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Issue 4


Whos in Charge?
Examining Leadership in the New Testament

Upcoming Events
Wolfgang Simson on House Churches November 27 & 28, 2001 Denver Colorado Meet others from around the country involved in house churches. Hear exciting stories of what God is doing with house churches around the world. Learn how the prophetic is used in church planting and discover Gods strategy for planting house churches in your city. Cost is $45 individual/$75 couple before Nov 15. $55/$85 after Nov 15. For more information contact John White: DenverWH@aol.com (303) 756-0339 Simple Churches for a Complex World November 29 - December 1, 2001 Cincinatti Ohio This is a full blown conference on home churching in Cincinnati, Ohio. Featured speakers will be Wolfgang Simpson and Neil Cole. Cost is $25 per person. For more information email tawd@vineyardcentral.com. Or call Tawd Bell at 513-396-7202 ex103 Radical Discipleship - The Sermon On The Mount January 4 & 5, 2002 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas Youll laugh and youll cry as Jeff Lucas, author of Lucas on Life, takes a look at radical discipleship, Jesus style. Cost is $39 per person includes Workbook by Jeff. For more information contact David Underwood: d-Underwood@home.com (817) 337-4654 Hearing Prophetically, Acting Apostolically The Importance of the Prophetic in Rapid Church Planting April 4- 6, 2002 Location T.B.A. (D/FW or Denver likely) Wolfgang Simson and Chris Daza from Switzerland/Germany teaching on the importance of the prophetic in rapid church planting. Visit our website www.house2house.tv or contact our office (512) 282-2322 for more details.

Articles Needed
We need articles for the future issues of House2House. Please look at the areas that are listed below, and if you already have something appropriate written or would like to write something please visit our articles submission page at www.house2house.tv/ articles.htm. January 2002 The role of the Holy Spirit and power in church growth. (Issue 5 deadline October 31st) March 2002 Missions and use of finance within Home Churches (Issue 6 deadline December 15th) May 2002 When you come together, each one has... I Cor 14:26 (Issue 7 deadline February 15th) We are also looking for stories and pictures of house church life.

More than 7 million people around the world read or hear the famous stories brought to you by Wolfgang Simsons FridayFAX. Every week we provide you with up-to-date and short news and background information on what God is doing around the world. The information has been researched and verified. DAWN International Network is a widely connected global research and strategy network. It is one of the most fascinating aspects of Jesus that he was a storyteller, not relating mere statistics or teaching dry doctrine. Wolfgang Simsons FridayFAX wants to do both: bring you relevant statistical information and tell stories about what God is doing worldwide. Through our worldwide network of well informed christian leaders, plus detailed research we find reports that are: TRUE - POSITIVE - UP-TO-DATE - ENCOURAGING These are Great Stories about the Great Comission Each FridayFAX has between 3 and 6 stories which will bring you quick, reliable and encouraging information - always with a source (if you want to verify content or contact someone mentioned).

To Subscribe Please visit www.house2house.tv/fridayfax.htm

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4 Editorial: Tony Dale looks at how to do the leadership thing badly from his own extensive experience! Letters to the Editor Postcard From the Edge: Church conferences in Mozambique present some special considerations; missionaries Rolland and Heidi Baker enlighten us on just what those might be. Speaking Prophetically, Acting Apostolically: Wolfgang Simson helps to expand our understanding of prophets and apostles. 5 6 8 11 15 Theses: Wolfgang Simsons theses on house churches, continued from the last issue. 12 Vision: Tony Dale helps us to see clearly on the subject of house church leadership. 14 Comments on Fizer: The Lord is leading many different people into similar things relating to the leadership of home churches; Felicity Dale muses on this in her commentary of Undrai Fizers article, Dying to Glory. 14 Dying to Glory: Undrai Fizer shows the pathway to true glory. 16 The Dramatic Lack of Attention Given to Leadership in the New Testament: Frank Viola, in an excerpt from his book, Who Is Your Covering? , explores what the Bible has to say about leadership. 18 Whos the Boss Around Here, Anyway? Part 4 of Tony and Felicity Dales soon to be published book, A Personal Journey. 21 Biblical Eldership: Link Hudson, shares his thoughts and observations on the role of elders in the church. 22 The Leader as Servant: John White illuminates some points from Gayle Erwins book, The Jesus Style. 24 Bible Study: A look at the character of the leader. 27 Submitting Together, or, Whos in Charge? The wrong question always results in the wrong answer: Jody and Dan Mayhew clarify the differences between subjection, leadership, and authority. 30 Lucas On Life: Pick Me, Please - Jeff Lucas wonders if we truly understand what being disciples of Jesus means.

Mission Statement:
We are pursuing the rapid advancement of the kingdom of God by saturating and transforming communities with a radical, home-based, church planting movement.

How to Reach Us
Phone: 512-282-2322 Fax: 512-292-5700 Website: www.house2house.tv Mailing Address: 1019 Meredith Drive, Austin, TX 78748

Advisory Committee
Derek Brown Respected leader within the British New Churches, responsible for the Kings Churches across U.K. Frank Viola Church planter, author, Florida. John Reinhold President of Christian Care Medi-Share, FL. Andrew Jones Project director for the Boaz Project, NZ. John White Home church leader, Colorado. Nate Krupp Church planter, author, Oregon. Robert Fitts Church planter, author, YWAM Hawaii. Jim Rutz Founder of Open Church Ministries, author of The Open Church, CO. Lynn Reddick President of Open Church Ministries, GA. Linda Reddick Church planter and author, GA. Jeff Lucas Author, Vice-President of the Evangelical Alliance, U.K. Wolfgang Simson DAWN Europe, author, authority on church planting movements, Switzerland.

Helpful Websites

house2house.tv - This magazine openchurch.com - Open Church Ministries ntrf.org - New Testament Restoration Foundation themagdaleneproject.org - The Magdalene Project imb.org - International Misson Board of the Southern Baptist Convention tccm.org - Christian Care Medi-Share www.ptmin.org - Present Testimony Ministries www.outreach.ca/cpc/ housechurches.htm - Canadian House Church www.myideafactory.net - David Bradshaw www.95theses2000.org - Biblical Basis for HC

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From the Editor

I was young and foolish. (Is it my imagination, or do those two often go together?) Felicity and I had been involved in church planting in the East End of London. The Lord was blessing, with many being saved and new home churches beginning to emerge all over that part of London. John and Peta, the local couple who had first knocked on the door of our home, having seen the Smile, Jesus loves you sticker on our car (this was the 70s), were actively sharing in the lead with us of this new group of churches. John, a local contractor, was as down to earth as they come. He was not a natural preacher (understand this to mean not very academic!!), but so caring of all involved, that all naturally looked him up to. However, I never really looked up to him. You see, I was the natural leader. I had led everything that I had ever been involved in. I was the captain of my high school soccer team. I had been elected student body president in my senior year. Why, at the graduation ceremony from high school, I was even voted by my class to receive the coveted Most Likely To Succeed award! So when I told John that I did not feel he should be doing the teaching at our Sunday celebration meetings when all of the home churches came together, he was hurt. Yet, he was willing to submit to the leadership that I had given in starting the church. Looking back on this 25 years later, I can only confess how wrong I was. Leadership isnt education. It isnt natural ability. It isnt how articulate you are, or how charismatic your gifts. In the body of Christ, it is measured by your servant heart and actions. John would do anything for anybody, and didnt mind who got the credit. He not only worked long

It Shall Not be So Among You!

hours in his business, but he then came home and gave endless hours to being with people, to counseling them, to searching the scriptures with them. If someones door was broken he could fix it. If someones marriage was falling apart John and Peta would take the time to listen, to pray, and to bring that couple into their home to see how a loving marriage should really work. John and Peta were (and are) true leaders. In James 1: 27, we see that true religion is looking after widows and orphans in their distress, and keeping oneself from being polluted by the world. Nowhere does this pollution show itself more clearly than in how the Christian church has turned upside-down everything that Jesus taught us about leadership. Jesus clear teaching in the gospels was that leadership was not just measured by, but actually lived out through, a life of service. You dont only earn the right to be a leader by putting out the chairs and washing up at the end of the meetings (meatings!!), but you actually demonstrate what leadership is all about. We dont graduate from service to leadership, but from service to the opportunity to further lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. Most of the articles in this issue look at questions surrounding the area of leadership. Leadership in an emerging church movement is crucial. It is clear from any study of church history, or even just of human nature, that the tendency is always to begin in the Spirit but to end up in the flesh (see Gal 3:3). It is not that it is wrong or unspiritual to aspire after leadership, but rather the question is, [Who] shall have the preeminence? If your heart is to serve, then the answer to that question is anybody

but the leader! There is a fascinating verse in 1 Cor. 12:24 where it says, But God has given the greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body. If that is the way God handles honor, why would we want to do things so differently? Hierarchical leadership is a Biblical oxymoron. When I pulled rank with John in that first group of churches we planted, I was not acting as a Biblical leader. This is one of the reasons that scripture so clearly teaches a plurality of leadership rather than a one man band. There is safety in numbers. Arrogance gets checked at the door when no one person is preeminent. Nearly every article in this issue comes back to these core questions on leadership. Without leadership, churches or any other grouping of people will tend to go nowhere. It is still true that without vision the people perish. We desperately need people of vision, and with the courage to go for the dreams that the Lord gives them. It was a part of His promise that in the last days even the young men will see visions (Acts 2:17). But how are these visions that inspire leadership to be translated in reality? It is not through sheer force of personality, or through our own maneuvering. But rather, like Jesus, we need to learn to lead not by being served, but by serving. You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord is over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. NOT SO WITH YOU.

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In response to the article on Cell Groups from Issue 2Thank you for your article. The Lord spoke to me as a new babe in Christ in 1986 and said His perfect plan is for believers to meet in HOMES, in prayer groups of 7-12 people. I shared that revelation with the elders of my huge, denominational church, and was promptly asked to leave and not come back. As one elder berated me, the Spirit of God came upon him, and he began to prophesy that I was right, and that the leaders were afraid to move out of their comfort zone and take risks. As I began to read the Scripture, I saw in the book of Acts that that is exactly how the early disciples met. Praise God for you having the courage to speak forth the Lords Word. Amen! Doyle Bud H. Millington Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, USA Yo! We received the first two issues free and then subscribed via your web site so that we would be able to get the July issueah, as the ad used to say: Wheres the meat? Ha, ha! Weve really enjoyed what weve read so far. (Were grateful for the free issues!) Looking forward to much more meat coming our way! Read quite a bit of material on house church, and have experienced it at times. The Lord has us in a different place now. But, were relating to some saints outside of the norm. Brother Nate Krupp has been a great encouragement to us. We whine to him at times, and he helps us to see things a little more clearly and, gasp - Christ like. (Not that we werent, of course!) Well before the computer burns up from that last comment, keep up the good work and grow in HIM! Being always, in HIS grip, James and Linda Bauers Tucson, Arizona Jim Brown Dahlonega, GA Dear Editor, Just a short note to tell you that I read Wolfgang Simpsons book. Presently going through it for the third time. Its quite amazing! I have been hearing these things for years in my spirit, and now I am very pleased someone has finally articulated them. We are now up to 35+ folks and ready to plant two new Home Churches here in Dahlonega, Ga. The children are most amazing in our gatherings. We committed to have them participate with us; after all, they are members of Christs body as well. At our last gathering one of the children, a boy 10- years- old, spoke a prophetic word so clear, and he didnt even know it because it was so organic; but those of us who did notice just broke, because the anointing was so evident.

...to the Editor

When I was saved in the Jesus movement in the early 70s, I remember having a real excitement, almost trembling inside me because I knew we were going to meet with the Lord in our gathering. No one exactly knew what was going to happen, but we all knew that the Presence of God was going to be with us and that He was going to speak to all of us through a variety of means. Well, for over 20 years this expectation has only been in my wife or me but a few times. Since we have begun to meet in our living room, that point of expectation has returned and returned big time. Its extremely cool only to have to prepare my spirit and not some lengthy sermon. Or feel like I have to control whats going to happen... I just merely facilitate, sit back, and ride the wave along with everyone else. Theres always a theme the Lord speaks to us about and tremendous continuity that is profoundly directed by His Spirit. House2House has been a blessing! All of the folks that meet here are ordering it. Thanks so very much for your loving sacrifice.

God is doing exciting things here in our town of Winnsboro, Texas. I am the incoming president of our local ministers alliance organization and have served in that capacity several times over the past 32 years I have been living here. When I am giving leadership in this organization, I always include all races and expressions of the Body of Christ in our town and area. Just a quick testimony and summary of what our Lord is doing here: For about a year now, the city elders (ministers) of our town have been coming together weekly for a prayer breakfast. Then about six months the same group included our wives in a monthly retreat with covered dish for pray and fellowship. Three months ago we agreed that the Church of Winnsboro, that includes all the Body of Christ, should meet monthly for prayer which we do on the third Tuesday night. We also began to meet on the 5th Sunday night for joint city-wide worship. Both the prayer gathering and worship time are held in our city auditorium. Several of our city elders (ministers) are exchanging pulpits and some are even beginning to minister in plurality in the same congregation. Only God could orchestrate things like this and we give Him all the glory. Love in Christ, Dan Hubbell His servant from a hired house in Winnsboro, Texas USA

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A Postcard from:


How to have a Conference

Rolland and Heidi Baker, Iris Ministries, Inc. Maputo, Mozambique
Zambezia Province wants a conference. Our hundreds of churches there are far away and have been left out of previous conferences. They dont have telephones or post offices. The people live in mud huts. Heavy rains have washed away their crops. Their children, thin and covered with sores, wear filthy rags. They hardly know about the outside world. But they want Jesus. They know He is their only hope, and they want us to go north and minister to them. They want to be taught. They want prayer. They want the Holy Spirit to touch them. They want our encouragement. They will do anything to have a conference. First, we have to get to them so we can make plans together. We cant spend days and days each way struggling over terrible, muddy roads. So I fly and bring some staff with me. I get up to Beiras airport in central Mozambique, spend the night, and take off again in the morning toward Morrumbala, another two hundred miles to the north beyond the Zambezi River. Its very windy. A cold front has brought heavy rain in the night, and now the clouds have moved north of us, right in our way. But our pastors are expecting us that morning, and we have to try to get there. Rain squalls are all around us. Once more we skim the trees, hills and rivers at low level to keep sight of the ground with the rain beating on the windshield. We cant see anything ahead but I keep studying my chart to know what terrain is coming. When the rain lets up we are again treated to vistas of Africa at its most remote.

( for the poor)

Four thousand people are expected at this conference next week. Many will walk for days, barefoot and without food. They will sleep outside on the ground or on grass mats, even in the rain.
Bouncing in the turbulence, we make out footpaths and isolated huts that mark the presence of people who, even here at the ends of the earth, matter more to the Good Shepherd than anything else. We pass the Zambezi River, which has subsided from the floods of early

this year. The fields are muddy, and the people have lost everything. The aid organizations are gone, donated food is finished, and yet there are no new crops. This is winter, and the people are cold, wet and miserable. We have hundreds of churches along the Zambezi too, but now we are going farther north to people who are even more desperate and neglected. Morrumbala has a landmark, a huge, rocky hill that juts a thousand feet in the air from the plain around the town. We see it far in the distance and know we are on course. As we draw closer I descend around it and find an isolated dirt airstrip hidden behind. We have a gusty crosswind. The field looks like its hardly been used in years. Very carefully I feel for the surface. Its rough, the roughest Ive landed on in Mozambique. Its uneven and rocky, with thick clumps of weeds, but our oversize tires can handle it. We shake and rattle to a stop in blowing dust, turn around and taxi back toward the direction of town. Hundreds of children run out to meet us. I pull out a video camera, which has them all jumping and shouting, wanting to be included. We have no idea where our churches are, so we head for town far off down a dirt road, with children laughing all around. This is incredibly exciting for

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them. But I notice their dark rags, bare feet, and hair discolored from malnutrition. We have so many churches in the area that we cant help but run into Christians along the road, and they point us to a pastors house. He in turn leads us to more pastors, and soon we are with the church leaders of the province. We all duck through a small door into the darkness of a mud hut to talk and plan. Somehow they find enough rough chairs in the village for us all. There is a table, a small oil lamp, a dirt floor...and nothing else. We cannot even see each other until our eyes adjust. Because of the cold wind no one here wants windows. Four thousand people are expected at this conference next week. Many will walk for days, barefoot and without food. They will sleep outside on the ground or on grass mats, even in the rain. We will find some battered trucks in town to rent so we can go farther and bring in more pastors and their people. As many people as we can transport will come from all over the province, which is three hundred miles across and only one of ten in Mozambique. Lack of transport is one of the fiercest obstacles to ministry in this country, which is so lacking in infrastructure. Even in the cities, few can afford the pennies it takes to get to a meeting by public transport, which usually means hanging on to an overloaded pickup truck or getting crammed into the back of a leaning, smoking van. There is no hall or stadium in Morrumbala. We will meet on a rough soccer field, full of rocks and weeds. We will bring a generator and the heaviest sound equipment we can carry. We will have to feed everyone; so we will truck big pots in from Beira and scour the countryside for firewood. Well have to dig latrines and put up plastic walls for privacy. Fresh water is a big problem, but World Vision has a compound nearby with a well, and well need to get extra tanks. Even cooking plain maize under such conditions for so many is tough and tedious, and many will be working throughout our meetings. If

it rains there will be a lot of mud and misery. Nobody has blankets and the nights are cold. We will encourage local people to take travelers into their huts. Eleven pastors from Zambezia have come to our new Bible school session in Maputo, so we leave some money for their families who are barely surviving. We distribute more money for transport and other conference needs. Still there are vast needs that we havent touched yet. All the pastors need Bibles. They and their people all need food, clothes and medical care. They need seed and farm tools. They cry out to the Lord every day from early in the morning for His presence and help, and He has responded by sending us. We are His hands, filled with His heart, moving with His energy and wisdom. We cannot imagine a more wonderful calling. We are in an impossible situation, but God has delighted in putting us here, and we would not want to be anywhere else. Keep breaking us, Jesus, until we are as sensitive and moved as you are, and will do everything you have in your heart for us to do... What will actually happen next week? What will God do as we do our best? Obviously we still dont know how to have a conference for the poor. Our efforts are like a few fish and loaves of bread before all these people. They need love. They need shepherding. They need to be taught. They need to be healed in body and heart. They need His Presence. They need Him. May the conference be a wedding feast. May the poor in spirit come from the east and west to eat and drink at the Masters table without cost. How will He love them? How will He satisfy them? Is He enough even for them? Wait for our next newsletter... Rolland and Heidi Baker, Iris Ministries, Inc. P Box 563, No. 654/29 .O. Zimpeto, Av. Mozambique Km. 11. Maputo, Mozambique Tel: +258-82-303-068 Email: Rolland@irismin.org Web site www.irismin.org

Still there are vast needs that we havent touched yet. All the pastors need Bibles. They and their people all need food, clothes and medical care. They need seed and farm tools. They cry out to the Lord every day from early in the morning for His presence and help, and He has responded by sending us. We are His hands, filled with His heart, moving with His energy and wisdom. We cannot imagine a more wonderful calling.
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Speaking Propheticall
The following is from a talk that Wolfgang Simson; author of Houses That Change The World, gave in Denver earlier this year. (It needs to be read with a German accent!)
Theres a team, which God puts together, which is the five-fold ministry team. I believe the five-fold ministry of pastors, apostles, prophets, teachers and evangelists is one of Gods ways of empowering the mass planting of churches. I mean mass thousands. Theyre not supposed to be hijacked into one single structure, because they are called not to serve one church but to serve the country or to serve an area. And what do I mean by apostles and prophets? Maybe with a few sentences I can explain what I do not mean. I do not mean powerful superstars; top-down guys who have it all and who answer the question, Are you an apostle? With the answer, I have 150 churches working under me. I am supervising thousands. I am controlling and topdowning, drowning so many other churches. Im not convinced that this is the way apostolic ministry works. I really am not. I see Paul as a weeping father, crying his heart out for Timothy to overtake him, for Christ to take shape in the nations. I see him brokenhearted - willing to let everybody walk over him. Thats why in Ephesians 2:20, the Bible speaks about these ministries - the apostolic and prophetic- as foundations. Do like this with your feet, just for the fun of it. (Stomp, stomp.) Just hit the foundation of this house. Everybody needs it, but everybody tramples on it. It gives you a good idea about where apostolic and prophetic ministries belong. This is not a joke. Because in many ways this is exactly how they were treated and how they will be treated in the future. Thats how you will find true apostolic people - usually you can diagnose them - they have a broken heart. They cry more than anybody else. In their wildest dreams, they dont think of building a big religious empire with themselves at the top and the others being grass roots. Would you like to be grass roots? Who wants to be grass roots? Dont raise your hand because grass roots sounds like doormat. It is a term invented by people who will explain laity in a new way too. I believe the apostolic ministries are mainly the weeping fathers. The meekness of their heart allows them to inherit the earth. Meekness you cant learn in seminary. Meekness you can only learn at the feet of Christ. Really, you can only learn it there. I believe that these people are very ordinary. They are approachable, no faces, no big names. Very un-intimidating. Lets say un-impressing. The thing that impresses me so much about Paul is that he is so unimpressive. He says that about himself. Weak, stumbling, stuttering - writes long letters. A man you can easily reject. And I think, Yeah - that is so different from the people who have it all together. Who are on the top because they deserve it so much. You know what Im talking about. But Im talking about people who have somehow caught something of the heart of God that Hes given them. Some specific area they are to work in. I think thats normal. Thats what He is doing around the world. To actually share His apostolic heart with apostolic people like John Knox. Good man, Presbyterian man. He was a Christian in Scotland. He prayed this prayer, God, give me Scotland or I die. And God gave him Scotland. And then he died. But I believe the principle here is that the spirit of John Knox is very much an apostolic spirit. Its still around, and God gives this passion to people so that they somehow know what geographical area they would be willing to die for. Paul defines his own ministry in terms of what I call apostolic territoriality. 2 Corinthians 10:13 -15 is where Paul describes his ministry as reaching according to the measure of God up to Corinth. Not further. So he defines geographically. And Peter worked in Israel, Mark worked in Egypt. Peter worked on the right hand side of the Mediterranean area - its the area that God gave them to lay a foundation and to say, I will not work anywhere else where anybody else has laid the foundation. In Egypt, one of my close friends is a guy called Adol Fonsie. He is a born-again Catholic firebrand who plants churches like nobody else I know. He talked about all of these things and he said, You know, Wolf,


