Roots Church Network
Here at Roots, our many house churches network together for the sake of greater impact on our world and service toward one another.
We would love to partner with your house church in making disciples.
Benefits of Networking
Networks of house churches have more resources available
Material resources can be shared, enabling house churches in more impoverished neighborhoods to benefit from the generosity of those with more affluent members.
2 Corinthians 8:13–15 – Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
Additionally, human resources are drawn from a wider selection of people, enabling key ministries to rise up that benefit the larger network. Such ministries might not exist in a specific house church, but networks provide access to more people and more gifts.
Ephesians 4:11 – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers . . .
Networks of house churches can make a greater impact on a region
One house church can reach a handful of people. Without multiplication, their impact will remain stagnantly limited to that one small group.
If a house church multiplies but never officially networks together with the new church(es) they planted, each group remains as an entity unto itself, limited by its own resources and relationships. But a network can refer new people to churches that are the best fit for them—whether because of location or demographics. Families with children can be recommended to a house church that has a children’s meeting. Young people can be connected with a house church that has some peers closer to their age. Senior citizens or disabled people can be recommended to house churches that are more accessible (ramps, fewer stairs, etc.).
Networked house churches can come together under one name to serve their community in a more public or official capacity, participating in or hosting large community events.
Networks of house churches have healthier leadership
House church pastors who are committed to a network join together at regular intervals to grow in their leadership skills, troubleshoot with each other, encourage one another, confess sin to each other, pray for one another, and so forth. (In the Roots Church network, our house church pastors gather on the second Sunday of every month.)
If a house church pastor becomes unstable or unhealthy, members of the house church can reach out for accountability with network leaders who are trusted and respected.
Networks of house churches have healthier participants
Participants in networked house churches have more teaching and training opportunities available to them.
At Roots Church, we offer conferences, events, Encounter nights twice per month, and the Roots School of Ministry (RSOM) program.
Participants in networked house churches are led by healthier pastors who are encouraged and resourced.
Networks of house churches have psychological and social benefits
People generally want to feel part of something bigger than themselves. A large, growing network communicates that they’re part of something healthy, thriving, and bigger than their own little group.
As house churches multiply, an organized network enables key relationships to continue even when the friends no longer attend the same house church meeting. This makes multiplication socially easier and therefore more likely.
Networks of house churches grow faster than individual groups
Due in part to all of the above factors, organized networks of house churches tend to grow much faster than individual house churches.
Roots Church began in 2011 as one house church. It multiplied the first time in 2015, again in 2018. But after we organized as an official network in 2019, we quickly tripled the number of house churches and participants within the first year.
Specific Benefits of the Roots Church Network
Roots Church is carefully organized to help turn ordinary house churches into impactful, healthy, and multiplying missional communities.
The Church Center App
The Church Center App hosts an online community for everyone who is part of the Roots Church network. There you’ll find private groups for all our official house churches. There are open forums for prayer requests, parents of various ages, and more. There is also evangelism training, disciple-making tools, a Bible-reading plan, and links to our network-wide events, Sunday schedule, online giving portal, and so forth.
Our network has leveraged the Church Center App to offer a tremendous resource for house churches that are growing and multiplying.
The app is available here:
In most cases, when a need arises in one’s house church, the believers within that church take responsibility to meet that need. On occasion, however, the need is beyond the scope of what the immediate house church can offer.
In these cases, house church pastors have access to a private group in the Church Center App where they can make the need known to other pastors in the network. These pastors, then, can make the need known to their house churches and help people connect with the person in need.
The special benevolence group in the church center app also includes the congregational members of the church board. These trusted men and women oversee a special savings account that is designated for widows, orphans, and single mothers. Whenever such a need arises, this “benevolence committee” is authorized to give as much from that fund as they feel is appropriate. A fixed percentage of all donations to the Roots Church general fund is added to this account every month.
Roots School of Ministry
While anyone in the world is invited to attend the Roots School of Ministry (RSOM)—both in person and online—Mission Partners of Roots Church are invited to attend tuition-free. And naturally, those RSOM students who actively participate in our official house churches will receive the best learning experience because they're immersed in our Spirit-filled culture, based on our Core Values.
Discounts on Special Events
While most Roots Church events are free (with costs covered by the general fund), some are of the nature that payment is needed. For example, a weekend marriage retreat might involve a cost of a few hundred dollars. In such cases, Roots Church will cover some of the cost for the marriage retreat as an investment in the marriages within our network. But this applies specifically to Mission Partners of Roots Church. Others are welcome at such events but would need to pay full price.
Roots Church has an insurance policy that covers house church ministers officially sanctioned by our network for situations that might arise during official Roots Church gatherings. This covers a certain amount of liability in specific instances, even at their home meetings. There is also coverage for legal costs associated with false accusations when appropriate measures have been taken to prevent such events from occurring.
Questions about the insurance policy can be directed to the Executive Director on our Senior Leadership Team.
Monthly Ministers Stipend
A portion of the general fund budget, set by the Board, is divided each month and distributed to official house church pastors and certified children’s ministers in our network. The amount varies from month to month, depending on how much money is received by the network; but the stipends are generous and reasonable.
