Friday, January 4

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

Continuing with Victor Choudhrie's, "Mega Church To Mini Church: 25 Steps to Transit from Being Barren to a Millionaire of Souls" are steps eleven to twenty-five.

11.Drive the change- Start with your family. Your real marriage is to the Lord. The husband-wife-children relationship is just an earthly model to see how you make it work. If you can’t make it work, you may not be invited to the wedding banquet of the Lamb. Sons and daughters - honor your mother and father, if you want to live long. The Hebrew word kabad and the Greek word time’for ‘honor’ means ‘making rich’ or even ‘money paid’. Providing for your aging parents’ ranks higher than paying Korban to your church. Tithing is neither a part of the Ten Commandments, nor a requirement in the New Testament but taking care of parents is in both. Fathers – improve your relationship score with your children, lest the Lord smite the earth with a curse. He is now preparing a new generation of reformers with new values, concepts and vision to drive the change, to restore the Body which is grossly disfigured and marred by centuries of extra-biblical additions and accretions, into the original Bride without spots, wrinkles and blemishes.
12. Know your identity in Christ: You are an ambassador of Christ, the highest ranking representative of the government of God, wherever you are posted. You are a royal-priest­, made so by the blood of the Lamb. Dismantle the ‘Reverend’culture and breach the preacher-creature divide. Like Melchizedek, the royal-priest of Jerusalem (City of Peace), who served bread and wine, took a tithe and blessed Abraham, bring godly governance to your city. Catch the vision of cloning and saturating the city with royal-priests, and run with that vision. Remember every royal priest is authorized to offer the sanctified lost people as mincha (bloodless sacrifice), baptize and serve the Lord’s Supper. God is not looking for shepherds who just take care of his sheep but entrepreneurs who multiply his sheep.
13. Paul’s passion was to conduct a saturation blitz of the gospel, where Christ had not been named, not just with words but with mighty signs and deeds. What is your passion? Challenge purposeless churches to enunciate a clear vision and to lay out a road map to translate that vision into action plans and set goals to ‘do greater things than these’. For supernatural harvest, minimize motivational pep talks and maximize supernatural healing and deliverance...Armed with maps, stats and the Great Commission, go 2x2 treasure hunting, find “the person of peace”, heal the sick, cast out demons and then teach them the divine arithmetic of discipling just one soul every month, and very soon, you will have a thousand souls in your savings account.
14. Most church going Christians are deluded into thinking that they are believers. To be a believer you have to carry signs (evidence, proof) of a believer? – “And these signs shall follow a believer; he shall cast out demons…and pray for the sick and they will be healed.” But a believer will not make it to heaven, if he fails to disciple the delivered. Yeshua did not ask you to make believers, but to make disciples. Unglue from the pews all those lukewarm Churchians who sit, soak and stagnate, and send them to heal the sick, raise the dead, tread on snakes and scorpions (expel demons), bind the ‘strongman’, plunder his possessions, demolish the gates of Hell, and make disciples.
15. Resurrect from being a dead organization to a living organism. Missions is too important to be left to extra-biblical professionals with cosmetic titles like Director, Chairman and CEO etc. Replace “Reverend culture” with five-fold ministry-gifted Elders of either gender, like apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. The primary function of the church is to equip the saints, stagnating on the pews, for the works of the ministry (offering mincha), resulting in growth and multiplication of the Body.
16. Stop despising the barefoot apostles: The religious mega-stars of yesteryears were focused on revival and churching the un-churched. In spite of mega claims, they made little dent in the global spiritual landscape. In the last couple of decades, the non-literate story tellers belonging to the oral tradition grassroots level workers, who were focused on “conversion movement” have emerged as global players in changing the religious canvass, especially the 10/40 Window countries. It is the shift from superstars to the common man/women, as the real drivers of the missions, that is changing the spiritual profile of the globe. To reach the ends of the earth, maximize every cell church, Sunday school, bible school, prayer cell, youth and women’s fellowships, cottage meeting and indeed every Christian household into full-fledged, authentic churches.
17. Filter out non-performing goats that come only for hatching (baby baptisms), matching (weddings) and dispatching (funerals). Replace them with sheep that take care of the hungry, thirsty, naked, strangers, sick and prisoners. Culling i.e. getting rid of the non-productive sheep and donating them as free gift to the nearest Pentecostal church, will greatly improve your standing in the local Pastor’s Fellowship. Culling is an integral dynamics of the ‘best practices’ of sheep rearing, so that the shepherd can focus and invest on the most productive sheep...As the dominance and the power of the clergy diminishes and the effectiveness of the empowered believers increases, the kingdom goes ballistic.
