Healthy Churches and House Churches
Healthy Churches and House Churches
This is a busy Day and Age we are living in with many distractions from day to day. Many of us fail to function our best as a family……. and when it comes to functioning as The Lord’s family – be it a church or house church, pressures abound in this stressful time, and it takes a lot of time keeping up with family and commitments. Scripture says, that’s when we need to “fellowship all the more as the Day of The Lord draws near”.
Church should not be something that makes you dry
it should impart life and inspire.
Also, it should be a place of participation where
everyone is involved in some way
we are not subordinate or stifled
we are not spectators or entertained.
Scripture says that Apostles and Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists and Teachers
are of His making, not man’s (selected in Bible Colleges).
Paul speaks of these ministries in Ephesians 4 when he says that “Jesus gave gifts to us, that some would be…………..” Notice that it also says that these Ministry Gifts are “for the building up of the Body of Christ………” not themselves. Definitely not the prestige etc like we see so often these days.
If that sounds like an indictment, it’s meant to be! I’m tired of man taking the glory that is God’s alone. He does not take it lightly when we use His Name in vain – that includes some Pastors and Evangelists. Yes, with many, their glory is their shame because The Lord over All still says “It should not be so among you” Mk 10:43
So pay attention, you who lead God’s people out there.
It is best to avoid those you have doubts about……..don’t continue to sit under their so-called ministries. “God resists the proud” Jas 4:6 and you should also. The Holy Spirit gave me this scripture when I was young in The Lord: “I shall walk in the way of the blameless” PS 101:2 and many years later He showed me another scripture “He who is blameless shall minister to me” PS 101:6 That is the standard. Nothing else is good enough for JESUS. That’s why He said in relation to His Coming “Depart from Me. I don’t know YOU” Lk 13:27 Never mind all the fancy sermons they give, acknowledgements from man and credentials on paper.
This is not the New Testament Pattern!
A lot of churches are getting “professional” with the way they preach, play music, lead worship and everything else. Some of them have more “leaders” than those in the congregation, so to speak. All this is radically different than The Lord and the Apostles set out for us and is intimidating for most Christians. So many feel like they have to lead in some way to keep up with it all or compete……this has generated a need to
be acknowledged in some way to feel accepted.
Let me tell you something and it’s this: Constantine was a Roman Emperor, not an
Apostle__ he was self-commissioned when he changed the practice of the Church
into man-made customs and clergy. Ever since then, we have had the problem of men
running the ship. The Holy Spirit is not welcome to lead us in worship with spontaneous
praise and the Gifts of the Spirit any more in many churches…….much as to say
“don’t interrupt us Holy Spirit, this is our service”.
This is an artificial environment many of you have been subjected to……some of you don’t know the difference but others know there’s something wrong.
Friends, it’s hard to grow spiritually in an atmosphere like that.
House Churches Still Emerging
This is why many believers who wish to have are leaving the church system and finding a spiritual family setting in a Home Church instead. Their hands are no longer tied in relation to body-ministry and functioning in the Gifts of the Spirit. They are not stifled anymore because Home Churches (a good home church) respects all those things.
They reverence The Lord and respect each-other. They accept each-other like they are, so there’s no pressure to perform or to be subordinate……hey? This is real fellowship, this is spiritually natural for a Child of God and it’s healthy too. There is nothing healthy about sitting like strangers, being continually told what to do and shut up from worship because it’s announcement time. In fact, even The Lord’s Supper is quickly interrupted by that part of a service usually. The Holy Spirit is
very sensitive like a Dove and so is the precious Heart of Jesus.
“HE IS SAYING, GIVE MY CHURCH BACK TO ME”
MANY MORE OF HIS CHILDREN ARE GOING TO LEAVE THE CHURCH SCENE
TO HOME CHURCHES, AND THIS IS A MOVE OF GOD. IF YOU ARE AN ADVOCATE FOR EVANGELICAL
OR PENTECOSTAL TRADITIONS, DO NOT STAND IN THEIR WAY, THEY ARE THIRSTY FOR THE RIVER OF GOD.
WHERE IT IS ALLOWED TO FLOW, THEY GROW!
A sister called Sarah said these words of wisdom today: “Many Christians
take notice of everything people say – especially the pastor – but The Lord would say:
Come to Me often in that quiet place of Prayer and tune your ears to Me”. (Sarah)
“This is where you find life and sustenance. I am the Bread of Life – look to Me
for your Daily Bread. This way, I will make you strong and also equipped to share
with others. You will be wise if you do this and I will bless you”. (Janet)
A song says “Come to the waters. I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied”.
It also says “Freely, freely you have received. Freely, freely give.
Go in my name and because you believe, others will know that I Live”.
And that is the balance, when you give out, you receive more.
The Church is not meant to be a bless me club.
Neither are pastors (and leaders) meant to feel threatened when you desire to
move on in God. Who are they promoting, The Lord or themselves?
Also, if someone in ministry is really Called of God, they will be happy for you to be better than themselves, not subject to their every word. Sometimes you have to ask yourselves, “are they appointed by God?” If they are, you will sense the Presence of God, if not, be careful__ they could make you dry. Many Christians have left Jesus because of it.
Not all Leaders are Led of God!
There’s so much emphasis often on “the anointing” but King Saul was anointed – he
certainly did not carry the Presence of God.
True ministries “Apostles and Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists and Teachers” will concern themselves with our Giftings not “”Me, My and Mine”………everyone is Called in some way………and foremostly . No calling is higher than that. Any calling of “Apostle or Prophet, Pastor, Evangelist or Teacher” must be in line with that.
If not, they are disqualified – Jesus did not call them – they are self-elected of man-elected (produced by bible colleges). If you are offended at that, so be it.
As long as the One Man Show continues OR Celebrities out the Front – JESUS cannot see His Vision and Purpose for His Church fulfilled. It’s His Design that I’m concerned with if you’re “in the ministry”………not your design, your plans, your agenda.
We ALL have a Ministry – Everyone has a Spiritual or Natural gifting!
Some Christians have a Natural Gift and Spiritual Gift that work together or diversely different that makes for variety – they can be used of The Lord
in different ways. Christian friends of mine, the south side of the city attend a church that functions in a healthy way similar to a Home Church (very family orientated).
Helen and Mark run a dairy providing natural milk and have a voice in the community representing dairy-men who sell cow shares like they do. Helen has a prophetic calling to real worship and teach others how to. She also has an artistic gifting whereby she will be making oil-paintings of a spiritual nature sometime in the near future – she is developing that gifting. A friend of hers has a spiritual gifting of songs (they’re beautiful) and a natural gifting with coordinating a women’s group at Helen’s church. It’s quite nifty__ they come along with their giftings and share them and become closely acquainted while
sharing an evening together.
Helen and Mark like to show hospitality occasionally to Christians who live on their own.
Other Christians at their church like to do the same thing. They try their cooking skills out and bless their visitors, conversing around the table and
someone goes home happy. And others like to share some of their privileges or belongings in common.
Someone had a Spa-bath and invited a couple to visit their house on hot days this summer while they were away on holidays. They were not house-sitting, the
sister just desired to bless them – they had been working hard.
Someone else became a hostess for Barn-Dances she commenced to raise money for her sister who lives as a missionary overseas. It’s such a novelty here, young people love to go to them. Christians have lots of ideas in that fellowship – many of them are engaged in something. I knew a couple who were pastors years ago in the 80’s who discovered they had different ministry giftings to what they thought they had, so they took on different roles and everyone is happier.
Christians were never meant to be stifled or entertained in “services”. There are so many things we can do – see if you can think of a few.