New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


 
June 12, 2001 Vol 01 : 005

 

[New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

[New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both (fwd)

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing?

Hi,

Mike is absolutely right, and this is how we do it in our little corner of the B*dy. It does indeed free you up from boards, committees, etc. and allows folks to focus on what is really important. Great for any ch*rch in any area that might sometime come under g*vernm*nt scrutiny. If you are not worried about t*x deductions, then you are free to do what is needed without interference. There are many more sp*ritual benefits to this for all concerned, and it is a great way to level the playing field. All who have gifts can use them in a setting where nobody acts as the paid "professional." We like being "Tent-makers" and it helps us to keep our focus a little better than the CRS way (Chr*stian Rel*gious System).

I am not making any judgments here, either, so please take this at face value. Just sharing my own experience here.

Cathian

- ----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Gastin" To: <ntchurch planter> Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2001 7:29 AM Subject: Quit My Job? - WAS: [New Testament Church Planting] Fishing?

Hi Greg -

How about never quitting your job, planting a small house ch*rch, allowing the members of your fellowship to see to the body ministry, encouragement and so on. that frees you up to be a normal human being, like the rest of the sheep, btw!)

Then you have no worry over buildings, salaries and all that organization trouble that gets in the way of the work of the gospel? Also, as a financial professional, think about the practical issues - ROI. What is the return on investment with most ch*rches? Why put so much time and money into it? What is the real goal of your desire to plant? My guess is to serve God and to establish His kingdom - can't that be done without all the trappings of an organization?

Please note - I am making no assumptions of your direction, motives and all that, so please do not read any criticism in my comments above. I am just throwing them out there for your consideration and possible response.

Mike

----- Original Message ----- From: "greg" To: <ntchurch planter> Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2001 10:07 AM Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing?

I will be planting a vineyard church this Fall. As a finance professional, I see very few reasons why I should quit my job until I feel the church can support me and my family of 5 full-time.

Can any of you offer any reasons why I shouldn't?

Thanks!

--- Michael Gastin wrote: Greetings!

'Nuther question for everyone:

How do you evangelize as a home church church planter?

I have seen many IC's rely on their buildings, programs, special events and so on to bring in new people to the 'flock'. Since all a home church has is a dinner table and a living room, how should we go about spreading the Good News?

Also, while we are on the topic, do you find yourself talking more with other Chr*s*t*ans and trying to convert them to the home church model or in talking with unbelievers?

This is particularly interesting to me when talking about a church planter role. Obviously, a home church in American suburbia can survive and grow just by word of mouth and existing friendships. Yet, when plowing new ground to plant the seeds of the good news, I wonder what model is used to catch fish? Many denoms use some sort of big outreach event(s). Big tents, music and so on. Maybe a drama or concert. What about home church church planter'ing?

Man - I really look forward to some good conversation on this!

Mike


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Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 13:16:51 -0700 (PDT) From: Vanessa DiDomenico, Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Planting] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

I had heard that Reverend is a term used in the Bible to refer ONLY to God, and that if one uses it, one is practically saying 'I am God; listen and shut up!!'

What do you think, Link??

Vanessa


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Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 16:40:53 -0400 From: "Dan Shepherd" Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

I think Jesus answered this best for me:

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. Matthew 23:8

"Reverend" I loathe it when people I know call me that, although by all "legal" definitions-that is what the state considers me. For without being so, I would not be welcome to minister in many of the places I do, and when I am working in those environments I will respond to "Reverend". Why does the term bother me so much, because it carries with it a certain weight and expectation of holiness, a burden I'd rather not be always laden down with. ?

Bro. Dan Shepherd

- ----- Original Message -----? From: "Vanessa DiDomenico" To: <ntchurch planter> Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2001 4:16 PM Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

? I had heard that Reverend is a term used in the Bible to refer ONLY to God, and that if one uses it, one is practically saying 'I am God; listen and shut up!!' ? What do you think, Link?? ? Vanessa ? --- "Rev. Cathian C. Surbrook, DD" wrote: ? ? 


