New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Monday, April 15 2002 Vol 02 : 071
[NTCP] Weekly Prayer Needs
Re: [NTCP] What are the important criteria in transitioning institutional church to house church?

Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 08:41:57 -0400
From: Richard Wright
Subject: [NTCP] Weekly Prayer Needs

Hello all,

Please keep these needs before the Lord on a daily basis. As someone once
observed, "Things happen when we pray, that don't happen when we don't pray".

When the Lord answers your need, please be sure to let us know so that we can
all rejoice together!

Pray for:

Group Prayer List 19/03/02: I am working one on one this week in a bad area of
town just 20 minutes or so from where I am staying in Denver. It is known for
prostitution,drug dealers,and other dangerous characters. Specifically I am
going to be prayer walking the motels on Colfax. I think a lot of them are
looking for something to find relief from their problems and many of them have
turned to church but the system chases them off instead of loving them. Keep me
in prayer as I do this. If God wills allow him to open doors. Pray that God
sends a strong partner in the faith to help encourage me. In what the Lord is
leading me to do. My health hasn't been the best the last few weeks and I could
use some prayer on that as well. a son in the faith,

David

- ----

25/03/02: (Please read the whole post on this, to get the full picture of the
need Dick) I ask you to pray for my heart that it would not become hardened.
I am weary and don't have a desire to fighting to get him help when he keeps
rejecting my efforts to help. I would love for Tom to be healed. I struggle
with questions of why we ask for healing but don't get what we are believing
for. God's timing is not easy to understand. I feel the Lord telling me not to
give in to Tom's threats or manipulation, but to really wait on the Lord and
let him have his way with Tom. Please pray for: Josiah 17 years old and not
walking with the Lord rightly and not desiring to see Dad, hasn't been up to
see Dad. Jacob 16 (walking with the Lord and open to seeing Dad.) Saw Dad March
23rd Hannah 14 years old (walking with the Lord but not willing to see Dad. I
made her go see him March 9th.) Gabe 12 years old. (walking with the Lord and
willing to see Dad) Saw dad March 9th and March 23rd. Mike 21years old not
walking with the Lord Jesus and not very involved with us. Haven't seen him for
several months Tom (my beloved husband of 18 years) walking in sorrow in need
of prayers of the saints of the most high. Debb (Tom's wife of 18 years)
walking with the Lord Jesus (and being carried by the arms of my heavenly
Father) Please pray that God will give me wisdom, discernment, grace, and that
His hand would be upon me, that he will keep me from evil, and that I would not
harm anyone. Ysi Christ,

Debbie~ - 25/03/02: From a victim of abuse Please pray for strength and
endurance. Pray for energy and the Holy Spirit's guidance and healing. Pray
that if God will's that this would all go away. Many say I must continue to
rest and God will give me new energy. But God is telling me to give my life
away every day and I will have a new one someday. I long for that. I wish I
could love better. I wish I had more to give. Thanks for the prayers and
encouragement.

A son in the faith, David

- Please help! My mother is old and not well. Her husband is older and had
to be put in a "home" for a couple of weeks. He has dementia and now wants to
come home and my mother cannot take care of him but will literally kill herself
trying. He gets up all through the night and takes things apart and takes money
out of her purse. They are broke. I am a single mother of two and have devoted
my life to the children I prayed for. We could move with her but she is not a
pleasant person to live with and I don't think I could live with her daily
criticism...she means well and loves her husband and I just don't know what to
do.

I am eagerly awaiting some reply. Any reply.

Darlene J. Dowling

- ----

3/30/02: pray for our landfill school project, which will rescue 2000 children
from surviving off a landfill..

Vanessa

- ----

4/01/02: I am looking for someone in Tulsa, OK to minister to a wife and
daughter. They are unchurched, have no friends, little finances, and the
husband walked out on them this weekend for another woman.

Mike S

- ----

4/05/02: We are danger. It's a good time to pray for our land, and to
continually pray for the peace, health and safety of Israel and Jerusalem. We
know that bitter days are marked out by God for that city, but let us not be
found standing on the wrong side of this battle. Better to die a horrible death
on the Lord's side, than to become rich as a traitor.

