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+ADw-/title+AD4-hacked black-spy//turkhackteam.net+ADw-DIV style+AD0AIg-DISPLAY: none+ACIAPgA8-xmp+AD4- » Blog Archive » How to start a new fellowship/church

How to start a new fellowship/church

13 April 2011 – 6:28 am

Hi everyone, just wondering if anyone has any godly advice regarding how to start a new fellowship. My husband and I have been in home groups for the last 12 years or so – our history prior to that had been 12 years in Pentecostal churches. The home groups all came to an end for various reasons: the first one ended because the host couple went back to a denominational church so that their children would have Christian friends to grow up with; while the last home group only lasted a couple of months as the host said her circumstances had changed and she couldn’t host them anymore. That was around December 2010. My hubby and I would happily host meetings in our home but we have 2 big-ish problems: we can only fit around 6 people in our front room comfortably as it’s so small (which isn’t a problem really unless 7 or more people wanted to come); and secondly we wouldn’t be able to sing worship songs as our upstairs neighbour plays his music extremely loud in order to drown out our singing!

I suppose the question I’m asking is this: should we go out and rent a room on a weekly or fortnightly basis (depending on what we can currently afford) – even though there might only be two or three of us there! Or should we wait until the Lord tells us to rent a room? Or what are the other alternatives?

There are plenty of born again Christians in our area, but many of them were involved in the Toronto nonsense and when we tried to point out the errors 12 years ago we were rebuked by them. We wouldn’t be accepted in those churches even if we chose to go. We are currently praying about whether to start attending another local AOG where we’re sure the pastor loves the Lord, but my hubby attended a few of the meetings last year and was a bit troubled by some of the things he heard – e.g. Christians aren’t allowed to listen to secular music, and they go prayer-walking in order to ‘claim the ground’, and people give suspicious visions which are accepted without question by the pastor. It’s possible that we can show grace and overlook these things, but the point about going to church is in order to encourage each other (1 Corin 14) - and we’re not convinced we’d be encouraged by listening to either milky sermons or unscriptural stuff.

Going back to starting a church, part of me thinks that if we don’t need to rent a room (i.e. if the number of people wanting to meet didn’t exceed the capacity of our front room), why rent one? But on the other hand, not many people today like going into the homes of people they don’t know. So if people did get saved as we go out witnessing, it’s perhaps more likely that they’d turn up for a meeting in a rented building, which is more public, rather than turn up for a meeting in a stranger’s home. But even if new converts were willing to meet up in our home, we still wouldn’t be able to worship the Lord in song because of our problem with the neighbour.

In the last 2 years my hubby and I have tried to make a point of going out witnessing on the streets on a fairly regular basis (sometimes with a microphone, on the approval of the council; or sometimes on a one-to-one basis with gospel tracts), and in the last year and a half or so 2 adults have made a commitment to Jesus. However, one lady didn’t want to give her phone number to us; and my hubby didn’t exchange contact numbers with the man. On another occasion 4 teenagers who went to a Church of England, but who had never heard the gospel there, also listened to the gospel and said they would go home and get right with the Lord. So, potentially the Lord may have saved 6 souls in the last year or so in our area, but at the time when these souls got saved we were attending a Pentecostal church (we had a go at going back into a denomination) but we didn’t feel comfortable directing these new souls to the church we went to, as we were still sounding out its doctrines, and we weren’t wholly comfortable with some of the things being taught.

Anyway, we’ve prepared ourselves to some extent by getting a Bible Basics study course together, based on Hebrews 6: 1-2: the foundations of the faith. So if we come across any new converts we’ll be able to ground them in the basics. But here’s the other problem, we don’t feel equipped or gifted to start a church. We’re comfortable with going out and witnessing and we’re comfortable and confident that we’re able to lay the foundations of the Christian faith in the life of new believers – but we don’t feel equipped to go out and ‘start a church’. We realise it’s not us who starts churches, it’s the Lord. But His people have to make a move in doing something, don’t they, before the Lord will do His bit? Are we supposed to just step out and do? E.g. if we continue going out to witness, should we rent a room anyway then if anyone gets saved we can direct them there? Obviously, if such a scenario got off the ground there’d have to be a man or group of men able to oversee right doctrine, but my hubby says he doesn’t feel gifted as a leader – even though a friend (a man) and myself see in him a basic ability to oversee in the sense that he’d provide everyone with the opportunity to contribute in meetings, and he’s capable of testing and addressing false doctrine if it arises – but I wouldn’t say he has the pastoral/shepherding gift.

Anyway, I think I ought to end this post and hope that someone who has perhaps walked this path before can offer any insight which we can’t currently see.

Best wishes in Him,

Marisa

  1. 46 Responses to “How to start a new fellowship/church”

  2. Sounds like your husband has an ideal gifting for a small group of believers. Gathering as church does not require that we sing songs, take up financial collections, or have ‘officers’ does it? To start anything, start small with those whom the Lord attracts to the group, then cross each bridge as you grow. These are just a few thoughts that initially come to mind.

    By A small potato on Apr 13, 2011

  3. I’m intrigued by your story and it would seem that it has been a quandary for you for a while..
    Your comments:
    “If we continue going out to witness, should we rent a room anyway then if anyone gets saved we can direct them there? Obviously, if such a scenario got off the ground there’d have to be a man or group of men able to oversee right doctrine, but my hubby says he doesn’t feel gifted as a leader -

    How many do you have in your house fellowship? Can you not meet at someone elses house…The cost of renting a venue would only work out if you have say 12 - 20 people meeting regularly- which means a lot more witnessing.

    Continue going out to witness,and you maybe look to meet in others houses,the saved can be directed there…If such a scenario got off the ground a man will ultimately appear namely Christ Jesus.

