Teamwork and house churches: Guest post by John White

I am hugely blessed  (and definitely humbled) whenever I hear that something I’ve written has made a difference in the life of another person. John White is a good friend. We’ve known him and his wife, Tamela, for almost 15 years. I have been watching what the Lord is doing through Lk10, the organization that he runs, with keen interest, and love the impact that it’s having on house churches around the world. It’s a privilege to partner with them in working for the Kingdom.  Here’s what John writes:

Teamwork in house church ministry
Over the last 15 years, I’ve watched as the Lord has used Felicity (and Tony) to introduce the concept of house church (church as a small intimate family of faith) to literally thousands of people around the world.  This has occurred through teaching at dozens of conferences and, perhaps even more broadly, through writing (books, blogs).  What an impact she has had for the Kingdom!
It’s been our privilege recently in the LK10 Community to team up with Felicity to provide follow-up for some of those she has initially touched.  Specifically, our mission at LK10 has two parts.  First, to provide ongoing “how to” training (see our Church 101 Course).  Second, to provide ongoing relational support and encouragement for house church leaders (see our Leader 101 Course).  (For more information about these two Courses, see our website at )
Here are some recent examples of how Felicity’s ministry and LK10 compliment each other…
  • Liv in Norway.  “I found a link (to LK10) in Felicity Dale’s blog… (Writing to LK10)  We want to grow as a “house church”, but are not sure how.”
  • Marie in Australia.  (I found LK10) through Felicity Dale’s blog…  I love the way Father God’s timing is so perfect.  I am very pleased to be able to be involved in the LK10 community.  Thanks for your support!”  (Marie is just beginning Church 101.)
  • Bob and Barb in Germany.  “We “stumbled upon” LK10 while looking at the Dale’s website… When I found your website (LK10), I felt that a relationship with the Lk10 community could be very encouraging and beneficial to us. Barb and I look forward to taking the Church 101 course.”  Several months after the initial contact with Bob and Barb, they told their story here.
I am so grateful for the many ways we have been able to team up with Felicity (and Tony) over the last 15 years including the current way our ministries are meshing together.

For such a time as this

For some time, I have wondered why the Lord has placed an emphasis on small groups meeting in homes. (According to a survey by the Pew Forum in 2009, nine percent of Protestants in the USA “hold services” in  homes.)

In other nations, the rise of house churches is often in response to persecution. But here? In Christian America?

Esther was married to King Ahasuerus (probably King Xerxes I) “for such a time as this.” She saved her people.

As I survey the Christian landscape, and look at what is going on politically, I wonder if the Lord has been behind the simple/organic/housechurch movement “for such a time as this.” It would only take one act of Congress, for example, removing the tax exempt status of churches, for some building-based churches to find themselves fighting for survival.  Or what would be the impact of a couple of terrorist attacks in church buildings? Or some strategically planned law-suits aimed against Evangelical convictions?

Thankfully, God knows the end from the beginning.




Photo credit JovanStojan (Creative Commons)



The place of women in the Temple (and why that’s not true any longer!)

In his book,  The New Covenant, Bob Emery dramatizes the story of the New Testament through the eyes of the apostle, John. It contains many fascinating insights–ideas I had not seen before in my reading of the New Testament many of which I found myself researching and coming to an “Aha!” moment.

Here’s one of Bob’s insights into the Temple and the role of women (used with permission). Remember, this is John speaking:

“Now, as we are here in the outer court, look at this dirt upon which we stand. Strictly speaking, the outer court is not part of the temple, for anyone may enter here, except menstruating women. Its dirt is not sacred. But consider the soil on other side of the wall. That is thought to be holy dirt!

“And beyond that there are fourteen steps leading up to the court of the women, where there is another wall. There the ground is even more holy, because any ritually cleansed Jew, man or woman, can enter there.

“But beyond that are another twelve steps, and another wall, leading to the court of Israel—male Israel, that is. There the ground is even holier still.

