MAKING DISCIPLES IS THE MANDATE – CHURCH PLANTING IS THE OUTCOME

Where in the Bible are we commanded to plant churches? The simple and obvious response is, “it is not commanded.” Planting churches flows naturally out of making disciples. The heart of the church’s mission is to make disciples who make disciples.

In the New Testament, a disciple is more than someone who grows in their theological knowledge of God. A disciple fellowships with other believers, worships in a community, and prays like those assembled in a house in Acts 4.

And now, Lord, look upon their (the Worlds) threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.Acts 4:29-31

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, a disciple then boldly declares the word of God such that more and more people become followers of Jesus.

Missionaries have historically been the most vital source of a nation’s social development. These findings yield two important conclusions about the work of Protestant missionaries. Their message was good for the world and their focus was making disciples.

This understanding of a disciple is highlighted throughout the New Testament. Through a study of the early movement in Ephesus, we see at least thirteen characteristics common to them all.

  • Disciples are respectful of people and culture when they engage in God’s mission (Acts 19:7, 37).
  • Disciples surrender to God’s will and maintain the work of their first love in a theocentrically focused missiological theology (Eph 1; Eph 5:18-19; Rev 2:4).
  • Disciples declare the mystery of Christ to the nations (Eph 3:4-10, 1 Tim 2:1-4).
  • Disciples are equipped by movement leaders for ministry (Eph 4:12; 1 Timothy).
  • Disciples exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (Eph 4-5).
  • Disciples are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses (Eph 5:18-19, 2 Tim 1:7).
  • Disciples are godly fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, employees and employers (Eph 5:22-6:9).
  • Disciples pray for opportunities to share the gospel because they know God is most glorified when more people are worshipping him (Eph 6:18-20, 1 Tim 2:1-4).
  • Disciples stand up for the marginalized (1 Tim 2:8-15, 5:3-16; Rev 2:6).
  • Disciples learn sound doctrine from movement leaders who can teach (1 Tim 4:7).
  • Disciples are willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel (2 Tim 1:8).
  • Disciples are committed to multiplying more disciples (2 Tim 2:2).
  • Disciples defend the faith against false teaching (Rev 2:2).

Extracts from an article “Is Church Planting a Biblical Mandate?” October 28, 2020, by Jackson Wu

WHAT’S WRONG WITH CHURCH

A major issue afflicting the Church is the “clergy-laity mentality.” It is a pervasive mindset where the paid clergy leads the church and they are called “pastors.” They do most of the ministry work and laypeople serve the ministry of that pastor.

The Apostle Paul writes that the Church, the household of God, is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:20

Paul continues that the Lord gave fivefold offices for the edification of the Church, specifically

apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-12

All five of these gifts are needed and on a broad-based level, you need the apostles and prophets working together, hearing from God together. To use military terminology: apostles [are] the generals. The prophets being the seers, they’re the ones getting the intel [from God],

For a local church, there needs to be impartation from all those gifts, equipping from all those offices to equip people to minister to those who are not part of the Church, not just to minister to each other. The apostles are the builders, the church-planters, those who are trainers and equippers. And the prophetic is to come alongside them to help guide and speak to that — what is the Lord saying right now in the present. All five offices are needed to work together so that the Church can hear the full counsel of God.

 

Episcopal church ordains lesbian Bishop

Unfortunately, the institutional church came up with the model of training one man, then one man or woman and now transgender as well to be the pastor/leader of the church. This model is not Biblical and is in fact the apostate church Jesus (Matthew 24:12) and Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 ) spoke of as one of the “end times” signs. It has no understanding of the fivefold gifts working together to see each and every believer functioning and bringing the Kingdom into their workplace, in the marketplace, into their school, then a greater expression of Jesus is manifested in society. What is needed is small-a apostles?

Larry Kreider of DOVE International — an interdenominational global family of churches and ministries on six continents believes that an apostolically inclined small-a apostle is motivated by and is thinking on a macro, big-picture level, and wants to see the Kingdom of God extend across their city, state, region, nation and world. As with any other spiritual gift and vocations, this gifting is to be called out and affirmed by others in the Body of Christ. To function in these gifts, one needs to see the gifting’s in others, It’s not just someone who prophesies or carries a prophetic gift, but someone who trains up and pours into others so they can mature spiritually. 

This is truly the church as described in the Book of Acts and will be the church that overcomes during the tribulation in the last days before Jesus returns “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The victor will never be harmed by the second death.Revelation 2:10-11

LIFE IN CHRIST FOR YOUR FAMILY

Seven years ago Robert and his wife Evelyn decided to take a leap of faith to leave their jobs and careers behind, trusting God to provide for them and lead them further. In this video Robert shares what happened since then and the things they learned. Living eternal now being directed by the Holy Spirit believing God’s Word.

“Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18:28-30

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? … But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:25-34

MORE FROM THE LAST REFORMATION MOVEMENT:

I want to say that this is not only a life Robert and his family are called to live. I believe this is a life many more people are called to live! Not that everyone should do exactly as they did, but everyone CAN do so much more than we are often doing! Start where you are! Use the free resources we have – The Kickstart Package, the online Pioneer School, etc… all the resources which are available for you to use to bear fruit!

