New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Tuesday, January 29 2002 Vol 02 : 026
[NTCP] cell groups and Biblical foundations
Re: [NTCP] cell groups and Biblical foundations
[NTCP] conference announced
Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US
Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US
Re: [NTCP] 1 million - our passion
Re: [NTCP] 1 million - ABC's - reply to JAY
RE: [NTCP] 1 million - our passion
[NTCP] Re: 1 million - our passion
Re: [NTCP] 1 million - our passion
Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US

Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 06:40:21 EST
From: Steffasong
Subject: [NTCP] cell groups and Biblical foundations

In a message dated 01/29/2002 4:56:59 AM Eastern Standard Time, jferris154
writes:

>What page that was on?" (That was and remains one of my favorite questions.
>"leadership"'s favorite question seems ot be, "who do you think you are?") He
>cited Ignatius. I responded then as I do now, "It is too bad he didn't say it
>in time to get it into The Book. As for me and my house..."
>
>Yours in Christ,
>
>Jay

Love it, Jay!

That used to be my FAVORITE line as well when I was teaching a class simply
called, "SCRIPTURE," in an RC highschool 25 years ago.

The 16 year-old students knew a little about their religion, but NOTHING about
the Book, so I agreed to take the position, on one condition: I get to choose
the curriculum.

The administration said, 'sure,' and it worked out rather well. So, I required
them to purchase only one book, THE Book, and when questions came from the
peanut gallery about holy days of obligation, purgatory, saints, and holy
water, we always went back to THE BOOK. (I'll always remember the lecture that
evolved from one innocent question: "What about Mary? We pray to her, right?"
)

Any way, we'd look for the roots of these things, and find that oftentimes they
just did not exist in Biblical history. No arguements, I'd simply smile and
remind them that these things were not in the Bible, and therefore we could not
speak with any authority about them. I told them that we could spend our time
trying to follow all the things various traditions and men have taught over the
centuries ABOUT the Bible and our faith, OR... we could focus on what GOD says.

Interesting things happened that year. I didn't even get fired!
:-)
Yours In the Lamb,

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

William Wallace, Braveheart


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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 07:36:04 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups and Biblical foundations

Steffasong wrote:

>That used to be my FAVORITE line as well when I was teaching a class simply
>called, "SCRIPTURE," in an RC highschool 25 years ago.
>
>The 16 year-old students knew a little about their religion, but NOTHING about
>the Book, so I agreed to take the position, on one condition: I get to choose
>the curriculum.
>
>The administration said, 'sure,' and it worked out rather well. So, I
>required them to purchase only one book, THE Book, and when questions came
>from the peanut gallery about holy days of obligation, purgatory, saints, and
>holy water, we always went back to THE BOOK. (I'll always remember the
>lecture that evolved from one innocent question: "What about Mary? We pray
>to her, right?" )
>
>Any way, we'd look for the roots of these things, and find that oftentimes
>they just did not exist in Biblical history. No arguements, I'd simply smile
>and remind them that these things were not in the Bible, and therefore we
>could not speak with any authority about them. I told them that we could
>spend our time trying to follow all the things various traditions and men have
>taught over the centuries ABOUT the Bible and our faith, OR... we could focus
>on what GOD says.
>
>Interesting things happened that year. I didn't even get fired

Dear Stephanie,

Love it!!!

Keep up the good redemptive work, because Jesus was never alienated.

Yours in Him,

Jay


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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 09:21:15 -0500
From: forwarded
Subject: [NTCP] conference announced

Extra, extra, read all about it ...

The Ninth Annual Southern House Church Conference), to be held this year on the
weekend of June 14-16, 2002 at Central Wesleyan University in Central, SC
(about 4 miles from Clemson University.

See http://ntrf.org for further inormation.


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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 15:34:00
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US

Dear Jay,

I am humbled, thank you for your insight.

David J.


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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 16:04:57
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US

Muse said:

>Our primary source of house church leaders come out of the "old churches".
>Once they understand that they too are ministers and are called to "make
>disciples of all the nations..." many respond positively and have of their
>own conviction left (or are in the process of slowly leaving) their
>traditional churches. It is not our intent to pull anyone out of their home
>church, but once they taste relational Christianity and begin to see the lost
>come to the Savior, they begin to give more and more time to the new church
>plant and find that they have less and less time to give to their home church.
> After a time they themselves come to the realization that the church they are
>planting is where they need to be giving their time and energy.


Thanks for the advice, I was hoping to try and not have too many meetings with
the team outside of our prayer meetings and House meetings but I realise
training is necessary and we will have to begin some kind of work in that area.

