New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Friday, January 18 2002 Vol 02 : 013
Re: [NTCP] cell groups?
Re: [NTCP] cell groups
Re: [NTCP] cell groups
[NTCP] Who is my God?
Re: [NTCP] cell groups? - G12 and accountability
Re: [NTCP] cell groups
Re: [NTCP] cell groups
Re: [NTCP] cell groups

Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2002 12:13:25 EST
From: AWillia486
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups?

In a message dated 1/16/2002 7:32:43 PM Eastern Standard Time, David Anderson
writes:

>It should go without saying, but unfortunately it likely cannot, that my brief
>analysis is NOT an attack upon him nor his followers. There are worthwhile
>things in his book and ministry, too. Many house churchers acknowledge an
>affinity with some aspects of "cell life."
>
>But IMHO, cell church is just another reincarnation of traditional church.
>Same product - different wrapper. New and improved version.
>
>I do like the small groups and large celebration format, for sure.
>
>David Anderson

David, I think that is fair to say that we have seen cell churches as a "same
product-different wrapper" The place that we always mess up is that of a
building. Once that variable is added, we go right back to the same mentality,
just changing the names to make us feel better.

But I like the Cell church concept. We are starting a new congregation using
the G-12 method of accountability. One thing that is different is the
"covering." I want to see these cells multiply, but I do not feel the need to
"pastor" them outside of our local area. We are working more on the City
Church concept. This brings local accountability rather than extra-local. We
have been dealing with the unity issue for a while. I keep plugging away
because it is a command of Jesus to have fellowship with the believers. I know
that cells can work and not get caught up in the "building" trap. I don't
think that I could do anything else right now. This is a blessing and we are
seeing congregations come together with a desire encourage one another.

I have been watching for a while and have enjoyed most of the posts. I am glad
that we are talking about these areas. It has helped my heart to stay focused
on the task of the Body.

Fred


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Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2002 11:05:13 -0700
From: "David Cummings"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups

Jim, you look at what your saying. It is the same thing that Jesus said to the
Rich Young Ruler. Here is a better way all you have to do is give up everything
and follow me. Will you do it? No of course not. He was grieved and went away
downcast. It is simple. They can't give up everything for "the jesus i know".
In my book that I am writting I talk about what God has done in the past to
help people "walk with God" and to be honest it all boils down to the same two
concepts that make up my daily struggle.

Love God and Love your Neighbors (everyone else). These men and women of the
faith love themselves more than they love their neighbors and they love God.
That sounds a little harsh because I love them all and almost every
pastor,senior minister,etc... I have known has a great heart. But it is too
hard to give up what they can easily hold on to. Their idea of the kingdom of
God. What is lacking? True faith.

That is what in my book I show separates "christians" (faux christians) from
the "cave dwellers" that are not worthy of this world because they "walk with
God". It is faith. Believing and not seeing. I am a whole hearted believer in
house churching, but not because I think it God's next big thing. It is because
I love Jesus and in faith I know God is saying to me "Come Home" and this is
Home for awhile till I go Home.


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Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2002 21:05:15 +0100
From: Keith
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups

Dear Michael, Jay, Sam, David, David and whoever I've left out,

I'm amazed at how many of us have put pen to paper about cells. I think that
one thing is clear, most of us are sceptical about traditional cell church
models, but G12, Jim's book or my humble contribution change the emphasis, so
we look again. Why are we so often disapointed? The simple answer is that the
vast majority of leaders are just that. They want to lead not serve. I look at
my little group here in Castro, about 35 all told, and I can cope with that,
and have a good relationship with each one, I'm not worn out by serving, and I
also have time to serve other servants (and I'm sorry to say not a few who
consider themselves leaders). To many want to lead the big movement. They would
be toting up how many folk are in each house church they influence so that they
could speak about the 100's or 1,000's that they are ministering to. It just
doesn't work unless the leaders aren't. That is, Cells only work with true
servant leaders at every level. But my big beef against Cell churches
(including G12) is their hierachical, pyramidical structures. I have yet to see
that structure in the Bible. Why? Simple, when you put a man at the top of a
pyramid, his sinfull nature takes over and he stops serving. Just the other day
I had to rebuke an internationaly known speaker for abusing those "under his
covering". I thank God that his very real repentance is leading him to look at
how he can begin to relate as a servant, rather than a lord.

Hey you guy's, let's be servants. I think that most of you are, so let's keep
at it.

Blessings,

Keith The pain from Spain.


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Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2002 22:49:15 -0400
From: "Willard Smith"
Subject: [NTCP] Who is my God?

