CHURCH IS A PEOPLE WHO, NOT A PLACE AT

I love that mantra for church, because it makes it clear that the church is not a building but a people who take seriously the GREAT COMMISSION for the church to GO and make disciples.

Torben gives us a simple “model” of what to do when you gather with small groups to disciple each other.

The simple model based on JESUS IS THE CENTRE and IN (fellowship), UP (focus on God, communion a good start)  and OUT (take the Gospel to the world)

YOU DON’T GO TO CHURCH, IT IS YOUR IDENTITY

Love this presentation by Francis Chan on the church. You will need an hour but you can hear it in 15 minute segments and not lose the message.

“We need to be the generation that kills the consumerism in the church.” says Francis Chan. I’ll say amen to that.

“Joy that is inexpressible.” “Peace that passes all comprehension.” “Power that incomprehensible.” Is that the church we see. It is the church that Jesus describes.

Lord, please enlighten the eyes of our hearts so that we see the truth of Your Word.

Listen to Francis Chan read Scripture (Revelation 4 & 5) and realise we are reading God’s Word which beats any presentation that comes from the mind of men.

 

GOD INVARIABLY USES THE MEEK & HUMBLE TO ACHIEVE HIS PURPOSES

On what was more than likely an ordinary day 500 years ago, Luther nailed his 95 theses, written in Latin, to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. He intended them to be read only by church theologians.

Without Luther’s permission, someone took the 95 theses and translated them into German and printed them. Luther’s ideas went viral, spreading like wildfire throughout the whole of Germany, causing a tremendous stir within the church and with the common people.

WHO WAS THE UNKNOWN PERSON WHO TRANSLATED AND DISTRIBUTED THE 95 THESES?

“Ordinary people didn’t know their Bible because they didn’t have Bibles,” says Dr. Kendall, an admirer of Luther’s and a student of Luther’s life and ministry. “The Roman Catholic Church did not want you to have Bibles. They just told you what the Bible said. Your faith [was] whatever the church believed. For Luther, it was deeper than that.”

In 1520, Luther stood trial before the German emperor, Frederick the Wise, and Cardinal Catejan, and was asked to recant his words. He didn’t, and while awaiting a possible execution, Luther was “kidnapped” by a group of friends, who took him to Wartburg, where he spent 10 months translating the Bible into the common German language.

“Martin Luther began to teach the Bible, and it really began to turn things upside down,” Dr. Kendall says. “People had never heard the Bible explained to them the way he did. They came in droves to hear him preach. And now, 500 years later, people have Bibles, but they don’t read them.

Extract from article by Steve Strang in Charisma Magazine

CHURCH AS GOD INTENDED IT TO BE

Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, was drawing around 5,000 people and growing in 2010. But Francis Chan felt the megachurch he founded was not as God intended it to be.

Francis Chan, a bestselling author who heads We Are Church, speaks at the Facebook headquarters in California, June 22, 2017.

“I got frustrated at a point, just biblically, Chan said. “According to the Bible, every single person in the church has a supernatural gift that’s meant to be used for the body. And I’m like 5,000 people show up every week to hear my gift, see my gift. That’s a lot of waste. Then I started thinking how much does it cost to run this thing? Millions of dollars!”

“So I’m wasting the human resource of these people that according to Scripture have a miraculous gift that they could contribute to the body but they’re just sitting there quietly. … [T]hey just sit there and listen to me.”

Moreover, he felt the church wasn’t following God’s command to love one another — attendees would simply greet each other for 30 seconds and mainly hang out in cliques once a week.

“I was like, ‘God, you wanted a church that was known for their love. You wanted a group of people where everyone was expressing their gifts. … We’re a body. I’m one member, maybe I’m the mouth. But if the mouth is the only thing that’s working and … I’m trying to drag the rest of the body along, chewing on the carpet …”

His decision in 2010 to leave Cornerstone — which he started in his living room — came as a shock to many, including fellow evangelical pastors. In his announcement to the congregation at that time, he said he had been feeling a restlessness and stirring to let go of the megachurch and take on a new adventure.

He also indicated that he was wary of being “comfortable.”

In his talk at Facebook last week, he offered more details about why he made that decision to leave, including a desire to get away from the pride he began to feel as his book, Crazy Love, became a bestseller and as he became a popular sought-after speaker.