Thanks to the others that recommended material to me, I will have to start
sourcing some of it.

Your last statement above is really what i thought was the best way to build a
network like this in a short time but there is a problem with my old Church
that is a little unique. The people there have been indoctrinated in such a way
that they cannot do anything outside the realm of the Local Church (theirs) and
outside the knowledge of the pastor. For me to achieve this goal of tapping
into the human resources there will have to some kind of mending of
relationship and acceptance between the pastor and myself.

Based on my knowledge of the man this is highly unlikely, he is very set in his
ideas and ways and anyone that contradicts or in his mind opposes his
philosphies is considered rebellious and unteachable by him and not to be
entertained by anyone under his leadership.

If he knows that I am sending out feelers to members of his flock he will
immediately put up the guard. he will also begin discrediting myself and my
wife from the pulpit (I know this from history).

I had a visit from a good friend yesterday who came from my old church. We had
a long talk and during this time I was able to show him from scriptures,
contradictions in what they are teaching and practicing with what is in the
word. Incicdentally, when I left I beleive the lord pointed out to me that he
will be the next person to leave. It seems improbable though because he is a
major financier of that church and is highly regarded by the pastor.

After our meeting he accepted that we had to leave and maybe that was the only
way it could be. I think his eyes became a little opened as well. He was one of
the few people there that I wouldnt list under the dumb sheep category.

Incidentally he told me that the pastor there is trying to establish house
meetings now, I dont know if it is cells or house churches but i have been
sending material to one of his "disciples". Including stuff from House to
House.

I dont know how their attempts are going to pan out because the entire
structure and philosophy in that organization is unscriptural as far as I can
see, and in the time I was there, every attempt at outreaches was aborted by
the pastor or failed. David Jagg.


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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 09:53:05 -0800 (PST)
From: Jay English
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1 million - our passion

Great Thread!!! John W., thanks for casting a vision before this group to
think, pray and believe BIG! Mike G., I'm right there with you. I'm a
working stiff, involved ina new and wonderful house church work in northern
Illinois, but with a vision and a heart to see a network of many house church's in this area. Muse, thanks for the great report and reminder that
allbelievers belong to Christ and not to a particular church or denomination. I believe that there are many people presently in the institutional church that GOD would call to "home missions" and into house church planting and
leadership. Sam, thanks for the encouraging reports that you regularly
share,especially concerning the intimacy that you've found. Could you
pleaseexplain and discuss your "ABC" groups? We are getting ready to start
asecond meeting in our neighborhood and are discussing strategies and looking
for materials. These meetings may include unevangelized,
unchurched,non-attending believers and bored/unfulfilled pew sitters. Any help
would be appreciated.

Jay English Rockford, Illinois

DenverWH wrote: From the responses I've gotten, it sounds like a number of the
group are interested in taking a look at this idea of 1 million new house
churches planted in the U.S. in this decade. I have a number of things I've
been thinking about along this line so I'll throw them out one email at a time.

I'm looking forward to learning from you all. I'll call the first topic -
"our passion".


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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 13:45:17 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1 million - ABC's - reply to JAY

Hi Jay:
>
From: Jay English

>Sam, thanks for the encouraging reports that you regularly
>>share,especially concerning the intimacy that you've found. Could you
>>pleaseexplain and discuss your "ABC" groups? We are getting ready to start
>>asecond meeting in our neighborhood and are discussing >strategies
>and looking for materials. These meetings may include >unevangelized,
>unchurched,non-attending believers and >bored/unfulfilled pew sitters. Any
>help would be appreciated!

ABC's

Well Jay, glad you asked.

I have found ABC's to be a great safe place for believers and non believers. A
lot of non-believers like gathering with other believers, especially when there
are no 'professional teachers' doing it!

The focus is on meeting as a closed small group for the duration of one year.
It is essentially a year long committment in which people committ themselves to
meet weekly. The gatherings encompass much of what regularly takes place in a
house church gathering. The central idea is to become intimate with the Lord
and one another. There is a:

1. Time of praise 2. Time of prayer/intercession 3. Time of personal ministry
4. Time of testimonies/reports/divine appointments 5. Time of Bible reading -
read the whole Bible in one year 6. Time of food,fun, fellowship

Each of these activities take on a variety of forms, but they all flow together
in a very lose way. There is great spontaneity and interaction, and much body
life, which is great to learn in a closed setting. People need to build up
trust and develop intimacy, and that takes time.

