New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Sunday, January 27 2002 Vol 02 : 023
Re: [NTCP] Re: Wounds Upon WoundsHi TC and Sam! (fwd)
Re: [NTCP] Re: Wounds Upon Wounds
Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US
[NTCP] What doesn't work--to JC
Re: [NTCP] Re: Wounds Upon Wounds - Zeekster & TC
Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US - Response to John
Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US - Response to Sam
Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US - Response to JC - please explain
Re: [NTCP] Re: Wounds Upon WoundsHi TC , Sam and Zeekster
Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US
Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US - Response to Sam

Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 18:34:30 EST
From: Steffasong
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: Wounds Upon WoundsHi TC and Sam! (fwd)

In a message dated 01/26/2002 4:03:36 PM Eastern Standard Time, Zekester
writes:

>It has been very frustrating because while I'm open to work a job, I'm not all
>that qualified to do much being that the majority of my experience has been
>full-time ministry the past 11 years. The work environment isn't too friendly
>to ministry experience. The other thing is that I've been very sensitive to
>not just jump back into the church to just have a job. It's very difficult not
>to do.

I applaud you Zeekster! Hang in there, and HANG ON! From my experience I can
say that you've exposed the kind of heart that WILL see the Lord move on your
family's behalf, and provide you with a job that is beyond your comprehension
at this time.

If you want to write me privately, I will help you put a resume together. I'll
bet you have more managerial and customer service experience than you might
imagine! You're right, society doesn't usually look favorably on pastoral
experience, but you don't have to lead with that foot either. On the other
hand, you may find some brothers and sisters in positions to hire you, ... and
your experience will be respected. PLUS (really, foremost) when the Lord paves
the way before you amazing things happen. There may be an interim or stepping
stone sort of a position, but remember that the LORD is your employer, ,... He
is your Provision. The stress is off you to provide. HE is Jehovah-Jireh.

Btw, what part of NJ were you from? We hail from the Garden State as well.

In the Lamb,
Stephanie

"They may take our lives, but they can't take our freedom."

William Wallace, Braveheart


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Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 18:44:42 EST
From: Steffasong
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: Wounds Upon Wounds

In a message dated 01/26/2002 10:27:34 AM Eastern Standard Time,
abccom(--AT--)hotmail.com writes:
>
>Sam said:
>
>"TC, it is not your job to make them see. They see what they want to see.
>
>Dear TC,

Hi Brothers,

Consider this: It is not always that 'they see what they want to see,' but
that they see what they CAN see.

Paul prayed for the young believers in Ephesis saying,

"I pray that the eyes of your understanding be enlightened, that you may
receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation.".....

He was referring to the discerning of the Body in that prayer, and that is very
important for all believers to see, even more for those of us He has called to
be equippers, planters, or evangelists. Paul was praying that the scales and
shadows would be removed from (not the world) the believers eyes. We come to
the Lord and our spirits are made new. We are new creations. Our eyes are
part of our physical being and carry images and traditions from years of
teaching and cultural context that make certain things literally impossible to
see.

This fact evokes much compassion from me, and I know it must be the compassion
of Christ for it is not in my nature to be so compassionate. Understanding it
this way also increases my prayer for the Body of Christ, no matter the
expression. It is also the understanding that enables us to be all things to
all men, ... to the Jew I become a Jew, to the slave a slave. That way, JESUS
can meet each person where they are at, and minister to that particular
individual.

Thanks for listening,

Stephanie B.

"They may take our lives, but they can't take our freedom."

William Wallace, Braveheart


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Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 17:32:53 -0700
From: "Mending Wing"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US

Hi All,

I sent John a offline email. I just wanted to say, I have been
"lurking" for sometime and reading all of these discussions. This is the first
time I have wanted to respond. I am hoping to start a house church in my city
in February some time. I agree with John White 100%. I am not one to debate
theory, just like I am not one to spend 3 hours talking about praying and 5
minutes praying. I am a "get the job" done kind of person. I want to know
what you are doing that works. What you have tried that did not work, things
like that. I also want to know of other house churches in Colorado, anywhere in
Colorado!

I just have one question....What is a "House Church Coach"? I think I know,
but give me your definition.

J.C. Elder
Pueblo, CO


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Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 20:37:42 -0600
From: Phillip Cohen
Subject: [NTCP] What doesn't work--to JC

Hi JC,

>What you have tried that did not work, things like that.

Everything I've tried didn't work. Seems for me it's best to just be faithful
and let God build the church. Matthew 16:18. I'm not trying to sound clever,
but speaking from a heart that's learned many lessons the hard way. The seeds
of disintegration are sown in the beginning of every "church" effort that God
hasn't planted. Matthew 15:13

>I also want to know of other house churches in Colorado, anywhere in Colorado!

The closest thing I know of a house church is in Loveland. They are not exactly
"house" but a first-generation anabaptist type. I can give you the contact if
you'd like.