“And further and higher yet are another five steps, and another wall, leading to the court of the priests where the sacrifices are performed,   and the stones upon which the Levitical priests walk. These stones are considered even more holy!

“All of this—the hierarchy, the subtlety, and the image it all projects—reinforces the height of false religion. The Gentiles are the farthest away from God. They are the dogs. Where their feet walk is unholy ground. A step up from the Gentiles are women. Fourteen steps, to be precise! And on higher ground yet are men, because they are closer to God. But the average person is still not holy enough, because higher on the rung, and closer to God, are the priests. And above the priests is the high priest, who alone can enter the holy ground of the Holiest of All.

“Does not all that this temple projects corrupt the minds of all the people, so that in fact they believe that this is the manner in which God views all humankind? The sin of it all! The utter blasphemy and stench that rises from this beautiful, so-called monument to God!”

The inspiration of the words Paul had written to the Ephesians about God breaking down the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile was becoming clearer to me by the second! Yes, God did want to destroy this temple of stone. He must be at the limits of his patience, I thought, not to have come in judgment already. How anxious he must be to erase this last remaining vestige of the barriers and walls that stand between Gentile and Jew, man and woman, priest and pauper!

Never had it been so clear to me: what Jesus did at the cross was to bring into existence a new creation in which there are no denigrating distinctions. In this new species—the invisible head in heaven joined with his visible body on earth—there is no one holier than another, no one of higher rank than another before God. What Jesus paid for by his precious blood was to make all of his people one by his Spirit and to replace the enmity, the barriers, and the divisions with the unity, peace, and love found only in him.

Wailing wall and Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

Photo Credit: ThisParticularGreg via Compfight cc

The Wailing Wall is considered to be the remains of the Western Wall of Herod’s Temple

What are we thinking?

I came across a shocking statistic earlier today.

According to the International Bulletin of Missionary Research (2012), the cost per baptism globally is $762,000!

What are we thinking?

I’m sure these figures include seminaries, buildings, training pastors etc., but sometimes I wonder, is this why Jesus died?

I know you cannot put a figure on the salvation of a soul, but surely there is a more cost-effective model (think simple churches meeting in homes with no specially trained leaders…)



How C. S. Lewis viewed politics: Guest post by David Theroux

Sometimes being a Christian in this country is synonymous with having a certain political opinion. Ross Rohde wrote an interesting post on this topic.

David Theroux is Founder and President of the CS Lewis Society in California. He recently sent me a quote from a lecture he gave on how C.S. Lewis’ viewed liberty:

The Oxford/Cambridge scholar and best-selling author C. S. Lewis was unquestionably and profoundly interested in the ideas and institutions that were the basis for free and virtuous individuals and communities, but he was not at all interested in partisanship or campaign politics. He instead focused on first principles, and public-policy matters were of interest only as they pertained to questions of enduring value. As a result of this focus, whereas the work of most modern scholars and other writers quickly becomes dated and obsolete, Lewis’s work has achieved increasing timelessness and relevance.

Lewis addressed not only the evils of totalitarianism as manifested in fascism and communism, but the more subtle forms that face us on a daily basis, including the welfare, therapeutic, nanny, and scientistic states.

With Christianity, each and every person is “a child of God” or a holy object (res sacra homo) who has free will and is individually responsible for the choices he or she makes.

Lewis argued that a natural moral law is known to all, and this natural moral code is inescapable; it is the basis for all moral judgments. Its foundational truths such as “caring for others is a good thing,” “good should be done and evil avoided,” “dying for a righteous cause is a noble thing”—are understood regardless of experience, just as we know that 2 + 2 = 4.

Does this mean as followers of Christ we shouldn’t have a political opinion?

C. S. Lewis

Our chocolate lab and slavery

Tony and I used to have a dog called Sugar—a faithful and loyal companion, though of dubious parentage and limited intelligence. Sugar had one major character flaw. She loved to wander. We live in a house with a fenced yard and an electric gate across the driveway. Sugar used to hide, lying in wait, until a car went through the gate. Then, just as the gate was closing the final few inches, she would make her bid for freedom. She would return several hours later, exhausted but happy.

