New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches




NT Church Proliferation Digest Thursday, July 11 2002 Volume 02 : Number 116
Re: [NTCP] Lighthouse Movement - huge religious organization! Yikes!
Re: [NTCP] Lighthouse Movement - Response
Re: [NTCP] More on Brainerd
Re: [NTCP] The magical mystical tour continues week after week on ntcp.
[NTCP] FridayFax is moving to a new eGroup home
Re: [NTCP] House Church Leader Warns Bible Smugglers: 'Jesus Is Not a Book'
Re: [NTCP] The magical mystical tour continues week after week on ntcp.
[NTCP] RE: Why do people leave Church
[NTCP] Every man a theologian.

Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 09:34:53 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Lighthouse Movement - huge religious organization! Yikes!

Hi List:
What I know of the Lighthouse Movement - Taken from
http://www.lighthousemovement/churchinfo.asp

Church Information

Becoming a Lighthouse Church

Your church can help reach every American with prayer and the Good News of
Jesus Christ - beginning in your neighborhood and community!

Through the establishment of at least 30,000 Lighthouse Churches and 3-6
million individual Lighthouses, The Lighthouse Movement is reaching into
urban and suburban areas and rural communities. Christians are ministering
to specific heritage groups, reaching disenfranchised populations that need
to hear the Word of God in a language
and culturally sensitive presentation they can understand. Many are learning
for the first time how they can have a personal relationship with Jesus
Christ.

Is God calling your Church to take responsibility for reaching people in
your neighborhood? The involvement of you and your church is crucial.

Local pastors and churches are key to helping equip and sustain individual
Lighthouses. And, as God blesses the ministry of each Lighthouse, a strong
connection with a local church is essential for the follow-up and
discipleship of new converts.

A Lighthouse Church commits to prayerfully doing the following:
1. Pastoral and church leadership models Lighthouse participation by
becoming Lighthouses

2. A key Lighthouse Coordinator and leadership within the church is
established.

3. A Lighthouse Commitment Sunday is held.

4. At least 10% of the congregation is involved as Lighthouses.

5. Encourage other churches to become involved.

There are many benefits to being a Lighthouse Church.

Lighthouse Church pastors tell us the following about their involvement in
The Lighthouse Movement:

1. Helps grow the church by bringing in unchurched that the congregation's
Lighthouses have contact with.

2. Mobilizes your congregation for ministry (inside and for outreach).

3. It's simple - Prayer, Care and Share strategy doesn't really take much
extra support material.

4. It's central to the mission of the church.

5. Lighthouses extend the reach of the church into the community.

6. Provides a non-threatening way for the congregation to be involved in
prayer and evangelism.
Mobilizing Your Church

Register

As a pastor, lead the way by registering your own home as a Lighthouse.
Then, encourage your church leadership team to also become Lighthouses. As
you prayerfully commit to being a Lighthouse Church, call 888-323-1210 to
register that commitment.

Recruit

Prayer is foundational to the success of this effort. Make sure your church
leadership is consistently supporting this endeavor in prayer seeking God's
wisdom and power.
Highlight the activities of Lighthouses in prayer from the pulpit. Recruit
intercessory prayer from your congregation.

Establish a point person in your congregation - a Lighthouse Coordinator -
who will help develop individual church goals and objectives.

As your recruitment efforts begin, encourage potential Lighthouses to
examine their own hearts. Encourage them to make sure the Light of Christ is
shining brightly in their own life by confessing any sin and asking God to
search their heart and cleanse them. Then, their Lighthouse can clearly
reflect Christ's Light to those around them.

What a wonderful opportunity to remind your congregation of the simple truth
of God's love and the sacrifice of His Son for all of us - including our
family, neighbors, co-workers and classmates.

Many churches have found a Lighthouse Commitment Sunday is helpful in
building momentum and enthusiasm-similar in design to a Rally Day or Sunday
School Kick-Off. Use the church bulletin, newsletter or mailings and mention
it from the pulpit. Set up attractive displays in the church entryway or in
a classroom. Clever skits, songs and testimonies, followed by a message on
the importance of sharing the Gospel
contribute to an effective launch of this strategy in your congregation.
And, if your church is able - who can resist a potluck lunch or dinner
afterward?