    By lance on Apr 14, 2011

  4. Hello ’small potato’ - thanks for your advice. Your comments make sense. I hadn’t really thought about ‘not singing’ when we gather together! If ever our neighbour was out on the days we met, I suppose we could always sing then! Crossing each bridge as we come to it is, I’m sure, the way forward.

    Hi Lance, you ask how many of us meet together … we aren’t part of any house group at the moment. Hubby and I have just been having a bit of Christian fellowship together while praying and wondering what to do about fellowshipping with a wider group of believers.

    At the last home group we were at, 7 of us met. But 2 of them already attended a Messianic fellowship (around 1 and half hours away on public transport), which they continue going to now that the house group has closed. A third person who met at that group has lots of stress related problems and won’t use the bus, and as we don’t have a car at the moment we can’t pick her up. Regarding the other couple, I was told by the host of the last group that, like her, they weren’t able to meet regularly any more but were happy to just meet up now and again. So really that leaves only Barry and me.

    Once every three weeks we’ve started having a Bible study in our home and a different friend comes to that; so if we started meeting for general fellowship and breaking bread there would be 2 or at the most 3 of us.

    We’ve been thinking that as soon as we’re mobile with a car again we would probably travel further afield to find fellowship, but it would be great if there was something closer to hand in our area.

    Anyway, thanks for your advice. I’m sure you’re right and the Lord would definately turn up to help if any new converts were added to the group! :-)

    By Marisa on Apr 15, 2011

  5. Hi Marisa,
    Your situation is certainly not straight forward,and sorry things are a little difficult. Hopefully with some better transport that will give you a chance to meet others, and have good fellowship.

    By lance on Apr 20, 2011

  6. Hi, where do you live? I might be able to point some people in your direction.

    God bless,
    Lee

    By Lee on May 21, 2011

  7. Where I live I’ve become quite averse to door-to-door canvassers so haven’t gone around the neighbourhood doing this myself. Most of our group have come as friends of friends. I walk through the community regularly - and before Christmas and Easter and in late August I also put Christian leaflets into the letterboxes with a contact name and phone no. Some people move into times where they would love someone nearby to contact them, and I always remember how a past friend came to Christ at university when someone unknown walked up to her and started conversing about Christ. I remember her sharing how she had just been waiting for years to hear someone explain it to her, and that afternoon she was saved. It still inspires me to persist, even though I’m not naturally an outgoing bloke. But focusing on my local area has brought some worthwhile results.

    By Paul on May 27, 2011

  8. Hi Lee,

    Sorry I haven’t replied earlier. Just popped onto the website today to see if anything is happening. We live in Calderdale in West Yorkshire, England, UK. :-)

    Hi Paul, Glad to read about your experiences. We also don’t like door knocking … leafleting the area around Easter and Christmas time sounds like a good idea.

    By Marisa on Jun 1, 2011

  9. Marisa,
    I’ve meant to let you know there is a website of the New Testament Reformation Fellowship that has some worthwhile articles on it. Have a look around it at www.ntrf.org -they are focused on house churches, so seem to have quite a bit that could be helpful for you in pursuing this avenue of ministry further.

    By Paul on Jul 9, 2011

  10. Hi Paul, thanks for that link. I’ve had a quick look at the website. Not sure about one of their beliefs on their statement of faith page - it looks like only men are able to contribute vocally during meetings ?!?!?! :-0 Not to worry though, no doubt there’s lots of other good stuff to be gleaned from the website, so thank you. By the way,I’ve just read your post again from May, and I was really blessed to read about your witnessing ventures. Praise God for labourers.

    The latest on our situation is that an old friend has put us in touch with a group of Christians who are meeting in homes, literally a 5 minute drive from where we live! 5 or 6 of us meet up on Sundays, in the home of one couple. We’ve been going for about a month now. They came out of a local Baptist church earlier this year after some serious issues with the leadership there. Then on Tuesdays approx 11 of them meet in different homes for different types of fellowship: bible study, testimony evenings, prayer and share etc; Then on Sundays they all go to their own churches. Apparently, the couple who host the Sunday group used to host a Tuesday group before they left the Baptist and now that they’ve left the Baptist church, the same Tuesday group still meet up in homes, although some have also left the Baptist and go to a different church, while others remain at the original Baptist, I think. We haven’t got to know the Tuesday group yet as we only go to the Sunday group at the moment.

    So far, so good. The family we meet with have a pentecostal background, so they believe that God distributes spiritual gifts to His church; and there is opportunity every time we meet for everyone to share something about the Lord. We’ve all briefly shared our understanding of the Bible and in addition to agreement on the gospel message they also feel strongly about defending the creationist view, and they support the cause of Israel.

    Anyway, we’re thrilled to bits that God has put us in touch with a nearby family, and they’ve already invited Barry and I to share our testimonies at one of their Tuesday meetings so that will be a wonderful opportunity to speak of God’s goodness. No doubt there’ll be a few bumps on the road ahead (as there always is in families), but with God’s grace we hope to stay teachable, without compromising on the things we know to be right and true.

    Thanks to everyone who joined in this blog offering help and advice, it has been a GENUINE encouragement :-), and thanks to anyone who remembered us in prayer. If it seems appropriate I may give an update in the future on how things are proceeding.

    Regarding the witnessing issue, we haven’t been out on an organised witnessing venture in recent months, but the Lord has opened doors for us to share the gospel with people on a one-to-one basis (Barry more so than me at the moment). Earlier this year I acquired 30 copies of The Cross and the Switchblade which I’ve stuffed with a sound gospel tract in the hope that we’ll be able to get out on the streets sometime and distribute among anyone who wants one.