But I also want to challenge many of you out there – I think many more people ARE called to do like Robbert and his family! We have just done a new page on TheLastReformation.com called FAMILY ON A MISSION. You can see the link here: youtu.be/lXvMqdLzGyo

On this page, you will find other stories of other people who started to see amazing fruit! What you can see is that every story is different, but every person is the same in the sense that the Holy Spirit is leading, God is providing, and there is amazing fruit!

So I want to challenge you even more, especially in the times we are living in now – don’t get old and look back at your life regretting that you did not take some big steps for Jesus! Don’t stand in front of Jesus one day when He comes back very soon, not having anything to show! Do what He has called you to do! And let us know how we can help you!

JIREH/HOW HE LOVES

Love this song from Justin Bieber and Chandler Moore posted by Churchome. They are a community built on the life and teachings of Jesus.

Extract from their website:

“The name, “Churchome,” reflects our belief that we are going to be a church that functions like a home, that looks like a home, and that loves like a home. And ultimately, what we experience on earth will look a lot like heaven.

Luke 15 has become a hallmark passage for our community. The idea and concept of home is centric in scripture. It is the idea that every human is a sojourner and he/she is returning home. Home is not so much brick and mortar, an actual space or room. Home is a place and a posture our soul discovers in Jesus—where the created returns to a loving relationship with the Creator. Bringing people home is what God does. Whether prodigals or prodigies, artists or intellectuals, rebels or rejects, God’s arms are open to all.”

INSTITUTIONAL CHURCHES COMPROMISE WITH THE WORLD

Over the last few decades in the West, and particularly in America, we have seen the destruction of the institution of marriage, the removal of God’s Word in most areas of public life, particularly schools, and the embracing of Critical Race Theory. Moreover, most pulpits are silent about governmental abuse, the LGBTQ agenda, and the blatant murdering of millions of babies. This is an indictment against the nations and the church – our silence speaks volumes. Are God’s people watchmen or cowards?

The pulpit regulates the spiritual condition of God’s people which affects the nation. A lukewarm, sex-saturated culture (and church) simply reflects the lack of conviction in the pulpit as well as the pew.

Sadly, many pastors under the direction of their institutions are exchanging truth for passivity, boldness for cowardliness, and conviction for comfort…they are not aflame with righteousness. They are motivational speakers rather than preachers of righteousness and females taking male roles of leadership in the church.

Arlington Street Anglican Church
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Westboro Baptist Church

Pastors (Christian leaders) must take responsibility for the spiritual health of today’s church, and the nation. We don’t need more marketing plans, demographic studies, or giving campaigns; we need churches as outlined in the Book of Acts filled with the Spirit of God. Disciples making more disciples of Christ.

The Institutional churches and the prosperity gospel have emasculated the church. It will be the church of Laodicea:

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.Revelation 3:15-18

This is the church that is “Left Behind” to experience the wrath of God with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements. As I have explained previously, each of the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 represent the church in each of the seven years prior to Jesus return (70th week of the 70 Weeks Prophecy given to Daniel by Gabriel – Daniel 9:24-27). The church of Laodicea is the last church that will live through the seventh year when the wrath of God is poured out on an unrepentant world. The previous church, the church of Philadelphia is the church that is raptured.

“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my nameBecause you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.Revelation 3:10-11

Which church will you belong to the church of Philadelphia or the church of Laodicea?

MAKING DISCIPLES FOR CHRIST

The Bible defines in the book of Acts, what the Christian life should be as a disciple of Jesus Christ — healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, casting out demons, and making disciples of all nations, baptising them to Jesus Christ, and teaching them to observe all things that Jesus commanded.

Sadly, this does not describe the Christian life for most of us in the West. The church needs to come back to the beginnings of the church that we read about in the Book of Acts. We have to return to God’s intention and see how the Holy Spirit moves as we step out in faith to share the Gospel and grow His Kingdom.

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Torben Sondergaad of the Last reformation explains what he believes has occurred with the church in the West and what needs to happen now.

“It was never God’s intention for these revealed truths to result in independent church denominations that, after a while, quench the fire of revival. God did not intend to create separate churches and denominations with their own disconnected ‘little’ truths, while ignoring the other parts and, thus, hindering their members from gaining the whole truth. We believe that it is a reformation that will restore the Church back to what we read in Acts: a simple disciple-life led by the Holy Spirit, where the kingdom of God comes near in homes, on the streets, in shops — yes, all places where people are,” says Torben.

“He says the Church is not the building; the Church is you and me. “God does not live in a temple built of stone. He lives in us — Christians, His disciples. Jesus wants to be part of our everyday life in a practical, direct relationship with Him, without intermediaries.

“I have so many testimonies of people who have been sitting in a Church for 20 or 40 years and have never led anybody to Christ, never cast out demons, healed the sick or experienced the supernatural life, and don’t have testimonies like we read about in the book of Acts.