When we decided to put a stop to her adventures, we installed an invisible fence across the driveway. If dogs approach an invisible fence too closely, a little battery on their collar gives them a small jolt of electricity. They soon learn their boundaries.

After a couple of, shall we say, shocking experiences, Sugar learned to stay within the confines of our yard. In fact, long after the battery in her collar had died, Sugar would sit, wistfully gazing at the liberty that lay on the other side of an open gate without making any attempt to escape. She had become conditioned to her limitations.

Chocolate lab

Photo Credit: teakwood via Compfight cc

As women in the church, we too, have been conditioned to live within boundaries.

Harriet Tubman, who led many slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad, said, “I freed a thousand slaves. I would’ve freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

After the Emancipation, most slaves stayed where they were. Some had no idea they were now free, and others had no idea how to survive outside of slavery. Many entered into sharecropping arrangements with their former masters, getting paid a pittance for the same work they had formerly done as slaves. It took generations for the reality of freedom to take effect.

The worst kind of prison is that of the mind, where a person accepts adverse circumstances as the natural order of things without realizing the perceived cage bars don’t really exist. They are held captive only by their own thoughts.

As women, many of us are imprisoned by what we have known from the past.

(Excerpts from The Black Swan Effect: A Response to Gender Hierarchy in the Church by Felicity Dale)

Check out

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One of the delights of being involved in the house church movement over the last 15 years are the many good friends we’ve made. One of those friends is John White who is a leader in the LK10 Community.  LK10 focuses on connecting and equipping house church leaders in the US and around the world.  Perhaps you’ve heard of some of the unique “tools” they have pioneered … the 10:2b Prayer… CO2 (Church of Two)…  Checking in with SASHET.
LK10 just launched a new website that spells out clearly how they work with leaders.  It would be worth your time to check it out. You may find that it offers just the support and training you need for the role God has called you to.  Here’s the location of the new site:


Extraordinary video: Egyptian Christians respond to violence

A few days ago, I received a link to a most extraordinary video. It shows the response of Egyptian Christians to the violence that has gone on there.

The video came with this comment:

“Millions were totally astonished by watching the content of this video which was broadcasted on National TV. It was a real testimony to the love of God and His forgiving power, that was demonstrated through real people; deeply wounded by the loss of their loved ones, yet they are forgiving their enemies and praying for them to see the light and be saved.”

I requested permission from those who made the video to post it on my blog. Their reply: “Yes, go ahead! If the whole world knows that this is the proper response to the terrorists, they will have no sway over us.”


May we weep with them, intercede for them, and learn from our brothers and sisters in Egypt.

With everything that has been going on in the Middle East recently, martyrdom has hit the news. This timely short film entitled “26 Martyrs” reminds us how Christians have handled incredible persecution, even to the extent of laying down their lives, over the centuries. Here is a trailer for the main movie. The movie, itself, with its inspirational ending, reduced me to tears.

In many nations, where persecution is rampant, it is considered an honor to die for Jesus. Do we consider our faith as something worth dying for? How would we handle a similar situation?

The Day I Met Jesus

Most people know that I am passionate about the topic of the role of women, and eagerly devour books on this subject. A few months ago, I had the opportunity to read the manuscript of The Day I Met Jesus: The Revealing Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels by Frank Viola and Mary DeMuth. It’s an extraordinary book.

Here’s what I wrote as an endorsement:

“The Day I Met Jesus by Frank Viola and Mary DeMuth is destined to be a classic. Five exquisitely imaginative stories of women from the Gospels describe lives turned upside down by an encounter with Jesus. The book reveals the beauty of our Savior—His character, His compassion, His humility, His humanity, His divinity. This gem of a book will move you, inspire you, and, quite possibly, set you free.”

I stand by what I wrote!

The Day I Met Jesus