“I freaked out during that time in my life,” Chan recalled. “The pride … [going to] a conference and seeing my face on a magazine … and hearing whispers … and walking in the room and actually liking it.”

At one point, Chan felt convicted and realized he became everything he didn’t want to be. “Everything you (God) said you hated, that’s me right now,” he realized. “I gotta get out of here. I’m losing my soul.”

Chan stressed to the Facebook group that God hates pride and that one can easily lose humility.

Today, Chan leads a house church movement in San Francisco called We Are Church. There are currently 14 to 15 house churches, he said, and 30 pastors (two pastors per church) — all of whom do it for free. Each church is designed to be small so it’s more like family where members can actually get to know one another, love one another and make use of their gifts.

“We’ve got a few hundred people now and it costs nothing,” Chan explained. “And everyone’s growing and everyone’s having to read this book (Bible) for themselves and people actually caring for one another. I don’t even preach. They just meet in their homes, they study, they pray, they care for one another. They’re becoming the church and I’m just loving it and realising that these 30 guys [are] leading this and the women as well.”

The people who join include “guys coming off the streets, out of prison to doctors and people that work here (Facebook) or Google,” he said.

He’s hoping to double the number of house churches every year so that in 10 years, there would be 1.2 million people in We Are Church. And, he reiterated, it’s all free.

How would he compare the megachurch he once led to the current house church movement?

“This one guy put it like this: It’s like being adopted rather than being in an orphanage,” Chan said. “Church the way I was doing was like an orphanage. Here’s just a bunch of kids with one leader. And rather than saying ‘No, you know what, we’re going to put you in a home and these guys are going to actually know you and love you and care for you.’

“It’s just like family.”

Recalling a sober moment he had while at Cornerstone Church, Chan said he baptized a kid from a gang but that kid later left though he was quite involved in the church.

“One of my friends asked him, ‘Hey, how come you’re not at Cornerstone anymore?’ He said ‘I didn’t understand church. When I was baptised, I thought that was going to be being jumped into the gang where it’s like 24/7 they’re my family, because I didn’t know it was just somewhere we attend on Sundays.”

When Chan heard that, he said it made him sick.

“That makes me so sick that the gangs are a better picture of family than the church of Jesus Christ. I can’t live with that. … We’re going to do something different.”

While Chan said he loves what he’s doing now, he admitted that it wasn’t easy and that his former gig at the megachurch was easier in some aspects.

“Some days I think it was a lot easier when I could just preach, go back and drive off in my car and leave all of them like I will today,” he said to laughter among the Facebook employees. “I don’t have to care for your issues, you know? … I’ll never see you again.

“This is easy. But you have this circle here and you’re in each other’s lives and no offence, it’s not this Facebook — I can just put up what I want about myself. That’s kind of like the way church was. It’s like let me just show you this one side on Sunday morning and let me just show you the best pictures of me and my greatest accomplishments.

“But when it’s family, it gets messy. And you start finding out people’s dirt. Just like you know about your brother and sister every Thanksgiving. It’s messy because it’s family. That’s what Christ wanted. And so we fight for it. And it’s been a blast.”

As for what he does with all the money he earns through his bestselling books, Chan said he gives it all away.

He had prayed to God years ago, saying he was frustrated with the rich people in church who only give 5 to 10 percent of their money to church while living off millions. He prayed that God would either raise up a new generation of rich people who would actually live for eternity and give all their money away or make him rich.

“I’ll give it all away to show that you’re better than all of that,” Chan remembered praying. So when he surprisingly made a million dollars the next year through his book and continued to make more over the following years, he signed it all over to a charitable gift fund “so that I can’t even touch it. I can’t even buy lunch with the money … I can only give to charity.

“It’s been the best thing. Now I spend my days going and looking where are the needs around the world and how can I contribute to it?”

 

PRAY AS JESUS AND PAUL DID – FOR UNITY

JESUS PRAYED THIS PRAY FOR ALL BELIEVERS BEFORE  HE WENT TO THE CROSS

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved MeJohn 17:20-23

PAUL PRAYED THAT WE MAY GLORIFY GOD TOGETHER

“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.         Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the Glory of God” Romans 15:5-7

Listen to Craig Groeshel deliver a great sermon on “Unity” and see what a church can achieve when it embraces Jesus command. Unity is not the same as uniformity. Unity with diversity.

IS GOD GOING TO USE MICRO-CHURCHES IN THESE LAST DAYS?