The goal of ABC's is to equip and release the 'extra-ordinary' believer in
their calling and ministry. In the ABC they learn all about ministry and
caring for one another another and interacting in the lives of others. Many in
our ABC's go to other institutional church and house church gatherings, and
participate in other local body of Christ ministries in the city. One of our
goals is to encourage a city-wide vision of the church, and to see themselves
as belonging to the local (regional/city-wide) church.

The outworking of the goals of the ABC is that everyone who is a part of it
will within the year be involved in planting or assisting others to plant other
house church's, or host another ABC in their home, or establish a Healing Room,
where people can come and soak in prayer and worship and pray for those needing
physical, emotional healing. We have had all three of these happen.

I myself will be facilitating an ABC in my new home in March.

ABC's and the unreached If you desire to expose the unreached to some body life
and intimacy and the exploration of the gospel, ABC's is really good. They get
to interact and fellowship with those who are passionate about Christ. The
unreached in particular really enjoy the interactive Bible time. The ABC's
study the word by reading it outloud and commenting on the verses as they sense
and feel the Spirit leading them. It is important to note that the gathering
asks the Holy Spirit to guide them in the reading of the Bible and in the
comments that are shared. It is amazing what the Holy Spirit reveals through
the unreached!

- -----------------

For all of you if you are interested in learning more about ABC, please contact
our dear brother, Robert Fitts or check his website: look under SIMPLE BIBLE
COLLEGES. You will find all the info you need about ABC's.

Blessings,

Sam


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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 12:43:20 -0600
From: "Tony Dale"
Subject: RE: [NTCP] 1 million - our passion

For Jay English:

I saw your note about the ABC groups that Roberts Fitts is helping people to
start, and just wanted to add my whole hearted endorsement to what they are
accomplishing around the country. Robert is such a blessing, and you can
contact him directly at RobertJoni.

You may also be interested in some things that Wolfgang Simson has helped to
initiate through a course that he calls Luke 10, based around the "man of
peace" principle of church planting. We are running something along that line
as a trial here in Austin, beginning this weekend, and you would see details of
it on the www.house2house.tv website. We have no idea how it will go, but are
excited to be experimenting, and are believing the Lord to see many new church
planters, and starters of networks of churches come out of the course.

There are various other approaches to rapid church planting that are also
beginning to take root, such as the work being done by Neil Cole and the CMR
folk. Isn't is good to see the Lord blessing such variety, and wherever people
are hungry for more.

We are also just completing (will be available within the next 10 days) a
booklet, loose leaf so we can keep changing everything as all of us learn more, on things that people have been sending us from around the world on starting new home churches. It is currently called "Getting Started Right", but we are dropping the "Right" as the only right way is the way the Holy Spirit leads you in your situation!

In Christ,

Tony Dale


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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 11:24:52 -0800
From: Dan Snyder
Subject: [NTCP] Re: 1
million - our passion

Amen, brothers!

That's good! Once we see that all the believers are Christ's Body then we
realize there can be no "ownership" of the believers except by the Head
Himself. We all belong to Him.

I appreciate in Eph. 4 how the gifted ones are given by the Lord to the whole
Body... for the building up of the whole Body.

And interestingly, the gifts don't do that much direct building work
themselves.

According to 4:12 their main job is to perfect the rest of us "unto the work of
the ministry". And it's the "each one parts" operating according to our measure
- shepherding one another, ministering Christ to one another... and to the
unbelievers (so they too will become members of the Body)....that causes the
growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.

Meeting house to house is a good opportunity to perfect the saints and to have
an atmosphere that's conducive to much mutuality. That doesn't mean that "house
to house" is the only way - I like Paul's view in Acts 20 - "publicly and from
house to house". He used all the means.

But the homes really can help tear down the "one man speaking" system and the
clergy system that stifle the function of so many of the Lord's people.

May He continue to perfect us and release us all to enjoy Him and to minister
Him to others!!!

Dan


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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 11:32:03 -0800
From: Barry Steinman
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1 million - our passion

Jay,

I happened to notice that you are from Rockford Illinois. It is good to hear
there is some relational fellowship going on in northern Illinois.

I used to be in a communal christian group west of Rockford from 1970 - - 78, -
it was called Salem Acres.

I had some friends there with your same last name. One was Alvin English - last
I heard he was involved in a ministry to street people in Rockford. Also Evva
English was out there. Any chance you are related to them?

Let me know about what you're house church group is like in Rockford. I have
family in Northern Illinois and sometime visit out there.