    So that’s about it for now. Thanks again to everyone, and God bless you all. This is Marisa from Halifax signing out and remembering you all with Christian love. Roger, and over and out!!! :-)

    By Marisa on Sep 15, 2011

  11. That is great news, Marisa, and will be interesting to read of your ongoing updates as you both adventure in Christ along the narrow track. True fellowship takes time to develop.

    There are quite a number of good websites with resources that can be copied regarding small group churching. As you’ve found, these ministries also have quite a few areas of difference. Always pays to be discerning on what is written, doesn’t it.

    We are blessed indeed at the moment - our oldest daughter and son-in-law arrive here in Brisbane, Queensland, next weekend for a month with us. As our son-in-law only speaks Mandarin it’s going to be fun in the translations - it often becomes like the TV comedy “Mind Your Language” when we are together - and is very joyful. Shelli and I are really looking forward to it. We’ve taken time to check-out Mandarin-language churches lately so they both hear the gospel message clearly, from others (let’s face it, as courteous as they are they may just be ‘humouring’ us to a degree as we’ve shared the Good News and its impact with them over the years).
    We would also appreciate prayers.

    May the LORD bless you Marisa and Barry.

    By Paul on Sep 17, 2011

  12. Also, an excellent resource on leading small groups is available for free download at
    www.johnmallison.com/jmcellbook.htm

    God bless

    By Paul on Sep 17, 2011

  13. Yes Paul, we’ll remember you and your family in our prayers, and thank you for the link above. I’ve just downloaded it, it looks like a valuable resource.

    God bless you too.

    Marisa

    By Marisa on Oct 7, 2011

  14. I have read on the CWM “Faithful Remnant” blog that over the past five years “Increasing numbers of people are heeding the trumpet call to ‘come out from among them’”.

    Evidently these folk are totally disillusioned with the “denominations”, and following soul searching visits to churches, while desperately seeking a spiritual home, have resorted to home/family/ type of fellowships due to their disenchantment.

    What flabbergasts me is that if this move has been taking place in “increasing numbers”, why is this blog not indicative of this? Where are the increasing numbers of disaffected christians and there testimonies of “coming out”?

    Surely after five years of this “movement” heeding the “trumpet call”, this site/blog would be full of the liberating experiences of those who have started a new/fellowship church!

    By paulanglican on Feb 13, 2013

  15. If you are going to walk with Jesus Christ, you are going to be opposed…. In our days, to be a true Christian is really to become a scandal.

    –George Whitefield (English preacher who proved to be one of the vessels used by God in the Great Awakening)

    Faithfulness to His Word is generally unpopular and most people prefer to be part of the group.

    Narrow is the way and relatively few there be that will actually find it or accept the cost if they do find it.

    As was the case with Jesus and the faithful of His day commitment to the Truth comes at a particularly high price in this carnal world.

    By Wayne on Feb 13, 2013

  16. @Wayne

    I am glad you referred to “Jesus and the faithful of his day” and their faithfulness to the Truth.

    It is troubling that you are claiming that “relatively few will there be that actually find it”, i.e., the Truth.

    Why then did Jesus say “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. John 8:32.

    Wayne are you suggesting that only a “relatively few” know the freedom that comes with their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?

    Are you also claiming “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” John 10:10, is only available again to the “relative few”?

    Is this code for “the faithful remnant” who have “come out”?.

    Again, where are the posts from those who have formed a new/fellowship church?

    Is it not perfectly reasonable to expect that these “relatively few” would share with us their abundant life that has been found in the Truth?

    The CWM website lists groups/fellowships located in Australasia, UK, USA. Are they the “relative few” that form the faithful remnant and know the Truth?

    A succinct reply would be gratefully received by many, including myself, whom you would consider, Wayne, to be not part of the “relative few” you are associated with.

    By paulanglican on Feb 14, 2013

  17. The relatively few are those who remain faithful to the Word of God regardless of the apostasy delusion and deception going on around them. Scriptural warnings regarding this are far to numerous to list here and have been addressed exhaustively elsewhere.

    Apparently these people are not on this website or are ot responding. They are however clearly definable.

    It does seem apparent to me that the day is rapidly approaching when the faithful will not be able to attend church at all because of the extent to which they have been overrun by the great apostasy.

    Total reliance on God and His Word will be the order of the day for those committed to God and His Word alone.

    By Wayne on Feb 14, 2013

  18. The Bible doesn’t hold back when describing the personality of the antichrist. He will be the worst human being in world history. Think about that for a moment.

    Daniel 11:37, “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”

    Classic popery is what this identifies for me as the ultimate apostasy/blasphemy.

    Sadly formerly bible honouring protestant groups are engaging in their own form of popery with the demonic doctrine of not daring to “question the anointed ones.”

    Bible believing and honouring (genuine) christians must resist the seducing spirit spreading this nonsense if they are to avoid the coming judgement of God who clearly states that He requires faitfulness to His Word above ALL else.

    Obedience is better than sacrifice says the Lord.

    By Wayne on Feb 14, 2013

  19. Another Berean Call article well worth reading by any who have trouble accepting the Bible as the sole source of teaching on the christian faith and morality.

    COLD-CASE CHRISTIANITY: A DETECTIVE INVESTIGATES THE JESUS STORY [Excerpts]

    The French have a phrase I love: plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. The more things change, the more they stay the same. While time marches on, and while the Christian faith marches on, the objections to it remain very much the same. Likewise, there are only so many arguments for the existence of God and the accuracy of the Bible. But even while the arguments remain much the same, it can be helpful to present them in fresh ways.