18. Simplify disciple making. Invite a couple of truth-seekers for a meal where the main dish is- The Lamb. Redefine authentic church as “the household of God” with a mission; wherever two or three, eat, meet, gossip the gospel, and multiply. Like Paul try reasoning first, if that does not work, then try persuading and if that fails, try disputing and when push comes to shove, perform a notable miracle that they cannot deny...Mini-church is the most cost effective strategy for reaching the ends of the earth by saving one household at a time. The architecture of an organic “household of God” is radically different from an organized church. It not only looks different but also her functional dynamics are entirely different.
19. Re-baptize seminaries, which are the Trees of the knowledge of good and evil and sanctify them as The Great Commission training centers. Be the Tree of life, wherever you are planted, and bring forth abundant new fruit, even your leaves should be for the healing of the nations. Share the whole wisdom of God from house to house, and set up an unstoppable momentum of multi-generational discipleship chain. Be they delinquent Christians or defiant devotees of other faiths, sound doctrine is not scholarly sermons from the pulpit, but the ability to convince, convict, convert and bring the recalcitrant to repentance.
20. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to work and to guard it. Significantly the Hebrew word Avodah for work can also be translated worship. Adam was to worship God through his work in the garden while guarding it from demonic attack. God took an accountability walk every evening to see how Adam was doing...Paul, Aquila and Pricilla, Cornelius, the Jailor, Lydia, Phoebe and many others continued to work in their professions and also transformed their workplaces. The same infallible and Holy God, in His wisdom has placed you, a fallible sinner, among other sinners, to worship Him through your redemptive work.
21. Remove the chapel, the chaplain, the pulpit, the collection box and the Sunday service and the church will still be there because you are the walking and talking mobile temple of the living God. Reorient your personal paradigm. Recognize ‘Hi, Hello,’ happy clappy Sunday Service as your ‘secondary, optional church’, a fig leaf skirt that is only a temporary solution. Your business, workplace or home, wherever you spend most of your time, is your ‘Primary nuclear church’. It matters little whether you are the CEO, or the janitor or the kitchen queen; you are a full-time work-place minister and accountable. Salvation is free but discipleship is costly. Salvation restores your relationship with the Father but discipleship restores you in the image of God by becoming a blessing to others. Salvation is not enough, for you are saved to save others.
22. Offer Mincha and then Pray. God said, my house shall be a house of sacrifice and I will meet with you and speak with you at the altar where continuous sacrifice is made...Yeshua said, “My house is a house of prayer for all nations” which means all nations will come there to be prayed for healing and deliverance and then discipled all the way into the Kingdom...A church that does not send you out to ‘raise your holy hands to pray everywhere’and optimize you to walk tall and make Christ ‘high and lifted up’ in your city, is not worth going to for you are not just a lay member of a fragmented denomination but a value added discipler of nations.
23. Most good missionaries practice bad missiology because they come from highly literate societies heavily preloaded with their church culture and traditions which they try to impose on others who find them offensive. They must change hearts and delete all that is demonic but should do no violence to their food habits, dress code and culture, including their worship style, just because they are different. Do not hurriedly church a new believer into an institutional church, where he will be lectured to but not discipled. Yeshua did not call us to be church-goers but cross-bearers and disciple-makers. Sadly 99.9 percent Christians do not have a clue, on how to share their faith even with their best friends, forget about leading someone of other faith to Christ and by some fluke if that happens, then they do not know how to make him a disciple, simply because they themselves have never been discipled. Find a coach who is loaded with lasting fruit, to take you out for practice sessions in the harvest field.
24. Are you Rapture ready? Do not wait ‘till death do us part’, rather do whatever it takes to precipitate Rapture by bringing Christ back on earth in your own generation. Re-set your priorities to preach Christ where He has not been named. Any place where Christ is not high and lifted up, including your workplace, home or neighborhood is dragon land. You are a candle with the potential to kindle thousands of candles and obliterate darkness from those who sit in darkness and in the shadows death. For this you do not have to go to church from Sunday to Sunday nor work from paycheck to paycheck. You are chosen and “ordained” to bring lasting fruit.
25. Adopt a ‘completion mindset’. Evaluate your ministry by the Great Commission as its mandate, with the numbers of disciples made, baptized, equipped and sent out as the benchmark. Like our Lord, focus on a few to reach many. Aim to become a millionaire of souls. And why not? After all, you believe in a great and awesome God for whom nothing is impossible. At the very least, like Peter, shoot for 3000 baptisms every Pentecost. Or like Paul, plant a multiplying micro-church every day, till you can claim, “There are no more places left here for me to fully preach the gospel.’ The minimum standard to qualify as a follower of Yeshua is, that like your Master, equip twelve disciples who have the confidence and the competence to turn their world upside, wherever they are placed. If you are not connected with your world, then you are disconnected with your God for He has placed you there to write Acts 29.
l-my wife Linda, c-Bindu Choudhrie, r-me (Guy)
at the Antioch Gathering in October 2009

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