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ng Apostolically
what God is doing is like moving into a new apartment. The first thing you do is lay the carpet. Right, I said. And he said, You know these apostolic and prophetic ministries are like that? They lay the carpet, and later on you put in the chairs and all the rest of the furniture. Thats the way it is supposed to be. These apostolic and prophetic people are like groundcover, and everything else kind of sprouts out of it. Do you understand what this guy is trying to say? In my mind there is actually a world map with green and red spots for areas of countries. Red means there is nobody whom I, small guy, am aware of, who has an apostolic vision and has said so. There are many people who make bold statements, but they may not be the apostolic people in the area at all. They may be paid by an organization to cover the ground and yet actually are neo imperialists trying to find a country where the organization is not yet working. They send some worker there and think, that is missions. It is not - it is just plain imperialism! I believe that there are areas of the world which are green. I believe that what God is doing is preparing some people, men and women, who have a broken heart - they may be totally unknown, everybody trampling on them - who actually cry out day and night. We need to find these people


By Wolfgang Simson


Nobody recognizes the apostles when they really walk into the room. They just dont. Sorry, youre not impressive. Sorry, youre not charismatic enough. Sorry, youre not mega this or mega that enough. Really, many are just this unassuming people!

and pour oil on their fire. Then God will give birth to what He has put into them, and all you have to do is hold their hands. These are people who cover the ground with their vision. God has given it to them. I could give you the names of people in these areas. Then there are areas in the world where, at least to my knowledge, there is nobody. There may be strong people, well-known people, but not with that kind of spirit. There is a guy in London who says about himself, that he is the guy to whom God is giving London. And he wrote a book about how to reach London and how everybody should join him in reaching London and build a big church with him at the top. He said this is the way London is going to be reached. Sounds good! But totally wrong! The church is falling apart as I speak. In a way, this is a corrupted version of apostolic ministry. If I were the devil, what I would do first if genuine apostolic and prophetic ministries were about to appear, is to throw up a smoke screen. I would throw up false types, or corrupted types of these ministries and call it the real thing, so that everybody would be confused when the real thing came. Nobody would recognize it because converts would be already fooled, the books would be already written. Nobody recognizes the apostles when they really walk into the room.

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They just dont. Sorry, youre not impressive. Sorry, youre not charismatic enough. Sorry, youre not mega this or mega that enough. Really, many are just this unassuming people! If I told you about most of these apostolic people, you would not be impressed; you would probably not recognize them if they were in your church. Because all they would probably do is cry when you mention their country. And you think, Poor you! Whats wrong with you? Maybe one of our workers can come and straighten you out. Can I say this? I think that part of the redemptive purposes of America is to give all that you have to people you dont control and who have a vision that has nothing to do with you. And to serve them in a spirit of crucified colonialism. Sell your houses, and give your money to poor people who have a vision. Give with no strings attached, which is only possible if God does a miracle, and the cross works in your life and mine, and Jesus gets all the glory. You will not believe it - but God will set you free. And by the prophet, I also dont mean the person who turns his eyes backwards and floats above the ground and speaks in a strange voice about the million dollars were going to inherit pretty soon. They are also, very often, broken people, who spend most of their time just chasing God. And then they speak for us not just personal prophetic words. Dare I say that? That has been the hang-up of a lot of the Pentecostal and charismatic scenes. They just want to hear God speak to ME, ME, ME, and the goat wants to be tickled. Yes! God speaks to people! But prophets also, often, have a word for the nation or the city, or whatever. Why? So that we can become one. Gods purpose is for the area. The significance of prophecy cannot be overestimated, because it was Gods centralized system to speak from His headquarters in heaven a personalized word to every house church on earth. Can you imagine? Its great to have the pastors teaching notes to mull them over on Wednesday night, but its better if Jesus Himself speaks a

personalized direct word into that house church. Can you imagine the Church in Denver coming together every Sunday or every Saturday and being one church, and there is not one big guy? Rather than Pastor So-and-So has graciously consented to come here, we would say, We welcome you, Jesus. There is no platform because we dont need one. We are one family under God, and God is going to use His apostolic and prophetic people to speak, and to lead us in all this and clearly move the whole church in one direction and express our oneness in Christ. Can you imagine that? Maybe some can and some cant. But the early Church was exactly like this, and it shook the earth. It really shook the earth! I remember the other day there was such a meeting of the city church coming together in Buenos Aires. It was in September of last year, and when they came together, 400,000

I think that part of the redemptive purposes of America is to give all that you have to people you dont control and who have a vision that has nothing to do with you.

people met together down on the Plaza de Repblica in Buenos Aires. The earth shook, literally, with an earthquake at 3:59 p.m. They measured it because, they thought, Whats happening here? And for anybody who knows the New Testament, thats not too surprising, because in Acts chapter 4 when the church prayed like this, the earth shook, so dont be too surprised. Just imagine that God were to bring us back, NOT to the New Testament model of church but to the New Testament DYNAMICS of church, and principles, which need to be incorporated - the word I really love is, incarnated. You know I have an Indian wife, but this has nothing to do with reincarnation; it has to do with the Word becoming flesh, the Spirit marrying the soil. Thats what I speak about. I believe whats happening is that there is this travail going on, that people are pregnant with these things; trying to give birth in their village, area, town, city, state and nation. What I see happening is the Church in its authentic expression as house churches AND as a city church, together. For me, all this together I understand by the term, house church. Thats how I feel, because I think thats the way it was before. I dont mean these little rebel groups of disgruntled believers, unhappy with institutional churches, sitting in the middle of the ghetto firing fiery darts at anything that moves and saying, Were right and everybody else is wrong. Independence Day is our big day . . . No, no, no! That is not apostolic, not prophetic, not profound, not God. Its a trauma. And we need to see it, and we need to cater for it. We need to have hospitals for it. We need to help these friends. But they are NOT the foundation for what God is going to do here in America. Theres a fresh start, a fresh breaking of ground, a fresh laying of apostolic and prophetic foundations. Im not saying that this meeting is part of it - maybe yes, maybe not. But God is doing this everywhere. I see that. I believe that. I want to stay to see this happening. It is happening. I see it wherever I go.

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1. Church is a Way of Life, not a series of religious meetings 2. Time to change the system 3. The Third Reformation 4. From Church-Houses to HouseChurches 5. The church has to become small in order to grow big 6. No church is led by a pastor alone 7. The right pieces fitted together in the wrong way 8. God does not leave the Church in the hands of bureaucratic clergy 9. Return from organized to organic forms of Christianity 10. From worshipping our worship to worshipping God 11. Stop bringing people to church, and start bringing the church to the people 12. Rediscovering the Lords Supper to be a real supper with real food 13. From denominations to city-wide celebrations 14. Developing a persecution-proof spirit 15. The Church comes home participate in a holy ritual led by a holy man dressed in holy clothes for a holy fee. Since this regular performanceoriented enterprise called worship service requires a lot of organizational talent and administrative bureaucracy, formalized and institutionalized patterns developed quickly into rigid traditions. Statistically, a traditional 1-2 hour worship service is very resource-hungry, but actually produces very little fruit in terms of discipling people, i.e., in changed lives. Economically, it is a high input, low output structure. Traditionally, the desire to worship in the right way has led to much denominationalism, confessionalism and nominalism. This not only ignores the fact that Christians are called to worship in spirit and in truth, rather than in cathedrals holding songbooks. It also ignores the fact that most of life is informal, and so, too, is Christianity as the Way of Life. Do we need to change from being powerful actors and start acting powerfully? being a Come-structure to being again a Go-structure. As a result, the church needs to stop trying to bring people to the church, and start bringing the Church to the people. The mission of the church will never be accomplished just by adding to the existing structure. It will take nothing less than a mushrooming of the church through spontaneous multiplication into areas of the world where Christ is not yet known.

15 Theses (Partsof10 to 12) Towards a Re-Incarnation Church

By Wolfgang Simson, from his book, Houses That Change The World

Church tradition has managed to celebrate the Lords Supper in a homeopathic and deeply religious form, characteristically with a few drops of wine, a tasteless cookie and a sad face. However, the Lords Supper was actually more of a substantial supper with a symbolic meaning, than a symbolic supper with a substantial meaning. God is restoring eating back into our meeting. (to be concluded in the next issue)


The image of much of contemporary Christianity can be summarized as holy people coming regularly to a holy place on a holy day at a holy hour to