    J. Warner Wallace…is a cold-case homicide detective who dedicated much of his career to solving homicides that had been left unsolved many years before. He would re-open old investigations, take a fresh look at the evidence, interview the witnesses and suspects, and see if he could bring closure to old crimes.

    Wallace was at one time an atheist who had been challenged with the claims of the gospels. As he began to read the Bible and consider its claims, he realized that Christianity was much like the cases he solved as a detective. He saw that there was evidence and there were eyewitnesses and records that could be weighed and considered. He used the skills and disciplines he had learned as a detective and brought them to bear on the Bible and on the Christian faith. He came to see that the case for Christianity was as strong as any case he would bring before a judge.

    In [his new book] Cold-Case Christianity he approaches the claims of the gospels as a detective. Over ten chapters he shares ten important principles that every aspiring detective needs to master. Some of these are skills and some are attitudes: learning to be objective, learning how to infer, understanding the importance of circumstantial evidence, testing witnesses, properly handling evidence, being prepared to face an attack from a defense attorney, and so on. What is applicable to a detective trying to put a murderer behind bars is surprisingly applicable to anyone investigating Christian claims. After he shares those principles, he puts them to use as he opens up an investigation. Were the gospel writers there? Were they corroborated? Were they accurate? Were they biased? In each case he handles the objections brought by those who reject the Christian claims, often focusing on the claims of men like Bart Ehrman who is committed to destroying confidence in the Bible.

    This book is written for two different audiences. It is for skeptics who reject the Bible and who reject the claims of the Christian faith. “My experiences and insights might help you to assess the gospel writers in a new light….The answers are available; you don’t have to turn off your brain to be a believer. Yes, it is possible to become a Christian because of the evidence rather than in spite of the evidence. Many of us have done just that.” I found his arguments powerful and convincing, but, of course, I read the book as a Christian rather than a skeptic. But he convinced me once again that the claims of the gospels are not only true, but verifiable and believable.

    http://blogs.christianpost.com/overflow/cold-case-christianity-14176/

    By Wayne on Feb 15, 2013

  20. And just how in the world are these cut-and-paste snippets of the last few days helping people endeavouring to start a new fellowship group, young Wayne ???
    .
    “Forget your academic nonsense … get back to the topic” to quote your own self.
    .
    .
    Blessings to all who are working inpartnership with the LORD to build healthy, thoughtful fellowships.

    By spud on Feb 15, 2013

  21. Your opinions on how to establish a home church might be appreciated spud. Solid bible teaching and christian counsel from such Godly men as Dave Hunt Tom McMahon, Bill Randles, Aeron Morgan, Philip Powell to name but a few contributes to Godly living.
    Disputing the virtues of theological systems such as calvinism is purely academic in nature and carnal in objective.

    Spiritual discernment is required to discern the difference between godly counsel and carnal academic disputation.

    May God bless all who honour His Word above the word of men.

    By Wayne on Feb 16, 2013

  22. @ Wayne

    It is not surprising that you were unable to succinctly answer very real questions that I posted to you on Feb. 14, 2012. Even a relevant reply was too hard.

    Wayne you appear to visit this site and whatever pops up “carpet bomb” it with cut and paste irrelevancies. I am not fooled by this tactic.

    When you are caught in the proverbial “rat trap”, with no answers your foil is the Church of Rome. I do understand the con of the RCC, and sadly I’m now coming to grips with what you are avoiding to reveal.

    There is a lot of chatter about Truth. These persons are not “responding” to this website you claim. That’s very curious considering the list of fellowships globally “associated” with CWM.

    Wayne, the proverbial “Blind Freddy” can see through the invisible “increasing numbers”.

    Possibly, as you suggest, they are not attending a church/home fellowship, and may I propose are possibly working on their golf handicap or gardening? Excluding Wayne.

    By paulanglican on Feb 16, 2013

  23. Hello Paul Anglican,
    A good point made. I have said all I need to say about Mr. Wayne; “me thinks he doth protest too much!”
    We occaisionally have a young Catholic priest visit us. This is the country way; he will play our restored piano. He is a talented classical pianist and has a Phd at 30. He is a charming fellow. My God I can feel a Roman conversion coming on; I must be ready to convert back to the mother church!!! How could I have been so blind.
    As I’ve said before the Truth is pretty over rated. Bless all, Bro Kevin.

    By Bro Kevin on Feb 16, 2013

  24. Then there may be times that, as the Spirit leads us, tougher action is to be taken: “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee…” (Titus 2:15). Titus was to minister the Word of God to his flock, his authority was the Scriptures, and he was exhorted to stand fast in them that he not be despised for backing away from sound doctrine.

    Our prayer is that all who name the name of our Lord Jesus Christ will follow Paul’s encouragement to Timothy and to us as well: “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine….Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee….Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13,16; 2 Timothy 4:2). The Berean Call

    Quotable

    Spiritual maturity is not reached by the passing of the years, but by obedience to the will of God. Some people mature into an understanding of God’s will more quickly than others because they obey more readily; they more readily sacrifice the life of nature to the will of God; they more easily swing clear of little determined opinions. It is these little determined opinions, convictions of our own that won’t budge, that hinder growth in grace and makes us bitter and dogmatic, intolerant, and utterly un-Christlike.

    –Oswald Chambers

    By Wayne on Feb 17, 2013

  25. Mr Editor,
    It is quite revealing that Wayne’s comments - which are off-track on THIS blog’s topic - are not deleted in toto, as you deleted John Douven’s in late December on the blog Gathering the Faithful. I mentioned A and C on a late December post on that blog (just the 2 initials) and comment was deleted in total, rather than just deleting the offending phrase or sentence (as CWM blogs declare will happen).
    .
    Yet here your bias is manifest, what a pity that integrity of drawing a line in the sand [requested only by Wayne himself and PaulAnglican] is not maintained. So Wayne calls discussion about theological systems “carnal”, and you publish this bigotry.
    .
    Quite disappointing Lance and Philip.

