There is a great verse in the Proverbs concerning Vision:
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 early Apostles.
Our vision also needs to include 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 His ministry.
“House Churches” is the missing nursery 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 vision.
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 become 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.” At 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 the 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 ( 1 Cor.14).