The church is changing back from

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Drs Tony and Felicity Dale share some insights on why leaders need vision!
Every year after the Annual Conference of the Caring Professions Concern, Felicity, the children, and I would stay up in the North Wales area to climb Mt. Snowdon. Snowdon is the tallest mountain in England and Wales. Not much more than a foothill by the standard of the Rockies, it still towered over the region and provided a wonderful challenge to serious walkers . Every year we would walk up to the top via various trails that had been blazed by the coal and copper miners of previous generations. It could be a hard climb at times, but was always worth the effort. Sometimes from the top of the mountain you could see for miles around. At other times the cloud cover would be so thick that you could barely see your hand in front of your face. Felicity and I would use the climb every year as a chance to reflect on what had happened at the conference, and to seek God for vision for the future. Robert Schuller, in his excellent little book, The Peak to Peak Principle, helps us understand the importance of gaining vision at a place where you can see further. The view changes as you rise up higher. In the foothills, all that you may see is the next set of peaksthe next set of challenges ahead of you. But from the peak there is nothing to obscure your view of where you can go. We had been working in the East End of London for a number of years. The Lord had blessed the work in many ways. Without us even thinking about it or realizing the implications, we had grown from 6 to 12 to 25 to 50 to 100 to 175 over a period of approximately 4 years. Each year we had doubled. At this time, the Lord provided the opportunity for Felicity and I to travel out to the Far East and see first-hand some of the incredible work that was being established by Dr. Paul Yooghi Cho in Full Gospel Central Church in Seoul, S. Korea. As we sat through their all-night prayer meeting, and then explored their prayer mountain by day, we were amazed and humbled by the scale on which things were happening in Korea. It was like being on the top of a mountain, a true mountaintop experience! What faith and vision that they could see and believe for such incredible things. The Lord began to challenge me. From here I could see so much more than what we were currently experiencing. The Lord spoke to me while I was waiting on Him and he told me, Up until now you have had the faith to double in size each year in the work that you are sharing in the East End of London. Now He was challenging me that we needed to double our faith. Now, when your vision is enlarged, you need to grow in your faith and your commitment to the heavenly vision. God was saying into my heart that we could double in size over the next six months rather than just believing that we could double every year. As soon as we got back home to our brothers and sisters, I began sharing this message of increasing our faith and expanding our vision. We would never be the same again. By the end of the next six months, those of us involved in various home churches throughout the region had grown to approximately 300. God had not only provided the faith to do his will, but the wherewithal to do it. A similar thing happened during two visits to India during the past year. Meeting with folks like Dr. Victor Choudhries daughter, and hearing what the Lord was accomplishing through her family, was a challenging and humbling experience. From a position of prominence as a nationally respected surgeon, the Lord had challenged Victor to leave all of that behind and begin planting simple churches in homes so as to reach his state of Madhra Pradesh. In 7 years they have grown to over 7000 house churches scattered across the state. Teenagers and housewives, laborers and engineers were all finding that God would use them to plant churches if their lives were available. We came home with our vision renewed, and our hearts committed to seek the Lord for much greater church planting activity here in Austin. As Felicity took time to wait on God, she felt that the Lord was giving her a goal of being involved in 10 new church plants this year (2001). As we write this, it is midSeptember, and we have seen 7 new home churches established so far. Its not 7000, but it is a start! Our faith will be stronger next year. And there will be more people involved in the task. America faces a time of incredible challenge and opportunity. The recent tragedies of the terrorist attacks produce in us all some of the same uncertainties that many others around the world have had to face for years. But it is into the very arena of uncertainty and fear that the message of the gospel comes across so clearly. But for many people, even

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America faces a time of incredible challenge and

impossible. From the peak of the mountain you can begin to see ranges in the distance that you didnt even know were there. Many of you reading this article will have read earlier articles from previous issues talking about the church planting movements that are emerging in many parts of the world. (If you have not seen these, either check out old issues of H2H online at www.house2.tv or go to the Southern Baptist International Mission Board site at www.imb.org to find materials on Church Planting Movements by David Garrison.) For most of us church growth used to be thought of in terms of one church planting another one home church dividing into two maybe every year or two. Now the perspective is changing. We are all beginning to see that every church should have built into its DNA a commitment to planting churches that in turn plant churches. We are looking for movements to start where multiple churches are growing, and in turn planting multiple churches. No longer is the thought to grow and divide on a slow basis, but rather to pro-actively plan to plant many churches into new homes and communities. Suddenly from a new peak we have been able to see further than before! Its time for us to scale some new heights and see some bigger visions. After all, God promised that When the last days come, I will give my Spirit to everyone. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, And your old men will have dreams. In those days I will give my Spirit to my servants, Both men and women, and they will prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18 CEV)


the concept that church will have an answer to the challenges that we currently face as a country is laughable. People have given up on church, but they have not given up on Jesus. For them to meet Jesus, the Word still needs to become a human being and live here with us(John 1:14 CEV). People have the opportunity to meet Jesus whenever they meet us. The question is not, Will they come to church? Rather we need to ask ourselves, How do we take Jesus to them? The answers are obvious. In our daily living, in our interactions at work and at home, we live the community, the ecclesia (called out ones), what the New Testament calls church. Now as these relationships develop, and we live the reality of Jesus among us, the where two or three are gathered together in my name(Matt 18:18), then we are seeing church emerge. No wonder the early Christians are described as meeting from house to house. This is where so much natural interaction occurs. How did we ever get into the position where we thought that sharing our lives together as the family of God needs to take place in special buildings and at special times? When Felicity and I visited Full Gospel Central Church in Seoul something new was birthed in our spirits. It was similar to what I described above as we saw the incredible speed with which new home churches are being planted in India. Dr. Yooghi Cho would describe this as living in the 4th dimensionthe dimension of the Holy Spirit. Living in this realm, you begin to see as possible things that you would have formerly thought of as

opportunity. The recent tragedies of the terrorist attacks produce in us all some of the same uncertainties that many others around the world have had to face for years. But it is into the very arena of uncertainty and fear that the message of the gospel comes across so clearly.
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Dying To Glory
A Harder Death To Die
Dying to glory is a much harder death to die than dying to sinful habits, per se. Im not putting sin into categories, but success is something that we all want and desire. We do not minister to be a failure or a stumbling block. But Christ had to master success. He had to master being recognized. with the power of success and effectiveness. Its learning to truly give God His due for the things He has freely given to us.

By Undrai Fizer

Dying to glory is the hardest death to die.

die to glory. He will cause us to die to our need of being truly accepted and embraced, because we are tired of being alone in this thing! We are tired because it has been so long...so very long since we had someone who truly understands.

Saying It, Or Doing It?

We may say it, but do we truly do it? If we did, it would end a lot of spiritual competition and inward jealousy. It would eliminate the I did it first spirit and cause us to truly appreciate others and embrace the diversity of ministries, gifts, and anointings. We have all been put down. We have all been misunderstood. We do not want to repeat that process again because there is no hurt like a church hurt.

Using Our Loneliness for His Purpose

God will use that time of loneliness to cause us to die to glory. Its time to finally love the kingdom of God and not the kingdom of our works and toil. We have built inward kingdoms with Gods material. We have used His word to build an inward desire of personal acceptance. God is breaking that house down. To those of us who are going through this season of wild changes and crazy ministry, He is breaking our houses down. We are learning to die to glory. We have to learn that if we are going to truly live out the kingdom experience. He is putting us to inner shame as He breaks off the stuff we have magnified for so long. We are going to make it, however. We will achieve the destiny of our lives that He has promised. But He is going to make sure that we love like Christ and understand like Christ before we handle His Mantle.

Recognition Vindicates
To some of us, recognition vindicates what others have misunderstood about us in some form or fashion. It says that we have succeeded. It answers years of pain and toil or being put behind by others. It gives us a good feeling to know that a recognized minister of the gospel confirmed words we taught that brought us personal persecution. How many of us have ever told a person, Do not tell anyone that I ministered to you? Do not tell anyone that I am the one who prophesied that word to you. Has anyone of us ever backed away from a sure victory or area of recognition? That is one the hardest things to do, believe me! Being like Christ is more than dealing with lustful thinking and immoral habits. Its learning to live

To Bless and be Rejected for it

There is no greater pain than that of sincerely desiring to bless people and having it backfire on you. To love people that will not love you back. To be rejected by a word you give, but yet see them receive the same word from someone else. It hurts badly. Very badly. (Sounds like I may have gone through this too, huh?) But this is the season and time where the Spirit of God will allow those things to happen to cause us to

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To Be Found Hidden
Our shoulders must be realigned to wear the burden of Christ. We will have to really desire for God to find us still hidden, do a work through us, and hide us again. Can we handle God using an opportunity that can bring us from the depths of obscurity, and then forgetting about us, like the worker did with Joseph in prison? Whew!

Its time to finally love the kingdom of God and not the kingdom of our works and toil.
Men who have not mastered glory get easily offended at others. We get this stinging bitterness inside of us when we have not died to glory. We will only have mediocre success in life and ministry with this hindering spirit still raging on the inside. It will cause a jealousy to build on the inside of you. It will make you feel good when others

ministry does not work. It will make you feel that I am the one who can do this. I am the one! I am the one! Dying to glory is the hardest death to die. Glory is what will cause all of this mess to make sense! All we want is someone to notice, right? Dying to glory. The hardest death to die.... Undrai Fizer Undrai Fizer lives in Lompoc, California, with his wife, Bridget and 3 children. They are the directors of Exploring the Vision Ministries International, a prophetic teaching and worship ministry to individuals and kingdom fellowships abroad. www.exploringthevision.org

Dead Men and Women Walking

In order for the miraculous to sweep across America as it did in Christs day, we will have to die to glory. God will use living dead men to raise lost, dead men. He will use those who have died to glory to raise others to glory.

Comments On Fizer
I read this prophecy/article recently and was struck by its similarity to some of the things that the Lord is teaching us. Several months ago we had an experience that produced a paradigm shift in our way of thinking, similar to the Cornelius episode changing Peters understanding of who was eligible to become a Christian. A new couple who had only been to two of our meetings announced to us that they were starting their home church the next Sunday. Now, if they had given us more than three days notice, our reaction would probably have been to suggest that maybe they could attend our church for 2 or 3 months, until they understood how home church really works, since they had never been involved in one before, and then start one under our auspices. Or maybe we could give them a crash course in home church leadership to make sure they did it OK. But luckily they didnt give us any time to think about it, and after offering any help they would like or need, we blessed them, prayed for them, and sent them on their way. They had 9 nonChristian adults and about 12 kids to their first meeting and on Easter Sunday baptized a good number of them! The shift in our thinking occurred when we realized that if God had called them to start a church in their home, then who were we to try to bring it under our control! (Obviously we would do everything we could to help and bless them.) I believe that there are three attitudes that God wants to permeate this movement of churches in homes. These are:

by Felicity Dale
1) No empire building. Our efforts should go into advancing the Kingdom of God, not establishing our own empires. This means that those of us in any form of leadership should not be seeking to bring other groups under our sphere of influence, or creating some kind of hierarchical leadership with ourselves at the top. Instead, we need to build the Kingdom of God with Jesus as the head of His body, the church. True leadership in the Kingdom is always a servant leadership, and a true servant is more concerned about his masters interests than his own. 2) No control. If Jesus is the Head of His body, then this move needs to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. We are not to seek to control it under the guise of maintaining quality or promoting unity. Our part is to empower, enable and release others to do what God has called them to do, without seeking to gain control of what they are doing. 3) No glory. Jesus is to be the only superstar, and all the glory is to go to Him. This is a grass roots movement. Some people will become better known - this is inevitable. But will we rejoice when others do better than we do, or are we prepared to raise up a younger generation into leadership while we remain in obscurity? Isaiah 42 states, I am the Lord. My glory I give to no other. I am asking the Lord that if ever we stray from these principles that He will bypass us and use others for the work who are trustworthy!

