New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Wednesday, January 30 2002 Vol 02 : 027
Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US
RE: [NTCP] Passion
Re: [NTCP] Passion
[NTCP] Godly homes of the Martyrs
Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US
Re: [NTCP] Confronting the Evidence
Re: [NTCP] Confronting the Evidence
[NTCP] 5 new house churches in the your locale vs 1 million in US
Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US
Re: [NTCP] 5 new house churches in the your locale - response to Stephanie and JMuse
Re: [NTCP] 5 new house churches in the your locale vs 1 million in US
Re: [NTCP] 5 new house churches in the your locale - response to Stephanie and JMuse
Re: [NTCP] 5 new house churches in the your locale - response to Stephanie and JMuse

Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 20:16:25
From: "David Jaggernauth"
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.

Thanks keith, I receive evreything you said. Funnily enough, we had our prayer
meeting last night. We had some discussion about the meetings and I said I
didnt like the way our meetings were going it wasnt going the way I wanted it
to (meaning that there wasnt enough group participation). Anyway, one of the
guys jokingly began to rebuke me saying that its not my way but God's way and
then began laying his hand on my head to cast out my old pastor's spirit.

I was pondering what I wrote yesterday this morning and realise that youre
absolutely correct. My confidence is not in the group, but in Christ. he is
building not me. Phew, what a relief.

The other thing about the quantity bandwagon, it is dangerous if our reason for
pursuing the rapid expansion idea is a means of showing the institutional
church people, hey look what God is doing!, this is God! We can very easily
fall into the temptation of trying competing with the institutional church to
see who is more right.Or to prove our spiritual merit, this is nothing short of
pride.

With respect the whole us vs them issue. when I was in the institutional church
, was I lost?? Or the enemy??? I dont think so, and I would have certainly
resented anyone who told me otherwise.

There are many right now there in the institutional church where I was then,
it doesnt mean we're superior, just walking in a different understanding I
guess. David Jagg.


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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 19:52:06 -0400
From: "vanessadd"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Passion

Do we keep in ming that 'passion' literally means 'suffering'?

vanessa


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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 19:44:47 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Passion

vanessadd wrote:

>Do we keep in ming that 'passion' literally means 'suffering'?
>
>vanessa
>

Dear Vanessa,

A little while back it struck me this way:

"Jesus may have "only said the things His father said", but It did not come out
of Him in the form of Bible verses. We use the phrase, "What I am saying is..."
and we go on to say what we have already said, but in different words. This, I
believe is who Jesus was, He was what the Father was saying, but in different
words. If challenged, He could use the Scripture to explain Himself well
enough, but He did not come to us as Scripture, He came to us as life and love,
and asks us to go to others the same way.

He invites us to go to the nations. How are the nations? The nations are
raging, The people plot in vain, the rulers of the earth take counsel together
against The Lord, and against us. Unless I have misunderstood Him, he invites
us into His vulnerability. He invites us into the same possibility of betrayal
that He suffered. He invites us to be crucified. How else could it be to be
sheep among wolves?

Those who are being saved will respond to, and be drawn by our transparency.
Most, will not, but that's our Father's problem, not ours. He is not troubled
about it, he laughs. If only we too could go forth in tears, that we might
enter into His laughter. If only we too could be like Him in His death, that we
too might attain to the resurrection of the dead.

More and more in recent months, I have found myself saying what The Father is
saying, but in different words, and without conscious effort. It's awsome, and
it's terrifying all at once. A person could get hurt doing this sort of thing.

It is at the point of relationship that this becomes particularly problematic.
Jesus said of those that the Father had given Him, that He protected them while
He was in the world. That's my father's heart, His heart and my heart. My heart
is increasingly broken as I think of inviting others into this same
vulnerability. It is one thing to have faith that He can save and protect me,
It is a bit more of a stretch to have faith that He will save and protect those
who he has made mine from the fallout of my humiliation.

As I recently wrote a close brother in The Lord:

"_______, my own children are still damaged by the rejection I have
experienced, and we as a family have experienced, from the church back in
Connecticut. As you know, when the church meets in your home the transparency
and vulnerability are greatly increased, When people who were like older
brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, even second parents walked away,
because of pressure coming from the institutionalized leaders and saints around
us, they just could not understand, and are gun shy to this day. I do take some
comfort, however, in knowing that no one is going to sell them any snake oil in
the name of The Lord.

