Hollywood, CA (PRWEB) March 18, 2006
There's no pulpit like home, according to the March 6 issue of Time Magazine, which reports America's religious landscape is shifting from megachurch anonymity to minichurch personal ministry, as typified by the rapid growth of house church networks like Eternal Grace, led by minister turned actor Richard Rossi.
Rossi started Eternal Grace as an underground house church movement according to Wikipedia, in order to preserve the celebrity anonymity of his Tinseltown flock, and also because some attendees were not welcome in fundamentalist churches because they struggled with homosexuality.
Eternal Grace is typical of a trend towards small, intimate churches of 10 to 20 who gather in homes. Wikipedia states the number of Eternal Grace churches has rapidly multiplied to over 600, although Rossi refuses to discuss numbers or congregants, according to church spokesperson Nicole Evans. "He believes such braggadocio is a sin," Evans said. "God told King David to refrain from numbering God's people."
Rossi's work began in collegiate relationship with other likeminded church change agents like Neil Cole, who penned a best-selling book on the phenomenon entitled "Organic Church."
Some Eternal Grace churches meet in homes, while others congregate in local parks, Starbuck's, and theatres. Gatherings are highly particapatory based on a scripture in I Corinthians 14:27.
"One reason for their multiplication is they are very generous in helping anybody start churches under their banner, as long as their focus is on loving God and people," Chrsitian sociologist Dale Robecks commented. "They are changing the mindsets of thousands of believers to define church as two or more gathered in His Name."
"We don't want to go to church, we want to be the church," Gina Trautner, a former porn star converted through Eternal Grace explained.
Rossi is a Hollywood filmmaker and character actor. He recently directed "Aimee Semple McPherson," about the fabled female faith-healer. He is currently shooting "Azusa Street," about the 1906 Los Angeles revival which birthed the worldwide Pentecostal movement.
"Jesus is the head of the body," Rossi said. "God gets all the glory for what is happening. The rest of us are only human, and we are making spiritual progress, rather than spiritual perfection. We are not elitist, and we don't consider ourselves any better than more conventional expressions of the church."
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