taking house/simple/organic church deeper
An apostolic hub is where Christians live together from “house to house.” and begin “sharing everything” that they have with one another. They don’t “buy and sell” from each other or “borrow” resources from each other, but they make everything available to be used up as a “gift” in service to one another. No one owns anything for himself or herself, (except their wives and husbands) everyone shares what they have and therefore own everything. Because they share everything, there is no needy person among them. They are not just “Christian neighbors” who happen to live next door; they are a family! They don’t ‘support’ a brother; they ‘help’ a brother.
An apostolic hub is basically, a “spirit” where three things happen: gather, kill and cast. Whenever people follow Jesus, He gathers them to Himself then He kills them, “deny yourself, take up your cross”, let’s go to the cross and crucify you. The life that you knew is over. From now on follow me. In our churches, we gather but we don’t kill. We let each one live as he pleases and fail to teach them to deny their very lives. Then Jesus after killing the person, that’s why we burry (baptize) them, casts them out (in Greek, the word ‘ekballein’ used in Lk 10:2 is the word used in the process of driving out demons) to the field saying, get out and be fruitful; get me some followers to serve me and my family! Today, leaders train other ‘to-be-leaders’ in order to have their own followers. This is not how it is in His Kingdom.
An apostolic hub has four kinds of people with them:
1. Orphans and widows. In the society, no one takes care of them, God has given them to us (Jas1:27). God adopts us as sons and daughters and as good followers of God we adopt orphans as our own and look after the widows. If not us, then who would do this? Orphanages are not God’s idea, it is a human convenience that replaces adoption.
2. Spiritual Dad and Mom. They are the “mature spiritual parents in the Lord,” the apostolic dad and the prophetic mom, nourishing, caring, coaching, equipping and releasing their “children in The Lord”. (Ep 4:11-13)
3. Skilled workers with business projects. There are talented and creative people, entrepreneurs who would initiate businesses to advance the Kingdom (Acts 18:1-5) to help the above mentioned to freely do what they are called to do. Especially the spiritual dad and mom to be financially cast out to initiate kingdom movements. Phil 4:15.
4. Poor people. The last on the list is the unbelieving poor around them. (Mk. 14:7) That is, the poor that is ‘outside’ of them because there is ‘no poor among them.’ Christians take care first those that are in the ‘household of faith’ or else the outside screaming need of injustice and poverty will suck out the entire budget very quickly and we will deprive our own family and miss the purposes of God’s family. We are God-driven; not need-driven.
Remember the kind of church that Jesus said, “a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden”? It is exactly what David also said, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is when brethren DWELL TOGETHER in unity.” The New Testament recognition of ekklesia in a given city is not by religious edifices or numbers. There is one ekklesia in Thessalonica, one in Ephesus and they live like the ‘church in Jerusalem’. It is the first church and it is our model today (Acts 2:42-46) to follow. Jesus’ prayer in John 17 for unity is not about doctrinal unity. Leaders of organizational churches are busy trying to create another doctrine that would somehow unites us, while their own churches are in chaos. Some build churches this way and others that way, showing the obvious that we don’t really know what we build. Simply said, it is not our job to build churches. We steal His job of building ekklesia. Imagine, 44,000 different brands (denominations) of Christianity is competing and hindering Church as God wants it. Looks like Jesus cannot marry a beautiful Bride but a harem.
In the words of Aristides, when sent by the Emperor Hadrian to spy those strange creatures known as ‘Christians’, having seen them in action, he returned with a mixed report. But his immortal words to the Emperor have echoed down through history: “Behold! How they love one another.” This is one of the profound comments made regarding the early church life (Church Swindol). Wolfgang Simson has a suspicion that the early church “although hate one another, yet still love one another.” Mike Peters along with other 300 saints who live ‘from house to house’ had this experience with one another saying, “we love each other because we hate each other.”
Ron Mc Kenzie, in his book “Being Church Where We Live”, believes that the early church way of living ‘from house to house’ is not a principle to follow but only a ‘default system’ that when someone wants to be part of the Kingdom people, “a city that is set on a hill” then he knows what to do. The reason behind is because they want to ‘obey everything that Jesus commanded’ including the 58 one-anothering. They change their priorities and literally decide to be of ‘one mind, one heart and one accord ‘ and live next door to each other obeying the King – their Head, together as His one body.
That’s why Wolfgang Simson says that a hub is a ‘spirit,’ not much of a location. If it were a location then any human initiation with money, land and resources, without the Spirit of the living God will be able to do it as well.
The word ‘fellowship’ in Greek is ‘koinonia’ that is connected to the word ‘dwell together’ meaning ‘they are of one mind and one heart, one common life, one common joy and pain, one common purse.’ In his book, Revolution Without Dancing, Mike Peters describes it as, ‘if one buys a ship then everybody owns it.’ That’s what exactly the early church did. “No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had – so there was no needy person among them.” Acts 2:45.
Christians in a city or town, living far from each other and meet once a week for ‘listen-things-together’ and not ‘do-things-together’ like in a house/organic church life-style, cannot simply comply the one-anothering alone how much more the ‘koinonia?’
The apostle Paul, in his apostolic journey ‘didn’t stop here and there to preach from house to house’ (Acts 20:20). He stayed in those locations as one of them, as a spiritual parent giving birth to spiritual children, nourishing, imparting, bringing gifts and encouragement to the saints. 1Thes. 2:8, Rom 1:11-12. Whenever Paul traveled, he stayed ‘from house to house’ not ‘from hotel to hotel.’ He stayed where he can do things together with other saints, not do a seminar or conference to them and at the end sell his letters for a $24.99 each.
Imagine a life of ekklesia in our own city like this!
I don’t know about you, but in the end, not only God longs to look at the fruit you bear, but also me. I want to see it with my own eyes and enjoy His favor.