New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


June 16, 2001 Vol 01 : 013

 

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Pastors?

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Baptism

[New Testament Church Proliferation] Pastors, elders, women's roles

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] are some verses just descriptive?

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Distinctions in office of "rev" and relational function in leadership

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Pastors?

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] are some verses just descriptive?

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] are some verses just descriptive?

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] The Overriding Principle

 

Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 20:50:54 -0400 From: Mark Ware

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

RE: 1 Tim 2:1-15

Hello!

Thanks Jay.

However, although I read what you wrote, I do not believe you answered my question. Let's move from the general to the specific: where are you personally on this topic? Are wives considered "pastor" as well if their husbands are pastors? I do not think so.

Why? I believe in the biblical model of ministry in so far as only men can be the head as men are also cited as the head of the woman the way Christ is the head of church. Admittedly there is a lot there to be unpacked (women submit to your wives; men give your life for your wife as Christ died for the church, etc.). I believe in the criteria given Timothy by Paul regarding who can be a Bishop, Pastor, Elder, etc.. I don't see a lot of latitude for other interpretations only because Paul simply states his instruction to Timothy.

What can women do? I believe that women should and can have vital roles within the church, within ministry and are not in anyway a door mat; I am quite certain that God works through women, that women are often times sources of great Godly wisdom and insight. I also believe that when a man is called to pastor, God also speaks to his wife/family with a similar call; however, only one can be pastor as I read the NT and Paul's writings to the church. Is that dogmatic theory or doctrinal discernment? I think the latter. However, having said that, I also believe that the woman is called to support her husband in his role as pastor (assuming that is his called in this example). The wife's role is to support and be a helpmate to the husband.

In the broader context, I believe women should be aggressively involved in all aspects of ministry, be equipped for ministry and encouraged to reach the world for Christ -- yet not be given authority over men as pastor per si. Perhaps you disagree?

I am sorry Of course, I could be way off base here; but as I read the NT and commentary, that's my conclusion. Also I realize that it can be considered sexist to say such things, and that many may be offended. If that is the case, I apologize for offending and certainly do not want to intentionally offend. However, discussion is good and perhaps what this list is partially all about.

The last Word I still stand behind 1 Tim 2:1-15 (NIV) and of course in the original Hebrew. Keep in mind that Paul does NOT use a cultural or traditional argument to support his statement regarding women to Timothy.

If you don't agree, where am I going wrong? As Bill O'Rielly says, "Please keep it pithy." :-)

blessings, Mark

On Friday, June 15, 2001, at 06:00 PM, jferris wrote:

RE: 1 Tim 2: 1-15

I am wondering how the home church movement has positioned husband and wives who are either heading up a home church or have some area/regional responsibilities. Are the couples "pastors" or "co-pastors" or does the home church really not endorse the ordination/placing of women in positions of authority over men? Just wonder what your (home church) perspectives may be.

Mark

Dear Mark,

If it's life that Jesus came to bring us, then we need to see how God does life. As it happens, he already made a first creation in order to reveal otherwise invisible truth about himself. If we don't find Him there, then we are without excuse.

The real question is not, How do we do "Church", the real question is, How does God do life? In the old creation it is really difficult not to notice that God puts the solitary in families, and there, nurtures them by women as much as or more than by men. The problem with taking the Shepherd/sheep word picture too far is that Shepherds do not expect their sheep to grow up to be shepherds. While in Christ we may have ten thousand external authorities, its parents, those who are able to plant the incorruptible seed of Christ in your heart, that are really needed. Parents expect their children to grow up, and even go beyond where they are. That is the heart of Jesus, "...and you will do greater things than I, because I go to be with my Father."

In Him, the place of women becomes much stronger then it was in the old creation, because, in Him, everything we used to be has been done away, male, female, Jew, Gentile, slave, free.

The best book I've seen on the subject is "WOMEN, GOD'S PLAN NOT MAN'S TRADITION" by Joanne Krupp. I think the book can be ordered at: kruppnj*open.org

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free, stand fast therefore, and do not return again to a yoke of bondage. I hope I don't need to add, that women walking according to the pattern of male role models is only exchanging one kind of bondage for another.