Remember that you're asking your congregation to commit, not to a program,
but a life-style of prayer and witnessing. This is not just a "once and
done" program, but a time to reaffirm their involvement in obeying Christ's
command to "Go and preach the good news to everyone in the world" (Mark
16:15 CEV)

Keep in mind that you'll want to provide them with a formal invitation to
sign-up by filling out a commitment card, coming forward in the service or
through a special commissioning time. Name, address, telephone number and
email address are important pieces of information to capture from each
Lighthouse. This gives you the information you'll need to keep in contact
with the Lighthouses and track which neighborhoods are covered by prayer.

Resource

Once a commitment has been made, a follow-up phone call, mailing or meeting
for Lighthouses will help reaffirm their commitment. Encourage each
Lighthouse to connect with another Lighthouse in their neighborhood, if
possible, and through the Church. Lighthouses that
have no support from others may flounder and lack effectiveness. As you
collect the names of Lighthouses, consider registering them with The
Lighthouse Movement so they can receive helpful communication through
broadcast emails and other means.

A list of resources and key Lighthouse contacts is also available on this
web site. The Resource page will give you information on books, videos,
Internet resources and other materials to help you establish and sustain
congregational enthusiasm.

Once you've launched The Lighthouse Movement in your church, you'll want to
keep the momentum going by occasional mentions from the pulpit, holding
meetings and celebrations and highlighting testimonies. Some churches have
found a confidential listing of those being prayed for is a helpful reminder
for Church Lighthouses.

Reach

As your congregation moves through the prayer, care and share strategy,
you'll want to give Lighthouses the opportunity to invite those they're
praying for to "non-threatening" events such as a men's or women's
breakfast, carnival, movie or retreat. These can be valuable
"harvest" opportunities. Also, making available evangelism training and
materials, the JESUS Video, Gospel portions or tracts is helpful for
Lighthouses.
Christ Church in Apple Valley, MN assists its members by holding "Light the
Fire Meetings" for Lighthouses that need additional encouragement and
guidance. When invited, a Lighthouse Team visits the individual Lighthouse
home for a special time of prayer and encouragement.

Rejoice

As the Lord blesses your Lighthouse outreach, provide your congregation with
occasions for celebration. Giving them the chance to share their testimonies
not only encourages them to continue, but also boosts Lighthouses who might
be having a difficult time in getting to know
their neighbors or in sharing their faith. Testimonies can be shared from
the pulpit, in print or by video - whatever is most effective for your
congregation.

You'll also want to consider Bible studies or special classes to welcome new
converts into the faith and into your church. As a pastor, you know that
fellowship with other believers is important to the spiritual growth and
well being of new believers.

Radiate

Consider becoming a Key Lighthouse Church by enlisting the involvement of
other churches in your area.

A Key Lighthouse Church brings together churches in a specific community or
area to focus on a collaborative prayer and outreach effort. Special times
of evangelistic outreach blanketing the community, as well as evangelistic
training for congregations can be a part of the Key Lighthouse Church
strategy.
A Key Lighthouse Church:

1. Models a dynamic Lighthouse congregation.

2. Mobilizes two or three other churches to participate in their area.

3. Monitors the progress of the community effort to make sure all areas and
all
groups are reached with prayer and the Gospel.
If one church in each of the 28,500 five-digit Zip Codes in America
mobilizes two or three other churches in their area to become Lighthouse
Churches - this effort will effectively cover our entire nation with prayer
and the Gospel!

No one person, church, denomination or ministry can hope to reach our nation
alone. It's only when we work together, setting aside our differences that
our nation will truly be impacted by prayer and evangelism. Now is the time
to be involved in a unified effort
to reach our country - neighborhood by neighborhood.

Together we work toward fulfilling Jesus' prayer as recorded in John 17: 21
"that all of them may be one Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You.
May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me."

Working together offers a great witness to the power and love of our Lord!

Report

As you and your church become active Lighthouses, please share your stories
with The Lighthouse Movement. It's important that we encourage one another
by sharing successes, creative ideas and even struggles.

Please send your stories by email to: info * lighthousemovement.

Please be sure to include a daytime telephone number or email address in
case we need to contact you.

