House Church is Dead

http://ceruleansanctum.com/2012/01/is-the-organic-house-church-a-myth.html

click here, this article is from 2012 and well, appears to be the eulogy for house church.

Interesting article, and worth consideration.  Many have looked for the church in the houses of believers only to find it does not exist.  Jesus knows his own, and he comes to them.  House church is not dead, but and only if you believe it is, then:  house church is dead.  I know many living examples.  They defy being put into a box.  And… they are as real as God himself.  You will find it when you find this guy:  Luke 10:5-6 and not until.

man-on-bench

Painting by McNaughton from internet website.

One night after dark I was out front cleaning my paintbrushes from the day’s work.  I was contemplating the ‘man of peace’ spoken of in Luke 10.  A thought, an inner voice, something said:  “to find the man of peace, you must first be the man of peace.”  Bam.  Powerful.  Godly wisdom arrived and took root.  I am no longer dismayed that I cannot find organic church.  We must first be organic church to find it.  I found it.  You can too.

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Does A New Testament Church Look Like? by David Alan Black

davidalanblack

I am convinced that the house church rather than the sanctuary church was the New Testament norm.

I am convinced of the normalcy of tent-making leadership.

I am convinced that the church exists in part to equip all of its members for ministry.

I am convinced that the leadership of the church should be shared for the health of the congregation.

I am convinced that top-down structures of leadership are unquestionably more efficient.  Efficient in doing almost everything other than equipping, which is the primary task of leadership.

I am convinced that the process of appointing new elders is best done on the basis of recognizing who is already serving as an elder in the church.

I am convinced that any local church that takes seriously Jesus as the Senior Pastor will not permit one man to become the titular head of the church.

I am convinced that the essential qualifications for ministry in the church have little or nothing to do with formal education and everything to do with spiritual maturity.

I am convinced that the church is a multi-generational family, and hence one of the things that makes the church the church is the presence of children, parents, and other adults.

I am convinced that because every local church has all the spiritual gifts it needs to be complete in Christ, believers should be exposed to the full expression of the charisms (grace-gifts) when they gather, in contrast to specialized ministries that center around singularly gifted people.

I am convinced that the local church is the scriptural locus for growing to maturity in Christ, and that no other training agency is absolutely needed.

I am convinced that the local church ought to be the best Bible school going.

I am convinced that Paul’s letters were not intended to be studied by ordinands (a candidate for ordination) in a theological college but were intended to be read and studied in the midst of the noisy life of the church.

I am convinced that the church is a theocracy directly under its Head (Jesus Christ), and that the will of the Head is not mediated through various levels of church government but comes directly to all His subjects.

I am convinced that the goal of leadership is not to make people dependent upon its leaders but dependent upon the Head.

I am convinced that since all believers are “joints” in the body, ministry is every believer’s task.

I am convinced that pastor-teachers, as precious gifts of Christ to His church, are to tend the flock of God by both personal care and biblical instruction, equipping God’s people for works of service both in the church and in the world.

I am convinced that the role of pastor-teacher is a settled ministry in a local congregation.

I am convinced that leaders should communicate that every part of the body is interrelated to the other parts and indispensable; every member will be appreciated, every charism will be treasured.

I am convinced that the whole church, the community of all the saints together, is the clergy appointed by God for ministry.

In conclusion, the fundamental premise upon which I operate is that each believer in the church needs to be equipped for his or her own ministry both in the church and in the world. If the church is to become what God intended it to be, it must become a ministerium of all who have placed their faith in Christ. The whole people of God must be transformed into a ministering people. Nothing short of this will restore the church to its proper role in the kingdom of God.

June 1, 2011

David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.

http://www.daveblackonline.com/what_does_a_new_testament_church.htm

Above link to the original post via Dave’s blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You Made Them a Kingdom and Priests to Our God

And by your blood, you purchased for God, persons from every tribe, language, people and nation. You made them a kingdom And priests to our God, And they will reign on earth. Excerpt from Revelation 5:9,10

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Living Water

Thoughts from the throne:

Everyone who drinks this water will thirst again. But whoever drinks the water I will give, will never thirst again.

Jesus (john 4)

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Jesus Made a Decision

Jesus made a decision on the eve of his passion.  He decided he would rather go to hell for you, than to heaven without you.  Lucado

Image

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spontaneous Expansion of the Church

If the Church is to be indigenous it must spring up in the soil from the very first seeds planted. One or two little groups of Christians organized as Churches, with their Bishops and priests, could spread all over an empire. They would be obviously and without question Native Churches. But if we establish Missions rather than Churches, two evil consequences, which we now see in greater or less degree everywhere, sterility and antagonism, inevitably arise.

