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?"