Thank you for all you're doing to advance the Gospel through the strategy of
The Lighthouse Movement - begin today to pray, care and share with those
around you!
=====================

NOW, aren't you just a little bit tired from reading all that?! Aren't you
just a wee bit scared off by all that is involved? I want NO part of it! It
is the old wineskin and I am not there and I not ever going back! But, I
thought I would inform the public - you guys - of what is going on! Man,
talk about 'organized religion'! Spooks me off!

Blessings,

Sam


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Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 09:46:05 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Lighthouse Movement - Response

Hi Jim:

Nice to hear from you.

You mention the ball is in our court. If in our court means becoming more
like "them" and more structured and more focussed on works
(evangelism/missions/outreach) rather than "life in Christ" and relationship
with the Body, I really hesitate moving any close to "them" or any other
house churches which are obsessed with works and do not have very much life!

I recently came back from a consultation in Vancouver BC, and had the
pleasure of spending some time with Mike Steele from DAWN. I was amazed at
how much of a kindred spirit this man was. He understood the Kingdom mindset
and the need for deep intimacy and relationship and the need for the works
to flow out of relationship rather than ahead of relationship.

I really hesitate hanging out with movements that are so evangelistic, they
have very little understanding of body life and nurture and care. I believe
we need BOTH, but too often the missiological emphasis is the only thing
that dominates! The Lord is not looking for workers, He is looking for
sons! It is about become family! Evangelism is simply the means of expanding
the family, but family and body life is primary, not secondary!

The Lighthouse Movement appears to be an overladden religious organization
with noble intentions, but it will not appeal to house church people. It is too
structured, too bent on NUMBERS, and too OBSESSED with evangelism. As one
man said, "There is more to LIFE than work, and LIVING is a lot of work!!"
We need as the church, to start LIVING and let the work flow out of the
LIVING!

I had friends who wanted to be a part of something like this, but now I will
NOT encourage them to walk into it. I will simply encourage them to be an HC
and be sensitive to the neighbourhoods and start multiplying as our own
intent is, an house church on every street in our twin cities.

Blessings,
Sam


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Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 09:56:19 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] More on Brainerd

There is a fine daily devotional with exerts from Brainerd. You can find it
at
http://www.amazon/exec/obidos/ASIN/1573581305/qid=1026309052/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/103-3400221-3125424#product-details

It is entitled: Journey with David Brainerd: Forty Days or Forty Nights with
David Brainerd by Richard A. Hasler

It is exceptional.

You can also read Jonathan Edwards on Brainerd.
The Life and Diary of David Brainerd by Jonathon Edwards
It is found at
http://www.amazon/exec/obidos/ASIN/1589600258/qid=1026308919/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-3400221-3125424

Brainerd is a hero to me, simply put, he was a misunderstood radical with a
zeal that even overwhelmed Edwards. Edwards' own daughter cared for
Brainerd as he lay dieing and loved him deeply. She died from the same
illness that afflicted Brainerd. This deeply impacted Edwards.

Sammy


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Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 10:07:52 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] The magical mystical tour continues week after week on ntcp.

The reason I have been so quiet on the list the last month or so...an
overemphasis on "theology". :-)

It quite frankly 'bores' the LIFE out of me. So, I remain silent, check
email, delete and wait for something interesting to come up.

Baptism, evangelism, Communion, etc.. Goodness, indeed, MAGICAL MYSTERY
TOUR. It is a wonder any life gets expressed or a connection in the Spirit
is made, when all that is discussed is well...theology, man's understanding
and categorizing of God and His thoughts. Why not just spend time with Him
and let Him explain Himself in both word and experience...but again, it may
be intead of MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, the MYSTICAL MYSTERY TOUR!! Ummh, which
will I choose? MYSTICAL...each and every time!

I have had my fill of theology and all the debates. Bible College, Cemetary
(oops, I mean Seminary!...University, College, 12 years of it...and what
for? Nope...give me dynamic relationship, and let whatever doctrine Jesus
wants to express and explain to me FLOW OUT OF the relationship as it
should. My kids get to know me by spending time with me, not time with
anything I write! So, I need to spend time with the Lord Jesus...and then He
will write His word on my heart.

Tongue in cheek!