House2house - 1515 House2house -

The NT makes a lot of noise about exemplary action. But it shows no interest in official positions and gives little attention to leadershipincluding the role of elders. Consider this. Every time Paul wrote to a church in crisis, he always addressed the church itself rather than its leaders. This is consistent from Pauls first letter to his last. (Note that the Pastoral Epistles1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Tituswere written to Pauls apostolic co-workers, not to churches.) Let me repeat that. Every time Paul wrote a letter to a church, he addressed the whole church. He never wrote it to a leader or leaders! Galatians 1:1-2: Paul, an apostle . . . to the churches in Galatia. 1 Thessalonians 1:1: Paul, Silas and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians . . . 2 Thessalonians 1:2: Paul, Silas and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:1-2: Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God . . . to the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ their Lord and ours. 2 Corinthians 1:1: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia. Romans 1:1,7: Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God . . . to all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints. Colossians 1:1: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse. Ephesians 1:1: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:1: Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and servants. More striking, every church that Paul wrote to was in a crisis (excepting the Ephesians). Yet Paul never appeals to the elders in any of them! Take, for instance, Corinth, the most troubled church mentioned in the NT. Throughout the entire Corinthian correspondence, Paul never appeals to the elders. He never chastises them. He never commends obedience to them. In fact, he does not even mention them! Instead, Paul appeals to the whole church. He shows that it is her responsibility to deal with her own (the churchs) self-inflicted wounds. Paul charges and implores the brethren over thirty times in 1 Corinthians. He writes as if no officers exist. This is true for all of his other letters to churches in crisis. If church officers did exist in Corinth, surely Paul would have addressed them to solve its woes. But he never does. At the end of the book, Paul tells the Corinthians to subject themselves to the self-giving Stephanas and his household. But he widens this group to others saying, and to everyone who does likewise. Notice that Pauls stress is on

The Dramatic Lack of Attention Given to

By Frank Viola

in the NT
function, not on position. His stress is also placed upon the whole church. For the entire book of Corinthians is a plea to the entire assembly to handle its own problems. Probably the most acute example of the absence of officers/elders in Corinth is found in 1 Corinthians 5. There Paul summons the whole church to discipline a fallen member by handing him over to Satan (1 Corinthians 5:1ff.). Pauls exhortation clearly runs against the grain of current thinking. In todays thinking, only those possessing ecclesiastical clout are regarded as qualified for such weighty tasks. The difference in the way Paul thinks of elders and the way that most modern churches think of them could hardly be more striking. Paul does not utter a whisper about elders in any of his nine letters to the churches! This includes his ultracorrective treatise to the Galatians. Instead, Paul persistently entreats the brethren to action. In his last letter to a church, Paul finally mentions the overseers in his opening greeting. But he does so in a very fleeting way. And he greets the overseers only after he greets the whole church (Phil. 1:1). His letter opens with: Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons (NASB). This is a rather strange order if Paul held to the notion of church officers. Following this greeting, Paul talks to the church about its present problems. This trend is highlighted in the book of Hebrews. Throughout the

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entire epistle the writer addresses the entire church. Only at the very end of the letter does he off-handedly ask the saints to greet their overseers (Hebrews 13:24). In sum, the deafening lack of attention that Paul gives to elders demonstrates that he rejected the idea that certain people in the church possessed formal rights over others. It also underscores the fact that Paul did not believe in church officers. Peters letters make similar music. Like Paul, Peter writes his letters to the churches, and never to its leaders. He also gives minimal airtime to elders. When he does, he warns them against adopting the spirit of the Gentiles. He makes the specific point that the elders are among the flock, not lords over it (1 Peter 5:1-2). The elders, says Peter, are not to lord it over (katakurieuo) the flock (1 Pet. 5:3). Interestingly, Peter uses the same word that Jesus used in His discussion on authority. His exact words were: . . . the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over (katakurieuo) them . . . but it shall not be so among you (Matt. 20:25). This same emphasis is found in Acts. There Luke tells the story of how Paul exhorted the Ephesian elders to be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers... (Acts 20:28, NASB). Notice that the elders are among and not over the flock. James, John, and Jude write in the same strain. They address their letters to the churches and not to leadership. They all have very little to say about leadership. And they have nothing to say about official eldership. It is quite clear, then. The NT consistently rejects the notion of ecclesiastical officers in the church. It also greatly downplays the role of elders.

It would do us well to ask why the NT gives so little airtime to the elders of the churches. The oft-ignored reason is surprising to institutional ears. It is simply this: The bulk of responsibility for pastoral care, teaching, and ministry in the ekklesia

Eldership vs. Brotherhood

rests squarely upon the shoulders of all the brothers and sisters! The richness of Pauls vision of the Body of Christ stems from his continual emphasis that every member is gifted, has ministry, and is a responsible believer in the Body (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:1ff; Ephesians 4:7; 1 Pet. 4:10). As a consequence, ministerial responsibility is never to be closeted among a few. This explains why the word adelphoi, translated brethren, appears 346 times in the NT. It appears 134 times in Pauls epistles alone. In most places, this word is Pauls shorthand way of referring to all the believers in the churchboth men and women. By contrast, the word elders only appears five times in Pauls letters. Overseers only appears four times. And pastors only appears once! The stress of the NT, then, is upon corporate responsibility. It is the believing community that is called to carry out pastoral functions. The brothers and the sisters (=the whole church) are called to: Organize their own affairs (1 Corinthians 11:33-34; 14:39-40; 16:2-3) Discipline fallen members (1 Corinthians 5:3-5; 6:1-6) Warn the unruly (1 Thessalonians 5:14) Comfort the feeble (1 Thessalonians 5:14) Support the weak (1 Thessalonians 5:21) Abound in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58) Admonish one another (Romans 15:14) Teach one another (Colossians 3:16) Prophesy one by one (1 Corinthians 14:31) Serve one another (Galatians 5:13) Bear one anothers burdens (Galatians 6:2) Care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25) Love one another (Romans 13:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:9) Be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10)

Show kindness and compassion to one another (Ephesians 4:32) Edify one another (Romans 14:19, 1 Thessalonians 5:11b) Bear with one another (Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:13) Exhort one another (Hebrews 3:13, 10:25) Incite one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24) Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11a) Pray for one another (James 5:16) Offer hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4:9) Fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7); Confess sins to one another (James 5:16). With dramatic clarity, all of these one-another exhortations give substance to the decisive reality that every member of the church is to bear the responsibility for pastoral care. Leadership is a corporate affair, not a solo one. It is to be shouldered by the entire Body. Stated simply, the NT knows nothing of an elder-ruled, eldergoverned, or elder-directed church! And it knows even less about a pastor-led church! The first century church was in the hands of the brotherhood and the sisterhood. Plain and simple. In summary, the testimony of the NT denouncing positional/hierarchical authority is unmistakably clear. And it is in direct harmony with the teaching of Jesus. As such, the final word to the Christian regarding Gentile and Jewish leadership structures is incarnated in our Lords piercing phrase: But it shall not be so among you (Matt. 20:26). That is the linchpin of the whole matter! Excerpted from Who Is Your Covering? Third edition, By Frank Viola www.ptmin.org

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Whos the Boss Arou

The Continuation of A Personal Journey - Part 4 By
In the late sixties and early seventies, the Holy Spirit was moving powerfully on both sides of the Atlantic. In the States, it was the days of the Jesus movement. The emphasis brought by the Holy Spirit into many American churches was of Gods supernatural power. Many unusual healing ministries were released, new church movements were birthed, such as Calvary Chapel and Vineyard, along with much of the church being challenged by the faith movement. In the U.K., the emphasis was different, with the charismatic movement leading into an understanding of the importance of being the body of Christ. Church structure and government came to the fore, as God raised up apostolic and prophetic ministries to call the church to repentance and faith. The emphasis tended to be on character rather than charisma. Both countries had a lot to learn from each other. The strengths on one side of the Atlantic tended to be the weaknesses on the other. How to learn from and build on each others strengths was the challenge.
One of the most controversial issues surrounding the type of church life that we are discussing is that of leadership. Some people feel that the church does not need any kind of structured leadership - that if the church consists of small groups, they do not need to designate any specific leadership. However, the New Testament church did appoint leaders, some of whom at times exerted very strong leadership. At the other extreme is the CEO, business style leadership, where one man has the vision and carries the authority to work that vision out. The development of the mega-churches with their large staffs and polished programs would typify this style of leadership, which has become the norm for successful churches in the States. However, it is hard to show this kind of leadership in the New Testament either. So what was the nature of leadership in the early church? A quick read of the New Testament leaves one with no doubt as to who was in charge of the church. It was Jesus, working through the Holy Spirit! Colossians 1:18 states, Christ is the head of the church, which is His body. The Book of Acts makes it plain that this was worked out in practice. For example, Acts 13:2 says, One day as these men (the prophets and teachers of the church in Antioch) were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work I have for them. The anticipation was clearly that God would guide in the practical, day-today life of the church. So what we are really looking for in church leadership is a context that allows the Lord to lead. This is not a democracy, nor a CEO type leadership, but a style where Jesus Himself is welcomed to lead His church. How can that actually happen in this day and age? Isnt that just pie in the sky? Our experience is that it is not only possible, but also eminently practical. We just need a new look at the nature of authority as lived and taught by Jesus. In Matthew 20:25-27 Jesus states, You know that in this world, kings are tyrants, and officials lord it over the people beneath them. But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must become your slave. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many. Jesus was the supreme example of servant leadership. Paul gives us some insight into this leadership style in I Thessalonians 2:7 and 8 when he says, but we were as gentle among you as a mother feeding and caring for her own children. We loved you so much that we gave you not only Gods Good News but our own lives too. And Peter, giving advice to the elders in I Peter 5 states, Care for the flock of God entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly-not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Dont lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your good example. It is clear throughout the New Testament that authority is of a servant nature, willing to submit to others, gentle and loving and willing to lay down ones life for others. On a number of occasions we have seen what this means in practice. Several years ago, Tony had a clear sense that the Lord was leading us to start a Christian school as a part of the work of the church. We worked

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und Here Anyway?

