EXHAUSTED SIMPLE CHURCHES

20 04 2013

When a movement stops moving it ceases to become a movement.

(Butuan Trip, 4/10-13/12)
 
“Is it going to be like this always? If this is all there is, then it is better to stop or else we are all going to die.”
 
This was a sentiment of my friend Ronie in Butuan when I first met him a year ago. He believes in simple-organic-house churches but something didn’t make complete sense to him. He got tired of attending meetings, was bored of the weekly routine, he felt like being in a valley full of dry bones and he decided he didn’t want to die there with an epitaph saying, “I didn’t skip any meetings at all!” Therefore, he stopped those kinds of meetings in his simple organic house church.
 
When we are stuck with something and that something wouldn’t make us move anywhere, we can be very sure that it is time to start to dig our own graves. We die. This is what is happening in most simple churches around the globe. We are stuck with meetings. We routinely, like a machine, come back to our meetings faithfully. We don’t do more than just meet again next Wednesday. We don’t know what else to do other than to meet so we guess that the best way to do something about it is to keep doing it – meetings! Wolfgang Simson says, “there is nothing wrong with Bible studies and Prayer meetings, but bible studies in order to have a bible study or prayer meetings just for the sake of prayer meetings is not taking us anywhere”. In a similar tune I say there is nothing wrong with meetings, but if we meet for the sake of meetings, then it soon becomes a tradition.
 
Here is the problem: we admit that Church is Jesus’ bride. But she looks very dirty because we love to leave our fingerprints all over the bride. “I do this”, “my organization”, “we are Pentecostals”, “I’m Brethren”, “we are not Methodists” “I’m from simple church” and “we are organic house church” – human fingerprints all over Jesus’ bride! It is not anymore possible to comprehend that Jesus has just one bride called Church! It gets even more difficult to grasp the nature of His Church. What have we done! Most of us seem to have an Institutional church background. All what we have done so far to get into the latest church mode is to chop the elephants into small pieces and have renamed them to rabbits. But the elephant’s DNA is still in the rabbits, it hasn’t changed! We have only chopped it well enough for everybody to do the same old meetings in smaller versions at homes. We still do our own thing. We don’t ask God what his will is but we ask him to be part of our will. Instead of asking God to show us His ways, we go ahead and do our wicked-selfish ways. “Just put your signature here at the dotted line, Lord Jesus; don’t you worry about the rest”. It doesn’t matter if God wills it or not but God must cooperate with our plans and bless our will. We don’t get it, do we? Church is God’s property and we are not the ones to claim to build His Ekklesia, Jesus said, “I will build MY church”. Get it – not your church; keep your fingerprints off from what Jesus wants to build. 
 
 
One of the hardest things God wanted me to do is to trust Him. And I don’t mean just to “trust” Him by letting Him lead me when I do something. No, it’s the other way around. He wanted me to trust Him by me doing nothing!
 
“Molong, if you want to taste the fullness of the Holy Spirit,” our Father said to me when I started thinking about doing meetings, “then you’ve got to trust me completely”. It took a while for me to see it happen with my own eyes but that’s another story.
 
We need to grow up; we don’t want to be caught up doing something only to find out too late that we’re stuck with it. For a while, I did things “for” God, and then I grew up and learnt to work “with” God. Then I realized that the “I” in me is still alive. “God and I did it”! Finally, I needed to die as well. Then I understood that the dead don’t work at all. That’s why they are dead in the first place. So I learnt just to watch God work.
 
My friend Ronie, learnt the same thing. And so does many of those house churches in his city. Paul says, “I die daily.” And Jesus says, “learn from Me.” Only people who are willing to die for Him can learn from Him. Unless we are dead to our “own” ways, God can never show to us “His” ways. Or else, the glory will rest on men and not on Him.
 
BEING FAMILY, MAKING DISCIPLES
 
Two things that most house churches lack are 1) they are not a family and 2) because they don’t live like a family, they do not know how to raise one. Only a man and a woman who are so in love with each other know how to produce children and create a family. In the same way, until we become a family to each other in the churches we will never be able to bear spiritual children to whom we would father and mother in the Lord. God cannot entrust us with spiritual kids unless:
 
– we learn to become good fathers and mothers to our own children (1 Tim.3:6)
– we learn to  see and treat those who are part of our simple churches
as one of our own family. (1 Tim.6:1-2)
 
Ask yourselves these questions: Are your gatherings “meeting-based” or “family-based”? Do you meet for the sake of meetings or because you just miss each other so much? 
 
STOP THE MEETINGS:
If your answer is not the latter then the first thing you need to do is stop the meeting. You cannot be a family if you do plain meetings. Families don’t do that. People don’t need more meetings. They need more relationships. As my friend Gary Goodell says, “Families don’t do meetings; they just meet a lot.”
 
KNOW YOUR LOCATION:
We know that the NT recognition of Ekklesia in a city is where those disciples lived and shared life together in one location. One city – one Church, Period. The seven Churches in Rev.1-3 were located in the seven cities mentioned. It means that the Church is locate-able. The unbelievers knew where the Christians were living their daily life together as a Church. Thus the Ekklesia became “the city that is set on a hill that cannot be hidden.” Jesus’ prayer of unity in John 17 is not about unity in our theological agreement but it is about how we live our daily life together in love with each other. Friends, there is only one place where we can live this – be a family. Heb,3:13 says, encourage one another “daily”; not just on a Wednesday evening after the prayer meeting and during the coffee and tea time. Acts 2:42-46 defines how the believers lived together like a family. They shared everything together and exhibited this life style in the public squares. The public was excited and favored them and the Lord added new family members “daily” into their lives.
 
The question is, are you located where you are right now with other saints in the city? Are you seeking the Kingdom of God first? The kingdom of God is where such disciples live and share life together as one family to exhibit Kingdom life to the world. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples” because we have love for one another. They see us washing each other’s clothes together, mowing each other’s lawn together, buying huge quantities of grocery in the market together, cutting onions together and eating food together. Because of the love we have for the Lord, — Deut 6:4-6 “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up”, — live life in such a way that the world will see in us that we take care of each other and that we go “alongside” (Greek summary word of Heb.3:13) each other “daily”, so that no one of us will be entangled by sin like it happens all the time in the world.
 
We are in this journey of Life together. There are 125 commands of the King and 58 of them are about one-anothering. This simply means, you cannot live without me and I cannot live without you. No one is better than us. 90 percent of your growth depends on me and 90 percent of my growth depends on you. God uses “earthen vessels” to mature each other.  
 
The kind of Christ’s body that the world is exposed to today is a fractured one. Not only what we call “Christianity” is divided into 40,000+ fractions but also most of the house churches that may not be divided by fractions are but divided by groups. Isn’t having “hundreds of mothers, brothers, sisters” is how Jesus defines His Church in the Scripture? He who leaves his father, mother, brothers, sisters, possessions, and even houses behind for His sake shall have hundreds of them. Add to that persecutions and the eternal life to come!”
 
My great brother Mike Peters who lives together with 300 saints for over 30 years now, says, “We don’t have Christian neighbors, we are a family. And because we are a family, we do not “support” a brother,  we “help” a brother”. Seek real brothers and sisters in your city. There are Christians who are ready to abandon themselves for Christ. That’s the key issue here, we’re still full of ourselves with just ‘me and my family and no more’. We call that ‘selfishness’. That’s the very reason we don’t allow anybody to be a part of our family. A “very anti-kingdom gravitational force in the world” as Wolf reckons.
 
This takes a lot of relationship building. Anyhow, I don’t know about you but I don’t want to get old knowing that I settled down for the second best playing it safe.
 
“Seek first the kingdom, the people of God who live Christ’s life together in a given location.” If you transfer location because it has a better weather or a better job and salary, then you are not seeking the Kingdom of God first but second.
 
All what I’m trying to say is summed up in a nutshell in Acts 2:42-46. Let’s go back to the original pattern.
 
MAKE DISCIPLES:
Many simple churches (as I have found reading on their websites and blogs or even just talking to house church Christians) are exhausted with their groups. Most have a hard time keeping up with their meetings. So some are encouraged to “rest in the Lord” – what it really means is that ‘stop for a while and start again the same old thing over again’. No real change! Others are encouraged to dissolve the group – this is scary for me. It’s so obvious that it’s not a family then.
 
These reasons and others, which may be qualified but I suspect that they are just an alibi where in fact the core problem of being exhausted is that they neither have raised into a family nor know how to raise others in the family. They may be growing in maturity but not growing together into a family as one body. The result is burnout and depression. Another great brother named Rod, in Butuan, shared with us when we were there recently that “impression without expression will lead to depression”. What a truth! How can we impress the world if we do not express it in our lives? How can we be the light in darkness if we shine exhaustion?
 
BUTUAN: EXHAUSTION OR EXPLOSION
 
I met Ronie, in Davao, in a friend’s wedding. We were discussing about making disciples so intensely that we forgot we have been standing for the last 40 minutes. A week later, he sends me a text message on my phone that he baptized five and that coming Sunday he will be baptizing more. I went to visit him with Jomie, a 2nd generation disciple and we baptized 7 people up to the 3rd generation along with Rod and Rex, the brothers.
 
My second visit to Davao was with Albert, my 1st generation disciple. Together we baptized 13 people up to the 3rd generation. Ronie, on the other hand, without us being there, keeps making disciples and baptizes them. We visited them when we were there a few days ago. I talked to Jay-r one night, one of the disciples there. He is married and lives next door to Ronie’s house. I asked him if he made some disciples. He did. Jay-r made his brother a disciple and his cousins as well.
 
On the first day of our Butuan trip, we arrived at 7:00 in the morning and were surrounded by leaders of the house churches in Butuan City. Everyone agreed that they have become tired of just having meetings. We had breakfast and lunch together and in between our “meatings” we discussed about how to make disciples. Making disciples is first off to be a follower of Jesus. Only when we focus in following Jesus, we can make others followers of Him. Many have become leaders, which means, they have shifted from having their focus on Jesus to themselves. First, we need to get rid of that deadly idea of becoming a leader. And instead we need to start following Jesus faithfully. That is how making disciples happens!
 
In the afternoon, many more house church groups came in and we had dinner together at Ronie’s house. Together we recognized that they have all become individual groups and its now time to become a family. Everyone stayed till midnight sharing about being a family (at least no one fell from the window!) and the next day we baptized 6 people. Some went ahead and started making their friends disciple of Jesus and we baptized 7 more. That night no one slept except me 😉 The room was full of fellowship, with women sharing and crying around the table while the men sitting on the floor. And me, right there on the couch snoring! 13 baptisms all in all in three days.
 
On the second night, many saints came together in Tan’s home as an extended family for a big feast. We roasted a whole pig – Lechon!
Three days later, we arrived in Cebu. A couple that we baptized in Butuan has already made a disciple. This couple has been trying to start their journey of making disciples. But God needed to carry them to a desert place where he could work on them a little more. Testing, trying and dying were necessary before they could launch out. And that’s what happened. They wanted to be baptized again, this time to be a part of the Kingdom of God. They decided to die for the King’s cause and so we buried them again! So far, to this day the 18th of April, 5 days after we left Butuan, this couple has baptized three people! This is not exhaustion, but explosion!

 

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Part 2: My Journey to Organic Church

9 04 2013

ImageAmos 3:5 “The fact is, God the Master, does nothing without first telling his prophets the whole story.” 

 
“I see children,” was the prophetic word of Bob Lund and Jeremiah Hart, while kneeling in front of me and my wife. My wife cried after hearing this sentence. That’s all they said. Bob and his friend came to visit us 8 years ago. 
 
My wife loves kids, she likes to do feeding ministry. She thought of starting one while we were still in the process of dying. I love kids as well, but without strings attached to it: I don’t like to see them as “projects”.  Therefore, we waited until God would intervene. We were living in our parent’s house then. On one ordinary night in November 1999, it happened. The house where we lived along with 300 other houses in our community got burned down with fire. So we rented another place nearby to live. Albert, then an 18-year-old college student, came to our place that night and was made into a disciple of Jesus. He is our first fulfillment of the prophecy by Bob and Jeremiah. During one of the nights in that week when Albert was with us, I just couldn’t go to sleep. I got out of bed around 11 PM, and poured out my thoughts on “Intentional Discipleship” that night and it was 5 AM in the morning when I finished writing them down.  It became a 11 page article that I have now edited and shortened!
 
Albert was my first try. I made him a disciple that night and quite shortly, he made his friend Jomie, his classmate in high school, a disciple! Jomie went ahead to make Jillian, their closest friend, in their class a disciple. Then the three together made Louie Dan a disciple. This stopped here in the fourth generation. Not with Albert, he went on and made his two sisters, Arlen and Analyn, disciples! Arlen carried on and made made more disciple of her classmates and it reached to the 12th generation! Her younger sister Analyn, continues making her friend Shane a disciple. 
 
Albert, the unstoppable, joined college and continues making disciples of his college mates. Not only do they make disciples, they start to baptize them as well. Once with the help of Jomie, they baptized five of their college students. Jomie, went to his family and made his brother Ranel a disciple. His dad was the next in line. The dad then baptized his own wife,(Jomie’s mother). And the mother baptized her lovely daughter, (Jomie’s sister). What a joy! Satisfied fully, Jomie went to make disciples of Noel, Mark, Resty, and Ronron. Noel in turn continued making disciples of his high school classmates. 
 
Albert and Jomie, went together on a short trip to one of our islands here. There they made some 14 disciples. Albert’s sister Arlen sometimes accompanies them with her girl classmates, to reach out to other girls in the island. That’s how they grow and multiply up to the 12th generation! I could go on and on with names, dates, pictures of baptisms which we call “the burial”. We started to draw a chart of who buried whom! We blog our discipleship making stories for the next generation to learn. You can read about them here: 
 
 
Disciple making does not happen in a classroom course. If we have classes every Friday evening for the next two years that trains one on discipleship, what exciting life stories can come out of that other than your head is now full of theology? Discipleship happens in the fields not behind closed door, fee based teacher-student atmosphere of a classroom. Living stories change societies, not knowledgeable classes. We don’t want to write new “theories”; we want to write new “living stories” to tell the world of His love. 
 
By now, you may be itching to know how we do this. It is much simpler to know how not to do it than how to do it. Watch out, for it may shock you! Unless we stop doing what we know, God will not be able to perform what He knows!
 
We did church by continuing to give birth to the next “generation”.  It didn’t matter any longer for me to know who birthed whom. But, we made sure that the birthing stories were announced continuously among us. With today’s internet possibilities, communication has never been easier than ever before. So we could just use that, right? 
 
So, here is how not to do “it”: 
 
We don’t come together on Sundays. Therefore, we don’t have ‘Worship Services’, no ‘Sunday Schools’, no ‘Youth programs’, no one does the announcements,  no ‘Praise and Worship’ singing, so no music band, choirs and song sheets. There is no ‘Pastor’ and so no preaching because there is no pulpit and pews. There is no altar calls and follow-ups and house visits as well. No call cards and tracts to advertise ourselves. No testimony times, no offering boxes and no ‘tithes’ to pay. 
 
No ‘Church Office’ so there is no ‘board members and meetings and other committees’. There is no church phone number even to call for inquiry. We don’t number people into a ‘Membership List’.
 
We don’t do ‘Bible Study’ programs or ‘Prayer Meetings’ during the week. No cell groups and encounter meetings either. We don’t follow a curriculum or read course materials to make disciples. We care less about ‘Leadership Training’ as well, since we don’t have ‘leaders’ but men and women with a serving heart. 
 
We don’t do ‘Evangelistic Outreach’ programs, or do ‘Crusades’ and so we don’t let anyone do a repeat-after-me sinner’s prayer. We don’t even say grace for the food we eat.
 
Want some more? We definitely don’t treat children as programs and projects. So we don’t run orphanages to feed them, Far from it. We do have orphans among us, but we are a family. We have two of our own children and five orphans and another boy and a girl and sometimes we are visited for days of another two orphans. Some sleeps at our room! We are a family and that’s all there is. 
 
So far we have given birth and made disciples of 12 generations. Spiritual parents “produce” fruits (children in The Lord), they don’t “buy” them with their monies. They invest in them. You may ask, ‘how many years did it take?’ Three at most, is my answer. Not bad at all compared to the eight years of doing endless meetings and programs, leadership training and evangelistic out reaches, forever serving those who shamelessly surf from one institutional church to the other. Along with different kinds of experiences in my eight years of IC, I could, for example, do a great seminar on “How to rob members from other Churches” for a registration fee of $99.99 excluding meals and accommodation! Wanna join? 😉
 
 
 
 
 
 




My Second Journey to Finding Church

4 04 2013

imageIt was a five-days camp meeting that I was invited to in one ofthe islands of my province, Cebu. I was saved on the 7th of April, 1991 and three days later I was baptized. When I gave my life that day to the Lord, I knew deep inside that He has plans for me. For 9 years, I was pregnant of that call before I could birth it. During this time, I was part of two evangelical churches. In one of those churches, I was a worker doing everything, from floor to ceiling jobs, from being a 24/7 church security guard to being the church musician, from tirelessly doing crusades and concerts to everyday evangelisms and bible studies! Then I became a youth leader and an assistant pastor in the otherchurch. In 1999, I started to pastor my own church.