Sammy


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Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 11:25:45 -0400
From: forwarded <forwarded * homechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] FridayFax is moving to a new eGroup home

House church friendly newsletter from New Zealand relocates on the
Internet.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Greetings,

FridayFax * Yahoo Groups dot com
now becomes e-FridayFax * Strategic Network dot org

For some time now we have been unhappy with the banner-ads that have
appeared with postings sent through Yahoo Groups. Their content has often
been quite inconsistent with the Christian theme of our newsletters.
Despite our repeated protestations to Yahoo's "customer care" section
nothing has been done about this.

So the decision has been made to move the FridayFax subscription list to
a new eGroup home. After looking at a number of options we settled on the
service offered by Strategic Network. Numbers of other mission-related
lists are also hosted there so I'm sure we will feel right at home.

In the next day or so you will receive a "welcome" message from the
Strategic Network server. This will confirm that your FridayFax
subscription has been moved to the e-FridayFax group at Strategic
Network.

Thanks for your continued support of FridayFax. If you have time, you
might check out the other facilities available at our new "cyber- home":
http://www.strategicnetwork.

By the way, subscription lists for the two other CMD eNewsletters (CMDNet
and What In The World) are also being moved to the Strategic Network
server. Hopefully everything will go smoothly.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Blessings,

Bob


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Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 14:24:51 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] House Church Leader Warns Bible Smugglers: 'Jesus Is Not a Book'

House Church Leader Warns Bible Smugglers: 'Jesus Is Not a Book'
http://www.strategicnetwork/index.asp?loc=kb&id=4931&mode=v&

by Fred Jackson & Jim Brown, Presbyterian Church in America, Apr 02, 2001.

What China needs is dedicated Christians to spread the gospel the way Christ
taught--one-on-one with individuals. The house church leader says, "Jesus
does not need James Bond. He needs servants!"
(AgapePress) - The leader of a Chinese house church says some American
groups may be doing more harm than good in their efforts to distribute
Bibles in his country.

The house church leader, whose name has been withheld, wrote the letter
after a Time magazine article told the story of American groups who smuggle
Bibles into China.

These Bibles, however, are not delivered discreetly to underground
Christians. Instead, these smugglers employ a method called "bombing," in
which they go out under cover of darkness and randomly leave copies of
Scripture.

The Chinese pastor says these smugglers then proclaim that they have placed
Jesus everywhere. In the words of the pastor, "Jesus is not a book."

He says what China needs is dedicated Christians to spread the gospel the
way Christ taught--one-on-one with individuals. The house church leader
says, "Jesus does not need James Bond. He needs servants!"

The Chinese pastor says he does not want to give the impression that he is
against Bible smuggling. In fact, he said in the 1980s Bible smuggling was a
valued tool among many house churches.

However, the pastor says this "bombing" method can lead to "heresy and
heartache." Many people that receive the Bible through this saturation
method, having never been told about Jesus, take the Scriptures out of
context.

In fact, last year the pastor visited a town that had been "tract bombed."
Two churches had formed as a result. Both practice free love, and one group
worships a Banyan tree alongside Jesus.

In his letter, obtained by Assist Communications, the pastor also says this
bombing tactic can have other tragic consequences. He says Chinese
authorities often blame innocent, foreign Christians working in the area for
smuggling. He says they then become the target of harassment, and in some
cases end up being deported.


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Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 11:44:37 -0700
From: "Brittian's Mail" <louderthantheradio * attbi>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] The magical mystical tour continues week after week on ntcp.

but...but...but that's heresy Sam! Are you really saying that you don't
want more doctrine, just Jesus? Are trying to tell all of us, thinkers and
feelers and do'ers that you've had enough of that kind of soulish pursuit of
Christ and now just crave Him. I can't believe that you might be saying
that we ought to trade the things of Christ for Christ himself. The nerve
of that message!!!! (hehe)

I think you have a couple of other "heretics" who readily would have been
chased out of the synagogue with you, Paul, John, Peter, oh wait and perhaps
one more, Jesus of Nazareth.

Sam, you hit the nail right on the head! Everything else is drivel, just
give me Jesus.