Jay

One thing that really needs to change is for pastors to stop looking down to find elders, and start looking up. All elders are admonished to be shepherds, but not all shepherds are elders.


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Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 21:16:43 -0700 (PDT) From: Tom Maluga

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Baptism

I would agree that in many situations baptism has been devalued by an overemphasis on 'saying a prayer to receive Chr*st.' One of the most striking things to me in the passage most of us know as the Great Commission is the prominence given in that passage to baptism. If we agree that the core imperative of the Great Commission is "make disciples", and the way in in which we are to carry out that command is through the activities of the two imperatival participles: "baptizing....and teaching", then baptizing is put in parallel with teaching. Baptizing is the word chosen by our Lord to summarize outreach in the same way that teaching summarizes nurture. Surely outreach is more than baptism and nurture more than teaching but the overall impression we are left with is that baptizing is as essential to outreach as teaching is to nurture.

And this is just a bare beginning to the significance we can find in the New Testament for baptism. For example, consider that Paul invokes our baptism as the symbol of our union with Chr*st which is the basis for reckoning ourselves dead to sin and alive in Chr*st. (Romans 6:1-11)

In sum, I am not opposed to the use of prayer for leading a person in calling out to the Lord for salvation but I do believe that many ch*rches and Chr*stians need to give baptism the significance the New Testament gives it in the process of a person coming to faith and becoming a disciple of our Lord Jes*s.

May God richly bless all of you!

Tom Maluga

- --- Link wrote: To tie together these two topics- altar calls and apostolic example- what do you think of the issue of baptism?

From what I see in the Bible, when the early Christians wanted to 'lead someone to the Lord' they baptized him. I don't see any examples of the apostles having someone repeat a sinner's prayer. have we replaced the role of water baptism with a sinner's prayer?

-Link Hudson


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Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 12:08:08 +0700 From: "Link"

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Pastors, elders, women's roles

Mark wrote, RE: 1 Tim 2: 1-15

I am wondering how the home church movement has positioned husband and wives who are either heading up a home church or have some area/regional responsibilities. Are the couples "pastors" or "co-pastors" or does the home church really not endorse the ordination/placing of women in positions of authority over men? Just wonder what your (home church) perspectives may be.

You might as well ask what Protestants believe. There are all kinds of home church's. Some home church's are a church plants that are considered a step toward getting a building. But even in the 'home church movement where meeting in homes is really valued, there are a lot of different views on women's roles.

Some home church's believe in a plurality of male elders, and are similar in doctrine to Plymouth Brethren meetings except they meet in homes and have communion as a full meal.

Other home church's are like early Quakers except they baptize with water, make an effort to eat the Lord's Supper, and don't use Quaker terminology. Early Quakers valued body ministry, made decisions as a group, and just believed the elders and pastors 'are' and that we can recognize them by their gifts in the assembly. Some home church's don't have any official leadership, make group decisions, and think the older brothers are 'elders.'

That's just the tip of the iceberg. There are various other 'flavors' of home church.

One women pastors, from what I see in the Bible, I don't see any good reason to think that a woman could not be a 'pastor' in the Biblical sense of the word, but I am inclined to believe that women should not be appointed bishops of the church.

The Greek word for 'pastors' in Ephesians 4:11 is used to refer to 'shepherds' elsewhere in the KJV. It just means a sheep tender. We hear people use 'pastor' for a clergyman who is the head of a local church today, but where is this terminology in the Bible? 'Pastors and teachers' refers to those who tend sheep and teach. There is nothing about the word that demands that it only refers to appointed overseers in the church.

From what I see in the Bible, evangelists and prophets were not made evangelists or prophets by appointment, but rather by gifting. Couldn't pastors also be pastors because of gifting rather than 'office?'

The word 'elder' was used for the pastor role until the Reformation. Actually, the word 'priest' come from the Greek word for elder. Since 'priest' also came to be used for OT Levies and Kohens and carried the idea of an intermediary between God and man, some Protestants dropped the title, and started using 'pastor' from Ephesians 4:11.

Elders of the church are to pastor the flock of God. If we study Acts 20 and I Peter 5, we see that elders are commanded to pastor the church of God, and are to be bishops or take oversight of the flock. But does this mean that all people gifted as 'pastors' are bishops? Bishops are to pastor, but that doesn't mean that all people with the gift of pastor are appointed as bishops.

