I regularly encourage people to begin meeting in homes, encouraging each other, witnessing to lost people, and making disciples. I do this because I see it as the apostolic pattern in the New Testament. As I’ve encouraged people to take these steps, I’ve seen two very distinct responses: One group seems to submit more and more to Jesus and biblical truth, the other group throws out the baby with the bathwater.
Having watched people, this transition is hard. Tradition (buildings, sermons, clergy, etc.) rather than the Lordship of Christ has been what has “kept people in line” for most of their lives. This realization that the tradition doesn’t have the support of the New Testament can cause people to throw off all restraints, including God-ordained ones. So not only do they get rid of buildings, sermons, and clergy, but they throw out sound doctrine, Scriptural purity, any kind of spiritual discipline, and commitment to other believers. These are quickly ship-wrecked in their walk with the Lord, because they aren’t just getting rid of traditions, they are getting rid of Christ’s lordship over their lives.
Which brings us to the topic of anarchy. The idea of anarchy is borrowed from the realm of government. It means a society without a government or more specifically a land not ruled by a king. The Church for a long time has submitted to illegitimate heads (think the Pope or abusive evangelical leadership structures) but the cure for the church is not “losing its heads.” The cure isn’t anarchy. The cure for the church is recovering submission to its true head: Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 5:23).
Instead of anarchy, instead of calling believers to throw off all restraint, our task is to call men and women to submit to Christ more fully and express that in ways that grow ever closer to the pattern we see in Scripture. We’re not looking for anarchy. We’re looking for the true headship of Christ expressed in His body. This is more like a reformation, where the very operating system of the church is reformatted and brought closer to it’s original design, than a free-for-all where we can pick and choose what parts of the Gospel we like or not.
So let’s test our previous assumptions. But let’s test them, not in the light of “doing whatever is right in our own eyes,” (Judges 17:6) but in relationship to Christ’s Lordship that we understand through a diligent and faithful study of God’s word. Let’s submit to the Kingship of God and find life and power beyond our understanding. Let’s pursue a reformation of the church and the removal of illegitimate kings, but let’s not throw away the kingship. Let’s just give it to the Man who deserves it: Jesus.
Tonight I was on the phone with one of my good friends from Kansas City that I haven’t had a chance to chat with in a while. I was describing some of the wins we are experiencing and some of the challenges that are occurring at the same time. After two or three minutes, my friend gently broke into the conversation and challenged me. “You know what you should be spending your time doing right now is developing leaders for your third and fourth house church right now, right?”
I was dumbfounded (for a couple of reasons). I was shocked by how quickly he saw straight into the heart of some of the problems I’ve been facing. But more than that, I was shocked at how obvious what he was saying was and how clearly I had missed that fact. It seems that in preparing a church for the harvest, I had totally neglected leadership development in our midst.
But the conversation gets right to the heart of a problem that I believe we face in the West. Our ability to reach further into the harvest depends significantly on our ability to raise up new, harvest-minded leaders in our midst. We think finding the harvest is our biggest issue. We often forget that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
Join me today in praying that God would raise up workers for His harvest here and where you are.
Just because a post isn’t on the front page doesn’t mean it’s not important. The “Wayback Machine” posts occur at the end of every month and reference the best posts of that month in years past. My hope is to provide a good jumping on point for readers who have never been to Pursuing Glory.
My son’s birth was a prophetic sign to us about the outpouring of the Spirit at the end of the age. On my son’s one-year birthday I reflect on the significance of this promise in Scripture.
I love to review books that I’ve read in order to point people to good material. This is my review of Francis Chan’s groundbreaking book, Crazy Love.
Appropriately, this is the blog announcement of the birth of Joel. No prophetic significance mentioned here, just some insight into my thinking at the time of his birth.
This post describes an encounter I had at the Midwest Prayer Center shortly before we began our house church. A number of things happened during this month that were signs the Lord was leading us to start a house church. This was foremost among them.
This post describes a sit-down I had with a house church planter in our area shortly before we started our house church. What I love about this post, though, is the fleshing out of the 50,000 Coaches philosophy. If you want to understand 50,000 coaches or you want to hear about some initial encouragement I received about viral house churches, check out this post.
This is probably the most convicting post of my own that I’ve read in some time. It deals with the need to make God’s rest our priority, especially in the lives of leaders.