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Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 14:00:29 -0700 From: "Rev. Cathian C. Surbrook, DD" Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Planting] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

Dear Vanessa,

That felt like a shot. If you'd have asked me, I would have told you about it. I thought we were here to help each other?

Cathian

- ----- Original Message ----- From: "Vanessa DiDomenico" To: <ntchurch planter> Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2001 1:16 PM Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

I had heard that Reverend is a term used in the Bible to refer ONLY to God, and that if one uses it, one is practically saying 'I am God; listen and shut up!!'

What do you think, Link??

Vanessa


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Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 14:08:32 -0700 (PDT) From: Vanessa DiDomenico, Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Planting] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. Matthew 23:8"

Yes, Dan, yes. You know, the other day I was at the largest Protestant church here waiting to see if they'd loan me a room for the children's chronic illness support groups. I was very happy, although a bit worried about getting involved in the IC. Well, I was happily speaking to someone in the pastor's office, thinking 'this man is too busy to be doing things right, God please, let me know if I should hang out here any longer', when a lady told me that she came there because the pastor manages her many rental properties, because he is like 'her father'. I almost choked right there and then! I told her to be careful, and not to consider anyone her father but God!!

Well, she seemed very angry, and as I left, I asked God to show me if I was wrong to 'judge'. Well, I got home, opened the Bible to the first page that appeared and it opened exactly to Matthew 23... I felt so happy that God cares so much, that He shows us answers to everything we ask!!

Yesterday, I was angry at the city mayor for spending several million US dollars just to paint the public schools with the colors of his party, but not fixing a single restroom or buying desks. Most public schools here have no functional restrooms!!! But, by painting the schools, the higher class can pass by and say, oh, Mr. mayor has them well fixed up!!! I told my son this, and he said nothing. Last night, he asked me to read to him from the Bible, and he opened it randomly, too, and one of the first things he reads is Matthew 23, where Jesus criticizes the Pharisees for looking good outside, but being rot inside.

God, thank you for answering all my questions and prayers all the time.

Vanessa


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Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 14:13:05 -0700 (PDT) From: Vanessa DiDomenico Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

Cathian,

I apologize; I thought that when I sent something to the list, everyone reads it, and it is like asking everyone on it! I simply addressed Link because I know him. If I had meant to not ask you, then I would have written him privately.

However, if I think its wrong to do something, how can I possibly ask the person who is doing it to explain why its wrong? Obviously, you don't think its wrong, or you would not have used it, would you? How can you explain to me why something is wrong if you don't believe its wrong? I KNOW its wrong, I just don't know where the Bible refers to God as reverend. I note that you still have it on your name, so how could you give me the references to why its wrong?

Vanessa

- --- "Rev. Cathian C. Surbrook, DD" wrote: Dear Vanessa,

That felt like a shot. If you'd have asked me, I would have told you about it. I thought we were here to help each other?

Cathian

----- Original Message ----- From: "Vanessa DiDomenico" To: <ntchurch planter> Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2001 1:16 PM Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

I had heard that Reverend is a term used in the Bible to refer ONLY to God, and that if one uses it, one is practically saying 'I am God; listen and shut up!!'

What do you think, Link??

Vanessa


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Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 18:09:37 -0400 From: forwarded,

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both (fwd)

Dear Vanessa,

For what it's worth, the work I am involved in is kind of like helping people transition out of the CRS into home churches. For generations people have been taught that they have to see a title. I came out of a family like that, and have known that sort of religion all my life. I have no problem with using the title because I know my own heart, and as soon as people know me, they know I don't give myself airs or special favors. I am being "all things to all people" as I find them, where I find them, fulfilling the particular little ministry I have been given. Some need the label in order to hear; then they get to see that the label is not really the issue. I am convinced within my own heart to do what I do and it is between the Lord and me; He is my Master, and He is able to deal with me.

Anyway, I'm sorry that you stumbled over it. Don't give me another thought.

Shalom, Cathian


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Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 18:46:22 -0400 From: Mark Ware,

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

interesting. I suspect it depends on the translation/version one is reading. I wonder if it is that way in the original Hebrew? Can you cite the scripture from more than one translation agreeing with your point?