What does a shepherd do? He takes care of sheep, and leads them around. Aren't' there 'unordained' Christians who do this type of work? Paul told the older women to teach the younger women. If an older woman is a leader to a lot of younger women, disciples them, and takes care of them, isn't it possible that the older woman is a 'pastor' in the Biblical sense of the word?

Also, it may be that Paul and Barnabas appointed bishops from among the older men in the churches. What does 'elder' mean? It can refer to older men. The system of church government in the NT comes from the OT. Elders aren't really introduced in the Bible. They just show up.

Think about the OT system of having elders. The Israelites had a tribal system. Think about a family. In a traditional, patriarchal extended family, the older men of the family make decisions for the extended family. A tribe is like a large extension of an extended family system. The elders of a tribe are older men from the tribe who may represent their own clans, made up of related families. The elders make decisions for the tribe.

What kind of leaders did the apostles appoint in the churches? They appointed a group of elders. I don't see them appointing one specially anointed professional religious specialist who moved from congregation to congregation every so many years for a new job like an executive changes companies. Instead, the elders were likely a part of a spiritual family. As spiritually mature men who grew up within that church family, they would already be a part of the group when they were appointed as elders, and might have already been leaders informally.

Elders demonstrated their ability to rule in the house of God by ruling their own houses well. They were faithful over their own house, and then were given greater things- faithful over small things and then given greater things, a principle that Jesus taught. Elders were to be 'apt to teach' but the list of requirements for elders doesn't say that they had to be specially anointed or gifted men. Some people have a very limited view of who can do 'pastoral' work. They think a pastor must have a 'special call.' All Christians are all called, and are all to function in the body. When we realize this, we can recognize that some are supposed to be functioning in the role of elders.

I've read that the attitude of Ignatius who lived in the 2nd century is that 'Church is where the bishop is.' Tertullian, who wrote many decades later believed that church was where two or three are gathered in the name of Christ. Which one is more Biblical?

In Acts 14, we see that churches that didn't have elders were already churches. The apostles appointed elders in the churches. In fact, the apostles left some of those churches for quite a while without appointed eldership.

In a church where the pastor does basically all the public teaching, it makes sense that he would be the focus of the church, and that people would think 'church is where the preacher is.' But many house churches have meetings for mutual edification and have different 'regular believers' in the midst to teach and exercise spiritual gifts. Some of these home church's, even if they believe in elders, go for years and years without any formal eldership. They learn to make decisions as a group and practice mutual ministry.

Paul's letters are usually written to churches, not to elders in particular. This shows that Paul either didn't appoint elders right off, or considered persuading the churches to be more important, perhaps, than just telling the leaders to take care of problems. There is a lot in Paul's epistles about how we are to get along together, and the NT lays a lot of _group responsibility_ on the church.

If Paul and Barnabas were to minister today, they might take a lot of flack for their methods. Think about it. They left new believers alone to preach somewhere else. Some Christians might advise Paul to preach at just one of his churches every Sunday, and only occasionally make a church planter mission and start new churches that way. Barnabas might be advised to spend years in a city in Crete. Paul might be advised to spend years in Pisidian Antioch. But these men just left baby churches to the Holy Spirit, and let the Lord raise up elders. Of course, they had some Torah-educated believers to work with in the first place. Also, as time went on, Paul sent apprentices around to strengthen young churches. Churches also circulated gifted brethren back and forth like Apollos to minister in other churches.

They didn't call for young seminary graduates to pastor. Rather, they came back several months or even a year or two later and appointed elders 'older men' to care for the flock. If the apostles wanted to appoint old men to pastor from within the flock, and these old men were not to be novices, then it makes sense that the apostles would wait for the elders to mature.

Maybe these men were already caring for the flocks. If this were the case, then maybe Paul and Barnabas followed the example of Moses who appointed elders among those who already were elders. The type of solid godly elders that Paul describes in his letters to Timothy and Titus would likely be the type to lead in a church where there is mutual ministry, community, and open meetings.

