There is a new type of church that isn’t going away, in fact, it is only growing! Micro churches, also known as house church movements, are flourishing in many parts of the world. In today’s episode, Larry Kreider and Merle Shenk lay out a scriptural basis for believers meeting from house to house, and how micro church networks are making disciples and multiplying leaders as well as the message of the gospel.

Merle Shenk serves as the lead pastor of Newport Church in Elm, Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Cheree, have over 20 years of cross-cultural ministry experience and a passion for evangelism, training, and discipleship work. Together, they serve on the DOVE International Apostolic team and lead the apostolic team for DOVE South Africa, where they lived for over 11 years and planted an inner-city, multi-ethnic church. 

A Healthy Micro Church Is Not:

  • A group that is disgruntled with their local church and/or existing leadership that decides to go start its own thing. “Whatever seeds are in the first meeting, will be reproduced later down the road.” That is why it is so important to get the attitude right in the beginning.
  • An in-grown club. It shouldn’t be so ingrown that it is not reaching the lost.
  • An independent group, unwilling to submit to spiritual authority. Because we, unfortunately, have a lot of that in the body of Christ today.
  • The same people meeting together, year after year, with no heart for the harvest.

Healthy Micro Churches:

  • Have a heart for the harvest.
  • Are called by the Lord to make disciples (2 Tim. 2:2).
  • Have leadership and elders and are under authority and accountability.
  • Are relational and flexible.
  • Have the heart to train leaders, who will start new micro churches.
  • Must be connected and are often tied to other micro church networks.

If You Are Called to Start a Micro Church:

  1. Pray
  2. Be accountable to the leadership in your life and share with them what you sense from the Lord.
  3. Find a group of people who may have the same calling on their hearts.
  4. Pursue training:
    1. Micro Churches & House Churches
    2. Church Planting
    3. DOVE Global Leadership & Ministry School
  5. It is recommended that you be a healthy member of a small group, serve as an assistant leader, or lead a small group, and have experienced a multiplication of a small group beforehand.

Quotable Quotes:

  • “You don’t have authority unless you are under authority.” -Watchman Nee

Related Resources:

For more information about Larry Kreider, his books, daily devotionals, small group resources, or other teachings, visit