But, it was not just my flesh and blood children, it was my spiritual children
as well. At this point, just about all of them have come back in the Spirit,
but in between then and now, there were many years of alienation and
estrangement. In a recent exchange with a local "pastor", I was looking down
the same gun barrel once again. It breaks my heart to see my children hurt so.
For this reason, I make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the
bond of peace,.. and as for my part, to be at peace with all men."

I recently shared with another brother: "Gene Edwards makes the point, that
without a Gethsemane, there is no resurrection, only the bitter fruit of
crucifixion. Before or after, sooner or later, we must agree with God about our
own crucifixion. There is just no other way to be perfected in Christ except by
the wounds we receive in the house of our friends.

Perhaps that is enough to give you some sense of what I am feeling at this
point. The problem is, that the religious often, perhaps mostly see passion and
intimacy as illegal. That's what happened to Jesus. they reckoned Him among the
transgressors."

Once again, please let me say, that without the circumcision of the cross,
(Colossians 2) no real intimacy is possible. The old man is just not fit to go
to the place that Jesus prayed and died to bring us... even in "this present
age..."

Finally, In Mattthew 24 we are told, "Because iniquity abounds the love of most
will grow cold..." The only kind of love that does not grow cold is the love
that has known the cross. This is how we know that kind of love: Jesus Christ
laid down his life for us..."Under what circumstances? While we were his
enemies. Love that is good only for friends, grows cold when iniquity abounds,
but love that is good for enemies will never go away. Jesus invites us into the
passion of His love. Most of us are still trying to get by on the pre-cross
variety. That's just not going to cut it. The fellowship of His sufferings is
participation in His passion.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 18:49:00 -0600
From: Phillip Cohen
Subject: [NTCP] Godly homes of the Martyrs

Hi,

I've got a good article called Godly homes of the Martyrs. It's on Microsoft
Word. I'll send it to anyone who wants it.

Phillip & Mary Cohen harborlights

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: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 23:40:55 -0600
From: "J. Guy Muse"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US

John White wrote:

>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.

John and everyone else,

"Rabbit Plague" sounds good on paper and often think I would love to see this
happen here in Guayaquil, but the reality of such taking place seems to bring
on a whole new set of problems that we have had to contend with.

One of the issues we are struggling as a church planter team is dealing with
the issue of balance between planting many new churches and then being able to
give these house churches the necessary attention so that they don't die out
within a short time. As more and more church plants occur, it becomes
proportionately difficult to nurture them in an appropriate way. How does one
maintain appropriate and balanced contact with all these new house churches?

Last night, for example, I visited a house church that had not been visited for
several months. The servant-leaders were discouraged, had had some
difficulties, and thought I had lost interest in them and had simply abandoned
them. I tried to explain that we were relating also to other house churches
and were especially giving our attention to the newer church starts. But that
wasn't any comfort to them. Whether we like it or not, house churches we help
start look to us for nurturing and encouragement.

Anybody else struggle with these kinds of issues?

Guy Muse

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * J. Guy & Linda Muse
IMB-SBC Missionaries Casilla 09-01-3236 Guayaquil, ECUADOR

"God's plan in these last days is revival in His worldwide church and through
the revived church the reaping of a final great harvest of souls." --N. Grubb

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ~ ~ ~ ntcp info page:
http://world-missions.org/planting ~ ~ ~

Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 10:26:16 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Confronting the Evidence

Jay Ferris wrote:

>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..."

I had intended to bring you my "favorite verse," one at a time, for each of my
three challenges to an *absolute* position on:

1) house churches only 2) free-form meetings only 3) multiple elders only I
didn't expect your commentary so soon. But since you have entered the debate
with Dave, Link, and now Mike Sangrey, against my take on the possible
scriptural allowance for MONOEPISCAPACY, let's go ahead and start there.

Point well taken, Jay. Ignatius' letters are not inspired Scripture; I said as
much to Dave and Link. But what I am trying to draw your attention to is the
matter-of-fact way he and Justin spoke about individual "bishop(s)/president(s)
of the brethren" at such an early period. Please remember, Ignatius said it
"*in time* to make it into the Book," it just wasn't included because his works
were not universally considered inspired-- although they were afforded a
relative place of honor due to their proximity in time to the God-breathed
writings of the Apostles. Ignatius was a contemporary believer with the
Apostle John. At least. Possibly some of the other Eleven. Likewise, Justin
was converted in Ephesus some twenty years after John was an elder in that
city. Quite early on.

