New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


Sept 20, 2001 Vol 01 : 067
 
NT Church Proliferation Digest Thursday, September 20 2001 Vol 01 : 067


[ntcp] The Prayer Ministry of the Church
Re: [ntcp] The Prayer Ministry of the Church
Re: [ntcp] elephants or rabbits?
[ntcp] Church Planting Seminar
Re: [ntcp] elephants or rabbits?


Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 09:39:40 -0700
From: Dan Snyder
Subject: [ntcp] The Prayer Ministry of the Church

In "The Prayer Ministry of the Church" Watchman Nee wrote:

"Brothers and sisters, the ministry of the church is not only the preaching
of the gospel... The ministry of the church is to bring the will in heaven
to earth."

Dear Saints,

I believe that the events of the last week have caused many of us to pray in
an intensified way. It also seems that many would like to pray but are not
clear how to pray.

One thing is certain - in these days of conflict the church has a job to do.
To stand on the earth for God's interest, to bind God's enemy.... and even
to administrate world affairs through our prayer.

I was reminded (I believe by the Lord) this morning of Brother Nee's book
"The Prayer Ministry of the Church".

The link below is the first chapter of "The Prayer Ministry of the Church"
available on line. I hope in the days ahead we may be able to make the
entire book available for free downloading.

I would encourage us all to read that chapter, even to share it with as many
people as we know who are burdened to pray.

I believe it will raise our prayer to match His needs in the present
situation.

The link is:

http://www.lsm.org/samples/Nee/books/pm01.html

May the Lord gain the victory in these days. May His enemy be exposed and
suffer much loss.

Your brother and fellow soldier,

Dan Snyder


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Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 17:11:52 -0400
From: "Samuel M. Buick"
Subject: Re: [ntcp] The Prayer Ministry of the Church

Dear Dan and list members:

It is with trepidation that I write and comment on this. But I feel I ought
to at least try.

Sam

> From: Dan Snyder
>
> Dear Saints,
>
> I believe that the events of the last week have caused many of us to pray in
> an intensified way. It also seems that many would like to pray but are not
> clear how to pray.

I have been anything but satisfied with what I have seen and heard over the
last week. I have anguished of soul and spirit by what has happened, and I
grieve for those who have lost loved ones. But, there response of the US
government and its "bullying" tactics of its allies has made me sad and
angry all at once.

You say that many do not know how to pray. I agree with you that many do
not know how to pray. We tend to pray from a reference of our pain rather
than from a reference of what God may be attempting to convey to us through
this past tumultuous week. The question is not so much knowing how to pray,
but from what posture. Are we humble before the God of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob, who in His foreknowledge predestined that this would occur? In His
sovereignty He allowed these events. How to we respond to our God who is
speaking to us through this disaster. Are we humbled? Does He have our
undivided attention? And what is He saying to His church today in the
Western world?

> One thing is certain - in these days of conflict the church has a job to do.
> To stand on the earth for God's interest, to bind God's enemy.... and even
> to administrate world affairs through our prayer.

I believe our first task is to be broken before the Lord in humility and to
cry out, "Is there any wicked way in me?" It is one thing to think we are
standing for God, but it is quite another to be standing IN GOD. Forget for
the time being all the spiritual warfare rhetoric of binding and loosing.
Think for a moment, are we standing in Him? Are we in the center of His
will, both individually, and corporately as the church in the earth? I
think not. God has been moving by His mercy and grace and has been very
generous toward us. He has been very faithful while we as the church have
at best not been as faithful as we ought.

