Thursday, January 3

Mega to Mini-Church-Part 1 of 2 (Victor Choudhrie)

A few months ago, Victor Choudhrie emailed me a MS-Word copy of his "Mega Church To Mini Church: 25 Steps to Transit from Being Barren to a Millionaire of Souls." This document outlines key steps in how their team and network of house churches was able to baptize well over 1,000,000 people in a single year (2010). Some of what Victor shares may not resonate well with someone entrenched in contemporary traditional church values and methods, but anyone baptizing a million people in a single year certainly has my attention--can you think of anybody else in history who has even come close to this kind of fruitful ministry?

What follows are the first ten of his twenty-five steps:

1. Shift from church culture to kingdom culture. Yeshua came preaching the Kingdom and commanded us to preach the gospel of the Kingdom in all the world. The church is only a vehicle for advancing the Kingdom, demonstrated by transformed communities. If it is not advancing the Kingdom wherever its members are scattered in the city, among the lost, then it is preaching “another gospel.”
2. Move from corporatized and capitalized temples to gathering in simple organic ‘houses of peace’, which are New Testament based, kingdom oriented, customizable, effective, productive and free. ‘God does not dwell in temples made with human hands’; rather He dwells in human hearts. You are the mobile walking and talking temples of the living God, with a maximum of organism and a minimum of organization.
3. Phase out programmed Sunday ‘services’ while actualizing informal, small interactive gatherings. The Bride of Christ must have intimacy with her Lord every day, not only for a couple of hours a week, lest she become unfaithful...Every Christian home must be the center of vibrant spirituality and the church exists to restore that reality and not replace it. If Christian families and their churches understood and implemented this simple concept, the ends of the earth would be reached in no time at all.
4. Replace legalistic tithing with extravagant sharing. Tithe was never cash but always “food” to be eaten; the firstling of animals, corn, first fruits, wine and oil etc. Even if you came from a long distance, you still had to buy an animal at the local cattle market as gold or silver coins could not be offered at the altar for atonement. In today’s economy, gifts and offerings can be in cash or kind, but must be offered at the apostles’ feet for the apostolic agenda of the church and not for constructing buildings or other extra-biblical programs. Tithe is now “Breaking bread from house to house” and eaten with gladness of heart to multiply Messiah, the bread of life that came down from heaven.
5. Demythologize wafer-and-sip sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and instead promote breaking of bread with simple Agape meals (love feasts) from house to house, that believers take with glad hearts, ‘and the Lord added to His numbers daily’. The Lord served roast lamb, bitter herb, bread and wine, not in a synagogue but ‘in a house’ for the Last Supper...The greatest sin of the church is to keep you blind and ignorant about your authority, rights, privileges and responsibilities as a priest to your family and a royal priest to the nations, thus degrading you into a non-functional Christian.
6. Replace professional music with speaking to each other in psalms and spiritual songs, making melody in your hearts; “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” The church is a discipling hub and not a singing club...On The Pentecost, the birthday of the church, worship took place in a house and not the temple, with the Sword (Word of God by Peter); the Fire (Holy Spirit) and three thousand souls offered up as a living Sacrifice...Worship in truth and spirit is no longer confined to the temple but anyplace, where you make disciples.
7. Shift from being a spectator-oriented church to an interactive, participatory, gender-neutral prophetic church, where everyone can share a psalm, a doctrine, a revelation, a tongue, a testimony, a dream or a vision. Like Yeshua, find Samaritan women and demonized Gadarenes, detoxicate and dispatch them as workplace apostles (sent ones) from day one. The dragon is now driving the world by default because 99.9 percent of sincere Christians are sincerely incompetent to disciple anyone in their work places. Maximize ordinary believers into champion spiritual warfare warriors using their gifts and talents to dethrone the enemy off the dragon land and populate it with the saints of the Most High God.
8. Your Lord did not preach from the same pulpit twice. Why should you? Especially as 300,000 people die every day worldwide, most of them into Christless eternity. Yeshua came to seek and to save the lost. Are you proactively seeking and saving the lost? If not, why not; when there are tens of millions that have yet to hear the gospel for the first time? After three months of fruitless exhortations in the synagogue, Paul shifted into the hall of Tyrannous in the market place, put on his working apron, crafted tents to earn his living, as he taught his twelve Ephesian disciples, as well as his clients, the itinerant nomads, and all Asia heard the gospel.
9. Do not appoint Elders who do not have the tools to convict peoples of other faiths in their tool boxes, nor send theologians with academic tags as missionaries for they know not how to make disciples. They are trained to be aquarium keepers but God is looking for those who multiply their fishes. It is not the content of the sermon but its practical application that creates the movement. Just like fishing, discipling is a skill. Yeshua said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Being a follower of Christ (faithful member of a church) is not enough; you must become a prolific fisher of men.
10. Empower Women - Mary of Magdala, a redeemed sinner, was the first apostle (sent one) to the apostles. Priscilla, Phoebe, Lydia, Apphia, Nympha and host of other women were apostles, prophets, teachers and house church facilitators. Paul never asked women (gune) to keep their mouths shut, he only asked wives (gune) not to embarrass their husbands (aner) in public but to ask them questions at home. He encouraged everyone, men and women to share psalms, teachings, revelations, testimonies and prophesy.” Yeshua’s blood removes the curse of Eve. 

4 comments:

John Nix said...

Wow! This writing has touched on many fine points that I have been thinking about, myself, for some time. People need to be involved in worship and not simply sitting in a pew, detached and non-participatory. Churches need to dis-assemble and move into small groups in people's homes. The one thing I'm worried about is "professional music" the writer wrote about. Beautiful music should be a central element in worhip. The scripture speaks out about playing skillfully. The arts play such a significant role in glorifying God. We must have great music. But not pop music. Pop music is a way of letting the world, the flesh, into the Church. Communion is so commercialized as well. In small groups, communion becomes intimate, and could be done with a meal. Thank you so much for bringing these truths to our attention. Your brother, John Nix

J. Guy Muse said...

John,

If interested in reading more from Victor I can email you the entire document he sent me. I am always challenged by the things he writes, though not necessarily 100%in agreement with all his views. I don't personally think the arts are the issue here as much as the way they are used. In our own ministry music is a very effective tool to quickly reaching people who, many times, would not be responsive to the spoken words of someone.

John Nix said...

Yes, Guy. I would like to receive Victor's entire document. Thanks, John

Charles Lindsey said...

John, I am interested in reading this full article. can you email me at CharlesLindsey@Freedom-ministries.org.

Thanks Charles