My argument citing these two men of God does not depend on their right-ness or
wrong-ness in every instance. Ignatius was wrong when he claimed that "laymen"
couldn't celebrate communion (or baptise) without "THE bishop" present (TO THE
SMYRNAEANS viii). However, I'm simply using Ignatius and Justin as credible
witnesses to Asian (Minor) church polity in its infant stages. And as a
possible window into how the Church there interpreted Paul's writings. Why did
no one call them down if they were doing something *against* the biblical
revelation? They were both universally accepted by the historic Church.
Neither considered heretical. That must be accounted for somehow.

Any theories as to why they were embraced by *all* sections of the Church if
Ignatius and Justin were errant in their presentations of single-bishop
fellowships? I ask this with intent: how do you explain that Jay? My theory
why the Asia Minor churches which Ignatius specifically mentions (Ephesus,
Smyrna, Philadelphia, Magnesia, Tralles)-- one of which we know Justin was
affiliated-- all were spoken of as having "THE bishop" (TON EPISKOPON), is that
Ignatius is quoting the very words of Paul (TON EPISKOPON) in 1 Tim. 3:2 and
Tit. 1:7. But I'm open to other suggestions.

Michael
Jerusalem

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Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 06:43:52 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Confronting the Evidence

Dear Michael.

If this is where you would like to draw the line in the sand, than I guess I'll
have to respond, but I'm still not hopeful and so, without some sign from
heaven, I am not inclined to prolong the discussion beyond this response. If
others want to wade in, well and good, but I don't see it doing anything but
spoiling those who listen.

Since coming to The Lord, I have had to let go of a lot, even things that I was
lead to believe were part of the Christian package, so to speak. The one thing
that I have not been able to let go of yet is the special quality of God's
Word, the Bible. I am speaking of the Bible as it is known and embraced
throughout Protestantism. What can I say further about this, except perhaps,
you have to draw the line somewhere, and I am satisfied that that is where The
Lord drew the line for me. Being convinced of that I try to persuade others
also.

The Bible is special in its completeness, and it's incompleteness. It is
special in what it includes and what it excludes. It is special in it's
requirement that the Spirit of God watches over the understanding of it. I
could go on, but perhaps that's enough to let you know how I feel about it.
Along with The Holy Spirit, and "the things created", it is my best source of
insight into the one who loves me and gave Himself up for me. I believe it is
completely accurate in its original expression. I'm not sure that we have the
original expression. I know that my old man does not have the original mind,
but I do rest in the knowledge that, together with others, I have the mind of
Christ. I don't think we have a perfectly accurate translation, but the ones
that we do have are, with the help of The Holy Spirit, "close enough for
government work".

I have a Bible, but that doesn't make me right. There are quite a few that are
mentioned by name in the "New Testament" (I put it in quotes in deference to my
friend Bill, who insists, and, I think rightly so, that the new testament is of
the Spirit, not the written word.) who walked with the apostles, but who were
wrong in their practice. There were others who were also wrong in their
practice, but who were not singled out by name, the "savage wolves among the
eldership in Ephesus, for instance. Down stream of some of these lay the Dark
Ages.

There were also meetings that "did more harm than good". If we can take that at
face value, we may even assume that a proliferation of rabbits will not
necessarily make things better. It could even further immunize the lost against
the truth. Once you give people a good dose of the artificial stuff, it can be
very difficult for them to catch the real thing. As I read it, and have lived
it out, one symptom of meetings that do more harm than good is lack of
compassion. Perhaps you have been in some meetings like that. There especially
grievous when they include "The Lord's Supper".

Now let me see if I've covered it yet...

Deborah wrote:

>Jay Ferris wrote:
>
>>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..."
>>
>
>I had intended to bring you my "favorite verse," one at a time, for each of my
>three challenges to an *absolute* position on: 1) house churches only 2)
>free-form meetings only 3) multiple elders only I didn't expect your
>commentary so soon. But since you have entered the debate with Dave, Link,
>and now Mike Sangrey, against my take on the possible scriptural allowance for
>MONOEPISCAPACY, let's go ahead and start there.
>Point well taken, Jay. Ignatius' letters are not inspired Scripture;
>I said as much to Dave and Link. But what I am trying to draw your attention
>to is the matter-of-fact way he and Justin spoke about individual
>"bishop(s)/president(s) of the brethren" at such an early period.

