The topic of the church's readiness to deal with disaster, harvest, and hostility is an important matter that was recently blogged about. Indeed, are we ready? And are we ready in the "right" things? It is one thing to be ready personally on spiritual and practical levels, but it is quite another to be ready corporately as the church.
Several years ago, I had an unusual dream. Being a non-Charismatic skeptical person, I asked God to confirm it. He did several times. In the dream, the Lord said, “God is not satisfied with denominations, but is drawing out a remnant for himself that will accomplish his will.” And that we must “prepare for revival” in my region. My sense was that God asked us to put into place tangible expressions of relational, intentional, and missional unity. We must shift from simply awareness of each other to practical partnership.
Airports, computers, roadways, human brain cells, ecosystems, and many other things in the man-made and natural world are networked. Simple/house churches should be networked too. Spiritual water can only flow properly if the spiritual plumbing system has been set up! Consequently, simple/house churches will not be ready THEN for disaster, harvest, or hostility, until several things happen NOW ahead of time.
First, simple/house churches must trust, partner, and network together locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally NOW, so that coordination and cooperation can happen THEN, just like the early church (Acts 2:41-47, 5:12, 5:42, 20:20; Gal 1:18,19, 2:6-10; 3 John 1:3-8).
Second, simple/house churches must learn true hospitality toward strangers and the afflicted by providing for their needs and empowering them NOW, so we will know how to do it wisely THEN, just like the early church (Matt 25:31-46; Luke 10:30-37).
Third, simple/house churches must give generously and share money and material resources with each other NOW, so we will be able to efficiently funnel funds to the Body of Christ THEN, just like the early church (Acts 2:44-45; 1 Cor 9:1-14; 2 Cor 9:1-7; Philip 2:25, 4:15-16).
Fourth, simple/house churches must develop leadership hubs for connecting, training, and launching a new generation of local leaders of churches NOW, so we can facilitate spiritual growth in quality and in quantity THEN, just like the early church (Acts 20:17-38; 2 Tim 2:2; Tit 1:5-9).
Fifth, simple/house churches must identify, finance, and launch a new generation of travelling leaders who visit and equip entire networks of churches NOW, so we can strengthen and expand Kingdom frontiers THEN, just like the early church (Mark 3:13-15; Luke 10:1-10; Acts 10:1-48, 13:1-3, 15:36-41; 1 Cor 9:1-14; Eph 4:11-13; Tit 1:5; Philip 4:15-16; 3 John 1:3-8).
Sixth, simple/house churches must create high-tech and low-tech communication channels to effectively broadcast information about needs, opportunities, obstacles, and attacks NOW, so we can navigate future surprises and challenges THEN, just like the early church (Acts 15:22-30,36; Col 4:16; 2 Thes 2:15).
Seventh, simple/house churches must be open to the extraordinary power of God to speak to us, speak through us, heal the sick, deliver the demon-possessed, and even raise the dead NOW, so that we will be prepared and experienced vessels THEN, just like the early church (Acts 5:12, 9:36-42, 13:1-3, 19:11-12; 1 Cor 12:7-12; James 5:14-15).
And that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Otherwise, simple/house churches will be caught unawares, not knowing how to deal with disaster, hostility, or harvest. Let’s not miss the chance God gives us THEN! Let’s get ready NOW!
RAD ZDERO, author of LETTERS TO THE HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT and THE GLOBAL HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT