This I was interested to learn, since we are finding that simple house church fellowships seem to be an effective model for our work in Mexico. I’m not trumpeting house churches as the only good church model, because it’s clear that God is working through all kinds of models. House churches do have some upside, though.
Check this out:
The following characteristics summarize Luther’s “Order of Divine Service” as to the “how” churches should be organized.
Full sacramental life
Stewardship and social ministry
Simple catechetical instruction
Ideal context for loving accountability after Matthew 18
“Form and Order” are not imported but emerge spontaneously from community life.
From Tim Thompson via Guy Muse.
Apparently, Luther would have liked to see things happen this way, but felt at his time that he lacked the necessary leaders and that people weren’t into it. If Luther were alive today, I wonder if he would be trying to lead a reformation in the direction of home fellowships and lay leadership? What do you think?
What I describe here is just one small step among many along the way, but it still represents a milestone in our church planting work. The first real meeting of our team’s new disciples, led by the disciples themselves, took place this past week. Two couples came together with two members of our team and had a good time of sharing from the Bible. One man led the study and did a great job of inviting discussion from the entire group. Both couples enjoyed the time and agreed to meet again in a few days, this time with the other husband doing the teaching.
A couple of key things need to take place for our work to be done here:
- Disciples must eventually take responsibility for their own spiritual lives and communities of faith, without outside help.
- Disciples must reproduce themselves by making more new disciples.
This week’s meeting was an important event along the road towards self-leadership and self-sufficiency. It is an encouraging sign. We will be looking to see this church body continue to mature, and we are praying for these new believers to begin reproducing themselves. Will you join us in praying for the work here in southern Mexico?