I don't know what you have experienced in The Name of the Lord as "Church", but
I have been in many meetings when there was "matter of fact" error being
discussed and embraced right in a meeting where the real thing was going on. I
have also watched younger ones leave an otherwise Spiritual meeting with a good
dose of that error. So your argument from timing and proximity doesn't wash
very well in light of my own experience.

>Please remember, Ignatius said it "*in time* to make it into the Book," it
>just wasn't included...

I guess this one deserves special attention. I think you may be splitting
hairs here concerning my use of "in time". The fact is Ignatius, and his
perceptions were not included as such, and so do not cut any ice, against the
weight of evidence which did make it into the Book.

>because his works were not universally considered inspired--
>although they were afforded a relative place of honor due to their proximity
>in time to the God-breathed writings of the Apostles. Ignatius was a
>contemporary believer with the Apostle John. At least. Possibly some of the
>other Eleven. Likewise, Justin was converted in Ephesus some twenty years
>after John was an elder in that city. Quite early on.

If you are working with another implied Bible, that is another matter, and I'm
not qualified to comment on it, and frankly probably not going to find the time
to read it, even if it were codified for me. There are a lot of "bibles" out
there, and frankly, I'm pretty happy with the one I have. It is quite
sufficient to put my old man to death, so anything else would only be overkill.

>My argument citing these two men of God does not depend on their
>right-ness or wrong-ness in every instance. Ignatius was wrong when he
>claimed that "laymen" couldn't celebrate communion (or baptise) without "THE
>bishop" present (TO THE SMYRNAEANS viii).

Perhaps his "wrong-ness" was born out of the same perception which embraced
lone bishops. Speaking of which, Using The Lord's Supper as an occasion to
reestablish an intermmediary priesthood is no small error. It is a major
violation of the transaction of the cross of Christ!... HELLO??

>However, I'm simply using Ignatius and Justin as credible witnesses to Asian
>(Minor) church polity in its infant stages. And as a possible window into how
>the Church there interpreted Paul's writings. Why did no one call them down
>if they were doing something *against* the biblical revelation? They were
>both universally accepted by the historic Church. Neither considered
>heretical. That must be accounted for somehow.

Seems to me they, and those like them were anticipated, and "called down" ahead
of time, by Jesus, Paul and others. Where do you draw the line in canonizing
the calling down? Seems to me we have more than enough in the canon of
Scripture, to last until Jesus returns.

>Any theories as to why they were embraced by *all* sections of the Church if
>Ignatius and Justin were errant in their presentations of single-bishop
>fellowships?

Beats me! But then I have more immediate problems with what so many Christians
are embracing as reality in the Name of The Lord. All I know is, "The harvest
is past, the summer is ended and we ar not saved." Saved in the sense that we
are easily distinguishable from the world.

>I ask this with intent: how do you explain that Jay?
>
Well, that's how I explain it.

>My theory why the Asia Minor churches which Ignatius specifically mentions
>(Ephesus, Smyrna, Philadelphia, Magnesia, Tralles)-- one of which we know
>Justin was affiliated-- all were spoken of as having "THE bishop" (TON
>EPISKOPON), is that Ignatius is quoting the very words of Paul (TON EPISKOPON)
>in 1 Tim. 3:2 and Tit. 1:7. But I'm open to other suggestions.

Frankly Michael, I'm not so hung up on plurality of eldership as I am on its
authenticity. I would rather have one authentic elder, than a whole rabbit
hutch full of bogus ones. But Two or more does help in confirming the
authenticity of their authoritative witness, if only they were the real thing.
In any case, using bishop in the singular for the purpose of discussing
qualifitations, doesn't imply one man oversight.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 06:58:28 EST
From: Steffasong
Subject: [NTCP] 5 new house churches in the your locale vs 1 million in US

Guy, I'm so glad you brought up this issue. In fact, it's the issue that is
nearest to my own heart/calling.

To my mind and understanding of what the Bible says and shows us about planting
churches, it seems that intrinsic to the idea of planting is the
'establishing,' and establishing cannot take place without nurturing.