A short testimony/ encouragement

For the last 8 years I have tried to be part of different cell groups or house
churches, but one thing seems to be common to all. They seem to evolve into
small institutional churches in the home with leaders and structure, power
struggles as to how things are to be run, or they dissolve and most of the
people either go back into old institutional churches or give up all together.

I think all this talk about who should be leadership and what should be the
structure of cell churches is not recognizing what Christ said about His
church. "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against
it". Jesus worked (served) either with people one-on-one or spoke to groups as
they were drawn to Him. The apostles ministered (served) and people were moved
by the life and testimony they exhibited. The early church ministered (served)
as they received from the head (Christ, not other men) and shook the then known
world. It wasn't through structure, unity, understanding Greek, etc., etc. It
was because individuals responded to what the head (Christ) of the church was
asking them to do! Obedience to the living God. Not seeking to be part of a
movement or group. This is what makes our relationship a living one. It is
exciting to see God use little ol me to touch another of God's creation in a
positive way.

Many of us have come out of institutional churches because the Lord has drawn
us out. Why are we trying to start another organization, structure, or group?
We need to be faithful to the One who has saved us and look only to Him as our
source of life and direction to be servants! When we become true servants of
Him, we will then be able to see fruit come forth. Fruit that remains, because
the fruit will see Christ as their head also. When we lead others to Jesus
only, they feel comfortable to be open with us and we can walk together before
Christ. Who knows, maybe they might even speak words that they have received
from the Lord that will strengthen us!

Jim, I have been moved by your writings. The Lord has used you to helped me
along the path that has released me from the chains of religion. I have
attended your seminars in my area. Be encouraged! Keep responding to what the
Lord wants you to do and let Him take care of the rest. Do continue to cast
your bread upon the waters.

Jr.


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Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 01:15:30 -0500
From: AOM Canada
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups? - G12 and accountability

Hi!

What do you mean by accountability or covering? We are to be subject, not
accountable, to Christ, and mutually subject one to another, and not
accountable. I think you are making a big deal out of something the NT church
does not speak to regarding 'accountability'. It is not found in NT body life!
So, why are you using the term? Who is holding those who hold the 12
accountable? And then who is hold those ones accountable? Where does it stop?
Accountability and mutual subjection are NOT the same thing, for mutual
subjection sees both the elders/leaders and others within the body MUTUALLY
subject one to another as unto Christ. There is no hierarchal structure here.
So why bring into being that which is not mentioned in the NT?

Sammy


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Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 11:41:35 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups

Jim Rutz wrote:

>Underneath or opposing all the enthusiasm for the house church model lurk four
>demons most foul: the spirits of RELIGION, CONTROL, PRIDE, and
>FEAR/INSECURITY. I estimate that the first three of these have been with the
>church for over 1900 years. The fourth settled in in the second century.

>These days, when institutional church people rattle my cage ...

Hi Jim, I'm here for my three-minute pep-talk. ;-) In all honesty I pose the
following question: when you mention these "demons most foul," are you speaking
figuratively or do you mean actual spirits? I certainly believe in demonic
spirits (see my Dec. 14 post on the "culturally relevant v. syncretism"
thread), but I just keep hearing people using appellations like "spirits of
RELIGION, CONTROL, PRIDE, and FEAR/INSECURITY" and I've started to wonder if in
each case these people actually believe they are naming real demons. And if so
how? If a person says that they "discern" them through their spiritual gift,
might'nt I just say that I *don't* discern them ... through the same spiritual
gift. So where does that leave us?

If you are serious Jim, then at what point came the Church's infestation?
Constantine? Ignatius? Clement? ... Paul? Some of the elements of what
people keep calling "religion" (monoepiscopacy, liturgy, buildings) were built
right into the NT revelation. Or at least allowed (see my Aug. 2 post on the
"Constantine- house church whipping boy" thread). So can we rightly call these
elements "demon[institutional church ]"?

Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 14:25:30
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups

The "pain from Spain said"

To many want to lead the big movement.
>They would be toting up how many folk are in each house church they influence
>so that they could speak about the 100's or 1,000's that they are ministering
>to. It just doesn't work unless the leaders aren't. That is, Cells only work
>with true servant leaders at every level. But my big beef against Cell
>churches (including G12) is their hierachical, pyramidical structures.