The Lord gave me a picture a couple of years ago. It was actually just two
years ago. I was preaching about intimacy with Jesus, and I was given an
image as I meditated upon what intimacy meant to me. It hit me like a tidal
wave that God was looking for faithful lovers. It hit me that for much of
my adolescent and adult life I had breezed my way in and out of
relationships without truly being faithful until I met my wife some 18 years
ago. The Lord pointed out that the intimacy and faithfulness I had with
Lori was what He wanted with me and with His entire Bride. There are many
in the church who relate to God much the same way people in the world jump
in back seat of the car with their date and take advantage of their date.
God is not interested in this form of "dating", He is looking for a Bride
who will be His faithful lover. Is the Bride that kind of intimate Bride
saving herself only for Him? I don't think so. But many are being awakened
to that reality.

Our prayers are ineffective because we are manipulated by self-interest and
self-centeredness rather than as lovers of God abandoned to His will for us
and for the world. If we were faithful lovers of God, we would not be in
the kind of mess we are currently in as the church.

> I was reminded (I believe by the Lord) this morning of Brother Nee's book
> "The Prayer Ministry of the Church".
>
> The link below is the first chapter of "The Prayer Ministry of the Church"
> available on line. I hope in the days ahead we may be able to make the
> entire book available for free downloading.
>
> I would encourage us all to read that chapter, even to share it with as many
> people as we know who are burdened to pray.

Thanks for posting this link to the book. I think the most pressing thing
to get a handle on in knowing how to pray is to realize we are not citizens
of this earth. I am a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and of Canada, yet
I am a citizen of heaven, and as a son of God, this citizenship has priority
even if it is in conflict with the human institutions of government.

I have travailed over this this week. You see I am from Belfast, Northern
Ireland. I have relatives who were murdered by Sinn Fein/IRA. The SF/IRA
has been and continues to be largely funded by US dollars raised in the USA.
It's use is to undermine democracy in Northern Ireland and the rest of the
UK through terrorism. For over 30 years I have endured US dollars and US
politicians supporting terrorism in the land of my birth.

And now the events of last week. A part of me screamed at the horror. And
another part of me lamented, "Now USA, do you understand what the rest of us
have to endure?" I am deeply saddened by the devastation caused by these
attacks, but where was the USA when Canary Warf blew up in London in 1996?
Where was the USA when Omagh blew up in 1998? Why has the USA not
terminated any kind of fundraising for terror by the SF/IRA? Why do they
still not put a stop to it, when in Columbia three men associated with
SF/IRA are awaiting trial for promoting/training the FARQ terrorists, who
have murdered and kidnapped Americans, in the use of Irish weapons of
terror? Why is that?

So, if the war is being declared on terrorism, is it only on terrorism when
it affects Uncle Sam? There are literally thousands of Christians and
ordinary citizens around the world who wonder if what happened last week was
a "reaping for what has been sown". I really have to wonder myself.

So how do I pray? Well, I am opposed to my nation (Canada) declaring war at
the prompting of the USA. In fact it is against our constitution! But in
the emotion of the moment, and the bullying of the world's remaining
superpower, some nations will say and do anything! It has sickened me at
how far the US government has gone in this affair.

Perhaps even worse has been the mum silence of the body of Christ in the USA
and notable Christian leaders who have either remained aloof or distant or
even worse have sanctioned the coming assault on terrorism. I for one will
not sanction it. In fact I am going to do something I have never done
before. I am going to protest Canada's involvement in this action.

How do we pray when the article (one act against one nation is an act of
aggression against all) in question in the NATO alliance was intended for
nation states not terrorists and their networks? How do we pray when the US
government bullies allies and other nation states to get their way? How do
you pray when all you can see in others is vengeance and blood? The current
US response is understandable in human terms, but we are not citizens of
this earth and we need to be careful not to wrap ourselves in the flag and
say "God is on our side". I believe God allowed this to happen to expose
the very arrogance we are now seeing displayed before the world in how the
US government is conducting itself. It is that very arrogance that is now
displayed that puts a bad taste in the mouths of other citizens from the
other western allies.