In the same way that mass evangelism takes place and people initially say 'yes'
to the Lord, does this mean they are saved? Does this mean they have heard the
full Gospel? How often we have heard of the huge tent meetings and big
auditorium preaching festivals, but do the people that come forward walk with
the Lord after they say 'yes,' or was it just an emotional experience? To know
the Lord, they need to be discipled, which translates into 'nurtured.' ---
Nurtured in the Word, nurtured in relationship, ....nurtured as a whole person.

So it is with new church plants. If we don't incorporate that nurture (I
believe) that we are actually doing a disservice, for people with have a
'conversion experience' without the reality of a Living Lord and ongoing faith.

Certainly I do not have the full solution to this, and I am not out 'there' in
the trenches as some of you are. However, ....perhaps I will offer a few
points to your comment: you wrote:
>>
Whether we like it or not, house churches we help start look to us for
nurturing and encouragement.
>>

This is because they need it. Christians are 'meant' to walk shoulder to
shoulder, in an ongoing 'sharing' type of life. As we all know this takes many
different forms and expression, but one that it does not take is isolation.

Paul had the solution when he told us that he planted and Apollos watered.
Perhaps the solution is to go out with teams of planters AND waterers, or
coordinate the effort back to back.

Perhaps the answer involves rethinking our cping philosophy. Instead of
determining to baptize an area with 10,000 new cps, we might do well to plant 3 or 4 in a year --- or only as many as our hearts and energy would allow us to nurture.

Please don't see this as harsh, but I look at the rabbit plague thing as akin
to bringing a child into the world and then leaving it on the street. We may
love kids and be able to bear 50 in a lifetime, but each one needs attention,
input and nurture. And if we brought 'em into the world it's our job to follow
through, --- not the day care center.

I must leave room in my limited understanding for the various calls and focus
that the Lord gives each of us. In the same way that I cannot fathom this
rabbit plague, many of you may not be able to fathom what I am saying.

In the Lamb,
Stephanie Bennett


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Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 07:51:14 EST
From: DenverWH
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 1 million house churches in the US

Guy,

I've been praying the prayer that Jesus encouraged us to pray in Lk. 10:2 for
three months almost every day for Denver (...therefore beseech the Lord of the
Harvest to send forth laborers). I believe that laborers in this context are
apostolic church planters. In that time, 9 people have shown up who fit the
description. It's been the most amazing thing! I have a longer email in mind
for the group for later on this topic but you might begin to "beseech" for this in a focused way if you are not already. See what happens.

John White
House Church Coach
Denver, CO.


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Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 08:00:12 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 5 new house churches in the your locale - response to Stephanie and JMuse

Good thread here.

I have found that as we have been seeking the Lord about the multiplication of
house churches, that the timing of it all is in the Lord's hands, but the
criteria has always been the same, that those who are planting are mature in
the Lord, and are equipped and released and then nurtured along the way with
supportive fellowship and at times crisis intervention.

I have been cautioned by the NT Scripture in Paul says to 'not be too hasty to
appoint elders' and on the other hand, if you look at eldership as a whole in
the NT, they are the basic servant leader who does 'crisis intervention' when
needed, emphasis on 'when needed.' This by no means gives elders the right to
control house church life and structure for they are simply functioning in a
different role 'when needed'.

My own 'when needed' approach was put to the test on the weekend. We had just
released a new house church across the city, and after 3 weeks, there was
already a crisis where a brother would not recognize this eldership couple as
facilitator/leaders. He has constantly challenge in unhealthy ways and means
their facilitating of the gathering. This couple as well as one other elder
asked my wife and I to come to the local Tim Hortons (like Starbucks) and pray
and share what went on. We discussed and prayed for an hour and a half. They
were really encouraged at our listening to them and in our praying for them,
knowing full well that the Lord will deal with the issue His way, but that
those who are facilitating/serving the gatherings, these people need nurture
and encouragement when they feel that the house church is being controlled or
undermined by others who do not have the interests of the house church body as
they do.

We have even within the ABC's set asside at six week intervals times of
refreshing prayer and fellowship. As the 'pastoral' (whatever you want to make
of that expression!) team, my wife and I gather with the three servant leader
teams and we share and fellowship, usually over a meal, and we just hang out to
hear what is going on their lives and ministry, and then we have a time of
prayer for them, and we seek the Lord to minister through both His written word
and the prophetic word as well. They are usually very refreshed by this time!

We also arrange to meet with house church leaders on regular basis in our home
or their home and share what is going on and have a time of support and
encouragement and prayer.