I have had unhappy experience with the Cell ministry as well. i spent four
years in an outreach developing a what was essentially a cell. This ministry
was largely igmored by the rest of my institutional church because it was a
very remote village and took a lot of sacrifice and effort.

the meeting slowly evolved according to my understanding and we began to
operate more like a house church meeting ( at this time i didnt know there was
sucha thing as a house church)

We began to get reakthtroughs in the community and Hindus began to get
converted. After 4 years as soon as God opened up the heavens our pastor shut
us down and took us off the ministry. his reason?? He said the outreach had to
be overseen by a pastor, since none of his pastors in the Church wanted to run
this outreach he shut it down. This was one of the stupidest decisions I have
seen made in the Church ( not the only one). They are intent on building
heirachies that submit to their authority rather than God's.

Some time later the leadership was instructed to develop cells. After 7 months
my wife and I had the only successful cell running. We offered to help the
others and after much pride was swallowed two couples came to us for help.
After our first meetings in the two new locations we could all sense the
breakthrough about to come.

In instructing the new group I told them that in these meetings there are no
leaders, we are all servants and all capable of ministry. I also instructed
them in a few other things which were also contrary to what the Pastor teaches.

One week later I was told that I will be taken off the cell ministry and would
have to sit down from ministry. It was at that point I left the Church.

Forgive me if I sound very anti institutional church but my experience and
subsequent experiences has led me to believe that God is going to bring serious
judgement upon the institutional church in my country ( which is a carbon copy
of North American institutional church ).

Since leaving and starting our own house churches, I have entered into a realm
of warfare i havent experienced in a long time. Both my wife and myself fell
sick recently ( suffering extreme pains in our back), the leader of our fast
camp ministry fell sick ( pains in a similar area) also my spiritual counsel (
who is also into house church )fell sick and was hospitalised.

God speaks to me in dreams almost every night and its always about the
institutional church , esp. the old one I came from. I seem to know what they
are saying about us and can tell when the devil is trying to bring division
between my wife and myself. She tells me that I pray in the spirit when i sleep
at night. so I am praying when I am awake and when I am asleep.

I will share some scriptures sometime which I believe speaks of the
institutional church .

What I have come to understand is all they care about is money. This prosperity
gospel is one of the biggest lies of Satan to infiltrate the Church. The reason
they want big numbers in their Church is because big numbers equal big dollars.
It is so funny what God did here recently to confound the pastors who preach
money.

This story I am about to share is incredible but true. There is a pastor here
who was very poor. he would often go without shoes on his feet. He was a
squatter and things were so bad that his wife left him with the kids and
abandoned them. during this time none of the pastors would have anything to do
with him. he was ignored because he was a nobody and very poor.

He worked for a foreign business man who had several large multinational
companies, he would often be counselling this man and they became good friends.
The man took him back to the US one day and had to leave him to attend a
meeting. He left a suitcase with USD$100,000.00 with the pastor and asked him
to look after it for him. After a few days he came back and the pastor was
there with all the money, every cent accounted for.

A few months later the businessman died and left his entire empire to the
pastor. It is worth( according to the newspapers) 600 billion pounds, it
consists of gold and diamond mines in South Africa, a banking chain, oil
companies to name a few. It is so huge that the British government tried to
fight him in court to prevent him from taking the money out of the UK. Even
prince Charles came to speak to him here.

When this news hit Trinidad, many of these same pastors went looking for him,
one gave him a car another a house. The same men who didnt want anything to do
with him when he was poor. One even tried to swindle him out of his
inheritance.

Today this pastor has a programme on national television the runs everyday. On
this programme he regularly condemns the pastors here calling them angels of
light. He says when God said satan will appear as angel of light he was
speaking about pastors (institutional church type). He says that all the
pastors want is to take money from poor people to build houses and buy big
cars. He doesnt believe in tithing and says that the pastors are putting people
under the curse of the law by telling them to tithe. He is still a very humble
man ( he even took back his wife )and has great passion for God however he isnt
educated and as a result is a little limited in his understanding of scripture.
However I beleive he is a prophet of God because he speaks the truth. Maybe he
isnt doing it the best way but I think he is good for the body of Christ.

Of course he is often criticised by the institutional church . He is so wealthy
that all the Hindus and moslems here ( who control a lot of money in our
economy ) cannot wield the kind of national influence he can. He says his
mission is to eradicate poverty in our nation.

This story will confound the proponents of tithing.

David Jaggernauth
Trinidad.


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Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 18:17:40 +0100
From: Keith
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups

Bless you David,

It seems that you have had your fair share of "Leaders" to. Thank you for your
story, it was a blessing (and speaks to a situation i'm going through at the
moment).

Let those of us called to serve keep on serving,
Blessings,
keith

New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V2 #13

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