First Apostles, Second Prophets…

Today the church of Jesus Christ is going through a great transformation. My wife, Maria, and I have the privilege of first-hand awareness of these transformations on three continents! Many around the world are hearing the same call. Pastor Sung Hee Lee, a prominent Christian figure in Korea, has listed some of these transformations that we will see in the 21st century church:

from Sunday church to everyday church
from a great congregation ministry into small group ministry
from a gathering church into a sending church
from clergy centered to laity centered
from authority of the pastor into leadership of the pastor
from discipleship training into apostolic training

What I want to make special note of in this article is the last transformation listed: from discipleship training into apostolic training. In my words, recovering apostles and prophets who lay the foundation of the church, above all, where there is no church!

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Uncovering The Spirit of the Swiss Brethren

Four hundred and eighty years ago in the small town of Grossmuenster, Switzerland, a dozen or so men trudged through knee deep snow to the home of Felix Manz. What transpired that wintry night is called by some church historians "The most revolutionary act of the Reformation." Sadly their story lies hidden under piles and piles of eccisiological baggage. Let's give it another look, however, for therein we might find clues from the Spirit of Jesus for the church in the new millennium.

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How things started to unravel in the Early Church…

It may seem very presumptuous of me to write about such a theme, but I believe this is the hour when the global church of Jesus Christ is being called back to her “roots” (i.e. her "Apostolic Foundations"). To support this impression, I offer the following statistic from David Barrett, of the World Christian Encyclopedia. Barrett estimates that there are around 112 million “churchless Christians” worldwide – about 5 percent of all adherents. He projects that this number will double by 2025. (The “Out-of-Church” Christians by A. Strom 2004)

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A brief look at leadership in the NT church: “Who’s in Charge?”

In my last few newsletters I have tried to depict an ideal of the church as seen through the lens of the NT alone. I am deeply convinced that if we see “the Bride” living and functioning as she was intended to be – which I am confident means meeting in homes – we will be utterly captivated! What Elton Trueblood has written in regards to depicting the Christian family motivates me to keep writing about the true, hidden, biblical NT church:  “The intention is to depict an enduring ideal which is practically realisable and which, we believe, has such inherent attractiveness that its very depiction becomes a factor in the recovery and development of what is most precious in our civilisation as well as an antidote to some of our most distressing ills." (E. Trueblood)

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“Now we know in part…”

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face…”

Perhaps no message is more needed today than the realization that “for now we see in a mirror dimly”. We know in part, we prophesy in part, we function (as the body) in part, BUT someday this “partial living” will be done away!!  Someday we, indeed, all creation, will cease “groaning” and be set free from our “slavery to corruption”,  anxiously awaiting the redemption of our bodies! (Rom 8). In the meantime, brothers and sisters, we must know – in our heads and our hearts – that in our weaknesses (ie. knowing in part, seeing dimly, etc.) the Holy Spirit proves His power. As Jesus declared to Paul: “My power is perfected in weakness!”

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The Forum for Uniting and Equipping the Church for Spontaneous Expansion

Dear Friends, This is a web site we can recommend:

http://xsorbit28.com/users5/spontaneousexpansion/index.php

The way of spontaneous expansion is not easy for such as we are.  This does not justify us in rejecting it; neither does it justify us in saying that we are doing everything in our power to encourage it if we have not faced and overcome this difficulty in ourselves. Roland Allen

Couples Retreat Announcement

Ok Couples,

You are invited to a life changing adventure!

We just couldn't offer this in a church setting. Or in the basement of a hotel. No, in order for a couple to get their hearts back, they've got to take a journey. One that involves risk, beauty, adventure and a point of no return.

The Fellowships of the Heart retreat is a four-day quest into the recovery of your true heart as outlined in John & Stasi Eldredge's books, Wild at Heart & Captivating.

Through teaching sessions, films, guided periods of reflection and journaling, question and answer, and small group discussion, this will be something far more than a retreat-its an expedition of the heart. You will never be the same.

The adventure will begin on the evening of Thursday, July 21st at 6 p.m.. We'll be based at Westwood Retreat Center in Kerrville, Texas.

Our prayer is that this weekend you will meet with God and he will change your life.

This retreat will be in an intimate setting and is limited to ten couples.

What to do in preparation:
Men – Read Wild at Heart
Women – Read Captivating

Registration includes Food, Lodging and all activities.

Visit http://www.fellowshipsoftheheart.com for details and to register.

Please comment if you have any questions.