The US cannot afford to be contemptible before a holy God. It must be
humble and must walk justly. Taking vengeance upon other nations and their
people is like taking a boulder to crush a gnat! Fighting terrorism will
deplete America of resources, time, money, and its men and women. It will
run counter to its desired effect, for it will create anger and wrath in
others who will say that "America, the great satan, and must be stopped!"

Surely we know as Christians that if we live by the sword, then we will
perish by it. America is opening Pandora's box, and I am not sure once it
is opened that it will ever be closed again.

We need to pray that we will all know how to respond to this crisis. As a
Christian I will be responding in opposition to the action demanded by Bush
and his administration. If terrorism included all terrorist organizations,
and if it included cutting off funds and fundraising, as well as a world
wide network that would stop terrorist activity, I would be more supportive,
But as it stands now, I am not at all.

I just wonder how Christians in America are handling all this. If it is
driving me nuts, it must be causing tail spins for them!!

Well, I just thought I would share some thoughts.

Thanks, and yes, I am praying for discernment and wisdom, so that we are not
ushered into an "un-win-able war". Vietnam was one war too many. This war
could be a powder keg that unleashes a domino effect!

Sam
Waterloo, Ontario
Canada


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Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 11:02:38 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: Re: [ntcp] elephants or rabbits?

Clay Adams wrote:

> A case in point, made by W. Simson, is the different reproduction
patterns

> of elephants and rabbits:

> Elephants are only fertile four times a year

> Rabbits are practically continuously fertile

> Elephants produce only one baby per pregnancy

> Rabbits produce average of seven babies per pregnancy

> Elephants: 22 month gestation period

> Rabbitts: 1 month gestation period

> Elephants: sexual maturity: 18 years

> Rabbits: sexual maturity: 4 months

> Elephant population growth in 3 years from 2 to 3

> Rabbit population growth in 3 years from 2 to 476 million

And, I might add, ...

Elephants: average life expectancy: 70 years

Rabbits: average life expectancy: 6 years

I know I may be committing the sin of "blasphemy" but somehow
Wolfgang Simpson's fast growth formula strikes me as somewhat faddish.
I don't want to sound too jaded, and I've only encountered brother
Simpson's technique from what I've read off past and present posts-- not
books or seminars-- but I've seen a few fads come and go. And each one
claimed to be the most biblical formula and the one the Spirit was
directing for this season. Same as Luke 10. I'm all for church growth
and may God see fit to fulfill the Great Commission this time 'round. I
like the practicality of the Luke 10 approach; we can all learn
something from it, I'm sure. But there just seems to be something
contrived, inorganic, short-lived, pop, ... and missing about the whole
thing. Am I the only one on this list who feels this way?

Michael


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Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 17:50:14 +0700
From: "Link"
Subject: [ntcp] Church Planting Seminar

I just got back from an English Language Teaching seminar put on by the
organization I work for. There were papers read with question and answer
sessions, discussions, and workshops.

After the seminar was over, I started thinking how good it would be to put on a
ch'rch planting seminar for those actually out the cities and villages in this
country planting ch'rches, and others interested in it. Maybe some day, if
when I come back to this country, and if I have a source of income that doesn't
require me to work every week day, I could try to arrange such a thing.

Admission would have to be free, so Church Planting'ers who make $50 a month
could afford to come. Maybe a Bible college could be rented during summer
break.

I'm just thinking of potential topics: * Apostolic ministry in church planting-
how it function in the NT, and how this applies to the church today. *Bible
study formats (like the 3 year Torah program mentioned earlier) to educate new
congregations in the word. *Commands of Christ- Christian basics for the newest
believers. (Maybe based on some of George Patterson's material.) *Discussion
Bible Study- Show how to teach this method of Bible study to new churches. *
Elders- how to appoint them, when, etc. * Reaching out to X people group-
(there could be several of these sessions. The names wouldn't be included on
anything printed, and wouldn't be advertised beforehand for security reasons in
this country.) *Church finances- how to handle church finances, keep out
corruption, embezzling, and mismanagement. * Overview of unreached
people-groups in Indonesia. * Bible basics for the house church.
*evangelizing X religious group (again, not advertised clearly beforehand for
security reasons.) *Case study- testimony and description of a particular
successful work among a UPG or other environment.