What I see Paul and Barnabas doing is by teaching, example, and service, putting people on the foundation of Christ. They would leave and let the seeds they planted grow. They would leave churches to the Holy Spirit. he would take care of them, and Paul would do what he could. But he wouldn't let care of individual churches stop his mission to spread the Gospel message farther and wider.

I believe we can learn a lot of from these methods, especially those working on miss'ns fields who have gifts to plant a foundation of Christ like Paul and Barnabas did. Churches can go for a long time without any appointed elder/bishop/pastoral system if necessary. Make use of temporary teachers like Barnabas in Antioch, or circulating brethren to help get churches on their feet. Let the elders within those congregations mature spiritually, and don't appoint local leadership until the fruit is ripe for the picking.

In the meantime, the new church can try to figure out how to make decisions as a group by discerning the will of the Spirit (rather than just being democratic.) They can learn to minister one to another as a functioning body. Instead of having a 'leader ministering the grace of Christ to us' mentality, they can have a 'Christ ministering to us through His functioning local body' mentality. That way, believers see themselves as responsible for the church, and as having the potential to grow into ministry.

After the church learns to function as a body, then if elders are appointed, it will be easier for them than giving them a congregation full of dependent believers.

Not everyone planting a church will have the same gifts and callings as Paul and Barnabas. Some are starting meetings that are actually an additional meeting for the city church to attend. Paul and Barnabas were preaching in unreached areas.

About women ministering- women can do a lot of ministry if there is good community in the church. I've heard that in the first few centuries of Christianity, one of the responsibilities of widows that were supported by the church was to prepare young women for baptism. There is a lot of teaching and other types of ministry that women can do that we can agree on without even opening up the whole woman-behind-the-pulpit controversy.

Link Hudson


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Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 09:27:17 -0400 From: "Dan Beaty"

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] are some verses just descriptive?

Vanessa,

I agree with your point that we should take seriously EVERYTHING that is written in the Scriptures, including the geneologies. Once the Lord had me do some serious study in the geneologies, which was very beneficial.

"Whatsoever things written afore time were for our learning....."

When looking at the book of Acts, it appears that certain details were pointed out and given special attention for future generations of believers. Most every major revival/renewal/reformation has been influenced by the examples left in the book of Acts of what the church should look like.

However, one pattern appears to stand out to me above all. The apostles were led by the Holy Spirit to apply the teachings of Jesus in their particular circumstances. Love was also the overriding principle.

It could be that the reason we have practices today that are so different from that of the Early Church is that this important pattern was ignored.

One example of a descriptive passage in Acts is Paul's witness at Mars Hill. He appealed to the people to worship Jesus instead of this statue to an Unknown God.

Since even descriptive passages are for our learning, we can see how Paul could use the situation for an opportunity to preach Christ. But we cannot go back to Mars Hill and that image, anymore than we can recreate the world of the NT.

Just the same, I agree with you that we cannot treat the story lightly. It was written for a purpose. We should be desirous of God to reveal His purpose in that unto us. And of course we should apply what we have learned to our lives today!

Dan Beaty Columbus, Ohio USA

www.livingtruth.com


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Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 10:45:35 -0400 From: The Dwelling Place

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Distinctions in office of "rev" and relational function in leadership

Dear all:

I am catching up on all the posts! Having 10 meetings in 6 days have their toll, even for house churches! :-) I truly am amazed how Robert Fitts was able to minister ten times in six days as he did with us!

I am a bridge builder. I an ordained "Rev" within a classical Pentecostal denomination which has autonomous congregational government as its ecclessiology, which means how I understand Jesus showing me how to "be" and "do" church is between myself and those whom He has drawn together with me. My denomination comes alongside to help us fulfill our vision. This is rare in the modern evangelical movement, very rare indeed. But, I am embraced and I embrace what God is doing by His Spirit amongst them as well and seek to help them fulfill their vision.

1. My ordination is a bridge builder with those whom the Lord sends across my path and removes the threat of my being considered a "redneck radical" blazing his own trail in the community.

