How to Set Up a Rogue Church

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.
Proverbs 18:1

These I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
Isiah 56:7

All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
-Acts 1:14

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
-Acts 2:42

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
– James 5:16

A Rogue Church focuses on prayer, God’s word, and fellowship. By fellowship we don’t mean sharing superficial parts of our lives, but sharing our pain, sin, and failures, and allowing God’s people to minister to us by listening to our story and praying for us. We are aware that many churches aren’t safe places to share—see The Guidelines for a Safe Church for information on how to create a safe environment for your flock..

Rogue Churches:

Don’t allow anyone to go home without being ministered to. We will not breed isolated Christians.

Know that prayer is our most powerful weapon, and pray together as a body every service.

Exalt all of God’s word. We study it together and encourage each other to live it out. Our churches are made up of a group of men who can teach and are not based on any one man.

Here is the format for your weekend service time:

  1. Spend 20-30 minutes in God’s word.
  2. Break up your fellowship into groups of 2-3: men with men, and women with women. Spend 30 minutes with everyone sharing what they’re going through, and finish by having everyone in the group pray for each other.
  3. Spend the last 20 minutes of your time praying together as a body.

What about worship? You can add worship as you’re led, it’s just that it’s not the main thing. I know, this isn’t how we’ve been trained what church is about in our weekend services, but read the book of Acts and pay careful attention to what they focused on. They were constantly praying and meeting together. My suggestion is that you have a Wednesday night worship and prayer meeting. That way you can still worship as a body and are keeping the top three priorities of God’s word, prayer, and fellowship intact.

If you’re an existing church, changing the format is simple. You will probably lose some members who aren’t used to having their comfort bubbles messed with, but that’s okay. Our focus isn’t on attracting the status quo majority, but those who are serious about their walk in Christ. If they’re not willing to pray or share with others, or learn how to, what does that say about their heart for Christ? It doesn’t mean that you aren’t welcoming to all, but to realize that your church won’t be for everyone. Jesus never chased people who were lukewarm toward Him.

Other points of consideration:

If you’re starting out, don’t worry about getting a big group together. You can begin with several couples or families in a home and build on it as God brings others your way.

Make sure you’re all on the same page theologically. If you don’t agree on the basic tenets of the faith the chances of a rift will be high. Be careful, and spend time in prayer asking God for wisdom on who you should invite. Ask Him to keep away anyone who might be a thorn or distraction.

Want topics to discuss in God’s word? Consider going through the book of Acts to start. The Rogue Christian will also give you plenty of content to work through.

As your fellowship grows, carefully discuss putting a leadership team in place. Avoid people with agendas, who love to take over, who might be overly eager to be in a leadership role, or who have a problem with listening. Brokenness, humility, and a cooperative spirit are more important than having the King of Theology in your team.

Let people know up front what you’re going to be doing so there won’t be any surprises.

I suggest you read the guidelines for having a safe church up front or print them so everyone knows what is expected. This will also give them a sense of comfort, knowing there is a structure everyone is held accountable to.

Expect disagreements. As you get to know each other and share your lives, disagreements are inevitable. Be patient with each other and work through any issues prayerfully and without blowing your top. Submit to each other and work together.

In taking your church Rogue, or creating a Rogue Church, your church will become spiritually powerful like the early church did. Isolation will be eliminated in your fellowship and people will have a place they can go to find support and love.

If you take your church Rogue or start a new one, please email us so we can build a directory of Rogue Churches to make your fellowship available to others who might be interested.