Wednesday, November 15

The church in your house


Our "simple" church planting here in Guayaquil is known as "La Iglesia En Tu Casa" (LIETC)--The church in your house.

We have identified at least 13 guiding values that the Lord has seemingly been pleased to bless over the past 6+ years of church planting.

1.) LIETC is built upon a foundation of prayer, which is the most important work in which we are engaged. (Luke 10:2)

2.) LIETC is built upon the idea of "mobilizing the laity." The laity is empowered to go and do tasks traditionally assigned only to trained professional clergy. (Eph.4:11-12, 1 Pet.2:9-10)

3.) LIETC is built upon the concept of taking the church to where the people are, rather than bringing the people to the church. (Matt.28:18-20, Luke 10:3)

4.) LIETC crosses denominational lines and works with Great Commission Christians to plant New Testament churches. (Eph.4:4-6)

5.) LIETC depends on God to provide the workers, free of recruitment or manipulation. Prayer is the key. (Luke 10:2)

6.) LIETC is built upon the understanding that women are likewise called to plant churches. (Matthew 28:18-20)

7.) LIETC is built upon the understanding that it is Christ's responsibility to build His church, not ours (Mt. 16:18). Our task is the Great Commission--to make disciples; his to build His Church.

8.) LIETC is built upon an understanding that the missionary task is primarily one of praying, modeling, teaching, training, encouraging and mentoring. (Eph.4:11-12)

9.) LIETC is built upon the strategic use of locally available and reproducible communication media. We don't use or model anything that can't be done/reproduced locally by the people we work with.

10.) LIETC is built upon the idea of church being more a "family gathering" held in a home setting, and less a "traditional church service." (1 Cor. 12-14, 14:26, Book of Acts)

11.) LIETC is built on the twin pillars of prayer and lifestyle evangelism. There is a continuous emphasis on these two areas.

12.) LIETC is built upon the understanding that multiplication of disciples is the focus of all we do. Simply adding to existing works will not get the job done. (Matthew-Luke, the "parables of the kingdom.")

13.) LIETC belongs to God, and He can do as He pleases. Change in the way things are done is an on-going process as God continues to open our eyes to his ways of building the Kingdom.

13 comments:

Bryan Riley said...

What an encouraging post and may God bless you mightily as you plant these churches. May God's Spirit lead the way and the Christians who makeup these churches be filled with the Spirit.

Strider said...

Hey Guy- Sorry not to address your last two post but I updated blogger and it would not let me comment anywhere- what a mess.
Anyway, I am very excited about this post. I have often promoted these views to sceptical coworkers but in the end the King is blessing and I am encouraged to see him blessing you as well. Keep up the good work, which of course, means keep staying out of the way of what He is doing!
Remember, the church is everywhere and can meet anywhere but it is not the true church unless in the end it goes home.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Guy,

Very interesting to say the least. I have read your post about Women in Ministry concerning the student's concern. I believe semantics was used in a large part for your argument, but I will let that sleeping dog sleep.

These House Churches can work here in the states. It was once called "small groups". The only difference was that the small groups only contained leaders and probably would have been viewed as a bad thing for an individual group to begin their own church. Do you think that is why the small group ministry has not flourished within SBC life?

Blessings,
Tim

Paul Burleson said...

Guy,

Excellent principles for church life anywhere. They sound profoundly biblical. I, as I'm sure you, recogize that the tools/methods do change from culture to culture but every culture has homes and people. It's putting the methods with the people and homes in an effective way culturally that counts. You guys are doing that. More power to you.

Two things. I bring you greetings from Betty and Frank Coy [my sister and brother-in-law] and Jerry and Kathleen Coy. [My nephew and his wife] I was just with all of them and we spoke of you.

The other is you're prayed for with regularity. God's Grace to you.

Paul B.

Travis said...

sounds right on! Thanks for living out the example...

GuyMuse said...

Bryan,

Your own post here was a great encouragement to me. Today we went out into the province to encourage a young couple leading a house church. The principles you posted were fresh on my mind today and we had a really good visit which included a lot of the kind of listening you posted on yesterday.

Strider,

So you went through the blogger update too? I find it is actually easier to work with than the old blogger, especially with photos which I simply could not do with the old version for some reason. Most of the 13 points outlined in this post have been learned from co-workers through trial and error. I am most grateful to the Lord for a good team to work with.

Tim,

Glad you stopped by and thanks for the comment. You ask why small groups aren't flourishing like they are elsewhere? I think they are beginning to do so in the USA and we will see more and more with each passing day. One thing we do different here than small groups in the States is that we work almost exclusively with new believers--people we have won to Christ, and not trying to get people who are already churched to join one of our house churches. In fact we strongly discourage believers coming into one of the new works from existing churches. We try to plant churches not with exisiting Christians, but with new Christians that are a fruit of our ministering amongst them.