Just curious!

Blessings to you sister,

Mark South Florida

On Tuesday, June 12, 2001, at 04:16 PM, Vanessa DiDomenico wrote:

I had heard that Reverend is a term used in the Bible to refer ONLY to God, and that if one uses it, one is practically saying 'I am God; listen and shut up!!'

What do you think, Link??

Vanessa


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Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 18:58:37 -0400 From: "Dan Shepherd" Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

Vanessa, As a side note-Cathian and I actually are involved with a common ministry. Many Christians who are called to the work of the Gospel by the Lord, have the letters Rev. in front of their names. I don't think that it's a claim to be God or a demand of respect. I always feel weird being called it myself, but I wouldn't look down on (or up to) a person who doesn't. Depending on the ministry you work in (home church's, street evangelism, chaplaincy) you get called Rev. by accident or because of the work you do.

If someone calls me Rev. because I am doing the work of Christ, then I take that as a huge compliment to be compared with my Master! If someone says to me-"well I'm a minister, so I know better blah blah blah...." I pretty much shut my mind to them and just remember that they may be out for their own recognition than to serve Christ.

Bro. Dan

- ----- Original Message ----- From: "Vanessa DiDomenico" To: <ntchurch planter> Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2001 5:13 PM Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

Cathian,

I apologize; I thought that when I sent something to the list, everyone reads it, and it is like asking everyone on it! I simply addressed Link because I know him. If I had meant to not ask you, then I would have written him privately.

However, if I think its wrong to do something, how can I possibly ask the person who is doing it to explain why its wrong? Obviously, you don't think its wrong, or you would not have used it, would you? How can you explain to me why something is wrong if you don't believe its wrong? I KNOW its wrong, I just don't know where the Bible refers to God as reverend. I note that you still have it on your name, so how could you give me the references to why its wrong?

Vanessa

--- "Rev. Cathian C. Surbrook, DD" <cathian*surbrook.org> wrote: Dear Vanessa,

That felt like a shot. If you'd have asked me, I would have told you about it. I thought we were here to help each other?

Cathian

----- Original Message ----- From: "Vanessa DiDomenico" To: <ntchurch planter> Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2001 1:16 PM Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

I had heard that Reverend is a term used in the Bible to refer ONLY to God, and that if one uses it, one is practically saying 'I am God; listen and shut up!!'

What do you think, Link??

Vanessa


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Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 15:29:45 -0400 From:

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing?

Dear Mike,

On Saturday I sent something called Reproduction versus intimacy to ntchurch planter. I inserted the following observation: "While I'm here, it is my impression that the seed that Paul planted was the seed of Chr-st in the lives of individuals. It takes G-d to give the increase, and it takes God to make a church out of individuals Jesus said, ~I will build my church..."

I mention it again, because I would like to call into question this ev-ngelical preoccupation with numbers, an aggregates. We may have stepped back from the institution to our living rooms, but that is not far enough. We have to step back far enough to see people as someone to love rather than something to do. As soon as we do that, we will either become immediately aware of our own love deficit or we will know exactly what to do. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what to do when you are in love. Someone said, "Workers will go just so far, but lovers will go all the way." If you open your heart, your home, and your family, G-d will know what to do, because He is the one who puts the solitary in families". That's the way that G-d does life, and it is life that Jesus came to bring us, is it not? It will cost you everything, however, if you are really serious about it, but it will not cost you more than you have, so anyone can afford to Love like Jesus loved. The problem is that God's kind of love makes a victim out of you once it begins to flow out of you toward others, and not many want to pay that price, so it's easier to concentrate on numbers, and more rewarding financially, if that's also a goal.

Greetings!

'Nuther question for everyone:

How do you evangelize as a home church church planter?

I have seen many IC's rely on their buildings, programs, special events and so on to bring in new people to the 'flock'. Since all a home church has is a dinner table and a living room, how should we go about spreading the Good News?

I'm reminded of the only legitimate kind of building for the Chr-st-an, "He brought me to His banqueting house, and His banner over me was love." This is to say, that there is nothing wrong with a "dinner table".