I believe we need to be relational in all that we say and do. The Lord Jesus spent 3 years with the men He entrusted with the mission of expanding the Kingdom of God in the earth. In those three years they ONLY spent 14 days "doing church", and they came back from that trip completely egotistical and bent out of shape with the power that was available to them (Luke 10). Jesus reminded them to rejoice not that the demons trembled but that their names were written down in the Lambs book of life! Relationship matters to Jesus, and He modeled it by separating Himself to be with the Father, and by spending three years with the apostles. He modeled relationship and intimacy, for He knew that only by being in intimate relationship would they be able to withstand what was ahead of them. In the same manner I need to invest time and make myself available to those within the wider body Christ in my city and build relational bridges to congregations and pastors within all their existing structures of church.

In areas where we can bless them, through the gifted people we have within our fellowship who can help them accomplish their vision, then we will embrace that part of their vision to help them extend the Kingdom of God in our city. One traditional church which came alongside us for this conference, they released their building and support staff (sound, caretaker, secretary) to assist us in any way possible during our conference which was held in their building. Imagine, us, a house church, hosting a conference on house church, within a traditional charismatic church! Only God could accomplish that. Our way of blessing them back is that they are going to be kick starting new relational small groups that are formed through postal codes. I will be teaching small group dynamics and using Robert Fitts' Alpha Omega Bible Colleges, a home based relational study group that actually does all the body life activities you would see in a church (praise, prayer, personal ministry, refreshments, reports (testimonies), reading (studying of New Testament). These people by the end of it will be seasoned and prepared to launch out in greater ministry and even plant house churches. This relationship building is only possible by using the existing order and building trust and working together for the sake of the Kingdom.

2. My ordination helps in preserving and expanding unity in the body of Christ. By unity I mean the individual unity every believer has with the Father through the Son, not an agreement on doctrine or on some extended evangelical campaign. Unity is the fruit of our union with the Father, just as Jesus and the Father are one. Jesus prayed for our individual and corporate union with the Father, not our union with one another. Unity is the depth of intimate relationship with the Father which we have through the Holy Spirit. We are exhorted to preserve that unity as individuals and corporately as the body of Christ.

When I meet with an ordained member of the clergy, my being ordained removes a potential wall of hostility to church in the house or any other issue. I will at least get a fair hearing. That is the nature of the modern church landscape. I come alongside other ordained leaders and I bless them, and then over time with them, they soften their hearts toward me and listen to me.

My world view is Kingdom based, the Kingdom of God coming in fullness and power in our cities throughout the world. It is not congregationally based, but city church based. I want as many churches which includes the leaders to focus on the Kingdom of God and come together to get the Father's heart for our cities. My ordination is like a "key" to the door of relationship with these leaders and churches. The bottom line is the Kingdom of God coming in fullness and power, seeing the prodigals return to the Lord, the poor and lost brought to healing and restoration in the Lord. If my being "ordained" helps me to see the Kingdom come, then I will use it.

3. While I believe the bible teaches that one is ordained by the Lord, I also see that the leaders in the OT and in the NT appointed other leaders. You can call them elders, or whatever other term that suits you. The bottom line is that those whom the Lord set apart as key leaders also appointed other leaders. This is how most of denominationalism has evolved and flourished. The "modern church system" has now added educational requirements to the character and ministry requirements.

I am ordained with a fellowship that has a very balanced and biblical model of congregational church government. They are very biblical in their view that character has pre-eminence to gifting in the leadership gifts. They also recognize that the Lord is the one building and guiding the various expressions of body life within the fellowship. They have blessed and released me to plant churches in the houses wherever I am led. I have even been asked to make presentations as to the progress and strategy for planting churches in the houses. All this from a "traditional Pentecostal denomination"!

I am convinced that the Lord is "flat-lining" the church in our day, and that leadership gifts will be viewed with all the gifts that the Lord has given for the equipping and releasing of ministry. The Lord is looking for servant leaders who only have one goal, pleasing the Lord in faithfulness and obedience, dying to self through ministering and enabling others to fulfill their vision for the Kingdom. My function as a leader in our fellowship is to equip and release ministry in others. When their vision is shared with me and we pray into it together, then I do all in my strength and power to see that vision fulfilled for them. If all leaders serve those gathered in their midst, the Kingdom of God will come in greater power and fullness.