at the time in the East End of London; an inner city area that most Christians left as their kids grew older, because the schools were so bad, both academically and spiritually. The leadership team was with him in this desire, except for one person. Our pattern was to wait until there was a clear unanimity in all-important decisions. We trusted the Holy Spirit that he would give a green light to go ahead when He brought us to the place of being of one heart and one mind. At the right time, in an amazing way, when the Lord was also going to make a superb property available to us for the school, this common mind came to all on the leadership team. Contrast this with the senior pastor concept that is normal in American churches. In one of the first churches that we were a part of in the States we were told in no uncertain terms that the vision was the pastors, and everyone else was to support the pastors vision. We have found that this pattern exists in practice in most American churches. There is a CEO who definitely has the first and the final say. The interesting thing is that both the senior pastor and the congregations seem to like it that way. Our impression has been that the adulation that is received by many senior pastors in close to idolatry. Of course we should respect our leaders; that is both natural and Biblical. But we had better be careful about putting them on pedestals, or they might fall off. Remember Humpty Dumpty! In Matthew 23 Jesus warns the religious leaders of His day that, they enjoy being called Rabbi. Dont ever let anyone call you Rabbi, for you have only one teacher, and all of you are on the same level as brothers and sisters. And dont address anyone here on earth as Father, for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father Yet in the evangelical/charismatic world of today, the pastor loves to be called Pastor. The people who hang on his every utterance place him on a pedestal. This idolatry is not entirely the senior pastors fault. The church culture of today teaches the people to have this kind of attitude towards its leaders. This is unfair. No wonder so many pastors end up acting as CEOs rather than as the servants that they were called to be. As the paid professional, they are not only expected to hear God about the direction of the church, but also to hear from God on a weekly basis for the Sunday and Wednesday night sermons, to organize the programs, visit the sick, and run a perfect family life too! It is not surprising that many, trying to live up to this impossible image, end up shipwrecked morally or physically. It reminds me of the respect that was shown to us when we worked as doctors. Put on that white coat (and make sure that everyone can see your stethoscope) and you automatically become the leader, the boss. That kind of respect is only skin deep. It is character that makes the person, not position. The trouble is that it is rather fun being given that respect, even when it may not be deserved. When Tony began working within American churches, he inadvertently caused considerable problems for the pastors that he was working with by refusing to let the people call him pastor or doctor. He didnt want, and wouldnt accept, the prestige that comes from the position. Church leaders need to gain respect by laying down their lives rather than by upholding their position. Part of the problem here is that this pattern of church, with a senior pastor as the main leader, is not a scriptural model. In fact, the term pastor as such, is only used once in the New Testament, in Ephesians 4, and then only as one of a group of ministries within the church. If you look closely at New Testament church leadership, there is not a single example of a church being led by one man. In every case, whether it is Jerusalem, Antioch, or Ephesus, a plurality of leaders is described. In Acts14, we see Paul and Barnabas returning to the churches they had planted and appointing elders (plural) in every church. So we see that local church government was by a group of leaders. What were the qualifications that these leaders were supposed to have? It was not seminary training, or a degree in theology. In I Timothy 3 and Titus 1, there is a description of the necessary qualifications to be a leader. The focus is far more on issues of character and lifestyle than anything else. It was, and remains, far more important for the church to be led by men and women of character and integrity than charisma! How different today, when the ability to entertain (whether in preaching or leading worship) from the platform is the major ingredient in the choice of pastor or worship leader. The search committee may be able to offer the right salary to draw away a person from another church, but this hardly constitutes a call from God! There is an incredible safety for those in leadership, when the church is run along New Testament lines

Tony and Felicity Dale

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through a group of leaders. I remember when Tony was doing a huge amount of national and international travel connected with the ministry that he ran among physicians and other health care professionals. He was also one of the leaders of the church we were a part of in the East End of London. The leadership team of our church in London decided that he was away far too much, and that our family life was suffering. (Now I had been telling him that for months!) God was blessing incredibly wherever he traveled. Yet, because he was a part of a team that willingly submitted their lives to each other, he agreed that he would only be away for a maximum of two Sundays in any given month. I praise God for the collective wisdom of that leadership team! If leaders were genuinely a part of an inter-submitted team which practiced a mutual accountability, I very much doubt if we would have seen half the church scandals that have so devastated the church in the States in recent years. Let me to describe to you a little of the way that the leadership team works. It has proven to be a successful model in establishing a variety of churches in different countries and cultures. We meet on a regular basis, giving the majority of the time to worshipping and seeking the Lord. The more business things we have to cover, the more important it is to spend extensive times in His presence. If we fail to do that, it invariably takes us hours just to cover a few details. If we spend an hour or more in His presence, we can cover a huge amount in a very short time because we will all be of the same mind. Added to this, the Lord is free to break in and frequently does so, giving us prophetic words or insights that may totally change the course of the leadership meetings. I well remember our early experiences of leadership meetings that followed this pattern. In those days, one would never dare go into a meeting with unconfessed sin, because the Holy Spirit would

invariably break through in some way to reveal and deal with it. Scary, but awesome! Church leadership is not only seen in the context of the local church. Clearly Paul and others, such as the council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), had authority that went far beyond the local church, both through their force of personality and through their apostolic role. It is clear that the Lord is again producing in His church worldwide, a respect and expectation that similar giftings are still being released into the body of Christ. What people like Peter Wagner call the new apostolic reformation is really just recognition that throughout church history God has raised up apostolic and prophetic men and women to help with spearheading His work. William Burton, pioneer Pentecostal missionary to the Congo (Zaire), left over a thousand churches established by the end of his life. John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard movement here in the United States, may have been hesitant to use the term apostle to describe his own ministry, but many others would recognize him as fitting that office. Watchman Nee, whose sermons on church life were put together in a little book, The Normal Christian Church Life, describes very clearly the role of apostles and prophets. Watchman Nee left behind an indigenous church movement that has touched millions in China. His work has also laid the foundation for many of the new churches that have emerged around the world. You do not have to think that modern day apostles are of the same category as the twelve apostles, to believe that apostles are for today. Clearly, this generation needs every gift that the risen and ascended Christ wants to pour on his church (See Ephesians 4). The church is still being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20). One of the weaknesses that we see so prevalent in the smaller independent churches meeting in homes and storefronts across this nation, is

that they do not want, nor do they accept, the moderating influence of apostolic and prophetic ministries that come from outside their own fellowship. This leads to significant weaknesses. Suspicious of anything from outside, they tend to become insular and at times arrogant, and sadly some, like the Exclusive Brethren of old, end up feeling that they are the only true Christians around. It doesnt take a prophet to discern that they might be wrong! When local churches welcome the input of those they recognize from outside as apostles and prophets, they are availing themselves of a safeguard that the Lord has provided. Churches that remain open to outside ministry are less likely to become insular and inward looking. These churches are not limited by the gifting and ability of their own people, but can receive strength from those gifted ministries that Jesus has put into His body, to help His body grow and mature unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. The apostle Paul, in writing to one of the churches, comments that, though you have had many teachers, youve only had one spiritual father (I Corinthians 4:15). An apostle is not necessarily viewed as being in the office of apostle by all of the churches that he/she visits. Paul fathered the church at Corinth, and as such was naturally viewed by the Corinthians as an apostle. Does this mean that everyone who has planted a church is apostolic in nature? Not at all. This would be no truer than saying that everyone who has given a word in prophecy is prophetic by calling. What does need to be recognized is that some are called as apostles and others as prophets. This is biblical, and was a gift of the ascended Jesus to His church (Ephesians 4). But as the work of the Ephesians 4 ministries is to release the saints for the work of the ministry, lets see how all of Gods people become involved. (to be continued in issue 5)

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Biblical Eldership
The Greek word for elders, can be translated as elders or as older men. It is likely that Paul and Barnabas appointed older men to be overseers in the churches. We see in I Peter 5, that Peter, a fellow-older man, addresses the elders (older men) and tells them to shepherd the flock of God, which is among them. Notice the contrast in verse 5. He tells the younger to submit to the elder, indicating that the elders were older men. Is it wrong to have young elders? Should young men be appointed as overseers of the church? Many point to Timothy as an example of a young overseer (bishop.) But the Bible never calls Timothy a bishop. It does indicate that he was an apostle. (I Thessalonians 1:1, 2:6.) It is likely that Timothy, as an apostle, was appointing overseers in the church. Apparently, the men the apostle Timothy appointed to be bishops in the church were older than him, because Timothy was told not to rebuke an elder, but to entreat him as a father (I Timothy 5:1). Paul told Timothy not to let any man despise his youth (I Timothy 4:1). The church may have had many older leaders, and so Timothys youth may have been unusual for the church. The tradition of the apostles is so much wiser to me than the practice of hiring a young Bible college graduate who hasnt been given time to exhibit his pastoral skills in his own family yet, and making him overseer of a congregation composed of his physical and spiritual seniors. He gets the job because his profession is a part of the clergy caste and not because he is actually an elder who meets the Biblical qualifications. Some professional pastors eventually do meet up to Biblical requirements for elders, but some grow to this point only after serving for years as Biblically unqualified overseers of the church. Isnt it so much better to let the young men minister in their gifts, and eventually grow up into being elders after the fruit of their life in the faith can be tested? Many Christians mistakenly believe that to be a clergyman, one must have a seminary degree. Others believe that to be a clergyman, one must have a special gift or calling as pastor. But the listed requirements for an overseer that Paul gave do not focus on the issue of pastoral calling or gifting. Most requirements have to do with character and lifestyle. Paul doesnt say that one must sense a calling to be an overseer, but the Bible teaches that overseers must do their work willingly (I Timothy 3:1; I Peter 5:2). We do see that some young apostles had ministries in the New Testament. Paul may have been a young man when he started preaching. But when he was sent out as an apostle, he went out with another believer, Barnabas, who might have been older than he was. Later, when Paul started getting older, he had a number of younger coworkers he mentored. Timothy was a young minister who was mentored by Paul. Paul wrote to Timothy to let no man despise his youth. Maybe this was because the church was used to being led by older men. Timothy was most likely appointing elders in the churches. Timothys authority didnt come in the same way that an elders comes. He had a measure of rule that related to being a part of a team who preached the Gospel in a new area. Like Paul, he had a measure of rule that extended to these new churches where he had had a part in laying the foundation of Christ (II Corinthians 1:1, 10:13-14). An elder in a church generally builds upon a foundation of another mans work. His authority doesnt necessarily come from being called and sent to lay a foundation in a particular church, but rather he reaches a point where he is

by Link Hudson

recognized as having a position of authority and responsibility by because he has been faithful in his own life and in his own household. Elders are not really introduced in the New Testament. They just show up. There were already elders in the Old Testament, and the Jews in Jesus day had elders. So the Jewish believers in the early church already understood what elders were. Ancient Israel was a patriarchal, tribal people. In a patriarchal family, a father is the leader of his own family. But he may look to certain older men in his family; his father, grandfather, uncles, and great uncles for direction on certain matters. Groups of families may have leaders chosen from among the old men who give direction and help make decisions for the group. These older men are elders. An elder is an older man in the tribe who counsels and helps make decisions. Biblical eldership is simple and natural, and something many people throughout the world could relate to. It is natural for the old to teach and lead the young. It is so much wiser than the other systems of church government that have developed. Link Hudson is married to Hana Purba Hudson and lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. Link moderates an email discussion list called the New Testament Church Planting group and welcomes any interested parties to visit NTCPs website at http:// www.homechurch.com.

