New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


June 13 2001 Vol 01 : 006

 

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing?

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

[New Testament Church Proliferation] Abbrev's

RE: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing?

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing?

[New Testament Church Proliferation] struggling to start a house church

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing?

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

[New Testament Church Proliferation] Rev. as a title

Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 15:29:49 -0400 From:(jferris)

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

Dear Greg,

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 house 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 planting?

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

Mike


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Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 03:09:38 +0100 (BST) From:Crispus Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

You are right Venessa. However, Rev. is being used as a title by circular world to recognize that the person is ordained priest and therefore they can practice or officiate religious activities under the law or regulations provided in many countries. They also enjoy the privileges given to only religious leaders by the respective nation.

But as for us we are all royal priests according to the Bible and we have the freedom to serve the Lord. The only places we might be restricted are the constituted organizations or nations requiring official ordination papers from registered / recognized religious institutions.

God bless you richly in all things

Crispus - --- 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

--- "Rev. Cathian C. Surbrook, DD"====

Regards

Crispus


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Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 22:15:14 -0400 From: Mark Ware Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Abbrev's

Howdy,

Just a brief follow up from a newbie!

I was told that the reason the New Testament Church Proliferation uses spelling such as "ch*rch", "J*sus" and others it because the authorities in some countries may search email for keywords such as those I cited attempting to be cloaked.

After reading a few nice responses, I wondered if we all realized that substituting "*" or anything else for letters in Kingdom words is not enough to sway, confuse or throw off authorities in any country today. Detection of those participating in our activities can easily still be identified. I will not cite the details here, but only leave you with this: the address of the New Testament Church Proliferation itself has a keyword in it as part of its address. Thus every email is "contaminated."

I am not trying to pop anyone's bubble, but see the "cloaking" of keywords in email as a good effort/intention, but not very effective except to the high-tech initiated.

In Love, Mark South Florida


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Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 22:16:50 -0500 From: "Tony Dale"

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

Brief Bio: Tony and Felicity Dale, English physicians, living and working in Austin, TX, where we support ourselves through a variety of business ventures (profitable) and put our spare time into the new House 2 House magazine (www.house2house.tv) (spiritually profitable, but financially living on a knife edge!!) that many of you may have seen. We have been planting home churches here in Austin over the past four years, and prior to that worked in Medicine and church planting in England and various mission situations.

Greg: Why quit working as a finance professional even after the church/es would be able to support you. Paul continued to support himself most of the time. One of the joys of house church is that the money others use on building and paid professional leaders can now be released to missions and care of the poor and needy. Most of the home churches that we know are able to put 80% or more of their giving into situations outside of themselves.

As for evangelism in the home church setting, we need to get away from the current traditional model where we ask people to "come" and we need to move back to the more Biblical approach where we "go" into all the world. As a physician (when I practiced) my world was my patients. We saw literally hundreds come to the Lord over the years. I gave out books like Prison To Praise to many of them. Now, supporting myself in business, opportunities come in other ways. Just this past week one of the receptionists/secretaries at the office gave her heart to the Lord. The opportunity is everywhere when we start reaching out rather than asking others to come in!

Since you are planning to start a Vineyard Church this fall I can't think of a better teacher than Wimber in Power Evangelism. Let's take the gifts of the Holy Spirit out where they belong, into the streets, rather than in our "holy" huddles.

Hope these few thoughts help,

Tony Dale

- -----Original Message----- Behalf Of jferris Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2001 2:30 PM To: New Testament Church Planting Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing?

Dear Greg, 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 <mgastin*rochester.rr.com> wrote: Greetings!

'Nuther question for everyone:

How do you evangelize as a house 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 planting?

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

Mike


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Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 23:37:28 EDT From: TheologusCrucis

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

Just like to introduce myself.

My wife and I are called to plant a community of faith in Amherst, MA. This town has 5 colleges within 15 minutes of the downtown area. U-Mass, Amherst college, Smith, Hampshire, and Mt. Holyoke.

We feel that He has called us to "fabric" evangelism -- becoming part of the fabric of the community in friendship and relationship. To that end, God graciously opened an opportunity for my wife to work in the community child care center, and I have been hired on full time (in the midst of budget reduction, cuts, and layoffs) at U-Mass in the food service.

