New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

June 10, 2001 Vol 01 : 002
[New Testament Church Proliferation] Introduction

[New Testament Church Proliferation] Introduction

[New Testament Church Proliferation] Christian ed cur. for jungle tribes


Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001 10:30:17 -0400

From: "Michael Gastin"

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Introduction


Mike Gastin.

Father of 3.

Participate in a home church in our home.

Live in Upstate New York.

Sales & Marketing Guru for Honeywell.

Busy launching my own biz in related area.

Desire to be a tentmaker ... hence the biz launch.

Moderate the home church newsgroup. Visit this web addy for more info on it:

Excited about the list and the potential for learning and encouragement.

Blessings to Bro. Link and Bro David for their hard work!


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Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001 10:47:18 -0500

From: Phillip Cohen

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Introduction



Phillip Cohen

Age 51

Father of 9, all still at home

Cabinetmaker--home business

We were formerly Mennonite for 25 years. I was a published writer in the Mennonite church.

 We are not affiliated with any denomination, but asking God for a local "called out" body.

 Most churches seem to revolve around something other than Jesus Christ. These groups become endless merry-go-rounds of strife.

 I want to see the local Bride of Christ and be part of it.

Phillip & Mary Cohen

\o/ \o/ \o/ Jesus still fixes broken lives. \o/ \o/ \o/

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Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001 21:40:21 +0700

From: "Link"

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Christian ed cur. for jungle tribes 


Today, I talked with someone who works with New Tribes Mission. New Tribes goes into the jungles and remote areas of the world and shares the Gospel with tribesman. Entire villages have repented through their method of teaching through the Bible stories up to the story of Christ. New Tribes seems to have Plymouth Brethren mentality as far as how their churches are set up. They have a plurality of elders.

I've been thinking recently about the need for a Christian education curriculum that would help churches in the US or here. I asked this miss'nary whose associates worked with jungle tribesmen up in Borneo if he knew of a good uncopywrited Christian education curriculum. He didn't, but he was excited about the idea.

The people want to be educated, he said. But the ones that go to Java or elsewhere to study sometimes bring back ideas that confuse the people. Some seem to value education above the word of God.  

It sounds like these people could benefit from an academic curriculum including math, history, and science for their children, in addition to Christian education. But I believe it would be a good idea to put together Christian education materials that could be used throughout this country and even in the US.

I started thinking about finding a good Christian education curriculum after reading an article comparing Orthodox Jewish education of children to that given by Christians. The author was a Messianic Reformed man whose father was an Orthodox Jew. He thought that seminary graduates in Reformed churches these days learned about as much theology as a teenage catechist should already know, and these pastors offered a lower level of education in the Bible and theology to their parishioners.

It seems to me that most evangelical Christians don't study through the entire Bible in church meetings. Reading the Bible in church meetings is scriptural. Paul told Timothy to give himself to 'reading' along with teaching and exhortation. He commanded his epistles to be read in church. The OT commanded that certain portions of scripture be read publicly, and of course the synagogue that Jesus and Paul participated in was a place to hear the Law read.

  Bob Fitts suggests a method of 'simple Bible college' which involves a group reading through verses of scripture in a simple way and discussing it together. (Bob Fitts book _The Church in the House_ has just been revised. Contact <RobertJoni> for more info.)  

I believe studying through the whole Bible together in groups in a church community is important for young people to be educated. But I've also been thinking it would be good for a church to have a whole curriculum for children and adults.  

Think a bout the Jews, sending their kids to classes to learn Hebrew, the history of their people, prayers, and all kinds of things. Imagine what our churches would be like if everyone who grew up in church would have the equivalent of a seminary education in terms of theology, Bible knowledge, and things like that (maybe they could learn it all minus Greek and Hebrew.) Think about it. The early church didn't have seminaries. Knowledge was passed from one generation of Christians to the next. Seminaries, I've read, are only about 500 years old.

I think a good Christian education curriculum would:

1) Teach through the whole Bible.

2) Assign books of the Bible for students to memorize in their entirety.

3) Teach all the cultural background people need to understand the Bible. (e.g. teach who the Pharisees are, geography of the middle east, etc.)

4) Train people to be an effective witness in their own culture.

(e.g. training in how to witness to H'ndus in India or post-moderns in the US.)

5) Knowledge of church history. (Something most evangelicals seem to know little about.)

6) Some training in theology so Christians would be familiar with beliefs of other believers and know why major historical heresies were a big issue.

Another good thing would be topical Bible studies made up of discussion questions plus Bible verses. One that might be good for the US would be a discussion of marriage, divorce, and sexual morality.

So my question is, does anyone know of a good Christian education curriculum? Do you know of Bible discussion questions with verses, uncopywrited church history summaries, etc. that could be used to teach new believers?

I believe it's best if local church communities train the next generation of saints, including leaders. I believe that' s abetter system than sending people off to expensive seminaries. Educators could also travel to make up for a lack in Christian communities.

I remember reading that one of the early Massachusetts colonies wanted all the children to go to school. Why? So they would all be able to read the Bible.

Some say the local education system here doesn't teach people to think and be creative. Christians that grew up thinking deeply about scriptural and ethical questions and learning to live as Christians could have a great impact on this country. This kind of education could help them be creative, wise. Also, if a new church plant needed Bible teachers, adults that grew up studying the Bible, church history, etc. in their own local church community could go serve new church plants as Bible teachers.

Imagine that- a whole church full of people who really knew their Bibles and had a good overview of Christian history and theology.

Orthodox Jews have carried on a tradition for thousands of years of educating their children in the religion, language, customs, and history of their people. Should we Christians, as people of God, pass on the teachings and history of our people to the next generation in a careful, thorough way?

Does anyone know of materials that are suitable to be translated into languages all over the world, without copyright problems, that could be put together into a good Christian education curriculum?

Maybe someone could put up a whole website of such materials and others could download them all over the world and have them translated.


End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V1 #22

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