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.