The growing number of church closures in Algeria illustrates the problem with the western church paradigm of church buildings and weekly worship services. It is not transferable. It doesn’t work in situations where the government doesn’t allow Christians to meet in buildings called churches.
Decades ago, the Chinese church understood this and learned to function discretely as networks of house churches. The early church thrived in the Roman Empire while being persecuted and without church buildings. They met as small faith communities in homes, living out the New Testament conception of the local church as a family of families. Yet we in the West cannot imagine the local church without a building.
One of the brothers in Algeria, realizing that the government wants to close the churches, began working with the leaders in his movement to transform it into a complex network of smaller house churches. His main concern is having enough elders trained and ready to take on the responsibility for these faith communities.
He’s working hard to train them using DDK First Principles teaching materials. It only takes about two years to do all of First Principles.
The DDK teaching puts the church back in the center of God’s plan and emphasizes the church as a family of families designed to function in ordered relationships according to Christ’s teachings. DDK teaches the conception of the local church that Christ revealed to his Apostles, especially Paul. This is just what they need in Algeria, and in all of North Africa, where governments and people are hostile to the Gospel and churches.
The government wants to weaken the Church and even cause it to disappear.
Pray with us that this period of persecution will serve to strengthen the churches and result in many more leaders than ever before being trained!