Phillip & Mary Cohen

In this the children of God are manifest,
and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,
neither he that loveth not his brother. 1 John 3:10


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Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 22:44:49 -0500
From: AOM Canada
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: Wounds Upon Wounds - Zeekster & TC

Dear Zeekster and TC:

Being a PK and the son of MK and CPer, and a CPer myself I have understood your
pain, especially since my theological roost are Elim/AOG/PAOC. Same roots,
same problems!

I when I lost a position about 9 years ago, I found that through government
assistance I qualified for some job retraining. I took a year long certificate
course in PC's and business applications (until then I was and still am an
ardent Macintosh man!). It was a year long course rammed into 7 months. I was
paid my unemployment benefit and I took the course. Since that time I have
worked for Ligonier Ministries of Canada (R.C. Sproul), and went and pastored
in a Vineyard, and now work as a bilingual translator in insurance claims. I
use my PC skills all the time. It has provided my income, and the place where
I work pays for courses at the local college to upgrade my skills.

If you have any transferable skills, please explore the possibilities that
exist for you.

Know this. The peace I have in not being paid by a church is awesome. I am
completely free to be me, just as they are with me. We joke in our house
church about being 'working stiffs' and we have a ball together, for we are all
equal and share in all things. It is so good to enjoy this freedom.

I will pray for you guys as you seek to see His Kingdom come in your house
churches and your relationships.

Blessings,

Sam


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Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 23:13:13 -0500
From: AOM Canada
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US - Response to John

Dear List:

From: DenverWH
Subject: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US
>
>Dear Church Planting Friends,
>
>I am sometimes amazed at all of the energy expended on the various topics
>discussed by this group. I'm sure they all have value but to me the central
>issue is how can we make disciples of every people group (ethne) through the
>rapid multiplication of NT churches. The question is: what moves us towards
>that objective?

Don't mean to burst the expansionist vision here, but you are sounding like the
last church planting coach I had. Church growth and expansion was all that
motivated him. It came down to numbers! Everything was stats. I am sorry but
I won't be planting churches the old way anymore. I left the institutional
church precisely for that reason. All that mattered was production. And it
had to be rapid production. IT is not about production, it is about
REPRODUCTION! It is about God bringing to birth what He desires, not us mere
men going by rote or formula to get as many people packed in a house, have a
meeting and call it 'house church'!

The OBJECTIVE has to be God reproducing in us Christ Jesus in His fullness and
seeing the body come together with that objective of being conformed into the
image of Christ from glory to glory! That is the ojective!

>I want to suggest that one (not the only) key element is simplicity. Only
>that which is simple can multiply rapidly. (See Wolfgang Simson's comparison
>of the multiplication of rabbits vs elephants.) Now, I'm not hostile to the
>traditional church. I rejoice at any place where Jesus is proclaimed (Phil.
>1:15-18). However, I believe that what is needed is a 'rabbit plague'. To
>say it another way, a massive and spontaneous expansion (thank you, Roland
>Allen) of organic NT churches. Specifically, I'm praying for 1 million new
>house churches in the US in this decade.

Rabbit plague, bubonic plague, a plague? I know what Wolfgang meant, but for
you to compare the expansion of the Kingdom to a 'plague'!? Really? No
thanks! A couple of points.

1. The establishment, the nurture and the expansion of the Kingdom is the
Lord's job, not ours. To want to see it done 'rabbit plague' style takes
shortcuts that were never meant to be taken. You cannot take shortcuts in
developing intimacy with people and in nurturing and discipling new beleivers.
We need to slow down, and we need Jesus to build His character in us, and we
need to let Him set in place what is needed for the harvest of souls that is to
come in.

2. Now, you mentioned simplicity. As it so happens we as a house church
network are moving constantly in simplicity. We have been really helped with
Robert Fitts' approach using 'home bible colleges' or ABC's in setting up the
expansion of the Kingdom through house church plants.

ABC's are essentially small groups that are closed that meet for a year. They
are self contained and in that group which meets for anywhere between two hours
or more, these groups learn community and intimacy with the Lord and one
another through, worship, personal ministry, prayer/Korean style/intercession,
spiritual gifts, bible reading (go through the Bible in a year), divine
appointements/testimonies, refreshments/Lord's table. All the activities that
you would see happen in a house church setting happen in an ABC, and everyone
participates learning first hand, so that, they will within a year plant
multiple house churches out of it.

For ourselves, we currently have 3 ABC's in operation. There is already on
house church birthed out of one of these! The other ABC's see themselves
reproducing between 3 and 5 more before June!

3. The problem of formulas. We need to be mindful that we cannot program what
God will do. The Kingdom of God is the vertebrae and God will 'flesh' it out
His way. All He needs is the 'bare bones', US, and He will do it.

One brother yesterday was going on and on about going out two by twos and going
door to door. He was really grating people. It got to the point where I had
to intervene. I said to him, "B.... it is up to all these people to seek the
Lord as to how they are to evangelize. It is not up to you and I and certainly
not up to any pet formulas."

I am leary of anything that smacks of formulas and anything that seeks to
produce something in the flesh. I am all for planting house churches, but the
Lord will have to take us there, and He will have to 'midwife' the delivery!
He will have to call out those who will take on this reproduction, and take it
to their street!