Neither of us has any experience at this home church stuff. I was a staff person for 11 yrs. after the last two experiences, my wife and I both feel we'd rather give up on "full-time ministry" than ever take another staff position in an incorporated church. We've been here nine months, and despite some small things, I am beginning to get a little discouraged.

I'm glad Link invited us to listen in, we need all the encouragement and practical advice we can get. Our District (I'm a licensed A of G minister) sent us to something they call Boot Camp for training. We were excited at first, until we arrived and discovered that one could open a McDonalds or a Taco Bell by the same methods as they were teaching.

I probably won't say much, but believe me, I'll be listening!

TheologusCrucis

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!


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Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 07:40:04 +0200 From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier>

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] struggling to start a house church

Here's my deal. I'm working with one of the oldest Messianic congregations in Israel. We have a central congregation with a building in Jerusalem. We had six other 'plants' in various locations, mostly in houses on the coast and in the north (Galilee). All of the daughter congregations save one folded for various reasons-- persecution, inner-congregational conflict, lethargy toward (... or even a principled stand against ...) evangelism. Presently I am supposed to be leading a satellite house group in central Jerusalem. I would like to develop relationships and cultivate an outward (evangelistic) focus among the believers. However, we have had less than an enthusiastic response thus far among members of the mother congregation in my district. Our group has a meatless (kosher) meal, with a discussion on a Bible section or topic, prayer together, and sharing. We have had attend one German Christian lady, one female Israeli believer, and a Christian man from Venezuela. All fairly young. My family and I are from the U.S; I'm in my early forties. However, no one has come since last December. You can see one of the problems is cultural and/or linguistic, having such a varied group-- this is par-for-the-course in our setting. I spoke with the house group coordinator and our main teaching elder for advice and they informed me that members of the group had mentioned to them that they wanted a verse-by-verse study through a book in the Bible. When I asked our group members they each said they had conflicting activities. Okay, something's up. I didn't think we needed more doctrine-- our congregation is strong on biblical teaching, weak on relationships-- but if that's what will bring us together .... Nevertheless, I think the primary point of contention is the format and focus of the meetings. I am interested in actually getting to know people, and for them to know my family and me. This requires a degree of intimacy many people are not willing to give. But what then is biblical koinonia? In addition, evangelism is a "naughty" word here, with ex-pats often more interested in getting their visas renewed than in expanding the kingdom, and Israeli believers scared of the social repercussions taking a somewhat "public" stand might have on them. Do I sound frustrated and jaded? It's probably because I am. Any experienced church planters with a word or two of advice? I can take honest criticism. No trite attempts, however, at encouragement right now please. I don't know if I could stomach it.

Shalom,

Michael


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Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 02:30:23 EDT From: SteveMSpaulding Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing?

If anyone in the entire NT scene should have ended up "fulltime," it would have to be Paul--for all of his ministry credentialing and fruit, but his ministry ends up with a rather horrid roster of negative experiences, many brushes with death, routine persecution and privation, and contentment with the rollercoaster ride of plenty and want.

sms


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Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 02:30:22 EDT From: SteveMSpaulding Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Fishing & Making Tents - the best of both

Have you all read Wolfgang Simson's book: Houses That Change the World: The Return of the House Churches? I'll stick my neck out: it's the best single volume on house church available, published by OM Publishing // Paternoster copyright 1998, 2000 ed., (see www.paternoster-publishing.com). Introductory kudos come from friends like Patrick Johnstone, Peter Brierley, Ken Mulholland, Ernie Addicot, Bob Fitts, Ralph Neighbour, Jim Montgomery, Robert Banks and many others, including women, non-westerners, and non-ordained lay-birds like me.

I can also email requesters an earlier rough draft (looks rough also) in a zipped version, couple hundred K.

The 2000 ed. chapters deal with: 1. The Reinvention of Church: bridging the church gap 2. House Churches in History: Rediscovery through the valley of the Dark Ages 3. The Nature of House Churches: what they are, what they do, and how they function 4. The Five-fold Ministry: God's resources and structure multiplying house churches 5. House Church or Cell Church? thirteen reasons why house churches are the natural solution 6. Developing a Persecution-proof Structure: 'blessed are you when you are persecuted' -how to develop a persecution-proof spirit and thrive under pressure 7. No progress Without Change: the art of transitioning, or how to avoid doing the new in the power of the old 8. All Change is Practical: the last step you want to take determines your next step 9. QSQ: values and content come first, methods and plans second, growth and numbers last - how to think Quality-Structure-Quantity 10. Fathering the Next Generation: who will do all the work? 11. Models of Church Multiplication: How to plant churches without manufacturing them 12. Building National Momentum: how to develop a critical mass, and leave the outcome to God.

