11 Jul 2017

Reflections on a Mega Church Experience

Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending Bethel Church in Redding, California. For those unfamiliar with this church, Bethel was founded in 1952 by Robert Doherty and grew steadily from the 1960s to the early 1990s. Following the call of current senior pastor Bill Johnson in 1996, Bethel underwent a time of divisiveness followed by a period of tremendous growth. Currently, Bethel has approximately 9,000 weekly attendees—easily categorizing it as a mega church—and

Jacob Prahlow 2
17 Apr 2017

The Beauty of Bi-Vocational Ministry

A few years back I had lunch with a pastor of one of the larger churches in my town. During the course of our conversation, I described to him my weekly schedule. As the pastor of a small house church, I preach every other Sunday, teach an evening Bible study on a regular rotation, and meet individually with people during the week for discipleship. This leaves me with a lot of “free time” to be

Jarrett Dickey 1
20 Mar 2017

Coffee Shop Ministry

“I look upon all the world as my parish; thus far I mean, that, in whatever part of it I am, I judge it meet, right, and my bounden duty to declare unto all that are willing to hear, the glad tidings of salvation.”–John Wesley, Journal As an adjunct lecturer at several local colleges and the pastor of a small house church, I have been given the gift of a flexible schedule. My pastoral duties

Jarrett Dickey 1
06 Mar 2017

The Danger of Christian Primitivism

While writing my previous article that praised the virtues of Christian primitivism and its capacity to spark church renewal, it occurred to me that it would be appropriate to address the inherent dangers of Christian primitivism.  Simply put, Christian primitivism is an ideological viewpoint that attempts to restore Christianity to the original structures and practices of the New Testament Church because it is believed that the Church has strayed from its own foundation over the

Jarrett Dickey 8
20 Feb 2017

The Beauty of House Church: Primitivism

This article is the fourth article in a series on house church. You can find the first article about my journey to house church here. The other articles in the series are about the communal nature of house church and the liturgy of house church. Throughout the history of the Christian church, believers have often found themselves drawn back to the New Testament Church as depicted in the book of Acts and the epistles. The

Jarrett Dickey 7
06 Feb 2017

The Beauty of House Church: Work of the People

This article is the third article in a series on house church.  You can find the first article about my journey to house church here, and the second article about the communal nature of house church here. Recently I was talking with a younger Christian friend about the cyclical nature of worship styles and preferences. Based on anecdotal evidence and personal intuition, I suggested that college-aged persons may be more and more drawn toward traditional expressions

Jarrett Dickey 2
06 Jan 2017

The Beauty of House Church: Communalism-Lite

My second year of theology school I took a course on Christian communalism. My instructor, Luther E. Smith, utilized a book he had written on the topic as one of the course texts. Throughout the semester we studied a variety of spiritual communities– some good, some bad, and some ugly. In the context of the course, I remember being profoundly impacted by three different expressions of Christian community– L’Arche, Koinonia Farm, and the Amish. We

Jarrett Dickey 0
13 Dec 2016

Incomplete Thoughts on the Incarnation

Our culture makes a lot of noise during the Christmas season. Some Christians wait with bated breath to see what Starbucks is going to do with their holiday cups so they can immediately make clips on Facebook and YouTube decrying Starbucks as godless and hostile to Christmas and Christians. Others, both atheists and Christians, post ridiculous memes about paganism being the root of the celebration of Christmas in between the reminders of Jesus being the

Mike Landsman 1
12 Dec 2016

The Backdoor to House Church

I am the assistant pastor of a network of house churches.1 On Sunday mornings, we meet in two locations—one in a northern suburb and the other in a southern suburb. Throughout the week, we host Bible studies and small groups in private homes located in several different cities scattered throughout the greater region. My duties primarily involve preaching, leading worship, teaching Bible study, discipleship, and pastoral care. In addition to my pastoral work, I am

Jarrett Dickey 6
25 Oct 2016

The Insufficiency of Spontaneous Prayer

The Insufficiency of Spontaneous Prayer  “Now if we imagine that we can sustain spontaneous prayer throughout our life, we are in childish delusion.” – Anthony Bloom1 In the Charismatic Tradition there are generally two ways of prayer echoing the words of St. Paul in I Corinthians 14:15: praying with the Spirit and praying with the understanding (or mind). Praying with the Spirit is understood as praying in tongues, or as praying in a private prayer

Mike Landsman 16
01 Sep 2016

Lessons From an Unexpected Miracle

“My wife was healed from cancer at a Benny Hinn crusade.” That one sentence hit my small group like a punch in the gut. No one knew what to say, and we all looked around at each other, and the floor, in mute embarrassment. We somehow murmured our apologies—and eventually the conversation drifted into different territory—but we soon said our goodbyes and left for the evening. Earlier in the evening my small group met at

Mike Landsman 7
01 Oct 2014

Round Table: Communion

Perhaps no facet of Christian theology is more important and more often debated than understandings of Communion. Instituted by the Lord Jesus the night before his death, the practice of communing with fellow Christians using bread and wine (or, in some early Christian communities, cheese and wine) reaches back to the earliest Jesus Movement and continues to form and define Christians today. In order to demonstrate both the unity and diversity of Christian perspectives on

Various 40
03 Sep 2014

Round Table: Christian Warfare

Every month Conciliar Post offers a Round Table discussion, bringing together various Christian voices to reflect upon an important question or topic. Today’s Round Table considers the following question: Are Christians ever justified in supporting or advocating warfare, either on their own behalf or by the nation of which they are a part? Represented in this Round Table are some fascinating perspectives, including that of a veteran of the United States Armed Forces and that

Various 16
08 Jul 2014

Round Table: Same-Sex Marriage

Having just passed the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision and with the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly’s recent vote, the issue of Same-Sex Marriage remains much discussed and oft debated in our culture. To help us think more clearly about this subject, we asked the Conciliar Post team and a few guest authors to offer their thoughts on some aspects of Same-Sex Marriage in a Round Table format. Round Tables are where

Various 34
16 Jun 2014

Motherhood And The Christian Walk

I heard the screaming that was only getting louder as I let the dog back in the door. I instructed her to sit, and instead she squatted and immediately proceeded to pee on the rug. Sending her back outside, I growled and stomped off to get a rag. I called up the stairs, “I’ll be there in a minute. Hold your horses, just calm down.” The child already had a bowl of cereal, milk, water,

Guest Author 2