Stargrass Coalition is a network of people who are making disciples of Jesus Christ resulting in the multiplication of house or simple churches in various parts of the Philippines and beyond. This is our major thrust. Many of these simple churches are in neighborhoods or communities as well as in schools and in the workplace. We strive to equip these disciples so that they can in turn disciple others.
Our network of disciples and simple churches is presently scattered throughout the provinces of Benguet, Nueva Ecija, the National Capital Region, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Mindoro, Cebu, Iloilo, Leyte, Dinagat, Agusan, Surigao, Misamis and Davao. We have also expanded beyond the Philippines, helping build disciples and start house churches in the Middle East, China, Japan, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Integrated with disciple-making and house church multiplication are efforts towards community transformation and development. Traditionally “ministry success” is measured by the number of churches planted, the number of people attending those churches or the number of people who have prayed the “sinner’s prayer” or are in bible study groups. However we believe that a real barometer of a ministry’s effectiveness is transformed individuals, families and communities.
In this regard many in our network have chosen to focus on communities rather than on individuals only. And in the process the Holy Spirit has led many of us to help the poor and underprivileged through community organizing, initiating livelihood projects, initiating and equipping locals for natural and organic farming and providing educational assistance — all of which are geared towards holistic community transformation. Together with partner groups such as ASDECS (Asian School of Development and Cross-Cultural Studies) we are now conducting training for community transformation, seeking to help others whom God has drawn into this kind of work. Many in our network are also involved in disaster relief (such as relief work after the 2013 Bohol earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda) and rehabilitation as we seek to share the love of Christ to our less-fortunate countrymen.
Many Stargrass folk are former pastors or people who used to be involved with traditional or institutional churches. They understand and empathize with the struggles of people who are transitioning from a traditional model of church to the house church and therefore serve as mentors in this process. (You can contact some of our network members here for help in this area.) Although spread out all over the Philippines our people take the time to meet network members in their area or region for encouragement, for sharpening one another (learning from each other’s insights and experiences) and for equipping. We also meet once a year for a summit at the national level.
At Stargrass we are also seeking to help develop an environment for culture-sensitive expressions of God’s kingdom. Our goal in this regard is to become an authentic and organic Filipino house church through contextualization of the gospel.
Another area where Stargrass is becoming involved through working with partners is in equipping Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in tentmaking. We see every OFW as a reproducing disciple who can multiply house churches in countries they go to. House or simple churches are the ideal expression of church in many of the countries where a large number of our OFWs work. In this regard we have also begun advocating for and applying the principle of insider movements both in the Philippines and globally, as Jesus (Lk. 10:1-9) and Paul (1 Cor. 7:17-24; 9:19-23) trained their disciples to do.
The house church movement is not just a local phenomenon. We believe that it is the Holy Spirit who has birthed this movement and that conviction grows as we continue to meet people from other parts of the planet who have the same vision and mindset. We have been meeting other house church practitioners in Southeast Asia and Asia at several summits or simple get-togethers in the past decade and are connected with other simple church advocates and practitioners from the rest of the world through social media and exchange visits.