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Continuing the story of how we started a church with New Agers

The first part of this story can be found here.

It only took about three weeks before the group stopped referring to their New Age books and accepted the Bible as their authority.

On week 6, we arrived at John 1:12.

To as many as received him he gave power to become sons of God.

We spent around 45 minutes each week in the Word, so this tells you how deep our discussions were going. We never answered their questions, but allowed them to discover for themselves through the Word. They had found by this time that the Word, light and life referred to Jesus.

"What does it mean to receive Jesus?" someone asked. 

There was some general discussion, and then a single mom said:

"I think to receive him means to commit to him." Again some discussion; we strongly agreed with this opinion.

Instead of our usual praying together, that week we suggested they all go to different parts of the house to "commit to Jesus."

When they returned, they had obviously all had some kind of encounter with Jesus. Some were crying, they were hugging and laughing. It was then we could say that a church was born.




4 replies on “Continuing the story of how we started a church with New Agers”

Yes! You must have read that book! Or, the Holy Spirit has transformed you into a natural! My guess is both :). I just love how you allowed the Holy Spirit to choose what to do and He chose to start a church.

Felicity: a question (or more!).
1. Do you find that people who profess faith in these simple churches persevere in their faith?
2. Do the groups cohere and persevere, or break up?
3. Do they become introverted or stay mission-oriented?
4. Do such churches require much oversight and support from more experienced christians? Do they get it?
5. Do they get enough teaching to grow in understanding?
(I hope you know me well enough to know that these aren’t critical questions, but asked out of genuine interest.) Thanks.

Hi UnkleE,
Great questions! And there is no single answer. I’ll try to answer from our own experience, although someone like Neil Cole would be a much better person to answer your questions. We tend to mostly spend our time in training other Christians how to start churches with unbelievers, but they can’t “join” House2House, so we hear stories of what happens, but don’t keep track.
I’m trying to think back over the years, and I would say many of the people persevere in their faith. Obviously not all–think of the parable of the sower. A lot depends on their circumstances. And many of them we have lost contact with–especially the groups we started with young people. They went off to college and moved away, and we don’t really know what happened to them.
Some of the groups continue. The one with New Agers, for example, is still going strong after several years although it has morphed with people moving away, and others joining. I would say more typically, if a key person moves (and people are much more mobile here in the States, moving on average, if I remember right, every 7 years) the group may disband.
I prefer it if the group multiplies out rather than staying stable.
The groups vary as to whether they become introverted. Again, Neil is a better example than we are. I believe that over 50% of CMAs churches produce a daughter church.
The person of peace requires mentoring. So, for example, I meet regularly with Lisa although it is now much more on a friendship basis than anything else. Tony and I are great at starting things, but terrible at managing them, and I suspect the churches we’ve started suffer from our lack of gifting in these areas. We try to have others work with us, and they tend to do better. We’ve also had some interesting experiences in churches stopping–like our person of peace being put in jail!!
In terms of your final question, they do get enough teaching to grow (check out the next post). Is the Holy Spirit and the Word enough? Absolutely. We’ve found that many times.
Hope this helps.

unkleE asks these questions along with some others:
1. Do you find that people who profess faith in these simple churches persevere in their faith?
2. Do the groups cohere and persevere, or break up?
Questions are often asked about the longevity of a group, and perhaps the most frequent answer is that the percentage of groups that keep their original identity is small. For me, this is not an issue (and I’m not concluduing that it is an issue with all who ask the question). My observation is that the percentage of those who actually “persevere” is also small for those who are attached to larger gatherings (conventional church settings). There is a large contingent on the move for better services or a better fit elsewhere. There is a very large contingent who have little experience of vital connection with others within the large, established settings, and contribute little to the building up of the Body into Christ. Maintaining “membership” or continuing to identify with the “local church” by attending services and having kids in SSchool can’t be construed as continuing in Christ or growing in Him. So many stay in one place for decades, but have little impact on the growth of the Kingdom of God. Not trying to be defensive (at least I don’t think I am!), but trying to recognise the need to learn how to disciple effectively in whatever setting or mode we are in.

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