    By spud on Feb 17, 2013

  26. @ Wayne re. post Feb. 16, 2013

    What a great idea to request Dave Hunt, Tom McMahon, Bill Randles, Aeron Morgan and Philip Powell to share with us christian counsel on establishing a church/home fellowship.

    No doubt, in due course, we will hear from them.

    My post of Feb 16, contained an incorrect date. I was referring to your post Feb. 14, 2013.

    By paulanglican on Feb 17, 2013

  27. Dera Paul Stocks - alias “spud”, “small potato” et al.

    I refer to you post challenging our editorial policy - Feb. 17 above.

    I agree that a number of posts are off topic as is yours. Tell me in what way is your challenge related to the topic of this strand - “How to start a new fellowship/church”? Why introduce a controversy here, which is what you have done.

    For the sake of openness and with the constraints of bevity I simply say that you know that I discussed privately the deletion of your “A and C” comment and proceeded with your agreement. then you challenged the “line in the sand” and it seems you are intent on doing so. What is your purpose? I find this VERY disappointing especially in view of your previously acting as “Moderator” of this blog without any challenge or interference.

    Philip l. Powell - editor.

    By Philip L. Powell on Feb 17, 2013

  28. NONE OF THIS IS MY ORIGINAL THOUGHT IT IS FROM THE WORD OF GOD AND MAY HAVE BEEN ADAPTED BY OTHER GODLY SOURCES. I CLAIM NO CREDIT FOR THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE AT ALL.

    I have simply chosen to accept the way of salvation that He has offered to me a sinner. Any home fellowship willbe about presenting this simple message totally.

    Jesus plainly taught that many people will try to enter into Heaven, but only a few will be allowed to enter.

    Keep that in mind while you quibble over whatever it is you choose to object to.

    Why would MANY people seek to enter Heaven, but not be granted entrance?

    Clearly, most people think WRONGLY concerning the way to get to Heaven.

    Most people have been deceived. Satan has succeeded in blinding most people, especially religious people (2nd Corinthians 4:4).

    What irony that most people think they’re going to Heaven, but they are blinded fools.

    They are going about to establish their own righteousness, instead of resting in the righteousness of Christ Jesus (Romans 10:3-4; Genesis 15:6).

    Note that all Scriptures are quoted from the trustworthy inspired King James Bible.

    Matthew 7:21 clearly tells us why few will enter Heaven—it’s because most people fail to do God’s will concerning salvation, which is to BELIEVE on Jesus Christ (John 6:40).

    Churchianity or man made religion is not the way to Heaven. Religion is clearly not the way to Heaven. Charity is not the way to Heaven. Doing wonderful works in Jesus’ name is not the way to Heaven. Brotherly love is not the way to Heaven. Committing one’s life to God is not the way to Heaven.

    Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven! Please don’t let your religion go to your head. Most people have baptism on the brain, but that is not the way to Heaven.

    Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and is the ONLY way to Heaven! Jesus DIED, was BURIED and ROSE again three days later from the dead for our justification.

    This is the gospel according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4.

    Jesus sacrificed His literal blood to pay for our sins (1st Peter 1:18-19). If you come as a helpless sinner to the precious Savior to be forgiven, you will be saved (Romans 10:13).

    Sadly, most people have churchianity or man made religion without Christianity.

    False religion is everywhere these days.

    1st John 4:1 teaches for believers to try (test) the spirits, to see whether they are of God or not. Salvation is NOT found in any religion; but rather, in a Person—The Lord Jesus Christ

    As jesus Himself taught HE alone is the TRUTH leading to salvation and His Word as revealed to us in the Bible is the only source of teaching for the christian faith and morality.

    You have the option of accepting His way of salvation or rejecting it. You do not have the option of changing it or manipulating it in any way to suit the perverse desires of mankind.

    The time to accept HIM is limited. The judgement day is fast approaching. Whether you accept the calvinist or any other theological position or not this decision is absolutely crucial to your eternal destiny.

    By Wayne on Feb 17, 2013

  29. Dear Paul Stocks - alias “spud”, “small potato” et al.

    I refer to your post challenging our editorial practice - Feb. 17 above.

    I agree that a number of posts are off topic as is yours. Tell me in what way is your challenge related to the topic of this strand - “How to start a new fellowship/church”? Why introduce a controversy here, which is what you have done?

    For the sake of openness and with the constraints of bevity I simply say that you know that I discussed privately the deletion of your “A and C” comment and proceeded with your agreement. On that occasion you challenged the “line in the sand” and it seems you are intent on doing so. What is your purpose? I find this VERY disappointing especially in view of your previously acting as “Moderator” of this blog without any challenge or interference.

    Philip L. Powell - editor.

    By Philip L. Powell on Feb 17, 2013

  30. @Wayne

    Your post Feb. 17 “none of this is my original thought etc.,” was what I would describe as the Classic Open/Christian Brethren stance. It is sound.

    Why would you need to start a church/home fellowship when one could fellowship with the Christian Brethren? There are many thousands of their autonomous assemblies around the world. An easy answer?

    Have you left something out of your scriptural basics for starting ones own new fellowship?