I have a vision for 250 house churches where I live. We are in a city of
330,000. There are over 8,000 Christians not going to any churches. They have
left the institutional church and think there is nothing else. My wife
recently said she is believing for 1000 house churches. I had said 250 because
there are 250 streets in my city. And already in one year the vision has
increased. But the vision will be accomplished as the Lord directs:

Our vision is simple:

If we revolutionize the church and follow the New Testament pattern, then we
will see:

* Every person an intimate 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.

Blessings to you,
John in Denver!

Sam


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Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 21:55:17 -0700
From: "Mending Wing"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US - Response to Sam

Sorry only one thing comes to mind when I read this....

Then the LORD answered me and said: "Write the vision And make it plain on
tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed
time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries,
wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.Hab 2:2-3

JC


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Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2002 00:32:57 -0500
From: AOM Canada
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1
million house churches in the US - Response to JC - please explain

Hi JC

>
From: "Mending Wing"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US -
>Response to Sam
>
>Sorry only one thing comes to mind when I read this....
>
What do you mean by the above statement?

And as far as my understanding goes in the reference you make below, it is
already fulfilled prophecy and has no bearing on what I have stated. My
comments had no eschatological significance and I do understand you referring
to a passage that has already borne the fruit of which it prophesied in the
destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 and the eradication of the Old Covenant age.

So, for my edification at least, please explain.

Thanks,

Sam
>Then the LORD answered me and said: "Write the vision And make it plain on
>tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed
>time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries,
>wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.Hab 2:2-3
>
>JC


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Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2002 12:14:37 +0100
From:
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: Wounds Upon
WoundsHi TC , Sam and Zeekster

I've been reading this thread and biting my tongue (or typing fingers). My
heart realy goes out to you guys, and all of the others that have suffered at
the hands of churches. I have very carefully not put institutional churches as
I have met not a few folk who have been hurt in house church situations too.

I have been hurt more than once through the incomprehension of other church
leaders, and their unwillingness or inability to allow for any model of church
apart from their own. I started in the Anglican Church, where I held for a
while a bishops license to specificaly allow me to do things differntly. You
cannot imagine the furor that that caused among other clergy. Their biggest
beef seemed to be that their churches were the same and our group (not a
tradtional church) was growing at about 25 - 50 a week. The license was
suspended after two months, and most of the new folk (70% new converts) joined
a local non- denominational charismatic fellowship. I struggled on for two more
years with the Anglicans before leaving never to return again. Since then I
have worked variously with house churches (lots), baptists, four-square, AOG
and independant pentecostals. My call in Christ has always been to stir-up the
church to follow Biblical patterns. I have been blessed to see UK Baptist
churches (they are a very different animal to their American and Canadian
cousins), break the mold and begin to move in new ways. I share regularly with
two that have become in reality networks of house churches using the "organic"
cell church model (See the documents at:
http://communities.msn.co.uk/CastilloFuerteCastleChristianMinistries). But in
others I have been rejected. One pastor asked me how could I be consistent if I
preached "the Anglican Gospel in the Anglican Church, the Baptist Gospel in the
Baptist church and the Pentecostal Gospel in the Pentecostal Church." This man
held a Doctor of Divinity degree and yet didn't know that there is only one
Gospel, when i suggested that to preach "another gospel" was wrong he was most
offended.

At the moment I am dancing on the fringes of the AOG. Here in Spain there are
some AOG churches that use a house church model, but they aren't so sure about
those house churches networking (it might just be a new organization that
excludes the AOG old guard). After being accepted by the AOG in the UK, the AOG
in Spain are very suspicious of me. Many of the Old Guard are convinced that i
am trying to lead folk away into some non- existant House church organization.
Others are upset that I don't take a salary, neither am I fully supported from
the UK, I teach English to earn a crust and sometimes someone feels led to
share with me, but there is nothing organized. This is a real threat, as most
of them are recieving salaries and expenses at a level far above that of their
members, who are giving at their limits to "support the work". It is not
unknown fro a congregation of 15, to fully support a pastor and building. I am
a threat because I am showig results and yet do not cost even 20% of a Spanish
AOG pastor. i say nothing, I just keep my head down and keep doing what I do.

The problem of what work we should do when we move away from traditional church
models is one that I have often confronted when I lived in the UK. Although I
am a registered Psychologist, it takes a lot of time to become known in a
community, and the British prefer to talk about their problems in the Pub
rather than pay a shrink. So i have variously worked as a bank clerk, shop
manager, leather worker (making hand made goods that I sold at fairs), jeweler
(the same), courier and now English teacher. When I have someone alongside to
show him what I do (I still don't like the term mentoring), one of the most
important things that i try to pass on is how to work to make money to live on.

Anyway I've said enough.

May the Lord bless you all real good,

Keith


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Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2002 12:24:11 +0100
From: Keith
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US

A House church coach, is the car that gos round to fech the folks that haven't
got a car themselves...........or no?

Keith

New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V2 #23

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