Monday, June 1

How to change traditional churches into New Testament churches

*Victor Choudhrie's 15 essential steps for changing traditional churches into New Testament churches.

1. Replace professional clergy with Priesthood of all Believers with authority to baptize, break bread and equip fishers of men. (1 Peter 2:9)

2. Replace Church building with "House of Peace." (Luke 10:5-9; Matt. 10:11-13)

3. Replace programmed Sunday service with daily informal gatherings. The Bride of Christ must have intimacy with her Lord every day and not just for a couple of hours a week lest she become unfaithful. (Acts 2:46-47; Hebrew 3:13)

4. Replace tithing with sharing the enormous financial resources and goodwill available in Christian homes. (Deut. 8:17-18; Acts 5:32-34)

5. Replace the "Crumb and Sip" Holy Communion with simple "Community meals" eaten together with gladness from house to house. (Acts 2:46; 1 Cor 11:20-23)

6. Replace loud music with speaking to each other in psalms and spiritual songs making melody in your heart. (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16)

7. Replace the spectator church to participatory, interactive, prophetic and Missionary sending church. (1 Cor 14:26-31; Acts 13:13)

8. Replace organizational and denominational churches with citywide network of house churches. (Romans 16:3-15)

9. Replace barren church with multiplication. The Bride must not remain barren, but reproduce and fill the earth. (Acts 1: 8; 1 Cor 9: 19-30)

10. Replace submitting to one man - by submitting to each other. We must encourage, comfort, exhort, edify and serve one another. (Galatians 5: 13; Eph. 4: 2, 15)

11. Replace purposeless church with a goal oriented mandate to disciple nations. (Romans 15: 20; Matt. 28: 19)

12. Replace powerless and fruitless church with militants who heal the sick, raise the dead, expel the demons, bind the ‘strongman’ and plunder his possessions. (Matt 11:12, 12:29)

13. Replace all presidents, directors, chairman, secretaries and all the other non-biblical titles with apostles, prophets, and the fivefold ministry gifted elders. Change from a dead organization to living organism. (Eph 4:11; Titus 1:5-9)

14. Replace all Sunday schools, Bible schools, and prayer cells and cottage meetings and call them full-fledged churches. So that they can disciple, baptize, break bread, equip and send missionaries. (1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15)

15. Replace all selfish goats who are members for hatching, matching and dispatching with sheep who take care of the hungry, thirsty, naked, strangers, sick and the prisoners. (Matt. 25:31-46)

*Victor Choudhrie is a cancer surgeon by profession. He is a senior Fellow of the American and British colleges of surgeons. He quit his job as the Director (CEO) of the Christian Medical college, Ludhiana in Punjab, India in 1992 to take up full time Church planting ministry in central India. His wife Bindu is also in full time church planting ministry, equipping women to be house church leaders and trainers. God has blessed this ministry abundantly. Large numbers of grassroots level leaders have been trained who have planted thousands of house churches all over India as a result.

17 comments:

Darrell said...

That's what I'm talken about! Very well said!

GuyMuse said...

Darrell,

There is a global simple church conference being held in India later this year. Victor is one of the people slated to share. I'd love to go, but am still praying about this and another conference also being held in that part of the world towards the end of this year.

I think a shift in Christianity is definitely taking place away from the developed western world where it has thrived for decades, and into the lives of thousands of believers living in developing countries of the world who are trying to live out their faith much more radically in line with what the NT actually teaches. It is really exciting to be working alongside them during these days of transition.

Anonymous said...

Hey Guy,
I am also looking at participating in this meeting and another connected with One Story (orality) in India at the same time. A shift is definitely occurring. It is beginning to happen here in Brazil, i.e. grass roots New Testament churches and we are excited to be a part of it all.
I found his beginning with the Priesthood of all Believers as the basis. I know that here in Southern Brazil there is nothing as important as this. This country has for generations believed solely in a professional and celibate priesthood. Anyone else is a fake in many minds. This is the single greatest barrier to seeing the New Testament Church spread like fire across Brazil. However, it is occurring but outside of the evangelical denominations because they are clinging to extra-biblical requirements that create professional clergy. We are receviving several emails each week from all over Brazil from people stepping out of the conventional churches and beginning micro-churches that they feel are based in the New Testament principle of every follower of Christ is a priest. Therefore, they can observes the Lord's meal, baptize, and do all the things that a traditional church does without titles, choosing rather to work through the gifts of the Spirit (Eph 4).
Blessings, Daniel Allen
Brazil
allen@onmissionwithgod.org
www.numamissaocomdeus.org

GuyMuse said...

Daniel,

I can really relate to what you write about your experience there in Brazil...

This is the single greatest barrier to seeing the New Testament Church spread like fire across Brazil... Same here.