All this takes time, but it is needed. Reproducing Christ is the Lord's work,
but the challenges face by all of us, these need to be expressed in a context
of nurture and love and affirmation. These three are so important, but the
nurture, love and affirmation are the work of the Spirit THROUGH us. We need
to make ourselves available to people. And that is what we seek to do.

Our vision is exponential growth. If we have three healthy and well nurtured
house churches then they in turn, we pray, will reproduce in like fashion. This
is why INTIMACY with the Lord and one another is so critical in the house
church setting. This whole thing is about RELATIONSHIP with God and one
another. It is not about doing the work of the Lord, so much as the Lord doing
His work in us first, and then the overflow is simply getting in sync with what
the Spirit desires to express through us as we reach out to others.

We cannot afford to get caught up in numbers. We must be consumed passionately
with Christ Jesus and His life beating in us and breathing in us, or else this
is all in vain!

Blessings, Sam


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Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 08:22:49 EST
From: DenverWH
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 5 new house churches in the your locale vs 1 million in US

Stephanie,

You said, "Please don't see this as harsh, but I look at the rabbit plague
thing as akin to bringing a child into the world and then leaving it on the
street. We may love kids and be able to bear 50 in a lifetime, but each one
needs attention, input and nurture. And if we brought 'em into the world it's
our job to follow through, --- not the day care center."

Thanks for bringing up the issue of quality vs quantity! If I had to choose
between the two, I would join you and go for the quality. The children need to
be nurtured. How would God be pleased with 50 fatherless orphans wandering
around?

However, I'm convinced that this is not an either/or situation. Rather, it is
a both/and. The key to both quantity and quality is an understanding of the
apostolic church planter. This person, if functioning Biblically, is not a
"baby machine" (or "church machine") but a true father. "...in Christ Jesus I
became your father through the Gospel." (1 Cor. 4:15, also 1 Thes. 2:7-12)

As we "beseech the Lord of the Harvest to send forth laborers" we are really
asking for apostolic fathers (and mothers). The key to the "rapid
multiplication of organic NT churches" is the "rapid multiplication of
apostolic fathers and mothers". Is there any reason to think that the Lord of
the Harvest wouldn't do that if we asked Him?

Just to play with numbers for a minute, I'm thinking of 10,000 apostles
planting and nurturing 100 churches each over this decade rather than 100
apostles planting 10,000 each over the decade. If you think 100 churches is
still too many to "father" properly, then pray for a few more apostles.

John


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Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 08:55:31 -0500
From: "Dan Beaty"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 5 new house churches in the your locale - response to Stephanie and JMuse

Stephanie and others,

May I say that I would be thrilled to see people being saved everywhere in huge numbers, but I can also indentify with what Steph has said:

>

The difficulty we have had is more with the "children" than the "parents." Many
new converts are so accustomed to the way of mass individualized evangelism,
that they adopt kind of a "do it yourself" discipleship program. Many avail
themselves of the great variety of churches and programs, radio and TV
ministries, books and tapes, but do not see their need to be among brothers and
sisters to "mother" them.

Their "mother" becomes their personal preferences, which may or may not be the
best for them. This has been very painful for us as several times we have,
especially my wife and I, given ourselves to new believers, only to have them
break fellowship with all of us to be where others are not aware of their
problems and needs. Or worse yet, return to their old life styles.

It may take another generation for more people to recognized relational NT
church as the norm. Until then, we have His life and energy, as always to
motivate us, rather than our "spectacular" results!

Dan Beaty Columbus, Ohio USA

http://www.livingtruth.com

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Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 15:23:06
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 5 new house churches in the your locale - response to Stephanie and JMuse

Sam said:

This whole thing is about RELATIONSHIP with God and one
>another. It is not about doing the work of the Lord, so much as the Lord doing
>His work in us first, and then the overflow is simply getting in sync with
>what the Spirit desires to express through us as we reach out to others.
>
>We cannot afford to get caught up in numbers. We must be consumed
>passionately with Christ Jesus and His life beating in us and breathing in us,
>or else this is all in vain!
>

I think this is it in a nutshell Sam. If there is going to be massive growth
and expansion it will be something that God does. We wont be able to dictate
it, and I dont think we can force the issue through our efforts. especially if
its at the expense quality relationship.

David Jaggernauth

New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V2 #27

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