I sought the Lord about His will for me in regards to what kind of church I should handle. The answers came as I was reading my Bible one night and the house church was birthed. My story on this journey appears in Rad Zdero’s book, ‘NEXUS: the world house church movement reader’, on chapter 42. Iunderstood that God calls me to do church in homes. I also understood that I needed spiritual fathers who can walk alongside me who have already experienced life in their manyyears of journey.

For the next 8 years of starting house churches from the scratch, I have faced challenges and struggles to the point of me wantingto give up many times. If it were not for the strong call of God in my life, I am supposed to be physically dead long time ago. Inone of my trips to the islands, the ship I was on was on fire. It was four o’clock in the morning, still dark and I found myselffloating in the deep seas without a life jacket! The only light thatwas there was the fire from the burning ship. There were dead bodies of drowning fellow passengers floating around me. At this time, I believed I was going to die as well. “This is it”, I said to myself and I felt my heart race and my teeth rattle. I forgot all the scriptures that I had memorized for years and the family members didn’t even cross my mind in that panicking situation. Watching all the dead float around me and hearing all the screams for life, my head turned a total blank. I am not a good swimmer; I can kick the waters for a little while. Most of the Filipinos like me don’t swim. We have seas around us with thousands of islands but that doesn’t make us great swimmers. The horrible scenes around me in the deep waters made me lose all hope. In the midst of hopelessness and fear, I remembered one thing: the call of God in my life when I gave my life to Jesus in that camp meeting. “I know I have a call”, I remembered. Next thing I knew was the peace that flowed through me that surpassed all fear and hopelessness. Two hours later, I was rescued along with the other survivors.

“Talking new, acting old.” (Gary Goodell)

I started 13 house churches in the first year with around 200members altogether and we met once a year in a theater. Thenumber of house churches increased to 38 and then it went down and up and up and down. That’s how I define those eight long years of doing church in the house. I built networks around the country with those who are in the same journey like me.Sometimes I flew 16 times in a month doing trainings and attending summits. It gave me the feeling of being successful.Starting ‘honey, I shrunk the church’ style churches in homes worked much quicker than starting Institutional Church (IC)style churches. I admit I learned a lot during this time.Unfortunately, just as I was dissatisfied with my 9 years of workin the institutional churches, I felt the same feeling ofdissatisfaction after the 8 years of service and work in thechurch in the houses.

The next phase of my journey into organic church began when Iconfronted myself with these very tough questions:

Making Disciples:

Have I got the job done? Did I even start it?

Jesus told us to go and make disciples; do I really know how to make disciples? Are the people in my house churches, disciples? If yes, do they know how to make disciples? If no, then they are not disciples. They don’t even understand the word disciple then.If they are not disciples, then it is me who didn’t really know how to make disciples. And if I do not know how to make disciples then I am not a disciple at all!

I was so ashamed of myself. A disciple is one who makes otherdisciples but I didn’t know how to make one. I was so ashamed of claiming myself for many years that I’m a Christian and yet Ididn’t know for sure how to make disciples. I couldn’t believethat for all those years of heavy experiences of doing church, I didn’t even know how to define what a disciple is. I know how to make converts for sure, I have been leading others to pray a’sinner’s prayer’. I know how to hold Bible Study Programs, Discipleship Programs, Youth Nights! I have even compiled my own materials for teaching. You name it! I know to arrangemusic bands, compose songs and organize concerts in the malls.But those questions about discipleship scared the hell out of me! I ended up giving away all the books and materials I’ve read andwritten, burned some, even gave away church things like theguitars, chairs, song sheets, etc. I understood what Neil Colesays, “we should not be afraid of failures, but what we should be afraid of is being successful in the things that doesn’t really matter”.