Blessings,

Sam Buick - -- The Dwelling Place <http://thedwellingplace.faithweb.com/>

"If you build it He will come" If we revolutionize the church and follow the New Testament pattern, then we will see: Every person a worshipper. Every person discipled, equipped and released in their calling and gifting. Every person a minister. Every home a house church. Every house church pregnant and expectant to birth another church in God's timing. Every house church expanding through multiplication of house churches throughout our cities pushing back the kingdom of darkness and expanding the Kingdom of God.

Like in the Book of Acts, the church met from house to house. Do it again Lord! Restore apostolic vision! Restore apostolic passion! Restore apostolic power! Restore the New Testament church!

From: Vanessa DiDomenico Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 05:05:31 -0700 (PDT) To: ntchurch planter

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

Yes, yes. I personally don't recognize any sort of 'ordained' anything. I have yet to read a verse in the bible that says God's workers should be ordained by worldly circles, therefore, I believe that caring for such things at all is a sign of being a worldly person, not spiritual. I try to keep my students from calling me 'teacher' which in Spanish is the same word as 'master', but don't get on their case when they do!! However, I HAVE noticed that when they forget the 'teacher' or 'Miss...' thing and simply call me VANESSA, we advance to a level where I can help them much, much more in their personal problems than if I'm 'master'. [note that I am not in a traditional school setting, but working with children who are very poor (the poorest in Mississippi are WEALTHY compared to these), and who deal with prostitutes and criminals and narcs every day].

Interestingly, one could apply this to non-religious circles, too. For example, I noted it wasn't worth it finishing college here after I came back from the USA, because I already knew more than many professors (my mother, a math professor, laughed as she told me this). I have no diploma, but have often TAUGHT math to engineers, corn chemistry to Cargill executives, etc.

Vanessa

--- Crispus K R wrote: 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


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Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 11:04:21 -0400 From: The Dwelling Place

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

Wow! What a loaded question! Lots to chew on.

The nature of the "house church movement" is that it is a movement. It is a stream that has many tributaries and many streams flow into it. As a movement there are general characteristics which are common to all home church, and yet there are divergent views and expressions on other things.

Recently, a couple visited our home church webpage, and noticed we were "charismatic" and they were traditional conservative Baptists. They only contacted us to see if we knew of any "Baptist House Churches". I snickered as I thought this through! But this is very real. This is how divergent the expressions are.

The common threads for the majority of home church are: 1. More readily reflects what is considered normative NT Christianity. This is usually the locality of church, as in the homes of people. 2. Encourages edification and body ministry.

These are the only things I think you would get clear cut agreement on from the majority of home church people.

Divergent views in home church: 1. Plurality of elders versus established "pastor/elder" leader 2. Men only minister the word versus flat line where men and women share the word 3. Non-charismatic versus charismatic 4. Traditional charismatic gifts versus all the gifts including five fold (apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, evangelist) 5. Eldership decision making versus whole group/congregational decision making 6. Ordination through organization versus ordained by the Lord recognized through character and gifting 7. Militant zealot mentality "calling out" believers from the "church system Babylon" versus those who see the Body of Christ as the lords body and blesses relationship with traditional churches

There is so much variety in the home church movement. I realized just this past weekend that I cannot and will not support militant and divisive people from other home church. They are more destructive to the collective witness of what God is doing within the movement. There is a growing concern about these zealots who think their calling and ministry is to go into traditional services and meetings and cause a public disturbance and challenge the leadership openly, often resulting in them being asked to leave and escorted out of the building. And to make matters worse, they think they are "suffering" for the cause of Christ when they are asked to leave!

We need to understand that Jesus is the head of the Church and He is nurturing and taking care of it. He really does not need us to defend it or be advocates for it. We need to pray and obey His voice and do all we can to extend the Kingdom of God in the earth, whether that form and expression is found in a traditional church or home church.

Sam Buick - -- The Dwelling Place <http://thedwellingplace.faithweb.com/>

"If you build it He will come" If we revolutionize the church and follow the New Testament pattern, then we will see: Every person a worshipper. Every person discipled, equipped and released in their calling and gifting. Every person a minister. Every home a house church. Every house church pregnant and expectant to birth another church in God's timing. Every house church expanding through multiplication of house churches throughout our cities pushing back the kingdom of darkness and expanding the Kingdom of God.

