Cafe.