Paul,

Thanks for the greetings from the Coys. Frank and Betty are contemporaries of my parents, Jim and Pat Muse who served 33 years with the FMB-SBC before retiring. I am an MK like Jerry, and know him and Kathleen from regional meetings we have attended over the years. We both have in common having adopted children. The last time I saw them we went out to eat at a delicious Thai restaurant in Quito, Ecuador one evening. Tell me hello from us as well.

Travis,

Thanks for stopping by. I too hope we continue to live out the example that we have seen the Lord bless to date. We are thinking about taking a short furlough to Ft. Worth next summer and have begun to think and pray about the possibility. If we go next summer, we would love to meet you guys in person!

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Guy,

The process of this type of church plant sounds interesting. When do you determine if it is a legitimate church?

Blessings,
Tim

GuyMuse said...

Tim,

What a great question! The way we determine if a group meeting is called a "church" vs what we call an "outreach group" is when those gathering together baptize their first converts. When we have baptized believers meeting in Jesus name we call them a "church".

Certainly it takes a while for a "new born" church to function and be seen as a "mature church", but nevertheless, those meeting are a church. A new born baby is a real person, not a person in the process. We don't expect new borns to function as adults right off the bat. Those things come in time.

Church planting is similar. It takes a while for new converts to mature in the Lord. But once they are obedient to the first step of baptism, they become part of the Body of Christ, His church.

There is a lot more I could add, but don't want to post a whole article about this in the comments section. You've given me the subject for my next post, stay tuned!

Daniel said...

Que claridad conceptual. Que acotada exégesis. Indubitables argumentos.
Un post sin desperdicios.
Me edifico con sus palabras.

Dios bendiga las Misiones en todo el Mundo, y en especial su vida, familia y Obra.

Realmente ha fundamentado el principio bíblico de la siembra y la cosecha. Nada de exitismo lisonjero ni de estrategias basadas en el puro "marketing cristiano moderno".

Un abrazo fraterno desde Argentina
Con admiración, afecto y respeto.
Daniel Dañeiluk

GuyMuse said...

Daniel,

Gracias por esas palabras tan gentiles. La verdad es que me gustó tanto su blog que cambie mi "template" para el suyo y estoy tratando de imitar lo excelente que he encontrado en su página, no solamente en formato sino en contendio! ¿En qué parte de Argentina vive Ud.? Bendiciones...

Daniel said...

Saludos Guy
Soy un admirador de los misioneros. Y me entristece pensar en el escaso valor asignado a tan noble vocación.
Desde lo profesional, soy médico especializado en ciencias forenses, y desde lo curricular evangélico, nieto de co-fundadores bautistas que huyendo de la Rusia soviética contribuyeron al establecimiento de Obra bautista eslava en Argentina.
Aunque conservo mi identidad bautista, momentáneamente me congrego en una Iglesia pentecostal. Admito que no es nada fácil adaptarme a su expresiva liturgia y a alguno que otro concepto doctrinario.
Pero son hermanos sinceros y tolerantes.
Vivo en la localidad de Lanús, al sur de Buenos Aires, a unos 15 km. del centro de la ciudad.
Un gran abrazo
Mi admiración y respeto.
Daniel Dañeiluk

GuyMuse said...

Daniel,

Gracias por sus palabras y el haber compartido algo de su vida. Siempre es interesante conocer algo de las personas que visiten. En dos ocasiones tuve el privilegio de conocer un poco de su pais y me encantaria poder volver algun dia. Que interesante lo de sus antepasados bautistas. Mi esposa y yo somos misioneros bautistas aqui en el Ecuador, mis padres tambien eran misioneros durante 33 años en el Ecuador. Trabajamos con todo el pueblo evangelico quienes buscan cumplir la Gran Comision, y en especial con ganar almas, discipularlas, y plantar iglesias.Tengo algunos compañeros misioneros amigos allí en Buenos Aires, Stanley Clark (hijo), Randy Whitall, Bruce Muskrat, Clayton Rock, si los vez mandales mis saludos!

Daniel said...

Entonces conoce a Leticia Herrera de Clark, la directora de Música del Seminario Internacional Teológico Bautista.
¡Que talento! ¡Que voz!
¡Bendiciones!
Daniel

P.S. Omití comentarle que soy compositor de música. Hace un tiempo escuché a la Sra. Clark junto al Coral Guillermo Carey y la Orquesta Sinfónica de la Primera Igl. Baut. de Dallas.
Tan solo recordar me produce un emotivo "nudo en la garganta"
Cantó "Oh tu fidelidad"