A note from our Editor:

I was just 21 when I first became and elder in a church. We had started a church within the medical school at Barts Hospital. God was blessing. Every week it seemed people were getting saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Many visitors were coming from other University Christian groups around the country to see what was happening. Every week the meetings were different. We had no idea what the Holy Spirit might do with the times. But the growing sense of love and involvement in the purposes of God was at times almost overwhelming. At best the elders were one step ahead of others. In reality, we were all learning together as the Lord moved sovereignly among us. Within a couple of years the original elders had graduated and moved on. Myself, to church planting and medical work in Londons East End. For Rick, to church planting and medical work in Worcester. Would we use the word elders now for what we did then? I have no idea! All is known is that God found a way to work with willing hearts whatever we may call it. A rose by any other name smells as sweet! (please excuse the misquote from Shakespeare, definitely not on a par with scripture.)

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The Leader as Se
Leadership in the context of house church offers both a challenge and an opportunity.
The challenge is that many of us who are leading house churches have learned our leadership skills in the traditional church. We have developed a way of leading, a leadership style that is generally seen as necessary for work within organizations (like traditional churches). Endless decisions must be made...attendance must be maintained (or increased!)...programs must be run...budgets must be met. (Perhaps only those who have served on a church or para-church staff, on the inside, can fully appreciate the pressure that the organizational leader feels.) Working within the organizational church seems to require strong leadership. There is a concern for being sensitive to people along the way, but the bottom line is that there is a bottom line! There are objectives to be accomplished, and time is of the essence! People must be motivated and moved from point A to point B. This is the required leadership style for church as organization, and the challenge is that we may bring it with us into church as organism, into the house church. The house church offers the opportunity to recapture the style of leadership modeled and taught by Jesus. There is no building to finance and no committee to which to report. We no longer have to make it happen. We are genuinely free to learn to lead like Jesus led. However, we must be aware that even in Jesus day there was the temptation to copy the leadership style of the world. (Isnt that the way to get things done?) Jesus sees his disciples leaning that way and He decisively puts an end to that leaning. You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you! Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:42-45) Gayle Erwin, in his excellent book, The Jesus Style (Yahshua Publishing), made the following comments: It amazes me how many of our church and religious systems break apart when analyzed in terms of this , command, and yet we continue claiming our structure to be Biblical and authorized by God. Power Pyramid Reversed - The principle of being servant of all is devastating to chains of command and to systems where submission is upward. Many religious structures are carbon copies of giant corporation flow-charts (i.e., pyramid shaped). In the kingdom of God, the power pyramid is reversed, upended, so that the authority is on the bottom, not the top. Submitting Downward - When Jesus alluded to submission, it is always directed toward leaders, or the ones who want to be great in the kingdom, and they are always ordered to submit downward, not upward... Jesus put no pressure on the masses to submit to the leader, but instead put the pressure on leaders to be slaves of all. This downward submission of the greatest seems to be a natural outgrowth of the way Jesus viewed people. He served them because he knew their value. We lord it over others because we dont recognize their value and dont view them in the way Jesus does (We have often been trained to be more interested in reaching objectives than in loving people). What Is a Servant? - The job of a servant is to do all he can to make life better for others - to free them to be everything they can be (p. 50, The Jesus Style). Another way of saying this is that a servant is committed to making others successful. Servant Leadership- One who leads in the style of Jesus does not use forms of coercion, nor does he depend on institutional position for authority. Instead, by serving people, he leads as they recognize his ability and choose voluntarily to follow. And those who follow, by

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by John White
See if you think thats something you would be interested in learning how to do. 3. A servant leader asks questions and listens well. Asking is often more important than telling. Thoughtful questions have the potential for powerfully impacting a persons life (notice the many questions Jesus asked!). And attentive listening is one of the greatest expressions of love to another person. G What is the Lord doing in your life? Have you had any God sightings recently? What did you learn about leadership in our last house church meeting? What do you see God doing in our group? If you could change one thing about our group, what would it be? What are your personal goals for the next couple of months? Is there any way I can be of help to you with those goals? etc. John Eldredge, in his challenging new book, Wild at Heart, reminds us that to lead in this way requires that we recognize and put to death our natural tendency to derive a sense of value and power from positions of leadership. Jesus warns us against anything that gives a false sense of power. When you walk into a company dinner or a church function, He said, take a backseat. Choose the path of humility; dont be a self-promoter, a glad-hander, a poser. Climb down the ladder; have the mail clerk over for dinner; treat your secretary like shes more important than you. Look to be the servant of all. Where am I deriving my sense of strength and power? is a good question to ask yourself...often. So, lets pray for our brothers and sisters who are in positions of leadership in the churches that are highly organizational, because the temptation to lead as the world leads is great in that context. But, at the same time, lets recognize that the same temptation exists in the house church. May there be a million house churches across North America and may they be led by people who have adopted the Jesus style of leadership. John White is part of the leadership team of a network of home churches in Denver, Colorado. He and his wife, Tamela, are frequent contributors to online discussions on home churches. They can be contacted at DenverWH@aol.com

The house church offers the opportunity to recapture the style of leadership modeled and taught by Jesus.
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whatever means, will become like their leader for better or worse (p. 59, The Jesus Style). Examples of Servant Leadership A servant leader understands that its about the other person - making them successful. Here are some examples: 1. A servant leader blesses others. This is the principle of catching people in your house church doing something right. Many people are using spiritual gifts without realizing it. The servant leader is always affirming people and their gifts both in private and in public. G Grandma Helen, you are better at delighting in Jesus than anyone I know. I want to be like you when I grow up! G Nan, the meals you prepare for the church are such an important ministry. I think Jesus takes great pleasure in your work in the kitchen! G Lenny, your vulnerability and transparency sets the tone for our whole group. You are a vital part of this church! 2. A servant leader imparts vision to others. This is vision for what they can be and how God can use them. G Greg, I can see your house church out in Byers being a powerful force for the kingdom of God in that area. G Donna, not only are you gifted in prophecy, but I believe the Lord could also use you to equip others to prophesy. G Elaine, here are some articles on women planting churches in India.

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For Such a Time as This

By Martin Scott Reviewed by Felicity Dale
In 1983 we had the privilege of a private interview with David Yonggi Cho in Seoul, Korea. He said two things to us that have stayed with me over the years. The first was that the church in the West needs to learn to pray, and the second was that they needed to learn to use their women. As you look at the rapidly growing house churches, for example in China and India, as well as in Korea, you find that much of the growth occurs where women are allowed to take a lead in church planting. So what happens for those of us who were brought up in churches where women were only permitted to teach in the Sunday School and make coffee, and yet whose hearts cry out, Lord, use me? Can we, as women, be obedient to Scripture and yet find ourselves anointed to plant churches, use our teaching gifts and be free to move however the Holy Spirit might lead us, including, dare I risk asking it, leadership within the church? For those who find themselves in this position I can thoroughly recommend this book by Martin Scott. It is deeply theological and yet very readable. It examines the position of women throughout the Bible, looking at questions such as why the Godhead appears male, why men apostles, etc. It does not gloss over the difficult passages by saying that they are merely cultural, but examines them thoroughly in the light of the whole teaching of Scripture, taking a look at many other works on the subject. For me, there were two especially helpful concepts. The first was the parallel with slavery. There are a number of passages in both the Old and New Testaments that appear to encourage slavery, and back a century ago these fuelled the argument of those who were against the abolition of slavery. And yet I do not know a single Christian these days who would debate that slavery is part of Gods will for today. The second was the concept of the necessity of a male redeemer for women. If women tried to free themselves, that would be rebellion and therefore against godly principles. But to have a male redeemer who will free women, that is a different matter! This book will not be for everyone. But for those to whom the subject of women in leadership is an issue, this book is a must.

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Life is full of so many distractions it is hard to stay focused on what is really important. Often we need someone or something to call our attention back to the prime directive we received from Jesus in Matthew 28:19, Go and make disciples of all nations... Cultivating a Life For God is a clear call to make more and better disciples. $10.00 Life Transformation Groups Cards (1-50) $0.75 each Bulk Discounts available For more information please contact: Church Multiplication Associates 1965 E. 21st Street Signal Hill, CA 90806 (562) 961-1962 (562) 961-1982 (fax) 26 - House2house

When I was growing up, the TV Western was the staple of prime time. The Lone Ranger and Matt Dillon; Dodge City and the OK Corral; cattle rustlers and train bandits were icons of the Wild West, and bringin law n order to the town was the theme. The equivalent in Israels history was the time of the Judges, twice described this way in the Book of Judges: In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. The descendants of Israel repeatedly plunged into sin and anarchy, while God, by his astonishing mercy, repeatedly delivered them from the ruthless marauders that were the consequence of their disobedience. Against the background of such moral chaos, it is tempting to lay the blame on a lack of strong central leadership. But earthly kings were not Gods preferred choice. The story of Israels first king, Saul, the Benjamite, makes it clear that the installation of a king was, as it were, against Gods better judgment. History attests that when God reluctantly grants a request, youd better brace for the outcome. But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them (1 Sam 8:6-7). Appointing an earthly leader, a king, was seen by God as a sign that the people were more eager to be in subjection to a man than to their God. Nonetheless, he instructs Samuel to grant their desire, but with a solemn warning of the consequences of their error (see 1 Samuel 8:11-19). The problem with a system in which everyone did what was right in his own eyes was not the lack of a king

Submitting Together
By Jody Mayhew with Dan Mayhew

Whos in charge? The wrong question always results in the wrong answer.
patiently taught, the disciples could be found vying for the places of prominence, imagining themselves as leaders of the nation, even calling down fire on dissenters. The disciples were spiritual adolescents. They were uncertain of their place and their value in the plan that was unfolding before them. If we are not confident in our relationships, most of us become introspective and selfcentered. Adam and Eve expressed both responses there in the garden. First, in an effort to increase their own status they entered into sin, then they cowered in fear at the presence of their God.

God was the King of Israelthe problem was the lack of subjects, people who were in subjection to their God. By demanding a king, they chose to submit to somebody like themselves rather than to their creator.