However, it is occurring but outside of the evangelical denominations because they are clinging to extra-biblical requirements that create professional clergy. Exactly the situation happening here as well.

We are receviving several emails each week from all over Brazil from people stepping out of the conventional churches and beginning micro-churches that they feel are based in the New Testament principle of every follower of Christ is a priest. See my previous post where I share the same thing, letters/emails from all over the Spanish-speaking world of people full of questions and not knowing where to turn for answers. To bring these questions before their leaders is to ask for trouble. This is why at every chance I get I try to share with authors the critical need of not just writing for their English-speaking audiences and fan clubs. We really need some of these writings translated, or at least until native writers on these subjects begin to emerge.

Paul said...

Guy,

This is good stuff, but I have a feeling the traditional American church would go kicking and screaming (and probably splitting). My goodness, I've got people in our church who think we have no business getting personally involved in missions and are literally pitching a fit about it.

Perhaps with a lot of patience and teaching.

GuyMuse said...

Paul,

Things aren´t much different here than they are in your neck of the woods. What I do see, though, is that there are many people who are beginning to seriously question the way "things are done" and are longing for simpler, purer expressions than they are currently expressing in their churches.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Guy,

Have you read Frank Viola/George Barna's "Pagan Christianity" ?

They are saying pretty much the same thing...

GuyMuse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aussie John said...

Guy,

Spot on! In this country the entrenched thinking (and mutual ego massaging)of denominational "how it always been done",is quenching the Spirit.

GuyMuse said...

Rodney,Yes, I have read "Pagan Christianity." If interested you can read my review of the book in the right side bar, under "Most read posts".

Have you read the follow-up to PC, "Reimagining Church?"


Aussie John,"how it always been done", is also quenching the Spirit here. Thanks for the comment.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Thanks,

I should have perused your site a little more. The review is on target. i have not read the follow-up book but will do so pronto...

The questions I find myself raising are these

What are the modern evangelical
church functions that flows from healthy development from new testament principles of organic church growth?

Not only what is healthy?
But, what is neutral?
Then,what is a hindrance?
Finally, what is detrimental?

Rome was not built in a day...nor was it dismantled in a day...

GuyMuse said...

Rodney,

You ask, What are the modern evangelical church functions that flows from healthy development from new testament principles of organic church growth? Not only what is healthy? But, what is neutral? Then,what is a hindrance? Finally, what is detrimental?

I am not sure I quite understand the question, but for us personally, I think it is important to be always moving in the direction of recapturing those NT principles of ekklesia. My own feeling is that we have drifted far from the original ideals, and the church has morphed into something quite different from what Jesus and the apostles left us in the original blueprints.

Many feel the NT (especially Acts and Epistles) are descriptive and not intended to be prescriptive. I personally lean more towards the Scripture as being generally prescriptive. It is hard for me to believe that modern man can improve upon the methods, ways, traditions of Jesus and the apostles.

Randel Trull said...

On the list of 15 items, are there any that you consider more crucial than others? Are there any that you disagree with or consider inconsequential (relatively speaking)?

GuyMuse said...

Randel,

You ask, On the list of 15 items, are there any that you consider more crucial than others? Are there any that you disagree with or consider inconsequential (relatively speaking)?

#1--I don't see as realistically happening any time soon, but what I would say is that we professionals need to teach, encourage and lead those we work with that all believers are authorized by Jesus to baptize, break bread, and equip fishers of men.

#2--Need to be moving in this direction, and using existing church buildings as multiple use "Kingdom Centers" where all can have access to use the facilities as needed for the good of the surrounding community and Kingdom efforts.

#3-#7,#9 is already happening and becoming more widespread with each passing day.

#8 BIG ISSUE we are still trying to get a handle on. Need help on this one!

#10-#15 is slowly beginning to happen, but still has a ways to go before these ideas become "mainstream."

So to answer you directly, all are important. But if I had to choose my top three priorities, they would be #1,7,9. These three are ones we are constantly pushing (with the caveat for #1 as explained above.)

Steve Pennell said...

This is partly why I resigned from an established church. My ministry partner and I do home churches with the intention of teaching the group to eventually leave us and go plant home churches in their own homes. In the past two years we have seen at least two new home groups started out of our group. We do a meal, sometimes "communion" around the table, sometimes singing, sometimes prayer, sometimes teaching,

A great article.

GuyMuse said...

Steve,

Wow, that's interesting. While I had a notion you were doing some kind of small group ministry, didn't realize you were actually doing the same kinds of things as we are here in Ecuador. On your website you state, Our goal is to help the church experience healing and wholeness in order to become more effective disciples of Jesus Christ. This is so key and something we have found works best in small group settings (such as house churches) where the NT "one anothers" are actively practiced.

Steve said...

I think I wanna get some people together and start a couple of these congregations.