New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

August 15, 2001 Vol 01 : 052
[New Testament Church Proliferation] David Anderson

[New Testament Church Proliferation] Church Planting among matriarchal groups


Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 12:34:42 -0400 From: "Michael Gastin"

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] David Anderson

Hi Folks!

I wanted to let you know that I spoke with David Anderson for a few minutes last night. It was a choppy conversation, as he was thundering down some highway south of the Mason-Dixon line in a big brown rig and his mobile reception was spotty at best.

He is still working on his computer hardware and is confident that he will be back on-line by the end of the month. He is having some trouble getting and sending email. Do not be discouraged if your messages to him go unanswered, as that is a short term condition. Send any list related questions or requests to me at the address below.

He has been using this break to take a little vacation from the internet, enjoy more time with his family and generally get refreshed. As you may have guessed, maintaining this list, the home church list, the Home Church web site and the house church newsgroup is rather time consuming. He has been at this for years now without a break. Let's keep our brother in prayer while he enjoys the blessing of this short hiatus.

Remember, if there is anything you need help with regarding the list - just drop me a message! I'll do all I can.

Mike - ------ Mike Gastin Moderator house churchmod* ICQ# 91065491


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Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 09:01:49 +0700 From: "Link"

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Church Planting among matriarchal groups


A month ago or so I went through an area dominated by a "10-40" monotheistic religion. This area had a people group that was matriarchal. The woman's family 'buys' a husband for marriage- a husband-price instead of a bride-price, the opposite of many of their neighboring people groups. The family name is passed down through the mother. Inheritances are passed down to the oldest daughter (though all children have a right to use a piece of property that is inherited.)

I hear that, in the family, the mother and her older brother are the main decision makers, rather than the father.

I know there are a small number of people trying to win the millions of people in this people group. From what one of them says, there is probably not even one whole household from this people group that has repented. Maybe there are one or two hundred believers in this people group, but those that have married have married people from other people groups.

Some people doing similar work with other people groups have to work with the people to come up with a new system of cultural ceremonies, since the former religion is so intertwined with the people-group's cultural system. They come up with altered marriage and funeral rituals and practices that are in line with Christianity.

I'm wondering about this matriarchal people group. If you were doing discipleship work with this people group, and dozens of families did start to repent, would you (whoever is reading) teach them to change their social structure to some degree? How far would you go? Would you just teach the wife to submit to her husband, and teach that the father is the head of the family rather than the wife or grandmother? What about other matriarchal aspects of society- inheritance, marriage, etc. Would you leave that alone?

I know one m'nary who was working with an entirely differen t people group, and when there was a people movement to Christ, the leaders of the group he was working with asked him to lead them. He taught them all kinds of things in addition to the Gospel- introducing carrots, potatoes, goats, and agricultural technology. He changed some of their social customs. Discipleship was going on in the men's hut, and he encouraged them to get rid of their taboos and let women into the men's hut.

If you were ministering to a matriarchal people group like this, what kind of things would you encourage people to change?

Also, I would like to ask some people who know a little about miss'ology or have some practical experience something. I read a statistic in a 5th grade Sunday school book that just listed 'Stand Firm' as the footnote. It said that if a mother in a family repents first, the whole family statistically has a-- I think it was 13% chance of converting. If a child repents first, the chance is something like 33%. But if the father repents first, the odds that the family will repent is around 97%!

I don't know what Stand Firm is--a magazine, a book? But a 97% chance if the father repents first! What a difference! It does seem like there are a lot more believing wives than unbelieving husbands than the other way around.

My question for miss'ology experts and people with practical experience with matriarchal people groups is this: Are the odds that the family repents if the father comes to Christ first still higher in a matriarchal culture? Does biology and the spiritual order of things override culture?

One of my concerns is this: my newly-discovered mother-in-law and her husband are both from patriarchal people groups, but are surrounded by this matriarchal people group. The husband used to be lazy and irresponsible, I hear, and my mother-in-law had to keep the family up. Then he got in a motorcycle accident and had an operation, and started following the prayer rituals of his religion. He stays at home. The doctor says he can't work. So his wife still works to keep up the family. They are surrounded by a matriarchal culture. The mother-in-law seems interested in the gospel. Both of them live far away from me. But I am wondering where to focus evangelism here- to the step-father-in-law or the mother-in-law. I know this all depends on the way the Lord leads, but I'd like to hear some comments on the matter.

So, in summary: 1) How much should a Christian worker attempt to change a matriarchal social structure in discipleship? 2) Do statistics that imply that families where the father repents first are more likely to repent as a household, apply in matriarchal cultures? 3) The question about my mother-in-law.



The End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V1 #52

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