Also, while we are on the topic, do you find yourself talking more with other Chr*s*t*ans and trying to convert them to the home church model or in talking with unbelievers?

This is particularly interesting to me when talking about a church planter role. Obviously, a home church in American suburbia can survive and grow just by word of mouth and existing friendships. Yet, when plowing new ground to plant the seeds of the good news, I wonder what model is used to catch fish?

Love with signs following works quite well.

Many denoms use some sort of big outreach event(s). Big tents, music and so on. Maybe a drama or concert. What about home church church planter'ing?

Man - I really look forward to some good conversation on this!

Mike

While I'm here perhaps I could share just this little bit more which failed top pass the muster on the first effort:

UNLIMITED LIABILITY

Where the cost of following Jesus is concerned, most of us remember His response to a young man:

"Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied,"Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."1.

Surely, having no place, is a great cost, so great that most of us can dismiss it as not having relevance for our present circumstances. In seeming contrast to this verse, however, how many of us noticed that Jesus did have a home?

"... Jesus ... went and lived in Capernaum..."2.

"... he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere."3.

"... Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."4.

"... They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house..."5.

Whether or not Jesus or His family owned the house, rented the house, or were more or less extended house guests, it is clear that there was a place called "home", and it apparently included a house.

In the Go-pel of L-ke, we find the story of the man lowered through the roof just following J-sus pr-ching in the sy-gogue at Naz-reth:

"He went to Naz-reth, where he had been brought up,... "The Spirit of the L-rd is on me, because he has an-nted me to pr-ch good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the L-rd's favor."6.

Having spoken of His an-nted agenda in the town "where He had been brought up", He next went to the town, even to the house where He was then living. This is where the man was lowered through the roof.

I need to confess that I do not lose much sleep contrasting my own m-n-stry to that others, that of Mother Ter-sa, for instance. My problems of conscience come from what I am doing or not doing in my own home.

J-sus' agenda was to "pr-ch good news to the poor, proclaim freedom for the prisoners, bring recovery of sight for the blind, release the oppressed, and proclaim the year of the L-rd's favor." It is apparent from His life style, together

1. MAT 8:19,20, 2. MAT 4:12,13, 3. MAR 1:45, 4. MAR 2:1-5, 5. MAR 9:33, 6. LUK 4:16-24

- -2-

with that of the early Ch-rch, that J-sus did not intend to accomplish this agenda in an institutional context. It was not His heart to institutionalize people, but to meet them in their brokeness and transform their lives in a vital community of fa-th. He brought His work home with Him, one consequence of which was that the roof was torn off of the house where He was staying.

Institutional m-n-stry by its very nature is limited liability m-n-stry. The m-n-stry of J-sus was unlimited liability. Where having a place is concerned, an unlimited liability mindset is one which does not claim even bird's nests or fox holes. It is capable of occupation without possession or grasping.

Our point for present purposes is that having a home, does not disqualify us from following J-sus. The important thing is our attitude about the things we possess, even the place where we live. If our homes are not going to be off limits to the agenda of J-sus, then we must face up to the cost. J-sus wants to accomplish this agenda from house to house. This means opening our homes, our families, and our lives, to poor, broken and oppressed people, and broken people break things. In their desperation they, and/or their friends have even been known to tear the roof off.

Are we ready for this? Are we ready for unlimited liability? Or would we prefer to go on touching lives at the relatively safe distance of our institutional programs, ch-rches, and buildings? Perhaps a vital community of fa-th could both risk, and hope to walk in the agenda of J-sus.

Having flirted with His agenda in the past, it is clear that isolated individuals and families are quickly overwhelmed by the enormity of the task and the world's response to even limited success. There are more broken people than occasional even semi-sold-out saints can handle. Making the effort, one quickly discovers why, in so many cases, those who take The L-rd seriously, do so by appointment, some place else, and for earthly compensation.

Isn't it time for the nets, torn by our institutions, to be mended, and the limits of liability be removed from the Church? Isn't it time for "ch-rch" to cease being something that we do some place else?


End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V1 #5




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