Blessings

Barry

>Mike G., I'm right there with you. I'm a working stiff, involved in a new and
>wonderful house church work in northern Illinois, but with a vision and a
>heart to see a network of many house church's in this area. Jay English
>Rockford, Illinois

- -- Barry Steinman


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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 20:52:26 +0100
From:
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US

Hi David, I'm sure that others will answer your points much more eloquently
that I will. But here's my two pence worth anyway.

David said:
>I have a team of five people that work together with me, I have three meetings
>established now and we are about to start 4 more possible six. Our meetings
>are meant to be evangelistic, we rely on the family to invite friends and
>neighbours, we also go into the community house to house to see how we can
>meet the needs of the people.
>
>My problem at the moment is that so far i seem to be the only one capable of
>ministering the word in a way that will not only teach but also be
>evangelistic. the others are capable of ministering as well but I always seem
>to have to intercede at times. We work well as a team together though.
>
>We cannot all run each meeting together, so I have decided that we will split
>up into pairs (I always prefer ministry to be done by a pair rather than a
>sinsle person, we can watch over each other).
>
>Should I just release the others to take charge of the new meetings or should
>I work with them in each meeting for a while until it is properly established
>?? I dont want to be doing everything myself I want others to explore and
>discover, and learn the way I did, one on one with God. They are already well
>taught in the word and competent in interpretation. However some may need a
>bit more experience in actual ministry.
>
>My currrent plan has been to disciple believers (new or old) and bring them to
>a place where they can have their own House meeting. This is a very slow
>process (unless God sends me people already trained and ready, highly unlikely)

What your doing now will achieve slow growth, but if you want to see
multiplication growth you must release those who have been with you for a while
to plant on their own, otherwise they will be opperating in your authority and
gifting instead of them recieving from the Lord and growing in what God give
them. You can still meet with these new church planters on a weekly basis, to
answer their questions and encourage them. If you are worried that they don't
seem to have the same teaching and preaching edge as you, well praise the Lord,
although your cute I wouldn´t like to live in a world peopled by little David
J's, nor you in a world peopled by Keith S's. God gives us diversity,
Hallelujah!

twentyfive years ago I planted a church in Wembley, North London UK. It was
growing well, and had a cell church type structure (although we didn't call it
that then). After 9 months work we had four cells and about 120 people, we had
mid week meetings in cells, Saturday we had some sort of social event and
Sunday we did church in lots of different ways. There were fantastic miracles,
we had wonderfull worship times, more than 85% of our members were new
converts. We were exploring, what many are now calling house church networks,
as though they are something new. BUT, I attended every meeting, I did nearly
all the teaching, I was very much the man in front. Then God spoke to me in
that quiet voice that He uses when He wants you to do something hard. He said,
"Keith they have faith in your faith, it's time for you to turn your back and
walk away, so that these babies can grow." So one year after our first meeting,
I preached my last sermon there and moved to a town 80 miles away. To my
amazement it didn't colapse, it grew. An ailing pentecostal church asked the
fellowship to come allongside and help, and it kept on growing. After a while
there was an institutional church / house church split. Those in the
institutional church part are now a medium sized church with a small Bible
school. The house church part is a network of about 8 churches in that area.
Both churches have sent folk to minister on the mission field. I'm content with
the result of my work there, but much more that I was able to walk away.

>The institutional church uses the argument that God will bring a massive
>revival to usher in his second coming. This teaching has brought about the
>doctrine that there will be a massive transfer of wealth from the heathen to
>the Church to fund this growth(to build big Churches). Hence the prosperity
>gospel which is really contrary to the life exhibited by Paul and the
>others(see 1 Tim. 6:3-9) They also believe that the Church will have all this
>wealth and believers will drive mercedes benzes and BMWs etc. and the world
>which will be in financial difficulty will look on in amazement.
>
>My question here is this, these same people that believe this idea, also
>believe that it is prophecied in the Bible that there will be a great economic
>crash and money will be worthless. If there is going to be an economic crash,
>then why will God transfer to the Church money which will have no value???
>
I believe that God's power and evil will both grow at the same time. an end
time revival and ecconomic crash will be symptoms of this. I believe, and have
seen, how the Lord will bring money from sinners into the church. Part of my
own Biblical education was paid by gangsters! But we must never become lovers
of money. I am interested how many house church folk I know feel led to grow
vegetables at home, not in any faddy way, but just as part of their life. A
house church leader I know in England has just started keeping Bees. They
provide both income and food, and will be a buffer against future ecconomic
problems.

The most important thing you said is:
>Jesus said, when the son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?? Those
>who have stored up much treasure and have learned to trust in such treasure
>will not have developed the tools to survive during the said economic fall.

Bless you David,
Keith

New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V2 #26

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