The Roots Church Equipping Team is comprised of mature Christians from throughout our network who carry our ministry DNA and help us multiply disciples and house churches. Every house church in our network benefits from this team of mentors who help launch new house churches and strengthen existing house churches.
Equipping Team members fit into three categories:
Mature believers who have become teachers and trainers (Hebrews 5:12).
Trustworthy and reliable people who can convey teaching to others (2 Timothy 2:2).
Equipping ministers (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) who carry a special grace to equip the church in their particular areas (Ephesians 4:11–13).
House church pastors in our network benefit from these ministers’ knowledge, experience, wisdom, and giftings. Pastors can reach out to such people for advice and insight at any time, and they can even request “equippers” to visit their house church and help them receive a breakthrough in a particular area that has been weak. Members of the team can visit house churches in our network as the Spirit leads to provide loving, constructive feedback on ways to strengthen the house church.
In short, the Equipping Team strengthens house churches in our network, making us all more effective in multiplying God’s kingdom in our region.
Legal Ministry Status
Recognized house church pastors within our network receive a “local church credential,” which makes them legally authorized to perform weddings and other such ministerial duties within the State of Michigan.
Also, with our insurance policy, a certain amount of legal coverage protects official house churches as religious institutions that have certain rights under the United States Constitution.
Independent house churches sometimes struggle to advance any sort of vision because participants sometimes have trouble clearly identifying the leader or seeing that leader as a real “pastor.” House church pastors within the Roots Church network are recognized as shepherds—both in their own small congregations and in our network at large.
Our Senior Leadership Team fully supports the recognized leadership in our house churches and will gladly intervene in situations where such leadership might be challenged by “wolves” or “false teachers” who are causing division or challenges. We're here to serve.
Participants in the Roots Church network have opportunities to lead and minister more broadly within our network. Yes, we believe every believer is a minister of the gospel, and we encourage everyone—whether part of our network or not—to minister in their house church and in their community. But where our network is concerned, only Mission Partners of Roots Church have opportunities to participate in the Equipping Team, minister to children, teach in the Roots School of Ministry, serve on the worship team at Encounter Nights, etc.
As an AG church, our network of house churches is under the legal umbrella of the Assemblies of God, USA. All charitable donations to “Roots Church” are tax-deductible in the United States.
Quality Children’s Ministry
In our network, only certified children’s ministers are allowed to minister to children. Such people are trained and background-checked to ensure that our children are safe and loved appropriately throughout our network. We also ensure that two responsible ministers are with the children and that what they are teaching the children is doctrinally sound, developmentally appropriate, psychologically healthy, and spiritually dynamic. All our children's ministers are Mission Partners who are actively engaged in a house church.
Roots Church Brand and Presence
A house church network can have a presence in a community that a single house church cannot achieve. Participation in Roots makes you part of everything “we” are doing in our region and beyond. It’s an agreement to a culture of full-gospel ministry and shared core values that unite us in more than name only.
Each house church can rightly say, “We are Roots Church.” House churches receive branded resources like evangelism materials, video training for new believers, our School of Ministry, this web site, and more.
Our network’s web site is “our” web site and shows the public that your group is not a little cult in a living room but a legitimate church entity. And newcomers can experience all the blessings of “small church” while still feeling part of something bigger.
While Roots Church is a local ministry that aims to reach our region, we recognize that our mission is global. For this reason, we invest resources beyond our local house churches. A portion of general fund donations is given to missionaries and ministries around the world. Some is given to other churches. A small percentage each month is also given to a local pastor at another church who has need.
And our reach is more than financial. Our School of Ministry trains people in any part of the world (not only our own network). Our social media presence exports our full-gospel message and unique culture to all who will tune in. And each month, our leadership trains and equips a group of house church pastors and network leaders from around the world via Zoom.
How to Connect with Our Network:
House Churches Abroad
If your house church shares our core values and beliefs, we'd love to help mentor your church in multiplying and forming a strong network in your region.
Those who oversee networks of small churches have a Biblical responsibility to identify and affirm qualified elders who will oversee each small flock of Jesus’ sheep. (“Elders” are also called “pastors,” which is a word that literally means “shepherds.” See 1 Peter 5:1–4.)
Titus 1:5 – The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.
At Roots Church, we have two forms of leadership: organizational and organic. Our organizational leadership includes our Senior Leadership Team, with help from the congregational members of the Board. And our organic leadership is comprised of all the house church pastors from throughout the network.
As an organization, we do not desire to interfere with the multiplication of God’s kingdom. All house church pastors are authorized and encouraged to identify, raise up, and send out new leaders organically.
The community of house church pastors in our network together approves or removes other house church pastors who might want to participate in our network. Relationships and integrity matter, and this format ensures that our network remains true to our kingdom-minded mission, culture, and sound doctrine.
Together all our pastors keep watch over the entire flock (including each other)—not only their own individual house churches.
Organizational leadership exists to strengthen and protect the integrity of the Roots Church organization—approving official house churches, membership, and pastors in our network. Such leadership exists for legal and practical purposes, but for the sake of healthy ministry, it is comprised of people who have earned influence organically in our network.
Organizational leadership is therefore also organic. It is not “less than” or “greater than” our organic leadership; rather, it comes alongside the pastors of our network to help them minister more effectively to their house churches and communities.