Stargrass Coalition is a network of people who are seeking to make disciples for Jesus Christ, resulting in the multiplication of house or simple churches in the Philippines and beyond. Our former name is the Philippine House Church Movement. But why the name Stargrass?
For a number of years core leaders from all over the Philippines of the network that made up the Philippine House Church Movement had been meeting yearly at a national summit to encourage one another, to learn from each other’s insights and experiences and to discern the Spirit’s direction for the movement. During the 2011 summit at Valencia, Bukidnon, we sensed the need to adopt a non-religious sounding name that would also reflect our desire to see house or simple churches multiply all over the country. It was at this summit that Pastor Manny Alkuino and his son Ching suggested the name Stargrass Coalition after a plant whose characteristics most closely resemble our desire to see the proliferation of house churches.
The stargrass is a small but rapidly multiplying plant. It multiplies by shooting out a stem called a stolon which takes root at the tip so that it becomes a new plant. The new plant then begins shooting out other stolons itself until the stargrass grows all over the place, practically colonizing an area. Each plant looks like the others, so it’s impossible to detect which is the “mother” plant. The stargrass is also resistant to pests and plant diseases and can grow in adverse environments because of its massive fibrous root system.
The stargrass is then the perfect metaphor for the house, simple or organic church — small groups of disciples who are multiplying into other disciples until it permeates a community, a city, a nation and the whole world. The stargrass is difficult to eliminate once it starts to grow; it multiplies by itself, requiring very little husbandry. All of these make it the perfect illustration for the organic church which starts small but is able to take root, grow on its own and multiply, permeating its environs.
As the stargrass plant does not grow in neat rows and even patterns but instead stretches itself out in haphazard patterns wherever opportunities for growth exist, so the Stargrass Coalition is not a formal, highly structured organization. Instead we are a loose network of people all over the Philippines who are actively seeking to make disciples wherever the Spirit leads us.