In Jesus, Jim

- ----

4/12/02: PLEASE PRAY FOR: 1) Lasting peace in this land. 2) The future of
Jerusalem University College and the Millier family's related plans for
ministry here in Israel ... or possibly the Philippines. To Israel. My
nine-year-old daughter (Dawn) and I have tickets to fly out Apr. 26th to Manila
to meet with the elders of a central Filipino congregation who are interested
in our plans to train Christian Filipino in-house care-givers (to the elderly
and infirm in Israel) in modern and biblical Hebrew, and Jewish evangelism
skills. Pray that only God's will would be confirmed. 3) Serena (Jewish lady
involved with a New Age cult) to come to faith in her Messiah. Serena is so
close to saving faith in Yeshua (Jesus), but she hasn't quite put it all
together to take that step. 4) Shlomo (orthodox Jewish man I speak with weekly
at the "peace talks") to come to faith in Yeshua. 5) Pray also for Miriam
(orthodox Jewish woman) as she does her own investigation in the book of
Daniel. Remember Rob (orthodox Jewish man) as he has expressed interest in the
gospel. In fact, from a recent conversation we had, I suspect he may be a
closet believer. He has all but come out and openly confessed faith in Jesus to
me, ... though I have prodded. Either way, pray for him. Also don't forget to
mention Amy (Mainland Chinese Buddhist) in your prayers. She is working as an
in-house care-provider in Jerusalem. She too is a seeker. 6) God's anointing on
various teaching opportunies including my Shabbat School class at NETIVYAH (our
Jerusalem congregation) in which I instruct Jewish and gentile children in
Matthew's Gospel. Also, I teach periodically, on a semi-scholarly level, at the
Narkis St. Congregation's "Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research" Bible study.
Likewise I am exploring the possibility of teaching at a local Bible Institute
(affiliated with a house church) which trains struggling Jewish, Arab, and
foreign (African, Filipino) pastors in biblical/theological topics-- for next
to nothing. Thanks, Michael
Jerusalem

- ----

4/14/02: This is a neat story, and I encourage you to read it on:
alt.religion.christian.home-church

She is a new convert with quite a background.

Her name's Melissa, and she needs a lot of strength... old ways are hard to
change. Right now she's full of zeal, but soon she'll come down off cloud 9 and
be stuck with the mundane stuff: 5 kids, no husband, no education, and no work
experience (she's been a prostitute since she dropped out of high school 10
years ago). Terry

- ----

4/13/02: Please pray for us, a coup d'etat has just taken place here, and
oligarchs are trying to pass it off as 'civic action' while keeeping our
president isolated and not allowing him to speak... this is the first president
ever in this country who cares for the people. Please talk to your reps, since
this coup is strongly supported by the US, since Venezuela is the US's only
safe provider of oil outside the middle east... love, Vanessa

Thanks for your faithful support.

Dick
Phil. 3:12-14

<><><> --- <><><>


Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 10:58:02 -0400
From: forwarded
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are the important criteria in transitioning institutional church to house church?

From: "Link H" To:

Any kind of church that meets in a house can be called a 'house church.'

Frank V. calls the 'house church movement' a return to Biblical primitivism.
It is certainly about more than meeting in homes.

Here are some criteria that I would use to characterize primitivistic house
churching, though not every individual church meets these criteria.

1. Meeting in houses, rather than in special purpose buildings. (a no brainer)
2. Mutual ministry, including ministry of the word.

Believers may take turns bringing lessons to teach. Some meetings have a
discussion after, or during the presentation of a teaching. Other meetings may
have all believers discuss a scripture passage.

Believers may take turns prophesying, sharing experiences, etc. Sometimes I
Corinthians 14:26 is seen as a key verse for understanding how a meeting should
operate.

3. Eating the Lord's supper as a full meal.

Not every house church does this, but many do. In the house church movement,
many want to return to a more primitive practice of the Lord's Supper, eating
together to remember the Lord in a real 'supper' atmosphere.

4. Emphasis on the importance of fellowship: 'koinonia.'

Many house church people believe that they are really supposed to know those
they meet with, and really fellowship with them on an intimate level.
Relationships are very important in many house churches. A lot of house church
people believe in that a house church should be a community, and that believers
should treat one another like family members.

5. Rule by elders or consensus, or a combination of both.

Some house churches believe in rule by consensus if there are no elders. They
believe that it takes the Lord a while to raise up elders in their midst. Some
believe in a plurality of in-house elders rather than hire pastors. Paul,
Barnabas, and Titus did appoint elders _from within_ churches, rather than
hiring a religious professional from the outside.

The Bible shows us that the apostles appointed 'elders' or 'overseers' in the
churches, and commanded elders to pastor the flock of God. We never see the
apostles giving a church over into the care of one 'pastor.'

Some house church people believe that elders should make decisions in
conjunction with the rest of the body, with everyone operating in agreement.
The idea is to seek the will of God in decision-making, until all are at peace
with a decision. Some house church movements in the past were into
'shepherding.' Many house churches now emphasize Biblical truths about leaders
not lording over the body.

Some house churches are egalitarian. Some think that some NT churches had
elders, and others didn't. Others think that having appointed elders is not
God's best, and that it is better to be a church where everyone flows together
without titles. Ironically, some house churches that believe this really
emphasize the importance of the leadership of one apostle who started their
church.

6. (optional) Belief in apostles

_SOME_ house church people believe in apostles. They think of apostles as men
sent to minister. Some think that an apostles role is to start new churches.
Not all house church people believe this.

There are Charismatic house churches, not Charismatic house churches, and
blends between the two. There are Sabbath-day house churches, Messianic house
churches, Home-school-home-business-home-everything-house churches, and various
other types of house churches. There is a lot of variety in the movement. These
are some common distinguishing characteristics.

Link Hudson


End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V2 #71 < Previous Digest Next Digest >



house church eldership servanthood lord's day lord's supper world missions