And if being a "steward of the mystery" which has been kept hidden for all
ages and from all generations but has now, in this very hour, been revealed
in (and not to) us, makes me a part of this alleged "magical mystery tour"
then count me in brother. Christ in us is the mystery and Christ is the
way, the path, the method, so I suppose that he is a mystery tour indeed.
I'll take one ticket thank you very much.

Also very much tongue and cheek
brittian


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Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 21:06:13 +0000
From: "David Jaggernauth" <abccom * hotmail>
Subject: [NTCP] RE: Why do people leave Church

I came across this article recently, thought it was interesting reading and
decided to share it.

http://www.reality.nz/articles/32/32-jamieson.html

David J.


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Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 12:49:44 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] Every man a theologian.

>The reason I have been so quiet on the list the last month or so...an
>overemphasis on "theology". :-)
>
>It quite frankly 'bores' the LIFE out of me. So, I remain silent, check
>email, delete and wait for something interesting to come up.
>
>Baptism, evangelism, Communion, etc.. Goodness, indeed, MAGICAL MYSTERY
>TOUR. It is a wonder any life gets expressed or a connection in the Spirit
>is made, when all that is discussed is well...theology, man's understanding
>and categorizing of God and His thoughts. Why not just spend time with Him
>and let Him explain Himself in both word and experience...but again, it may
>be intead of MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, the MYSTICAL MYSTERY TOUR!! Ummh,
>which will I choose? MYSTICAL...each and every time!

So why, my brother Sam, are the topics which you brought up yesterday in
your 5 emails any more relevant and delete-resistant than things like
baptism, evangelism, communion, etc? Those are - every one - issues which
concern "church planters" and gathered saints. All those issues, when
conceived of in apostolic terms, point directly to Jesus Christ. Why, I
am wondering, are your topics so significant and others' topics so boring?

Your anti-theology message, which is nothing more than a statement of
your own belief system, a.k.a. YOUR OWN MYSTICAL THEOLOGY, reminds us how
absolutely inescapable theology really is, even when so uncleverly
disguised.

Every man, every woman is a theologian. Why? Because, though fallen, they
are made in God's holy image. Consider the Athenians with their unknown
god, the mariners in Jonah's ship, the Malta islanders. The Amorites, and
the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and
the Jebusites, the unconverted Jews, etc.

The Spirit purifies our inmost thoughts/beliefs/doctrines/theology, not
by the removal of our minds but by the renewing of them. Taking the
things of Jesus and showing them to us. Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses
and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the
things concerning himself.

Even without the scriptures and without Christ, ALL eyes CONTINUALLY
behold his handiwork on every hand according to Romans 1 and 2. In their
minds they thus excuse their IMMORAL behavior and accuse others.
Believers, on the other hand, are to integrate Jesus into every activity
and thought. Which is why the worn out, cop out slogan "spending time
with Him" actually shrinks intimacy with God to another of life's
compartments rather than life's totality.

We live and move in Him every second, who demands that every thought and
every act be referenced to his glory and performed in his name alone. In
short, we spend all time with Him - not just "time."

Sooooo, with our ever-present Lord with us and in us, nature, and
scripture before us, we who do know Him have a continual feast by day
and, at night, muse about his ways, works, and his love upon our beds.

If your previous studies did not immediately lead you to the Truth
Incarnate, you either pursued them for selfish ends or you were dealing
in falsehoods.

Rather than skirt theology or doctrines, Jesus REPEATEDLY identified
himself with it: John 7:16-17 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine
is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall
know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
Conclusion: One can have doctrines without Christ but one cannot have
Christ without doctrines, i.e. theology. Granted, our theology is
incomplete and insufficient without the Object of it.

Now, let me attempt to tie this innate God-knowledge factor to the work
of personal evangelism. When we tell others about Jesus, there is a
certain AMEN in their innermost being! Now that should lead us to more
boldness, right?

BTW, what further details would you provide of the inter-denomininational
Canadian Conference? And who was the mysterious "German historian" who
attributed the 11:00 meeting to Luther's hangovers, affecting all those
hundreds of millions of duped protestants to this very day?

Above all, when you see the ntcp list going in the wrong direction, work
and pray to improve conditions rather than sit there in quietness and
boredom with a spastic delete button. I'll be the first to admit that
things can become too cerebral.

Blessings to thy house and cheers to the Lamb!

David Anderson
 


End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V2 #116

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