When You Come Together

When You Come Together

Video Courtesy of House2House Ministries

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2007 National House Church Conference – Its not too late to register

We all rejoice in the good things that are happening in many
traditional church settings. But it is clear, as evidenced in George
Barna’s book, REVOLUTION, that Jesus is pointing many of his people
outside of the buildings that have come to define Christianity as we
have known it. Mass movements of Christians into new forms of gathering
and worship in their homes, their places of work, in University dorms,
and out on the streets, are leading many to experience the reality that
Jesus Has Left The Building! Come and join with hundreds of others from
around the country as we explore this new move of God together.

Click here for more information and to register.

Where in the world is an apostle?

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Nowhere is the gulf between the New Testament and the 21st Century greater than in our understanding of and implementation of the modern-day missionary.

To begin with let us note that the word missionary is not in the Bible. The NT uses the word apostle to describe what we now know as a missionary. This is not a just a problem of semantics however or a case of a word changing over the years.

In the NT we find only a small handful of apostolic bands (2-5 people) that entered a city on foot, carrying with them nothing but the bags on their shoulders. They gave nothing but themselves and the power of the Spirit and took nothing with them. Through hard work, often filled with bloody persecution, they left behind a small gathering of believers who had experienced the reality of the Risen Lord.

Continue Reading…

Where have the gifts of the Spirit gone? (1 Cor 12 – 14)

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“In the
course of the second century, this original spontaneity of utterance [tongues,
prophecy, revelation, etc.] died almost entirely away. It may almost be said to
have died a violent death. The dominant parties in the Church set their faces
against it. The survivals of it in Asia Minor were formally condemned. The
Montanists, as they were called, who tried to fan the lingering sparks into a
flame, are now ranked among heretics… It was inevitable that it should be so.

The growth of a confederation of Christian communities necessitated the
definition of a basis of confederation. Such a definition, and the further
necessity of guarding it, were inconsistent with the free utterance of the
Spirit which had existed before the confederation began. Prophesying died when
the Catholic Church was formed. In the place of prophesying came preaching…We
consequently find that with the growth of organization there grew up also…the
gradual restriction of the liberty to address the community to the official
class."

Continue Reading…

Starting a House Church (L. Kreider, F. McClung)

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There’s a
new way of doing church, and it’s taking North America by storm! The growing
house-church movement is tapping into the desire of Christians everywhere to
meet the needs of their communities in a way traditional churches cannot,
offering community and simplicity.

Here, a recognized authority on the house-church movement and a popular pastor and
speaker share their expertise in starting and maintaining a healthy house
church. You’ll discover:

  • How to
    start your own house church
  • Best
    practice models for planting and leading house churches
  • The differences
    between a small group or cell group and a house church
  •  Current
    and future trends in the house-church movement
  •  How to
    work together with local, traditional and mega-churches

In these
pages, you’ll find all the information you need about this new way of “doing
church.”

“Floyd and Larry, both healthy apostolic father figures in our time, express here what millions are hearing the Spirit say to the churches. Give a few dozen of copies away to your friends and help spread an immense spark of hope!” Wolfgang Simson

Buy the book here.

Why don’t I read about a ”Pastor-as-we-know-it“ in my New Testament?

According to the NT, there will come in the last days false apostles,

Fj0578false prophets, false teachers and false brethren but where are the
“false pastors”? There is no expression of “false apostles, false
teachers, etc.” in our modern church life because our whole church
experience centers on “the Pastor”. Yet if one goes looking for the
modern “pastor-as-we-know-it” in the Western world, we cannot find much
written about him in the scriptures.

What we do read about are elders. It is clear from Acts 20:17,28 that
the apostle Paul thought of “elders” and “overseers” as the same
person. What I cannot get out of the NT is that this same person is our
current notion of a “pastor” as mentioned in Eph 4:11. The Eph 4
passage describes “pastor” as a gift of Christ (along with apostle,
prophet, evangelist and teacher), whereas I Tim. 3 and Titus 1 describe
the “Qualifications
of  Elders”, which rules out the suggestion that it
was a gift of the Spirit. If I receive a gift I don’t think biblically
it hinges upon my qualifications or gender.

Two things strike me most when I read about elders in the NT… 
 

Continue Reading…

Breaking Through the Islamic Curtain

Blurb200An outstanding book by a Somalian who has left Islam for atheism. Her insights into the Muslim world are first rate and we highly recommend getting this book.

Jeff and Maria
             

Preface to The Caged Virgin  by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

My
parents brought me up to be a Muslim — a good Muslim. Islam dominated
the lives of our family and relations down to the smallest detail. It
was our ideology, our political conviction, our moral standard, our
law, and our identity. We were first and foremost Muslim and only then
Somali. Muslims, as we were taught the meaning of the name, are people
who submit themselves to Allah's will, which is found in the Koran and
the Hadith, a collection of sayings ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad.

I
was taught that Islam sets us apart from the rest of the world, the
world of non-Muslims. We Muslims are chosen by God. They, the others,
the kaffirs, the unbelievers, are antisocial, impure, barbaric, not
circumcised, immoral, unscrupulous, and above all, obscene; they have
no respect for women; their girls and women are whores; many of the men
are homosexual; men and women have sex without being married. The
unfaithful are cursed, and God will punish them most atrociously in the
hereafter.

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Why I quit the job I loved. (Part II)

(Part I)      

Truth be told, I most likely would have never have quit the job I loved if we had never landed in Tajikistan in the spring of 2000.

We had felt for some years prior to that move, that God wanted us to live in the 10/40 Window as a family. We sensed the Lord leading us to Tajikistan primarily because of its Muslim population and its seemingly "pioneer setting" for church planting. In the fifteen years previous to moving to Tajikistan, we had been involved in full-time missions work in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Hungary, the Philippines and the US.

We loved what we were doing and believed we were having a real impact on the people we reached out to. All of that suddenly changed as we set foot in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on a quiet spring morning in March 2000. It was our first real exposure to the Muslim world and overwhelming poverty.

The two together create a mind-boggling, incredibly difficult environment to preach the Kingdom of God.

Continue Reading…

The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church (Roland Allen)

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Spontaneous expansion begins with the individual effort of the individual Christian to assist his fellow, when common experience, common difficulties, common toil have first brought the two together. It is this equality and community of experience which makes the one deliver his message in terms which the other can understand, and makes the hearer approach the subject with sympathy and confidence–with sympathy because the common experience makes approach easy and natural, with confidence, because the one is accustomed to understand what the other says and expects to understand him now.

Continue Reading…

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