Participants could be formed into home teams- discussion groups that would meet
for a night session. Each person of the group would go to different parallel
sessions during the day, and report what he learned at night, letting the group
look at the handouts.

This is just something I've been thinking of. Has anyone every been to a one
week, or weekend church planting seminar, or house church planting seminar?

Link

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Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 20:48:15 +0700
From: "Link"
Subject: Re: [ntcp] elephants or rabbits?

Link to Michael Millier,

>And, I might add, ...Elephants: average life expectancy: 70 years Rabbits:
>average life expectancy: 6 years

Clever response. I wonder where you did your research for this.

Actually, the analogy might fit pretty well. Some house churches are
short-lived. Some fizzle out, but even in successful, multiplying house church
movements, groups can split (peacefully) due to growth, and over a period of 6
years, a member may be meeting with a very different set of people than in the
original home church. There are still a lot more rabbits in the world than
elephants. Though rabbits live short lives, they still can outproduce
elephants.

>I know I may be committing the sin of "blasphemy" but somehow Wolfgang
>Simpson's fast growth formula strikes me as somewhat faddish. I don't want to
>sound too jaded, and I've only encountered brother Simpson's technique from
>what I've read off past and present posts-- not books or seminars-- but I've
>seen a few fads come and go. And each one claimed to be the most biblical
>formula and the one the Spirit was directing for this season. Same as Luke
>10. I'm all for church growth and may God see fit to fulfill the Great
>Commission this time 'round. I like the practicality of the Luke 10 approach;
>we can all learn something from it, I'm sure. But there just seems to be
>something contrived, inorganic, short-lived, pop, ... and missing about the
>whole thing. Am I the only one on this list who feels this way?
I've attended a portion of a seminar Wolfgang conducted, ate dinner with him,
and read his book, and listened to portions of some of his tapes. I'm no
expert on his methodology.

Wolfgang Simson doesn't think that HC is the only pay to do church. He also
works with cell churches. I appreciated many of the things he shared. But I
can see what you are saying about fads. He seems to have a big-church-seminar
approach to things. He said he had given church-growth seminars for a long
time. His style and way of approaching things seem to fit well with Third Wave
Charismatics- a lot of talk about 'apostolic and prophetic,' and he seemed to
fit well in the large, cell church seminar type format. Some of his teachings
seem to fit well into a nice, neat marketing package. But a lot of church
people are used to that these days, and so maybe they can relate to his style.

I get the impression that church-growth seminar givers do talk about the latest
techniques going around. Even though Wolfgang is advocating HC, the way he
does it sounds a little like a church-growth seminar. Not that there is
anything wrong with that. It's just his style.

I get the impression that Wolfgang's ecclesiology is a little more traditional
church or cell church than a lot of people's on this list. (E.g. his idea of
what a pastor is.)

On one of his tapes, he points out that some people latch on to one principle
or ministry and offer it as the cure all for all the church's problems. I
suppose someone could do this with Luke 10 as well.

I do think Luke 10 has some valid principles that we have overlooked about
hospitality, and this type of church planting through a man of peace has been
successful in the country Wolfgang has ministered a lot to--India.

I agree with Wolfgang that HC's are a very powerful instrument for spreading
the Gospel. If we want to populate a country full of food that either
elephants or rabbits could eat quickly, we should choose the rabbit to do it.
Similarly, there are areas where there are not churches. Small,
quickly-multiplying churches can reach more people more quickly. Freeing
Church Planting'ers up from the idea that after planting one ch'rch, they have
to build a building, hire a pastor, build a pulpit, and buy a sound system can
help speed the growth of evangelism. So can some of these other techniques,
like the Luke 10 technique.


End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V1 #67

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