EXTREMES OF CHRISTIANITY: WHICH TRULY EXPRESSES JESUS EXAMPLE?

Simple missional forms of church were normal in the first century – and are proving relevant for today. Here are some insights on the early church taken from the New Testament. 1. All NT churches met in homes, 2. There were multiple churches in each community that loved on its people, 3. All members of the church participated, 4. Church was not a building Christians went to or a denomination they belonged to. Christians were church in their community. 5. Households provided natural leadership for home churches, 6. Paul did appoint ‘overseers’ to foster these networks. These were mature believers, not given to power seeking – but encouragers, able to facilitate disciple making and the planting of new churches, 7. They were relational communities – eating, serving, sharing. Christians shared in Sabbath fellowship, Communion, Scripture reading and prayers. There is no tension over culture or ethnicity. 8. They were ‘zero dollar’ – but high cost church plants. First century believers shared faith with family, friends and neighbours, inviting them to their homes. High cost because it is a sacrifice of time and energy to share faith with family and social networks. Offerings help with rent, food for someone who has lost their job or a struggling family. Maybe to assist school expenses for a single mum or support another church start up. 9. Church structures are simple and Holy Spirit directed. No hierarchical structures, 10. Churches easily reproducible. Disciples made disciples and baptised them and in turn they made disciples. 11. They are the best environment to hand on faith.

Developed from article by Peter Rosenfeldt. Check out his website http://www.newlifechurch.com

PASTOR IN INDIA

A pastor in India who was known for long five- to six-hour prayer sessions was found beaten, tortured and hung to death from the rafters of his church, parishioners said. The murder has deeply shocked the congregation.

Morning Star News reported on Sunday that the body of pastor Gideon Periyaswamy of Maknayeem Church in southern India was found early Saturday morning. His death comes after he had complained about Hindu extremists.

Pastor Azariah Reuben, a close friend of the 43-year-old victim, said that Periyaswamy converted from Hinduism 25 years ago, and has served as pastor in Adayachery for more than 12 years, becoming known as a “prayer warrior.”

“The local Hindus were not happy with growing Christianity,” Reuben said. “They had several times tried to stop the ministry.”

PASTOR IN THE U.S.A

Kenneth Copeland’s ministry announced last Friday the acquisition of the “debt free” jet, which hit the market with a $36 million price tag in 1998. The ultra-long-range business jet can accommodate up to four crew members and 14 passengers in an executive configuration, according to Gulfstream. It is unclear how much Copeland’s ministry paid for the jet but A V Buyer says they currently have the lowest priced Gulfstream V on the market priced at just under $6 million.

“Father we thank you so and I’m asking you now sir, according to your word, bless our partners beyond measure. Yes, in the name of Jesus. For you said in 2002, ‘I’m sending you new partners who are very strong financially and they will obey me.

And I will increase your longtime partners and they will obey me,” Copeland, 81, said in a prayer of thanksgiving for the new jet.

“And you will not come short. And you will not fail. And you will not lack. And you will not come behind and you will not be diminished. Praise God,” he said of his donors.

 

IN THE CHAOS, THE LIGHT OF CHRIST SHINES BRIGHTLY

Brandon Sanders, assistant pastor at Powerhouse Church in Katy, Texas reports on how their church responded to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Epic Flooding Inundates Houston After Hurricane Harvey

Our whole region has been devastated by the lingering rains and flooding of Hurricane Harvey, but the response of our people has been amazing. Powerhouse Church is built on the foundation of a Gospel lived, not just a Gospel preached. For 21 years we have been in Katy, Texas and any time there has been a need we have answered the call, Hurricane Harvey is no different. Members of our church and community made sure their families were okay and then sprung into action to make sure others were safe as well. With over 20 inches of rain, 9 straight hours of down pour, the water rose swiftly and many were overtaken in moments. Calls overwhelmed the emergency lines and we jumped into action via social media and text mobilizing teams alongside the City of Katy officials for shelter and evacuation. We housed over 200 people in our facilities overnight and mobilized rescue teams for high water evacuations. We are now a resource center working hand in hand with other local Pastors, churches, and government agencies to provide resources and relief for all those in need. From bass boats, diapers, dry clothes, high risk rescues or just simple prayers and words of encouragement.

It is a beautiful thing to watch the heart of God in action as his people selflessly put their lives aside for the sake of others. This how we witness for our King; we stand strong in perilous times, we remain faithful in times of fear, we are courageous in the face of danger, and we allow love for our fellow man to move us into action and watch ordinary people do extraordinary things.

BUILDING CHURCH GOD’S WAY

Church do you love your community? How is that expressed? Are you truly serving Jesus with your resources?

Build buildings that don’t load your church with debt and can serve your community. Is this what we see happening today?

God has raised up Dan Cook, architect and construction company owner and founder of Building God’s Way  to serve the church in these last days. Listen to several pastors talk about  church buildings that will serve Christ and the community.