Wednesday, June 24

What house churches should be doing right now

I am a long time subscriber to Maurice Smith's The Parousia Update Letter. Maurice, along with a growing wave of others (including myself and my wife) believe that believe God is raising up the House Church movement to be His “underground church” of the end-times. In light of this conviction, Maurice shares in his June 16, 2009 newsletter what could well be a prophetic word...

I believe this underground church will become an “underground river” of God’s Spirit which will flow in great end-time power and blessing, and the end-time harvest that so many people have longed for will be reaped in, through and by that underground house church movement. Revival is indeed coming, but not in the form so many have expected. Christians will soon be meeting in house churches, not because it is the new “chic” thing to do, but because persecution and the practical impact of world events will necessitate it.

In light of this necessity, he goes on to suggest things we should be doing right now:

1. Get serious. It’s time to “wake up and smell the coffee”. Understand that house church is no longer “one option among many”. It is about to become a necessity. Stop “kicking the tires”. It’s time to make a serious commitment to systematically practice being an organic house church, not to mention an organic house church movement. We no longer have the luxury of wasting time.

2. Get clean.
So, how do you get spiritually clean? First, learn to nip nonsense in the bud early, not later. The longer it goes, the harder it is to confront. Second, learn to spend prolonged time together as a body in worship and waiting upon God. The length of time you as a body can sit in silent prayer and worship before the throne is often an indicator of the “weirdness level” in your group. Spiritual weirdness often has difficulty with silence and quickly wants to fill it - often with a lot of self-proclamation nonsense, or “binding the heavenlies” or “strategic spiritual warfare” or other “formulaic” nonsense that sounds spiritual but isn’t. Third, listen to what God is saying to His Church for these times.

3. Get your house in order. I’m talking about order, not organization. God has plans for your house church in these “end-times”, and those plans begin with ordering His Church in your midst based upon the gifts He has given to serve it and to lead it. Begin seeking God to raise up His gifts and His gifted leaders in your midst. Every revolution, spiritual or otherwise, has leaders. If you don’t know who the gifted leaders in your house church are, either you don’t have any (doubtful) or you haven’t asked God to reveal them (probable), or you’re refusing to recognize them (usually out of fear). Find them. Acknowledge them. Lay hands on them. You’re going to need them, and the Church is going to need them.

4. Begin networking. House churches tend to be an “independent” lot. We don’‘t seem to play well with the other kids in the sand box (although I find the same tendency among conservative institutional churches, bad habits we have apparently carried with us into house church. Detox. Detox). But those days are quickly coming to an end. You will not survive what’s coming as a “free range chicken”. I have a word to describe free range chickens: “lunch” (especially with BBQ sauce). Begin actively building working relationships with other house churches. You’re going to need each other to survive.

5. Simplify (and learn to travel lite). As I have shared before, I believe God is calling His Church to travel lite. Several years ago God called my wife and me to “live by faith”. That calling has, at times, been a challenge, both for us and for those close to us. But we are coming to see how God has used the experience of the past several years to prepare us both to lead and to teach others to do the same by modeling. You can’t lead others to a place you’ve never been. A time is quickly approaching (for us it has already arrived) when leaders simply cannot be tied to a U-Haul. If you don’t know what that means, well, don’t worry. You soon will.

He concludes, "So, is Jesus coming back soon? I can’t say for certain. No one can. But I’m waking up . . . and I smell coffee. How about you?"

2 comments:

A. Amos Love said...

Guy - I really do enjoy your posts.
It’s wonderful to see so many questioning
the norm, the status quo, traditions of men.

This was in Para. #3 today.
“Every revolution, spiritual or otherwise,
has leaders.”

Is that a truth for “the body of Christ”
which is not of this world?
Or is that a tradition of men?
Or a tradition of the worlds system?

A movement or a revolution
probable does need leaders.
But “the body of Christ?”

There seems to be this tremendous
emphasis on leaders, elders, five fold ministry,
apostles and prophets and the rest
and how to meet, how to plant, etc.

Could this be the Martha, Martha syndrome?

Where is the sitting at his feet movement?
The entering into His rest movement?
The ceasing from our own works movement?
The letting God build His Church movement?

I’ve tried a lot of the movements.
Now when I’m looking for a movement
I eat a box of prunes.

I’m worn out with all the movements.
I’d like to and am laboring
to enter into his rest.
Enter into His arms and hear how much
He loves me just the way I am.
Warts and character defects and all.

What would happen if... ?
we had no human leaders in the ekklesia?
What would “the body of Christ” look like?
Would there be a lot less abuse?
Would Jesus still be the head?

Have you considered the ant?

An ant is small and insignificant.
Or is it?

Go to the ant, thou sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having
no guide,
overseer,
or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer,
and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Proverbs 6:6-9

Guide - 07101 qatsiyn from 07096
KJV - ruler 4, prince 4, captain 3, guide 1
1- chief, commander, dictator.
2- ruler (of one in authority)

Overseer - 07860 shoter {sho-tare'}
KJV - officers 23, ruler 1, overseer 1; 25
1- official, officer.

Ruler - 04910 mashal {maw-shal'}
KJV - rule 38, ruler 19, reign 8,
dominion 7, governor 4, 81
1-to rule, have dominion, reign
2- to exercise dominion.

The ant has none of those things
we want to be or we think are neccesary.

Isaiah 3:12 As for my people,
children are their oppressors,
and women rule over them.

O my people, they which lead thee
cause thee to err,
and destroy the way of thy paths.


Isaiah 9:16 For the leaders of this people
cause them to err;
and they that are led of them are destroyed.

Jeremiah 50:6 My people hath been lost sheep:
their shepherds have caused them to go astray...

Jesus took the time to tell his disciples
not to be called master/leader. Mt 23

The Interlinear Bible-
Nor be called leaders,
for one is your leader the Christ.

Phillips Modern English-
you must not let people call you leaders,
you have only one leader, Christ.

Today's English Version-
nor should you be called leader.
your one and only leader is the Messiah.

The Amplified-
you must not be called masters ( leaders )
for you have one master ( leader )
the Christ.

If Jesus told His disciples
not to be called master/leader
and someone calls them self a leader
or thinks they are a leader;
are they a disciple?

Titles become idols and
pastors become masters.

In His Service. By His Grace.

GuyMuse said...

Amos,

We use the term "servant-leader." My understanding is that it is a gift of the Spirit to lead, and those with this gift are to do so with diligence. Rom.12:8

Jesus gave us the ultimate example of being a servant-leader when he washed the disciples feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you... Any true leader is first and foremost a servant.

I do not find that humble servant leaders are a hindrance to the Kingdom. Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, Barnabas, John, Priscila, Apollos, Timothy, and a host of others were leaders. Yes, leaders can (and do) abuse as you point out; but there are also many who humbly serve the saints and do so to the edification of the church.

There is no question that Jesus is the Head of the Body, THE leader.

Thanks for sharing. I always find your observations pertinent to what is being discussed and add to the conversation.

When we serve the brethren