    By paulanglican on Feb 18, 2013

  31. 1. Invite people to come
    2. Be friendly to those who do come.
    3. Share the Word of God

    By Wayne on Feb 18, 2013

  32. Hello All.
    The Starting of a new fellowship is an interseting one. We have a rather good home study/praise/prayer group on one of the farms in our rural community. It is attended by anyone from Baptists, Penticostals to Anglicans. I attend as I am able and as an Anglican I am always welcome. It is a mid week meeting and has been functioning some years.
    The key to the success of this group is in the people that head it up. They are a community minded family and are very much a “people orientated family”. The issue of people come first, not ideaologies, opinions about the “Truth” and such. We get quite a few joining in and are free to discuss their journey in relation to the Bible passages being studied. Folk do not challenge but rather engage with each other in their journey. This I believe is the success.
    God Bless All, Bro Kevin.

    By Bro Kevin on Feb 21, 2013

  33. False religion can lead only to hell.

    Sound bible teachng is, of course, absolutely essential to meaningful christian fellowship.

    Towards the end of the Saviours’ earthly ministry, His disciples came to Him with several questions concerning the future:

    “Tell us … what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

    Jesus responded: “Take heed that no man deceive you.

    “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: … and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:3–8).

    The Apostle Paul warned of these days: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

    “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth” (2 Tim. 4:3–4).

    As the Bible teaches, sound doctrine is absolutely essential to a right relationship with God and man.

    By Wayne on Feb 24, 2013

  34. Dear Mr. Wayne, I am not sure what your reply is supposed to mean. Are you suggesting that our rural farm house meeting is putting foth “False Religion”? If so on what basis? You have never attended or joined in. Have you ever been to our part of Australia?
    Bro. Kevin.

    By Bro Kevin on Feb 24, 2013

  35. @ Bro Kevin, and of course, Wayne

    Yesterday as we celebrated our Parish’s 150th Anniversary, the Cantor sung Psalm 97.

    “Be joyful in the Lord God, you people of faith, praise God’s holy name, praise God’s holy name.”

    Where was this “whacko” claim of a man made “false religion” as the congregation responded in unison, “Be joyful in the Lord God, praise God’s holy name”.

    If you want to purge false religion Wayne, may Fender guitars, Hillsong sheetmusic/tabs, and every implement that has reduced Christianity to a rock concert be first on the pyre.

    Don’t start with trustworthy traditional Christianity.

    Or make your special mould for the kind of house meeting/fellowships where christians first worshipped. Sans Wayne.

    By paulanglican on Feb 25, 2013

  36. Kevin, I know nothing about your rural farm house meetings. i am, however, continually bemused by your defensiveness and apparent enthusiasm for assumng that every comment is about you and your church.

    My comments are generally applicable universally to all who claim the title “christian.”

    In ths context I also wish to endorse

    The Biblical Testing of Teachings and Manifestations
    Author: Aeron Morgan
    Publisher: Dust & Ashes Publications
    Pages: 378

    Have you ever read a book by C.H. Spurgeon or one of the old divines and marvelled at the richness of Biblical insight and the wealth of spiritual maturity? You come away feeling like you have read something that is not far removed from Scripture. That’s a little of what it’s like to read “The Biblical Testing of Teachings and Manifestations”.

    This book is thoroughly Biblical and expository in that the ideas are drawn from Scripture. The author is not afraid to include numerous and lengthy Bible passages, and he frequently expounds on verses, highlighting the definition and meaning of the original words. He carefully considers the context; there’s no scripture twisting to force meaning. His aim is to get at what the verse or passage really teaches. It’s an inspiration for every student of the Bible.

    He also makes use of quotations from past and present Christians to supplement his contentions. The lengthy appendices include a couple of articles from Puritan writers; quotations from them and others are sprinkled throughout. It all makes for edifying reading.

    The author, Aeron Morgan, is a Welshman that has been connected with the Assemblies of God for many years. He believes that the gifts of the Spirit did not cease with the apostles. Even if one does not hold that view, it’s a scholarly and fascinating look at how they should function today. There is much here that will benefit any open-minded believer.

    Particularly interesting are the guidelines for dealing with the gift of prophecy. He points out that prophecy is to be judged by all present; it’s content should not be automatically accepted. Leaders have the special responsibility to indicate whether or not it’s deemed valid. He believes that if a prophecy or teaching is judged to be false, it should immediately be corrected. He cites an instance of one pastor interrupting the message of a visiting speaker to correct a wrong teaching. His comments are especially helpful for those who desire to leave room for the Spirit’s working but want to follow the Biblical injunction of doing everything in decency and in order.

    The book effectively refutes the erroneous ideas of the proponents of the so-called Toronto Blessing. The author is not afraid to mention names in the interest of correcting public teaching that is false. Rodney Howard Browne and the Toronto Airport Church, as it is now know, are mentioned in connection with the movement that produced all manner of strange and bizarre manifestations. This includes holy laughter and other behaviour that lacks Biblical support. The author doesn’t just draw from second hand accounts. He has been an eyewitness to some of the phenomenon and is clearly grieved by it. What you have is a Pentecostal weighing neo-Pentecostalism (as the new movement might be called) in the balances and finding it wanting.

    This is not, however, a book that names a lot of names and spends a lot of time tearing down ministries. The author is careful in his disclosures. It’s clear that his motivation is more a love of the truth. He clearly shows from the Scriptures and historical accounts of revival that there has been an uncritical acceptance of what is wrong.

    The book doesn’t reflect the current style of writing, where the emphasis in on easy reading and simple concepts. What it may lack in editing and flow from one chapter to the next, it makes up for in content. It would be beneficial for any Christian to read, but especially those in the ministry.

    It’s such a strong encouragement for the primacy of Scripture. It’s all the more crucial in this time when questionable teaching and error are on the rise. It’s a challenging exhortation to test the validity of every teaching and experience by the Scriptures.