Roland Allen, Missionary to China, 1927, Spontaneous Expansion of the Church

Allen was a missionary to the Chinese. He witnessed the issues first hand when sending agencies, attempting to maintain control of the work, actually crippled the work, rendering it incapable of reproducing disciples. His books Missionary Methods and Spontaneous Expansion of the Church speak to missionaries of any stripe, any denomination, any calling. He stumbled upon important principles which are both spiritual and speak to the human tendency desiring freedom rather than control. He also touches on financial issues which also cripple the church, and to quickly integrating new believers into their righful place as priests in the kingdom according to Peter. Though he is long departed, his words reverberate yet today.

His book Spontaneous Expansion of the Church is available free online.

http://gospeltruth.net/allen/spon_expanofch.htm

Steve Addison distilled the writing to a single blog page here.

http://www.movements.net/2005/04/12/spontaneous-expansion.html

Blurb from Amazon.com Book Section:

Written in 1927 as a follow up to his Missionary Methods, the following was penned in the forward by Kenneth Grubb in 1960: “It is only gradually that Roland Allen’s Spontaneous Expansion of the Church has established its reputation among those who are concerned with the mission of the Church. This is odd since it is in many ways both a more mature work than Missionary Methods: St Paul’s or Ours? and also more relevant to the particular tasks with which churches and missions have to wrestle today.

Nevertheless, the fact that a new edition is called for at the present juncture is, perhaps, a recognition that the book contains much that needs to be said and read just now.” What Allen was calling for 80 years ago and affirmed in the decades to follow has “a lasting validity, and can be studied and re-studied with profit.”

Blurb from Wikipedia:

He was born in Bristol, England, the son of an Anglican priest; but was orphaned early in life. He trained for ministry at Oxford and became a priest in 1893. Allen spent two periods in Northern China working for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The first from 1895 to 1900 ended due to the Boxer Rebellion, during which Allen was forced to flee to the British Legation in Beijing. He was chaplain to community throughout much of the siege. After a period back in England, he returned to North China in 1902, but was forced home due to illness.

These ‘early experiences led him to a radical reassessment of his own vocation and the theology and missionary methods of the Western churches’.
Allen became an early advocate of establishing Churches which from the beginning would be self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing, adapted to local conditions and not merely imitations of Western Christianity.

These views were confirmed by a trip to India in 1910 and by later research in Canada and East Africa. It is with this background that Allen wrote his book Missionary Methods which was first published in 1912. It has been suggested that his thought was influenced in part by the earlier primitivist writings of Anthony Norris Groves and by the Brethren movement .

Allen’s approach to Mission strategy for indigenous Churches is based on the study of Saint Paul’s missionary methods as he is convinced that in them can be found the solution to most of the difficulties of the day. He believed it was the recognition of the church as a local entity and trust in the Holy Spirit’s indwelling within the converts and churches which was the mark of Paul’s success. In contrast was Allen’s belief that the people of his day were unable to entrust their converts to the Holy Spirit and instead relied in His work through them.

His views became increasingly influential, though Allen himself became disillusioned with the established churches. He spent the last years of his life in Kenya. Near the end of his life Allen wrote The Family Rite. In this essay Allen advocates that the family again becomes the center of the Christian church and its ministry. Allen died in Nairobi.[1] His funeral was conducted by the Bishop of Mombasa and his gravestone can be found in Nairobi’s City Park. A simple stone cross with the inscription on the pedestal reads: “ROLAND ALLEN, CLERK IN HOLY ORDERS, 1868-1947, I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE SAITH THE LORD”

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

What a Church is: Jesus Followed

(Excerpt from an article by Neil Cole)

I have come to understand church as this:

The presence of Jesus among His people called out as a spiritual family to pursue His mission on this planet.

Granted, this is quite broad, but I like a broad definition of church. The Scriptures don’t give a precise definition, so I’m not going to do what God has not done. I want something that captures what the Scriptures say about the Kingdom of God. In one of only two places where Jesus mentions church in the Gospels, He says, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst” (Matt 18.20). His presence must be an important element of church.

To a church that has lost sight of its true love, Jesus says these harsh words: “The One who walks among the lampstands, says this…remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place–unless you repent” (Rev 2.1,5). To a disobedient and unhealthy church, Jesus threatens to remove the lampstand (representing the church) from the presence of Jesus. The presence of Jesus is crucial to what church is. His presence is life; His absence is death. He is the most essential portion of who and what we are. He should be the most important thing about us and the most recognizable aspect that the world sees.

http://www.cmaresources.org/files/DangerousQuestion-Cole.pdf

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments