After a lot of research, study and training, the first “Simple Church” in New Zealand met in Auckland. Based on the New Testament model of house churches, this is church for the unchurched.
Using the training model pioneered by Milton Adams of the Florida Conference in the US—two couples—Graham and Ailsa Ure with their daughter Elise, and Robert and Joy Fish began meeting in the Ure families home.
There are currently fourteen people attending—this does vary week to week and we are actively seeking more
With them were a number of their unchurched friends, including two families that were essentially atheist/agnostic.
Research from Fuller Theological Seminary indicates that if a church is 10 or more years old, it takes 85 people to lead one person to Christ. If a church is less than three years old, it takes only three people to lead one person to Christ.
“Simple Church starts at 10:30 am every Sabbath. The program consists of two segments—a getting to know you segment; where people tell of their experiences—the high and low points of the past week; followed by a spiritual segment,” says Robert Fish.
Each segment is usually an hour long, with refreshments after the first segment—followed by lunch after the second. They have been meeting weekly, making friends, helping those who need help, comforting those who mourn—as there has been one death in the group.
“There are currently fourteen people attending—this does vary week to week and we are actively seeking more,” says Robert Fish. Before commencing, Graham & Ailsa; and Robert & Joy were commissioned by the North New Zealand Conference as Simple Church Elders.
Romans 16:5 confirms our approach to church, says Robert Fish. “Please give my greetings to the church that meets in their home. Greet my dear friend Epenetus. He was the very first person to become a Christian in the province of Asia” (New Living Translation).