A revelation received from the Lord by Lance Wallnau on the concept of micro-churches.

“A micro-church is what Daniel had in Babylon with his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah.

In Daniel 2:17, Daniel went to his house and made the dire situation known to his three friends.  If he could not interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream the king would kill Daniel and all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel encouraged them to seek mercies from the God of heaven—that the meaning of the dream would be revealed.  Later, the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. God gave him Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and a download of what was going to happen in Babylon.  As a result, Daniel was appointed by the king to rule over the province.  When Daniel was promoted, he promoted his friends.

No matter how dark our world becomes—even if it reaches the level of sin as in the days of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar—those with the Daniel anointing will rise to lead. The Bible says that when Nebuchadnezzar had his dream, Daniel had to reach into the supernatural dream interpreting power of God.

As I reflected on this story, I said to the Lord, “So this is a vision of a house church.” The Lord said, “No, not a house church.  A house church doesn’t have a common work assignment.”

 So what are the characteristics of a micro-church?

  1. Common assignment. A micro-churchis when you come together with those who share the same calling and faith.  A house church is different. There is no common assignment in a house church other than fellowship and mutual edification.  A micro-church has a Kingdom agenda, a shared assignment that brings them together.
  2. Small in size.  I asked the Lord for another reference, and He took me to Peter’s arrest in Acts 12.  There again, when Peter gets supernaturally delivered he went to the one location that made sense—the house of Mary the mother of John.  When he arrived he discovered many gathered together in prayer for him (Acts 12:12).  It was a house filled with intercessors.  A micro-church is a praying company with a common assignment.  This is a group small enough to fit into a first century house.
  3. A company of people connected to your assignment.  Daniel’s friends all shared the assignment of Government, but Peter’s group was different. They were a company connected to the Apostolic assignmentof the twelve disciples. Therefore, even if the members do not share directly in your assignment, they may be connected to you as family and close friends. The key is that they are affected by what happens to you in the warfare of your assignment.  This group could include your spouse, your closest friends, your children. Proximity is criticalGathering together is a core principle.

Micro-church is the natural extension of any strong local or apostolic church. Not everyone has an assignment to go up against the gates of hell in the various mountains. Those who have been given this call need to be involved not only in the give and take of community life in a local church, but in a micro-church as well. You need to have a small company of people who are holding up your arms and standing with you in the assignment God gave you.  And you need to be standing with someone else in the battle they face. Until the local church establishes micro-churches in proximity to the gates of influence we are not yet an Apostolic church at the end of the age.

If this applies to you, I pray that this year you discover the power of a small committed company of like-minded warriors in your mountain.  If you are on a college campus or in the military or travelling more than 100 days a year with your business, you should answer the call of God to START your own MICRO-CHURCH! “

This resonates with my spirit and I saw it operate in the company I owned and operated for 30 years – Care & Share Products. We had a prayer group that were all involved in the enterprise that prayed at least weekly for the company and more often during a crisis.

The New Reformation in these Last Days

This documentary is changing the world right now! It shows how life must have been for the first disciples of Jesus who walked around on earth and why the gospel flooded the whole earth. It shows what the life of a Christian should look like – a life where signs and wonders are following us.

SHARE this movie with as many as you can.

Download this movie to show to your church / home group / friends
https://thelastreformationmovie.com/d…

RELIGION OR JESUS?

Like the Pharisees and Sadducee’s are we playing church. The Book of Acts (Bible) tells us what the Christian life should look like and what is the church. Back then, the church grew phenomenally (3,000 on day 1) as believers operated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit given at Pentecost . Paul taught that when people repented of their sins, accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and were baptised (demonstrated their dying to the old life and born again), they would be filled with the Holy Spirit. They were dead and now in Christ they are alive, eternally alive. Their body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and they are now the church. He taught the priesthood of all believers. Jesus expects us to make disciples wherever He has placed us, whatever our calling, bearing in mind work is a calling whether it is business by building culture and meeting people’s needs, a teacher, a farmer, a lawyer, a plumber.

The big question, is the church functioning today as presented in the Book of Acts and if not why not?

Torben Sondergaard is doing a great job demonstrating the church as it was in the book of Acts. The following video provides an answer to the question I have just posed. You need to watch Torben’s video, The Last Reformation (YouTube) to see Christians operating in the marketplace as in the book of Acts.