There is a great verse in the Proverbs concerning
Where there is no vision, the people perish.
So what kind of a vision do we have today?
The original impact of the Early Church should
be carefully studied and emulated for our time in history. If we
cannot surpass the Early Church in effectiveness and power, then
we should emulate The Early Church as close as possible. We should
not seek to deviate from that original productive vision that was
given under the anointing and guidance of the Holy Spirit to the
Our vision also needs to includes the restoration
of "servant elders." The Early Church had ministers and
elders. All elders were ministers, but not all ministers were elders.
We need to return to the pattern of authority that was initiated
by the Holy Spirit in the Early Church (Eph.4:1 16). Otherwise we
will continue to "burn out" the good leaders that God
has raised up, by giving them far too much to carry.
Our Lord's specified business was and is to make
disciples. Our Lord built no buildings and collected no tithes.
As gifts were given from the loving hearts of faithful believers
He simply directed the funds to help the poor and to support the
needs of exponential evangelism, the pattern that He also used in
"House Churches" are the missing nurseries
needed for the training of disciples and needed future leaders.
Nothing should be wasted in the use of the present existing structures.
But we need to learn to go forward with the effective use of New
Testament House Church ministries. We will not see His Kingdom come
among us and as recorded in (Acts 5:16) if we are not willing to
return to the original vision.
House Churches should not seek to pull members
from existing ministries, nor should they in any way be in competition
with existing church programs or ministries. House Church ministries
should meet in the evenings, especially on Saturday evening as few
churches meet on Saturday evenings. No negativity should ever be
directed at the work of any other ministry that loves our Lord Jesus
Christ and is walking in their understanding of His mission and
House Churches should support other ministries
prayerfully, spiritually, physically and in any way possible as
directed by the Holy Spirit. House Churches should focus on seeking
those who are noted in (1 Cor. 1:26 28). These are the rejected
and walking wounded of the spiritual wars of this generation. These
folks love the Lord but do not attend church buildings at all due
to past disillusionments, wounds, powerlessness and disappointments.
Our Lord has said, "My yoke is easy and My
burden is light." This scripture should also be viewed in conjunction
with Paul's teachings of (Eph. 4:11 16). The Church in general has
failed to understand the depth of spiritual significance in these
passages in context with other related texts. We have not yet perfected
the Saints and the present leadership is burned out or burning out
and we wonder why. Saints are discouraged with programs and are
staying home more and more. Television seems to becoming more exciting
vicariously than our average church is for real.
The primitive first century approach to discipleship
was the best vision and support that the Holy Spirit could release
to new believers. The three streams of evangelical, liturgical and
charismatic truths were initially in unity together and were the
"River of Life." In the beginning of the church all of
the vitamins and minerals were available in one healthy fellowship
of believers meeting in many small house church ministries. There
were no denominational, religious or doctrinal divisions or walls.
There was an earnest quest for God's truth in the Holy Spirit. Not
everything was clearly understood but there was a deep and wonderful
concern for the "unity of the faith in the bond of peace."
Unity was always more important than action.
Are we doing better today in our quest for making
disciples, or do we see the Early Church as better off in the Book
of Acts? It must be clearly understood that the Lord will not honor
any assault on any present structure, programs or systems in His
Church. The good seed and bad must be left to grow together until
harvest, else the good plants may be damaged by weed pulling. And
we each know this to be true. But the last great harvest is nearing
and much is left to be done to prepare for this last great ingathering.
There is a great need for a return to the "First Love"
and the "First Work," and that special spiritual place
of unity in faith with each other and our Lord.
The "House Church" ministry will need
to begin again to focus on and explore the New Testament liturgy
as found in (Acts 2:38). The Lord's Supper should be the central
focus and gathering point.
In a New Testament weekly House Church Gathering
there were three events leading up to the Lord's Supper and three
events after celebrating the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper was
central to the gathering. (see www.trinity-aloha.org link to "Keys
To the Kingdom.) First, there is a need to build faith for the supernatural
presence of our Lord through His Holy Spirit with an expectancy
for signs to follow. This can only happen when coming together in
love, truth, unity and holiness as in our Lord's Prayer of John
17. The message of the Kingdom needs to be confirmed by the presence
of the Holy Spirit prior to sharing the way of salvation. Many Christians
have never experienced the power of the Kingdom of our Christ in
their whole Christian experience. We need to look to the Holy Spirit
to rebuild our Lord's Church in New Testament love, truth, unity
and holiness back to the faith level of Acts 5:16.
It seems that the time is at hand to encourage
the gatherings of House Church ministries. If you are interested
in a House Church ministry you might consider sharing this mission
and vision with your friends. At the present time we have felt led
to develop a ministry called: Caritas (Latin for Agape) Catholic
Church International. This is a "work in progress" ministry
and very open to suggestions.
Caritas Catholic Church International's ministry
has a primary vision to encourage the gathering of "House Churches."
It is important to our Lord that Christians should be gathered,
healed, empowered and released to multiply. "House Churches"
must remain small and independent and only by faith and love be
joined into a larger consensual (Eph.4:11 16), eldership covering.
Special buildings will not be needed and the gifts & offerings
can go directly toward the support of missions or be used to help
the poor. It seems the larger an organization the harder it is to
keep true to the primary vision. The restoration of "House
Church" ministries will encourage leadership to grow very quickly
by being much needed in the forum setting of the Early Church (