Simson is a prime mover in the international DAWN network, lives in Switzerland, edits the DAWN Fridayfax, and spends the bulk of his time dreaming up and moving leaders toward the planting of millions of house churches especially in the ole 10/40 window.

sms


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Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 02:33:33 -0400 From: David Anderson <homechurch> Subject: [New Testament Church Planting] Rev. as a title

Hello list,

The most godly men I have ever encountered were "Rev's" and would have never thought any superiority by it. I am nevertheless against it though I was ordained a deacon, ruling elder, and a teaching elder. When I served as a pastor, the term just did not feel right and I avoided it.

Now, just the fact that this word applies to God might be carried too far by some who are against it. It occurs only once in a sentence in which the LORD is also called "holy" - a word (not title) ascribed in the English Bible to ~men~ as well.

Here's the verse in the KJV in which "reverend" is found.

Ps. 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

Charles Spurgeon encouraged its disuse in his era:

These few remarks touch only upon ministers, and leave other matters for another equally brief chapter; but we cannot lay down the pen without asking why so many brethren still retain the title of Reverend? We are willing to reverence the aged pastor, and we did not hesitate to give that title to our beloved friend George Rogers, just in the same way as we use the term "the venerable Bede," or "the judicious Hooker," but we are not prepared to reverence every stripling who ascends the pulpit; and, moreover, if we thought it due to others to call them reverend, we should still want some reason for their calling themselves so. It seems rather odd to us that a man should print upon his visiting card the fact that he is a reverend person. Why does he not occasionally vary the term, and call himself estimable, amiable, talented, or beloved? Would this seem odd? Is there any valid objection to such a use of adjectives after the fashion is once set by employing the word reverend? If a man were to assume the title of reverend for the first time in history it would look ridiculous, if not presumptuous or profane. Why does not the Sunday-school teacher call himself "the Respectable John Jones," or the City Missionary dub himself "the Hardworking William Evans"? Why do we not, like members of secret orders and others, go in for Worthy Masterships and Past Grands, and the like? I hope that we can reply that we do not care for such honors, and are content to leave them to men of the world, or to the use of those who think they can do some good thereby. It may be said that the title of reverend is only one of courtesy, but then so was the title of Rabbi among the Jews, yet the disciples were not to be called Rabbi. It is, at any rate, a suspicious circumstance that among mankind no class of persons should so commonly describe themselves by a pretentious title as the professed ministers of the lowly Jesus. Peter and Paul were right reverend men, but they would have been the last to have called themselves so. No sensible person does reverence us one jot the more because we assume the title. It certainly is in some cases a flagrant misnomer, and its main use seems to be the pestilent one of keeping up the unscriptural distinction of clergy and laity.

A lad fresh from college, who has just been placed in a pulpit, is the Reverend Smith, while his eminently godly grandfather, who has for fifty years walked with God, and is now ripe for heaven, has no such claim to reverence. A gentleman of ability, education, and eminent piety preaches in various places with much zeal and abundant success, but he is no reverend; while a man of meager gifts, whose principal success seems to lie in scattering the flock, wears the priestly prefix, having a name to be reverenced when he commands no esteem whatever. This may be a trifle, many no doubt so regard it; why, then, are they not prepared to abstain from it? The less the value of the epithet the less reason for continuing the use of it. It would be hard to say who has a right to it, for many use it who have not been pastors for years, and have not preached a sermon for many a day; what on earth are they to be reverenced for? Other men are always preaching, and yet no one calls them reverend, but why not '? The distribution of this wonderful honor is not fairly arranged. We suggest that, as the wife is to see that she reverence her husband, every married man has a degree of claim to the title of Rev., and the sooner all benedicts exercise the privilege, the sooner will the present clerical use of it pass out of fashion. We wonder when men first sought out this invention, and from whose original mind did the original sin emanate. We suspect that he lived in the Roman Row of Vanity Fair, although the Reverend John Bunyan does not mention him. One thing is pretty certain, he did not flourish in the days of the Reverend Paul, or the Reverend Apollos, or the Reverend Cephas.

Sword and Trowel Volume 4, 1874, pages 116-117


End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V1 #6

 




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