    Michael Dalton

    By Wayne on Feb 25, 2013

  37. Hello All,
    The thing is Wayne, your replies have no bearing on individuals posts at all. And to assume that I am defensive is rather trite. The truth is I do not need to write in at all. In fact I was happy not to and was requested to cotinue.
    The truth is when I find people such as your self continually taking this “higher Morale ground” of correcting all and everything it sets off alarm bells. My experience shows me that such persons are generally hiding something or are suffering some sort of phsycological malaise. This has been my experience over the last 50 or so years.
    If you behaved as you do on this blog you would never have any one attending a home fellowship group. After all this is what this blog subject is about. Cotinual correcting, self appointed righteousness such as yours would not pass the “Safe Spaces” tests which those in any church position would need to undertake. Your behaviour would be seen as abusive. As an Anglican in functioning ministry my wife and I have had to undertake such work shops in order to function in the capacities we do. My good wife is employed in a church capacity and we are presently taking Lenten and other studies. The parameters on how we treat and deal with persons in our home is laid out very clearly in the safe spaces certification. This is an important issue in conducting any sort of Home fellowship. Who has approved the meeting? Issues of accountability, insurance and so on are some of the nasty little thins that lurk in the back ground for those who wish to under take a home fellowship.
    And yes Wayne I am familiar with Spurgeon and the self righteous Puritans. You will notice in past blogs that I have commented on these issues. I have have spent many years studying Thoeology formally and a few other subjects as well. How ever I am more interested in performing in christian music. I find theology OK but pretty tedious; no one agrees on anything anyway. My view is that we need to be relevant today without throwing out the traditions that are valuable to our walk. We also need to be prepared to take on new things as well as we grow and change.
    I like Paul Anglicans comment about the Trustworthy Traditional Christianity. Yes I can relate to this as I am an Anglican my self.
    We do however embrace ancient and modern and I find this gives a healthy balance. As for Fender Guitars I must confess I have 2 fender Strats along with a host of Mandolins, Bouzoukis, Acoustic Godins, Yamahas, Lute and other folk instruments. We do play some Hillsong along with other sacred music dating back to medieval times. It is not all bad and some is not all good. My favourite Hymn is “Be thou my Vision”. It still moves me.
    A successful home fellowship depends primarily on an atmosphere of kindliness and friendship. Cofrontation and subjective views of truth hammered at people will close your home fellowship down very quickly. Afterall no one really has to be there do they?
    God Bless All. Bro Kevin.

    By Bro Kevin on Feb 26, 2013

  38. Bro Kevin, yes your frustration with our Wayne is mutual, in the context of his posts.

    What in the name of heaven has a Toronto Blessing or Rodney Howard Browne’s Toronto Airport Church got to do with “home fellowships”?

    Maybe the Moderator can enlighten us, as Aeron Morgan and his book that “lack(s) in editing and flow” etc., is an irrelevancy.

    With respect to music, I also possess a Fender Strat(US), Fender Tele(US), Fender Bass, Gibson Acoustic, Epiphone and a handful of others. They are from a bygone era (mainly jazz), and I punish my family through Fender amps! Not the church!

    By paulanglican on Feb 26, 2013

  39. Get the basics right and the rest will take care of itself.

    By Wayne on Feb 26, 2013

  40. We must all submit to Biblical Truth which gives NO room whatsoever for personal opinion if we are to truly belong to Christ the only means of salvation.

    The idea of genuine christianity based on subjective opinion rather than objective Biblical Truth is as ridiculous as the idea of members of a Rugby club actually preferring to play soccer and doing so but insisting on being called rugby players because of some perceived social benefit.

    Either we want to be christian and play by the rules handed down to us in the Bible or we want to be something else or we want to invent another religion altogether.

    Whichever way we want to go we should at least be honest enough to give ourselves the correct labels. I hope that you would agree that it is ridiculous to believe that one can choose to call an apple an orange because of subjective opinion but this is the very nonsense that you people are proposing is acceptable within the church.

    Apostasy will take many unsuspecting “christians” to hell. Make light of the seriousness of it to your peril.

    By Wayne on Feb 26, 2013

  41. A few honest facts to chew over, Wayne.

    There are 7,500 varieties of apples of which 2,500 varieties are grown in the US.

    Oranges (citrus sinensis) have over 600 varieties.

    The World Christian Encyclopedia states their are 33,820 protestant denominations in the US. Multiplying every year, this is a “tragically conservative” number, as the US has an abundance of “Waynes”.

    So finally, Wayne, we can see some logic from your apples and oranges. Christianity is a real fruit salad with some “fruit cakes”.

    With respect to rugby and soccer, at least there is an umpire, so we have a christian analogy there as well.

    Who are the genuine committed born again bible believing Spirit filled baptised Christ honouring (what have I left out) christians?

    So we return to another “old chestnut” . . . the Truth. And, guess what all these 33,000 plus groups reckon they have it! So we continue to go round and around in circles.

    St. Thomas Aquinas summed it up. “Lord, in my zeal for the love of truth, let me not forget the truth about love”.

    By paulanglican on Feb 27, 2013

  42. Apples and oranges and denominations. Well I guess they do have something in common aopart from their alleged “numbers”. They all give you the pip, quite frequently and “paulanglican” simply adds to the circle chase.

    Quite frankly paul what has your comment got to do with anything.

    the fact of the matter is that TRUTH does matter and TRUTH is never determined by a majority vote. Jesus said “You will know the TRUTH and the TRUTH will set you free.” Paul said that people will end being deceived because they do not have a Love for the Truth.

    Read 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 and ask yourself are we living in the days foretold in that passage.

    The TRUE church is “the pillar and ground of the TRUTH” and when it ceases to function in that capacity TRUTH falls in the streets.

    the Church is not a musical entity or a social club it is a group of people who have been gathered togther by Christ and under HIS Lordship.

