New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


August 11, 2001 Vol 01 : 049
 
Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re:

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation]

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Mentoring network

 

Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2001 19:11:13 -0400 From: "Michael Jennings"

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

Good note, thank you so much.

The church is trying to pay their budgets, and in doing that, they continue to create larger budgets by implementing all the programs and activities that they believe will "draw people" to pay for the budget. It's a sad state of affairs that promotes the church as a business trying to finance a product, a service to the public. He is simply NOT in a lot of these churches where this happens. The speaker will stand up and proclaim, "The Holy Spirit is in this place." Sorry, I don't buy it.

We had a true visitation of the Lord by His Spirit Friday night at a Home Church. He came flowing in and ministered His Peace to us in such a powerful way, it stunned us into silence. And the silence was rightfully so. I couldn't believe how quickly and effortlessly He came. He is getting us ready for something. Maybe the True New Testament Tabernacles.. I would rather have five minutes of Him, than anything else in this world. I am learning a lot just being around you guys of how the Lord wants to take us into some very new things. I believe He is going to do some things we've never seen before and He's breaking the mold now. He does not want us to have much of a semblance of old structures or ideas. Something really is going on, and we must pursue Him in Loving encounters, lavishing Him with sacrifices of held out areas that now must be offered up as our spiritual offerings, those areas we have held out from Him for far too long. He is ready to answer with Fire.

In just three weeks, the youth group grew to over 26, and these kids are talking about bring more with them the next time we assemble. The lady's house where we hold it at can not physically contain the numbers. The last time I did the youth group thing, we had the 2nd largest youth group in [.......] county. Some pastor convince me to come under his authority and turn the youth group over to his church- which was a C.I. Church by the way. They ruin it and the whole church folded within two years. So I am weary of continuing with the growth of this youth group, only to once again have to hand it over to someone "in authority" in the city wide scheme of things. They only have their own selfish ambitions in mind from my experience. God has to have some other way to advance His people and have us exercise greater and more efficient influence over this city than what is happening and has been happening (or the lack thereof) for the last 20 years. There's got to be more, there's got to be something we're missing, OH GOD, please come back and bring Your rule in Your Called-out ones. We are desperate!

Michael. Warriors and Lovers.

- ----- Original Message ----- From: Dan Beaty To: Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2001 9:05 AM Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re:

Michael,

Thanks for the response. You wrote: you think the problem results from an uncritical acceptance of certain cultural values? Or are both reinforcing the other? Churches often experience a deeper sense of unity as they're erecting a new building. However, the temporary excitement that may accompany a building program can never replace the true, real, raw fellowship of people meeting wart-to-wart (in or out of a specified meeting place) to do their part in building up the eternal edifice of Christ's Church.

The church I was associated with for over 20 years started out in a house that was purchased for meetings, which was eventually replaced with a modest building with pews and pulpit.

The unity you mentioned was definitely there during the building expansion, but some closeness and simplicity was lost eventually, as we began to see ourselves as a "real" church, like the others in our area. Things began to be more official and organized and less oriented towards the Spirit of God.

At least that was my impression.

Dan Beaty Columbus, Ohio USA

http://www.livingtruth.com


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Date: Thu, 09 Aug 2001 22:28:10 -0400 From: "Samuel M. Buick"

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

Hi Michael!

Sounds wonderful what the Lord is teaching and renewing in you and all who gather with you. There is indeed a new wine coming that demands a new wineskin. The old ways were very much a reflection of man's thinking clouded with the older wineskin found in the Old Testament. God is shaking up whatever can be shaken, and it is really doing something to the traditional church leadership structures and congregational forms we have come to accept as being "normative". I wouldn't trade where I am now for the largest church in our city (church of some 1800 people). No sir, what I have in sweet communion with another 30 people is the richest and sweetest relationship, the most dynamic koinenia that I have ever encountered!

From: "Michael Jennings"

In just three weeks, the youth group grew to over 26, and these kids are talking about bring more with them the next time we assemble. The lady's house where we hold it at can not physically contain the numbers. The last time I did the youth group thing, we had the 2nd largest youth group in [.......] county. Some pastor convince me to come under his authority and turn the youth group over to his church- which was a C.I. Church by the way. They ruin it and the whole church folded within two years. So I am weary of continuing with the growth of this youth group, only to once again have to hand it over to someone "in authority" in the city wide scheme of things.

If the house you are meeting in with these kids is too small you do have some options. One to consider is to see who has the same vision as you do in the city, and has a home as well that you can fellowship in, and arrange to have all the kids from that region of the city meet at that house on another day of the week, while you keep the other one at the present location going.

