Quaker Emergent Church Planting

Over on the Evangelical side of Friends is "Simple Churches":www.simplechurches.net, a movement of "organic" church planting. It's a project of Harold and Wendy Behr, recorded by Northwest Yearly Meeting and now working with Evangelical Friends Church Southwest. The core values are ones I could certainly sign off on: Leadership over Location, Ministry over Money, Converts over Christians, Disciples over Decisions, People over Property, Spirit over Self, His Kingdom over Ours. I particularly like their site's disclaimer:
bq. As your peruse the links from this site please recognize that the Truth reflected in essays are often written with a "prophetic edge", that is sharp, non compromising and sometimes radical perspective. We believe Truth can be received without "cursing the darkness" and encourage you to reflect upon finding the "candle" to light, personally, as you apply what you hear the Lord speaking to you. In Body life, often the most powerful opponent of the "best" is the "good".
They're leading a conference next month in Richmond, Indiana, with members of Friends United Meeting. How tempting is this?


h3. See also:
* "Emergent Church Movement: The Younger Evangelicals and Quaker Renewal":/Quaker/emerging_church.php

  • This item improved my mood, which has been impact­ed by the Iraq prisoner-abuse scan­dal. I enjoyed get­ting to know the Behrs dur­ing the years that they and I over­lapped in North­west YM. But what first impressed me about Harold Behr is his con­tact­ing Friends Unit­ed Meet­ing back at the very begin­ning of his “New Works” min­istry to see what we were doing with evan­ge­lism. Unlike too many in capital-E Evan­gel­i­cal Friends’ world, he didn’t assume that FUM would have noth­ing use­ful to say.

  • This is in response to the lead arti­cle “Quak­er Leap…” I am an Angli­can though I was bap­tized a Catholic and expe­ri­enced the exact oppo­site of what you were talk­ing. Here every­one was told exact­ly what to believe in and how to believe in what and this lead to false chat­ter about God and the inabil­i­ty to think or pray with any hon­esty for one­self to one’s Lord. Every­one FELT they should be a Chris­t­ian, but no one real­ly want­ed to admit that they had no expe­ri­ence of Christ, just rules to fol­low. The oth­er week I went to a Uni­tar­i­an church and found just the oppo­site. I’d been look­ing for Quak­ers, but couldn’t find any so went there. They can’t even pray because they’re so lib­er­al there might not be a God to pray too. One of them said, “I expe­ri­ence a Quak­er meet­ing. It was creepy… all they did was sit there.”

  • Hillary Kevo­ga Mmbwanga

    I have not yet read the arti­cle sub­ject by mr. Harold.But from the com­ments I found my brehrens have writ­ten on the web,I believe is a pri­or time for the quak­ers allover the world to use their month­ly meet­ings to con­duct world fire meet­ings for the pur­pose of elec­tri­fy­ing the church by use of youth­ful people,to pray and becom­mit­ted to God so that they be giv­en the pow­er to run effec­tive a five fold min­istry that our choosen broth­er George fox used to have and we stop sleep­ing on chairs.Time has come for the church­es all over the world to install new Techono­log­i­cal equip­ments and to restore full wor­ship of Jesus Christ in order to achieve bless­ings of mir­a­clor pow­er from the Lord.We need to proc­tect our fol­low­ers by giv­ing them chance to express the love of christ so that they should not be possed by false prophets

  • Harold Behr

    Thanks for the kind notes friends. Wendy & I are cur­rent­ly find our­selves in Kla­math Falls Ore­gon work­ing for a won­der­ful com­pa­ny (N.E.W. Corp as a man­ag­er of sev­er­al hy=undred Cyus­toe­mer Sup­port folks. Our min­istry has expand­ed to a dai­ly opor­tu­ni­ty to lead many to the light of Christ. I have decid­ed that work­ing with evan­gel­i­cal friends was more of a lia­bil­i­ty then not in reach­ing those whom are hurt­ing the most. Way too much time was wast­ed with­in stir­ring up hornet’s nests of resent­ment and the like in even con­sid­er­ing min­istry as we are led to knopw as gen­uine and even gen­uine Quak­er. I am think­ing of writ­ing some more and com­mu­ni­cat­ing amongst like mind­ed folks who are freed to “be the Church in the world”, wher­ev­er they find them­selves plant­ed. We share many pleas­ant mem­o­ries work­ing with­in YMs but have nev­er felt as close to God and one anoth­er as now. Bless­ings from our home to yours in Christ.
    Harold & Wendy Behr

  • broth­er lawrence shambela

    please i have known about quak­ers for many years but it seems you dont exist in africa. i am inter­est­ed in your faith and belief. please come here to ivory coast­to plant one for us .i will glad­ly give you an invi­ta­tion to vis­it ivory coast.

  • John

    Evan­gel­i­cal Friends Church South­west is Quak­er in name alone. If you read their web­site, you quick­ly real­ize that they’ve adopt­ed a mod­i­fied Nicene Creed as their “Affir­ma­tion of Beliefs.” They also have dis­parag­ing com­ments about oth­er Friends on their web­site, which I find to be rather un-Quakerly: “One branch, the Hick­sites fol­lowed the teach­ings of Elias Hicks, a New York farmer/preacher who espoused false doc­trines.” In addi­tion, they are 

    I have trou­ble see­ing how they are dif­fer­ent than any oth­er evan­gel­i­cal Chris­t­ian group?

    • There’s that advice Jesus gives to not wor­ry so much about the dust in the oth­er guy’s eye and focus instead on what’s block­ing our own sight. I could name all sorts of Quak­er bod­ies across the Quak­er spec­trum that are “Quak­er in name alone.” Pick up any­thing by Mar­garet Fell and you’ll see it’s not nec­es­sar­i­ly un-Quakerly to call oth­ers on what you per­ceive as their the­o­log­i­cal errors.

      Sure, Evan­gel­i­cal Friends Church South­west doesn’t have much of the Quak­er DNA in evi­dence. One of the com­ments below is from Harold Behr report­ing back that he had left its ser­vice after con­clud­ing that work­ing with the year­ly meet­ing was “more of a lia­bil­i­ty than not” and that “way too much time was wast­ed with­in stir­ring up hornet’s nests of resent­ment.” But that’s true every­where (this is where I have to remind read­ers that my own work is out­side of both my year­ly meet­ing, Philadel­phia, and its larg­er denom­i­na­tion­al body, Friends Gen­er­al Conference).

      We need to be open to being sur­prised about what shows up where. The heart of our mes­sage is Christ’s love and we shouldn’t make an idol of that sil­ly name “Quak­er.” The “Sim­ple Church­es” mod­el of the Behr’s seems quite com­pat­i­ble with Friends, more so than some of the pro­gram­mat­ic out­reach efforts among lib­er­al Friends. I pray that Friends tes­ti­fy­ing to the pow­er and love of the direct expe­ri­ence of the Liv­ing Christ will some­day feel more wel­come through­out our reli­gious society.