The Church of the Foursquare Gospel, the Charismatic Christian denomination founded by Aimee Semple McPherson in 1927, has just embraced the concept
of Simple Church. Popular author and teacher Dr. Jack Hayford currently presides over the denomination as he has since 2004. Worldwide membership is over 3.5 million in almost 30,000 churches in 123 countries.
Revivalist Dr. Larry Silverman, who criss-crosses the United States doing Gospel meetings - many in the Simple Church format - said, "Back in the late 1960's and early 1970's there was a great move of the Holy Spirit called the Charismatic
Renewal. Many of the existing classic, Pentecostal denominations were
quick to label this move as a false move of God. However, soon and most
likely as a result of the rejection of the established churches who claimed
to be moving in the Spirit, these groups soon formed independent churches
and fellowships. A few years later the groups that did the rejecting jumped
on the same band wagon as they realized that this movement of the Spirit
was of God and was going forward with or without them."
Silverman added, "I greatly admire the leadership of the Church of the
Foursquare as they have quickly embraced the great, powerful flow of the
Simple Church movement. They are making available to their church
planters, another way to do things. This is great!"
John White, US Coordinator for DAWN Ministries (Disciple A Whole Nation),
sent this message to DAWN affiliates:
"George Barna tells us that the spiritual landscape of North America is changing rapidly. I believe it.
"In the Spring of 2001, Mike Steele and I attended a conference at the
home of Tony and Felicity Dale in Austin , TX where Wolfgang Simson
was the speaker. I can’t tell you how excited I was to hear from Wolf.
I had been fumbling along with house church for about three years. I
knew about house churches in China and India but they were
almost unknown in the US at that time. So, I was very interested to hear
from a real person who might actually know what he was talking about.
Much has changed in only six years!
"One indication of this is that many denominations are seriously
considering the church in the home as a valid form of church. And, one
of those denominations, Foursquare, has now fully and officially
embraced this as part of their church planting strategy. They have asked
Tom Wymore, a DAWN Associate, to give direction and leadership
to this effort.
"See below for two things: First, the official announcement of this step
by Foursquare. Second, a letter from Tom expressing the compatibility
between DAWN and Foursquare. If you have a denominational friend
who is thinking about house church, you might pass this on to them."
A letter to the 75 Foursquare District Supervisor sent out from
Glenn Burris, VP of US Operations/General Supervisor. Burris wrote,
“I am also happy to tell you about an expansion of Church Multiplication.
Foursquare is making it possible to welcome simple churches, also
known as house churches, into our structure. We are currently
working on exactly how this would look, but we have made great
progress on it. One step in our progress was appointing Tom Wymore
as Simple Church Coach. Tom is working with the Church Multiplication
Office on finding a blessing structure for these new churches and leaders
as well as networking them across the nation. Please find the enclosed
book, House Church Networks: A Church for a New Generation
(Larry Kreider), as well as a postcard explaining more about simple
church in Foursquare. Additional information is available on the
Church Multiplication website --- www.reachmore.org .
"The postcard reads as follows: “It's that simple! In keeping with the
twin passions of our Foursquare heritage for reaching the Harvest and
embracing the fresh things of the Spirit, we are pleased to announce
that we are adding the planting of simple (house) churches to our
Church Multiplication efforts. In our increasingly complex world,
simplicity is becoming very much sought after, even in matters of the
kingdom of God ! To help us catch the growing wave of simple church
expressions, we have asked Tom Wymore to help us embrace and
coach leaders through the process of discovery and blessing. We invite
you to find out more via our website
The postcard Burris mentioned is scheduled for mailing in June.
Another letter from Tom Wymore to DAWN Associates reads,
"My introduction to the simple church stream came through the
Dawn North American leadership team. My first connections with
Dawn were so positive that I knew I had found a family for life. Imagine
my delight, then, when my own denomination asked me to help them
embrace and bless the simple church movement with the express provision
that we would partner with Dawn whenever possible! I have been asked
by the Foursquare Church US to develop simple/house church planting
across the US , focusing particularly on the development of simple church
networks. My official "title" is simple church coach which translated means
something like coordinator of simple church planting. You can visit the
simple church part of Foursquare's church planting website by going to