We have discovered that in the fall we will have five home based bible colleges (ABC - go to and check out the Simple Bible College page) and between 2 or three house churches will begin by October. Many love our Friday gathering, so we will be having 2 or 3 other nights of the week for other house churches in the city. This will reduce our Friday night to some degree to around 20 to 24 which is more manageable. I will be praying that some will "catch" the vision to meet on another night. The mix of people and the relationships are so good that people are even arranging their holidays around the Friday nights!

The Lord has tremendously blessed the Friday nights, and we believe He will do likewise for those who commit to deeper and richer sweet communion with Him. I keep speaking out that the Lord wants lovers, those who want intimacy. Those who are like minded will come together if it is the Holy Spirit knitting hearts together.

They only have their own selfish ambitions in mind from my experience. God has to have some other way to advance His people and have us exercise greater and more efficient influence over this city than what is happening and has been happening (or the lack thereof) for the last 20 years. There's got to be more, there's got to be something we're missing, OH GOD, please come back and bring Your rule in Your Called-out ones. We are desperate!

Michael. Warriors and Lovers.

I very well understand where you are coming from here.

I have come to understand "authority" as being, mutual submission to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, under the One headship of Jesus Christ alone. Not submission to any man who has a "position" of "office" or to an "organization" or "structure", no matter how "noble and good" it may be.

There is a "flat-line" in regards to authority in the Kingdom of God. The ministry gifts, or what we call the "five fold gifts" are FUNCTIONAL rather than the traditional understanding as OFFICES. People who view them as offices have usually ended up reinforcing the separation of professional clergy from the rest of the body of Christ.

The ministry gifts are given for SERVICE to the body. These gifts are in the body to serve through equipping and releasing the rest of the body of Christ in their calling and gifting. It is a very functional thing. Our function as "leaders" is to "serve others" by helping them fulfill their destiny in Christ. There is nothing more liberating and exciting in knowing that God is using you in equipping and releasing others to serve Him in a particular calling and ministry. One plants, one waters and one harvests. That is what we do, in our functioning in the leadership roles as apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists.

I see in these leadership gifts that there is another facet, as part of that "flat-line" in the Kingdom. I people there are people groupings (churches in homes) that bear a particular bent characterized by these functional leadership gifts. Our current house church is marked by the presence of two of these very functional gifts. There is a representation of all five within the church, but the two dominant ones are apostolic and prophetic.

The apostolic presence in the church has made us visionary as a house church. We have a vision to plant a house church on every street in our city. That makes 250 house churches! All the people believe that they can and ought to be involved in the planting of these churches and all know that the Holy Spirit will endow them and give them all the gifts they need to do so. This is being very apostolic as a people. We are visionary and passionate about establishing new churches in the city, just like the apostles did! Anytime the Lord gives people a vision, and they embrace it, and He births and sustains it and it grows and multiplies, then that is being apostolic.

They are also very prophetic as a people. We are constantly seeking the Lord to speak to us and confirm His rhema word to us. We wait in the Secret Place and seek His face and rest in Him, and He always comes and reveals His heart to us. This is being prophetic as a people.

Well, I must go. The Lord bless you Michael and you enter into more and more of Him and are renewed and transformed by His Spirit.

Blessings,

Sam Buick

The Dwelling Place House of Prayer


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Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2001 11:09:00 +0700 From: "Link"

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Mentoring network

I don't know much about the following ministry, but it sounds interesting if anyone wants to check it out.

I received the following about a ministry called Mentor Link, that is wanting to set up a network of Christian mentors through the Internet.

Maybe some people on this group who are already involved in mentoring church planters or are inclined to do that type of mentoring could check out this ministry opportunity. There may be some others who want to mentor other Christians, or to be mentored.

They are now open for a few volunteers willing to get involved in a ministry designed to connect more mature saints to mentor folks ranging from "new believers to pastors" using their web-assisted online technology. This list is a great potential resource for mentors to help in developing leadership around the world!

Leading this ministry is Dr. Rinehart, who worked some 17 years with the Navigators, ending up as VP. He has written the best book I've read on Servant Leadership (Upside Down). In fact, I first met him in following up on that book with him in person. Then, as part of my graduate coursework along with some teammates this winter, I was involved in a values audit and providing recommendations for building culture and values in a virtual organization for this ministry. So I can heartily recommend these folks from first hand knowledge of both the people and the organization.

Their mission is:

"MentorLink.org is a ministry committed to accelerating worldwide mentoring for the Body of Christ in three distinct but complimentary ways: Partnerships, Training mentors, and Web Assisted Mentoring. All this is built on a foundation of Prayer."

If you want to learn more, please do go take a look at: http://www.mentorlink.org

The End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V1 #49

 




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