Like in the Book of Acts, the church met from house to house. Do it again Lord! Restore apostolic vision! Restore apostolic passion! Restore apostolic power! Restore the New Testament church!

From: Mark Ware Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 16:41:26 -0400 To: ntchurch planter Subject: [New Testament Church Planting] Pastors?

RE: 1 Tim 2: 1-15

I am wondering how the home church movement has positioned husband and wives who are either heading up a home church or have some area/regional responsibilities. Are the couples "pastors" or "co-pastors" or does the home church really not endorse the ordination/placing of women in positions of authority over men? Just wonder what your (home church) perspectives may be.

Mark


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Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 11:04:38 -0400 From: (jferris)

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] are some verses just descriptive?

Dear Dan,

Some years back a book was published called, "ETERNITY IN THEIR HEARTS". It saw the message for us in the Mars Hill passage from acts as being that, we should look for the redemptive analogies in the cultures we are trying to reach, and learn to speak their language rather then expecting them to speak ours.

Jay


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Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 11:42:17 -0400 From: "Michael Gastin"

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] are some verses just descriptive?

I read Eternity In Their Hearts years ago when I was in Youth With A Mission (YWAM). It was an awesome book. I still have it on my bookshelf after having read it about 16 years ago ...

I have always wondered how missionaries can go into a culture in modern times and try to wrest the local way of life and thinking into a Western box.

There was a great story in the book about a people group - a tribe or some sort - that had an annual tradition of killing a rooster, putting it on a little raft and floating it down a river. The idea was the rooster carried all the sins of the people away. A missionary used that tradition to communicate the Gospel - Jesus as the sacrificial rooster. Quite a powerful concept to these people. I believe the missionary was quite successful in bringing this people group into fellowship with God.

Mike

- ----- Original Message ----- From: "jferris" Sent: Saturday, June 16, 2001 11:04 AM

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] are some verses just descriptive?

Dear Dan,

Some years back a book was published called, "ETERNITY IN THEIR HEARTS". It saw the message for us in the Mars Hill passage from acts as being that, we should look for the redemptive analogies in the cultures we are trying to reach, and learn to speak their language rather then expecting them to speak ours.

Jay


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Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 11:43:09 EDT From: Steffasong

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] The Overriding Principle

Dan Beaty,

What a joy to find you and Link and David A. and other friends from the mid 1990's here on this new list. (I wonder if there are others from our home churchTalk days here. If so, please let us know!)

Dan, I was just going through some photos THIS MORNING and came across one of you at our home in Brick. You were behind Earl's drum set, there in the midst of all the other saints in Brick. Oh, what a time. I think I'll borrow Paul's words to say that we both 'thank God upon every remembrance of you," bro!!!

Dan, it's funny, your words seem to fly off the page to me, picking up exactly where we left off. You said,

However, one pattern appears to stand out to me above all. The apostles were led by the Holy Spirit to apply the teachings of Jesus in their particular circumstances. Love was also the overriding principle.

It could be that the reason we have practices today that are so different from that of the Early Church is that this important pattern was ignored.

I could simply say 'amen.' and leave it at that, for you have written it well, but I know I just read the new NTchurch planter guidelines, so I'll add a bit of my own and start with a rhetorical question.

Why, oh why, do we allow ourselves to get so caught up in Biblical patterns yet neglect the strongest pattern, this overriding principle, that you mentioned?

I'll tell you why. It is because 'love' is the only thing we cannot really 'do' in and of ourselves. We can study. We can increase our skills. We can network. We can open our homes. We can 'do' many things, but love? We desperately NEED the Lord to love others through us, to help us rise above the clatter of offense and ego, to walk the high road and keep a forgiving, open heart to our brethren. This overriding principle of love is supernatural. It takes the life of the Lord flowing through us constantly. It takes a continual deferring and preferring one another in honor. It takes death to self, and none of us is too willing to do that.

May we rise to the call of His love in the church and embrace one another with the purity and grace that is so available to us in Jesus Christ.

In the Lamb,

Stephanie

Stephanie Bennett Creative Services & Consulting Marketing Solutions for the 21st Century

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

TSEliot 


End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V1 #13

 




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