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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Tyndale Momentum
Publication Date: 2011
When I began these conversations among fellow believers I began to ask them, "What counts as 'church'? Does only the Sunday morning gathering of the entire congregation count as church? Or does participation in a small group in someone's home count as 'church' as well? What about the folks that attend Sunday school but leave before worship? Do they count as part of the church or not?"
Small is Big! argues that our understanding of church has become too institutional and too narrow. As members of what is alternately called "house church," "organic church," and "simple church," Tony and Felicity place before their readers a different vision of what the word "church" means and what church can be. In arguing in favor of house churches, they believe that a simpler model of church is not only more efficient and effective, but also more biblical.
The text of Small is Big! reads as part memoir and part thesis. The Dales begin their book by sharing about their own journey toward "simple church," and how it has ministered to them and others they know effectively. Throughout the book, they share examples of their joys and sorrows in their spiritual and church journeys. The authors also make a convincing case for house churches as a biblical model for living out the Christian faith in community. They thoroughly speak about the history of house churches (Chapters 3 and 4) and the biblical basis for organic churches (Chapter 9 and 13).
Small is Big! also practical. Most of the last third of the book addresses how leadership (Chapter 17) and finances (Chapter 18) work in a house church. The Dales do not simply wax eloquent about their vision for the church; they are very clear about how this kind of church functions well.
The biggest problem I have with Small is Big! has to do with the way it is being marketed. It is a re-release of a book previous titled The Rabbit and the Elephant. This practice of selling the same book under a different title always bothers me, especially when I buy the same book twice under two different titles.
All in all, Small is Big! is an excellent primer for understanding the house church, or simple church, movement. It is well written, conversational, biblically based, and well reasoned. If anyone is interested in starting or participating in a house church model of Christian community, I would recommend this book strongly. Clint Walker, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com