“The book of Acts should be the normal Christian life — being led by the Holy Spirit and used by God to build His Church, whereas most Christian churchgoers do not lead a life as described in the book of Acts,” says Torben.”

He contends that although Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, we should ask ourselves if the Holy Spirit is living through us in the same way He lived through the followers of Christ in the book of Acts.

BIBLE DISCOVERY HOME GROUPS

An important step in making disciples for Jesus. You don’t have to be a graduate of a Bible College to conduct these Bible studies. Family as a Mission to Make Disciples.

In this video, Torben introduces you to three simple steps you can take to see a Bible Discovery Group begin! These three steps provide a simple but amazing tool you can use to host your own Bible Group. Last Reformation (L.R.) is already seeing many new groups start all over America!

Last Reformation plans to network with groups who are ready to start a Bible Discovery Group or host THE KICKSTART PACKAGE. The goal being to see a reformation of the church, back to the REAL JESUS FELLOWSHIP – just like the early church, with love, power, and growth! Then they will make disciples and see Jesus build HIS church!

L.R. expects this is going to explode! I think they are right! So watch the video! Share the video!

KENYA HOUSE CHURCHES MISSION TRIP

FORTHCOMING MISSION TRIP TO KISII  REGION ON 14TH -18TH JULY, 2021


God opened the door for us in this region as a result of a previous trip by pastors, Charles, Maurice and Jacob. Two House churches were established: one in BUEMBU and the other in KARUNGU.

Maps showing Kisii in relation to Migori where Charles is based

A special invitation has been on our desk now for 2 months, wanting us to take our discipleship ministry back there.
After repeated prayers seeking direction and leading from God, we feel led by the Holy spirit to visit this region on July 14th-18th, so that we may fulfil our Macedonian call “come over here and help us”

The need and request was received from five Christian brothers who live in the region, one of which is an ex Muslim.
In our last meeting, we resolved to raise Kshs 67,000/ approx. Au$ 658. Until now, the leaders and KHC believers have raised a total of Kshs 37,000 which is not enough. Hence, the KHC movement and the board of  elders is requesting our friends, LEN and  partners in the work of ministry to help fund our trip with the remaining amount of money of Kshs 30,000/ approx. Au$ 380. Your support for KHC movement will be highly appreciated and will be for God’s glory!
Yours,
Leader & Founder KHC movement.
Charles.

I have been blessed to be able to assist the KHC Movement for sometime now and will continue to do so. I am a pensioner now so am limited in what I can do. I would appreciate any LEN follower out there who feels led to join me in supporting the KHC Movement. You can do so by making a donation on the Donation link on the Home Page.

HOW CHURCHES ARE TRANSFORMED

In this video, Pastor Craig from Destiny Church in Naples, Florida tells about his experience with the Kickstart Weekend they had there a few months ago. He tells how it has been a big blessing in his church, and how it has encouraged other pastors to have Kickstarts in their churches!

Jesus has given us a command, and that is to make disciples. This is truly what a Kickstart Weekend is doing. It is a beautiful tool in disciple-making – to equip people, to help people to understand and share the Gospel, pray for the sick, cast out demons, and make strong disciples wherever they are!

This is a description of the church as described in the Book of Acts. Church as God intended and certainly a description of the “end times” church which we are told will come under intense persecution.

CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS

The effects of the pandemic, the growing cultural disdain for “organized religion,” and the socio-politico turn to secularism have reduced church rolls. A Gallup report going all the way back to 1937 shows formal church membership has dropped from a high of 70% to 39% in 2020.

“Continued decline in future decades seems inevitable,” predicted Gallup Senior Editor Jeffrey M. Jones.

Is it over for American churches? Are we living in the era of end-times apostasy signaling an inevitable, irreversible slow fade of church life as we know it?

Movements come and go, say some historical observers, and it just may be that the church’s journey in finite time from the launch at Pentecost has sputtered out. Institutional atrophy seems inevitable.

Sadly, the institutional quest causes a church to become introverted, focusing more on its institutional survival than on incarnational mission. The focus on survival and reconstruction on the ruins of a collapsed institution means a church’s own survival becomes more important than the Lord who created it, the truth He gave it, the call to which He summoned it, and the people to whom He sent it.

The biblical view is the kairological outlook: God so often uses catastrophes for His purposes and no doubt this will be a new day for the Church of Jesus Christ. The church Jesus intended as described in the Book of Acts.

The focus must not be on trying to breathe life into dying institutions. In the biblical scheme, death leads to resurrection. Rather than seeing this period with the desperation of hopeless people watching the creep of finite time bringing death to antiquated hulks, the better focus should be that of the infusion of new life. Rather than pre-occupation with sustaining structure, the energy should be spent on building ministry, making disciples of Jesus. Instead of mourning the death that is inevitable in chronos-time, it is better to rejoice at the new kairological day that is rising before us.

adapted from an article in Christian Post: A New Day for the Church Part 1 by Wallace B Henley