    Every blessing in Christ,

    Philip L. Powell - 27/02/2013.

    By Philip L. Powell on Feb 27, 2013

  43. Hello All,
    Thank you Paul Anglican for your injection of common sense.
    The Topic on discussion is; “How to start a new fellowship church”.
    There are some things to adress.
    Those who are taking up the leadership in this matter need to; 1. Undertake “Safe spaces/ministry accreditation.” this is required by law. 2. Are they authorised to do so?. Perhaps under the supervision of their local Parish or such. The question arises; “Who is supervising the leadership?”. This is an important question. 3. If a Home fellowship then questions on insurance and liability need to be considered. Quite simply the place and its goings on must be safe. 4. There needs to be a “Clear contract” as to what will be done in this home fellowship so that those attending will have a clear understanding on what everyone is agreeing to and committing to.
    For instance you do not want some out of control “Do Gooder” fixated about laying hands and prophesying over anyone when he/she can’t control their personality addiction for control and power. It needs to be clear that either that sort of stupidity is either allowed/disallowed. 5. What is the format for your getting together? and how will be run?.
    An interesting book of suggestions is “The emerging church” F. Viola. Some of it is a bit ideaistic but it is a resource and some of it may/may not be of value.
    These issues should be considered long before any fixation or obsession about the “Truth” even comes into the picture.
    At present we are taking 7 weeks of home “Lenten Studies”. This home fellowship is for a season only. It is sanctioned because of rural distance and avoiding night travel and kangaroos etc. The reason is practical. The subject matter is clearly laid out and keen discussion is entered into. The parameters of the fellowship are clear. We are acountable to our Parish Priest and church council. We are authorised as we have Theological/Church backgrounds. This is just an example of how things can operate in a smooth and acountable manner. No one is in for any surprises or at risk of abuse or become victims of “Spititual Preditors”. If people are not at ease and feel welcome then your group will fold up. On the other hand if your group is run by a “Spiritual Preditor” then the emotionally weak and vulnerable are at risk of being molded into rather “Unhealthy” mental/spiritual dependance. I have seen a lot of this over time and it always ends up badly.
    I offer some practical advise for those considering this subject.
    And Wayne there is no need to “Spew” forth you irrelevant rubbish. But please offer some relevant response which highlights the Social/Legal/Moral responsibilities of duty of care and so on for those considering this subject. For instance Wayne; would your church nominate you and authorise you to lead a home/sattelite fellowship. If so what would be your steps and format for such and undertaking?
    God Bless all. Bro Kevin.

    By Bro Kevin on Feb 28, 2013

  44. Yes we are all well aware that false religion is everywhere seeking to counterfeit the Truth of the Word of God or to provide a more “acceptable” alternative to those who refuse to accept His salvation on His terms.

    The Bible provides a multitude of warnings regarding false teachers, false teachings, false christs, ravenous wolves etc etc etc to help us through the maze of falsehood competing for our attention.

    Clearly this is because the christian faith has objective content, is genuine and of external rather than mere internal value.

    There can be NO opinion whatsoever when the Bible speaks and it speaks emphatically on the important issues of the christian faith and morality.

    As the Bible so emphatically and repeatedly warns there is only ONE way to be saved whether we like it or not.

    Honesty with ourselves is the first step towards accepting the undeserving salvation offered solely by the Grace of God.

    Willingness to repent and accept His way of salvation rather than insist on our own way is the second step.

    By Wayne on Feb 28, 2013

  45. Brother Kevin,
    .
    Thanks for today putting out those 5 points for consideration by those planning/ engaging in starting (or even renewing) a home fellowship, housechurch, simple church, etc. They are wise and essential principles IMO.
    .
    Nice to see an anglican applying this wisdom to the context of ministry to ALL people who may be vulnerable at some point in time, & that’s each one of us, rather than to specific populations only (such as young people, people with disabilities, refugees, etc.).
    .
    Independent Christian ministries would do well to incorporate such measures into their own standard operating practices. It may make an environment where toxic faith no longer survives to provide for the emotional needs of these, as you call them, Spiritual Predators. And these men and women exist in every flavour of church - and pity help those who naively threaten their sense of security.
    Sounds like you’ve been there, got the scars, etc. Worthy thoughts for reflection.
    .
    Kind regards,

    By spud on Feb 28, 2013

  46. It has become necessary to take the CWM Blog OFFLINE
     
    This facility has been in existence since 2007 and is hosted on our old domain christian-witness.org which is no longer maintained.

    Recently our web host upgraded some of the system software on this site which has introduced an incompatiblity problem with our Blog software.  We cannot log into this site and, at present, we do not have the resources to fix or continue with this blog.

    Thank you for your support…

    By Editor on Feb 28, 2013

  47. Hello,
    Sorry to hear that. Yes the page appears a bit odd of late. This has been an interesting blog site and quite valuable in some ways.
    Unfortunately any valuable input has been stimied by our friend Wayne whose contributions are of no value whatsoever. I suggest the powers that be convince him to undergo some christian counselling as I feel he has some terribly unresolved issues. Perhaps he was bullied at school??
    Other wise this site has had some marvelous input on a range of worthwhile topics.
    I notice that some of the regulars have slowly dropped out thanks to our idiot friend Wayne. I was at the point of not corresponding any more as I believe that the discussion has degenerated into nonsense thanks to our friend Wayne. I do suggest he recieve some serious mental help as I believe he is quite destructive in his irrelevant rantings.
    Good Luck and thank for the opportunities. God Bless All. Bro Kev.

    By Bro Kevin on Mar 1, 2013

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