House church movement takes root in Nevada

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christ's Church of Nevada announced the launch of a new Church in Nevada. The New fellowship held their first public meeting on Sunday, September 6, 2009. Christ's Church of Nevada is part of the House Church Movement that facilitates a larger Sunday gathering. Founding elders include Lynn Schmitt, Robert Fox and Steve Highlander.

The church meets Sunday mornings at the Neal Center, 301 North Main in Nevada and throughout the week in various homes for fellowship, ministry, prayer and Bible study. On Sundays an Interactive Bible study for adults starts at 9 a.m., with morning worship and ministry at 10:15. The church hosts a light breakfast and beverages from 9 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. and everyone is welcome to come early and join them.

Explaining the concept for the new church Steve Highlander said, "We really felt the need to do something non-traditional. There are some good churches in Nevada that have been here a long time. To add one more church to the traditional mix seemed pointless." He went on to say, "There are also a lot of unchurched people in Nevada who, for whatever reason, are not connecting with more traditional churches. We felt unless we could offer something different, there wasn't really a need for another church. We like to say that we are 'different on purpose.'"

Some of those differences include: A more casual and interactively styled café setting on Sunday mornings; a lot of congregational involvement; and an emphasis on the importance of small group meetings for real Christian growth, discipleship and fellowship.

According to Robert Fox, the group places a lot of value on participation in the gatherings. "Unfortunately for many people church has become something they attend as a spectator rather than as a participant," Fox said. "We are trying to change that by do-emphasizing a programmed service as much as possible and making room for participation and interaction. We try to be spontaneous as much as possible." Highlander was quick to explain that having a non-traditional structure does not mean that they preach a non-traditional message. "The Gospel of Jesus Christ has never changed, nor will it ever change. It does not need to; it is valid for every person, culture and age" he said. "We seek to balance a conservative Christian message with practical life application. However, the way people gather together to worship, learn, fellowship and pool their resources and gifts to reach out is very adaptable from age to age and culture to culture." The group also emphasizes the social responsibility of the gospel message. Lynn Schmidt explains, "Jesus instructed His disciples to minister to the natural needs of the communities they served. This included providing food clothing and other material necessities as they had ability and opportunity. One goal of starting Christ's Church is to obey the Biblical mandate to help people in the community in whatever way we can."

Even though the church is less than three months old they have already been able to distribute hundreds of dollars of food that has been donated from some very unique sources.

They also have access to clothing and household goods through their association with The Trinity Tribesmen, (www.trinitytribesmen.org) located in Butler Mo.

Recently The Trinity Tribesmen donated a 23- foot trailer, loaded full of coats and winter clothes to be distributed here in Nevada.

Some future educational plans include offering college level Bible classes, seminars on Christian growth, ministry training for laypeople, an Introduction to Christianity for the unchurched and even adult literacy programs.

"We want to work with other churches and ministries in the area in whatever way we can because unity can accomplish more than individuality. We also want to provide some opportunities for worship, fellowship, training and Christian growth, as well as community services that are not currently being offered," Fox said.

For more information about the church, times for weekly house church meetings or to contact a pastor please visit the group's web site at www.christchurchnevada.org.

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