Subjection, leadership and authority are concepts that have become so eroded in our understanding that we rarely look beyond the superficial. Moreover, when Christians try to understand subjection, they often think in terms of two counterfeits of genuine submission, domination and passivity. When subjection becomes disconnected from the One to whom subjection is ultimately due, we become less concerned about what it means to follow God than with the world inside our own skulls, and with how we are perceived by those around us. My children gave me an exaggerated understanding of this when they hurled themselves into the teen years. Before their hormonal crisis, they were oblivious to their appearance. Then, almost overnight, the bathroom mirror became the focal point of the universe. Not coincidentally, the first attack of adolescent insecurity occurred in the Garden of Eden. It was just after the forbidden fruit incident that Adam and Eve became embarrassed enough to put something on. Rooted in God, Adam and Eve were confident in themselves and their place in the garden. Alienated from Him, they were furtive, selfconscious, and prone to be egocentric. The difference between Jesus and His disciples illustrates the point. The Lord had a fully operational spirit interface with the Father. Based on the rock-solid security of that relationship, Jesus was the model of humility and servanthood. In contrast, the twelve were often found arguing about which of them was greatest. While the Master served and

Submitting Together


It all began in the heavenlies with Lucifer. The description in Isaiah 14:4 is understood by many as applying to him, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. Lucifer wanted to be at the top of the heapthe king of the hill. He wanted Gods creation to be subject to him; therefore he refused to be subject to God. He then went on to infect the human family with his rebellious disease, deceiving them into a predicament little better than his own, with the exception that his condition was hopeless. As Adam and Eve were lured into Lucifers inimical world, they thought they were getting independence. What they got was dominationby Satan. The calamity of temptation isnt what they were tempted by; it was from whom they were tempted. It was Lucifers successful deception that shorted out the wiring of the human heart, blowing two critical circuits. The first was mans open link to eternity, which, in turn, overloaded the circuit that empowers our ability to reflect Gods image in our relationship with each other. Humans were created with the need to be subjects of the King. In subjection, they would naturally reflect the cooperative, consummate

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Submitting Together

image of God in their relationships. Instead, they became rebels. Having discarded the only legitimate object of subjection, humans loosed that unmet need on each other, and their relationships began to deteriorate into rivalries and conquests. It is as though our need to be in subjection was a loose end that begs to be tied up somewhere anywhere. The common sense of creation is that humans also should be securely tied to something, namely God. Human beings are supposed to be tied to the Creator. The connecting rope is willing subjection. The rest of creationthe non-human part is supposed to be tied to the creator through humanity. Thats the relationship that God described when he said, fill the earth, and subdue itand rule over everything that moves on the earth.1 When the high end connection with God was cut, humankind instinctively sought to attach it somewhere. Pauls letter to the Romans describes where, Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.2 Humans, in their deceived, disconnected state quite naturally turned their instinctive need to be in subjection toward the creation. That shift is called idolatry, and it was the natural outcome of rebellion. Just as our need to be in subjection to God is hard wired into our nature, so is our capacity to rule. The rope of subjection, secured in God, was to run downward through Adam, Eve and their descendants, toward the creation. Subjection was to have been born into the human family bearing the likeness of the unified nature of God himself. Instead, domination, and her deformed twin sister, passivity, came forth to despoil divine order. As the power to relate to

God was cut off in the garden, so was the power to walk in subjection with other people.

Domination and passivity have nothing to do with subjection. In fact, they are exactly NOT what subjection is about. They are opposed to the central feature of the human character that is distinctly in His image: the ability to choosemore than that, the requirement to choose. Call it free will or volition, the capacity of human beings to decide, to make a conscious and intentional choice, is essential if men and women are to function as God-breathed beings. Subjection is the appropriate exercise of Gods gift of choice. Domination does not express subjection because it reaches beyond the personal world of the initiator and preempts the choices of those around him. Far from initiating the will of God, one who dominates, destroys the ability of others to choose freely, thus taking away their capacity to reflect Gods image. Passivity does not qualify as an expression of subjection either, because it renounces the element of choice. If God had made Adam merely passive, the man would have had no real choice regarding the treeor anything else, for that matter. Man would have been an organic robot unable to respond to God and reflect His image. Several years ago, Dan and I were called upon to counsel a couple who had been struggling with their troubled family life. Both husband and wife had come to salvation in the early seventies and had received considerable teaching about chain of command and authority. Much of that teaching about covering implied, sometimes commanded, the husbands unquestioned authority in the home. Believing that his dominating nature was exactly what God had in mind when scripture talked of a husband being the head of his home, this husband proceeded to rule his household. Meanwhile, in the name of submission, his wife quietly attempted to satisfy the demands of

her husbands leadership. As time passed, she became burdened and depressed. The fruit of this relationship was pain, the deterioration of the womans personality, broken sexual relations, angry and discouraged children, and, ultimately, divorce. The couple pursued this distorted behavior for years. In reality, their conductboth the husband and the wifesdid not reflect the image of God. The husband, in a quite ungodly fashion, disfigured Gods image when he dominated his family. She, on the other hand, passively, grudgingly, accepted the situation as though having no opinion was somehow a reflection of the bride of Christ. I am not suggesting what course of action is best in these situations; only that passivity is no more a reflection of subjection than dominance.3 In the New Testament, the words of the original language do not demand a hierarchy. 1 Peter 3:5 says, all of you be subject one to another, and James 4:7 states, Submit yourselves, therefore, to God In both cases, the issue is not who is the boss? but how we respond to others, whether they are in authority or not. When it comes to subjection, the key question is not who should lead? but how we should follow?
1 2

Genesis 1:28 NASB; Romans 1:22, 23 3 It should be noted that women, often through manipulation and emotional coercion, could also exhibit dominant behavior. When it comes to distortions of biblical subjection, neither men nor women hold exclusive bragging rights! Dan and Jody Mayhew have been married for twenty-nine years. Jody has worked as a teacher and biblical counselor for nearly twenty years. Dan is a writer and newspaper columnist. In 1990. they began a community of home-based churches and facilitate pastors Prayer Summits in the Northwest and across the country to bring pastors of all denominations and traditions together for prayer. You can email them at summit@wa-net.com

28 - House2house

Want to start a house church? Do we need thousands of them?

Im Gonna Let it Shine!

(10 Million Lighthouses to Go)

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This delightful new book by veteran strategist Jim Montgomery is not a handbook on how to start a house church. But it does show in simple yet powerful chapters how to develop the seedbed from which your housechurch - and tens of thousands of them - can spring up.

Reading this refreshing book that comes from the heart of God, laymen and women will see what a delightful experience becoming a Lighthouse in his or her neighborhood can be. Dr. Paul Cedar, Chairman, Mission America/The Lighthouse Movement You will learn how simply loving your neighbors, praying for them, caring for them in practical ways and ultimately sharing the gospel with them when they are asking questions can ultimately lead to the gathering of new converts. If your heart isnt breaking for your neighbors who are lost and headed for eternity without God, Im Gonna Let it Shine is the next book you ought to read. Youll discover you are living exactly where you are because God placed you there - to love your neighbors and show them the way to eternal life. Evangelist Luis Palau
Suggestion: Use this helpful book as a discussion guide in your house church or small group.

Yes, I want to read IM GONNA LET IT SHINE! Retail price: $12.00 YOUR COST: $9.00 3 or more copies: $7.00 each Name _____________________________________________ No. of copies ________________ Address ______________________________________ State __________ Zip ______________ Check # ___________ Visa Card# _______-_______-_______-_______ Exp. Date Mo___ Yr___ Signature __________________________________________________ Please mail to: SHINE, 5775 N. Union Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80918 Phone: 719-548-7460 Fax: 719-548-7475

L u c a s

o n

L i f e

Pick me, Please!

Our loft is a disaster area. Suitcases that will never see the light of day again battle for space with piles of fading photographs. There are a few horrendous wrought iron table lamps, the design work of tortured souls: lamps that should never, ever have seen the light of day in the first place. Our loft looks like the aftermath of Armageddon. It was during my last excursion up in the rafters that I discovered my old school football boots. Running my fingers along the tired, cracked leather, still caked with mud from thirty years ago, I remembered one awful day in my inauspicious soccer career. The match itself had been a disaster for me: ten minutes into the game our sports teacher/referee had brought the entire match to a halt to ask me why I was playing in the position of centre forward, when I was supposed to be a defender. I blush easily, and that day glowed like a traffic light as I walked slowly back to my right back position. But the event that is really etched on my memory happened before the game itself when the teams were being picked. Do you remember the routine from your soccer/netballing days? Two captains, impossibly intrepid athletes themselves, stand apart from a motley crew of potential teammates who are looking with pleading eyes, hearts crying, Pick me, please. Obviously, the best players are snapped up quickly, leaving a depressing group of apparent misfits who become more desperate to be selected by the second. Just four of us were left, then three, then two, thenme. One of the captains wrinkled his nose, like he was viewing the last turkey in the shop and said, oh wellwell take Lucas then. Blushing time again. Im not getting precious about this moment in my personal history. Excruciating as it was then, I dont think the experience has marred my psychiatric health. But as I sat in the half-light of the loft, and held the old boots again, I remembered for a moment the shame of being the player that no one wanted: reluctantly chosen because nobody else was available. Then I recalled some words of Jesus that should cheer up any of us with less than brilliant sporting achievements: You did not choose me, but I chose you (John 15:16). Ordinary, messed up people like loudmouth Peter and wondering Thomas, and even traitor Judas, were picked out of the crowd and given the invitation that changed a lifetime, an eternity, not just ninety minutes. They were chosen to be His disciples, His apprentices and Hes picked us for His team, too. Its remarkable that Hes drafted us onto His team. After all, Hes the coach who sees every weakness we have. We may fool the crowds, but He sees our clumsy, pathetic attempts in sharp focus. We miss our goals, and find it so easy to foul, and he watches it all. He knows us, and still likes us. And He has paid the highest transfer fee in history His own life, His own blood shed so that we could play on His side. The problem is, knowing how to play on the Jesus team. What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? Ive often thought that it was easier for the likes of the Twelve, because their selection was made by a physical Jesus, and they literally had to put aside their nets or tax collecting and be with Him. For us, it may seem a little more complicated. Some suggest that discipleship means that we have to sell everything and give all we own away; but how can that really work? How can we follow Jesus

by Jeff Lucas
in a world where ethics and goodness and values are scorned, and where spirituality is fashionable, but Christians always seem to get the red card? Is discipleship a lofty term that can really only be used of the martyrs of yesteryear or the suffering church of today? We had better get this sorted out, because the Jesus who has picked us has commanded us to go and develop other apprentices for the team (Matthew 28:19). As we look at Jesus and discipleship in Johns gospel, well discover that the life of discipleship is not a dreamy ideal for desert monks and missionary pioneers, but its a way of life that is accessible and available to all of us. If were called to make disciples, that means that others should be involved in making us into disciples too. He Is All I Need is a very old song that celebrates the idea that we dont need anyone in our lives except God himself. It has a nice, lilting tune, but the idea is theologically bankrupt. We do need other human beings to help us to become the disciples that Jesus wants. Thats why church is far more than a singing club or a biblical lecture centre its to be the discipling community, the forge where people of character and significance are crafted. Personally, I think the discipleship ought to include volunteering to help clear up other peoples lofts. Come on over. Theres a free table lamp in it for you

Taken from the book, Lucas On Life. Published by WORD Publishing, U.K. Used with permission. Available from House2House.

30 - House2house

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