Worst thing that I later on found out was that most of the members of my house churches came from otherinstitutionalized ‘elephant’ size churches. They came indisgruntled, with burn out syndromes of doing church once a week and now they are here with me doing even more church in a given week! There were a few, who were just born very new in Christ and I called them “rabbits”. I soon realized that mixing rabbits and elephants was not a good idea, the rabbits will getcrushed and they eventually will die. I tried asking kindly to elephant Christians to take the rabbits on their backs, fatherthem, serve them, be there for them, but somehow they loved to work alone.

I thought the best-qualified people for the new revolution called house/ organic/ simple church would be those who are tired of institutional church systems and have left those systems behind. What I figured out is that they are the most disqualified people I have ever experienced! Most religious folks I know who joined ‘house churches’ are using this new way of being/doing church only to justify their own wickedness and stupidity.

Let me explain why I use such strong words. Such folks may be tired of the system and have even stepped out of it, but they are not tired of themselves nor have they let the system step out of them! They were rebellious in their institutionalized churches;they became even more rebellious in the house churches. Theynow thought that because they are out of the IC system they are free to do just what they want about church and about their lives. I suspect that the very way Jesus would handle this is to kill the‘self’ in them again. Literally, stop what you are currently doing if you want to do the will of God in regards to His Church. It may take a year or two, maybe even ten or more for you to die to your-self and to start living again according to the will andpurposes of God. Dying to ‘self’ means being able to say and live Gal 2:20..I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. I am dead.Dead people do nothing, you know. God is not in need of your service. He is God Almighty. He is able! The first thing that a person should do if he wants to do what God wants him to do is to stop doing whatever he is doing, and start listening to the King and obey and do exactly what He says his part is in His kingdom. Is it not called ‘wickedness’ and ‘stupidity’ when you do something you think God calls you to do and yet it isn’t? Doing nothing when God wants you to do something and doing something when God does wants you to do nothing is also calledsin!

Training Leaders:

Do I have to? Am I told to train leaders? Am I even supposed to be called as one?

Another challenge that I had to face and the one that hit me the hardest is the training of leaders who will be able to handle these small churches in their communities. Most of my leaders are young people either still in high schools or in colleges. I had many questions on my mind regarding leadership. I was even reluctant at first to ask God about this. Do I have to have leaders to handle these little churches? Do I have to ‘train’ them the“John Maxwell” way? If I have to, then for how long am I going to train them? Honestly, I was shocked to hear a ‘no’ for ananswer from the Father without any further explanations. Now I know why I should not ‘train’ any man a ‘leader’ One of the most liberating feeling I have now is that I am free not to train leaders at all and I am happy for it!

I was a good leader based on performances.  In my 20’s, with allthe experiences as a Christian (now I’m 37) I could say that I did well. It’s just sad to realize that I never heard God say to me,“Pastor Molong, well done good and faithful leader!” It is astounding that God never even called me with that title: Pastor!Churchy people tend to call me that, but not God; not even foronce!

“Jesus develops servants, He doesn’t train leaders,” saysWolfgang Simson. We simply develop servants to make more followers of Jesus. I often ask myself and others, “Jesus said,‘Go and make followers’ and you became a ‘leader’. Who made you?”

Church Services:

I have none and why should I bring them in?

Another challenge that faced me is that not doing church ‘services’ in a sacred building meant I don’t gather them for worship. What then should be the purpose of gathering them?

See, you need to understand that we tried to do church in the houses for eight long years with my 13 house churches trying out all sorts of versions. We tried elephant style for a year then we tried cell church, and one of the craziest ideas that we could possibly come up with was to evangelize in a cemetery at nighttime, trying to experiment raising the dead! Then I becametired and bored of trying again. I began to understand that God’s life is not found in ‘trying newly’ but in ‘dying daily’ to ourselves! Sometimes being tired and bored is a process of’death to self’. I do nothing until the King orders what I shoulddo. God’s ways cannot be found in ‘trying’ a new method,‘changing’ a theological teaching (good start but still it won’t change any!), nor ‘attending’ summits and conferences. God’s ways are found in God’s heart.

Cut to the chase, I wanted to stop everything. Destroy the house and build something entirely different. Not simply rearrange the furniture in the house. I heard someone says how to start something different within an institutional church: “burn the church and kill the pastor.” Test it for yourself; burn it and see if what’s left is of silver and gold or just of hay and stubble. Don’t wait on God to do this for you. If you wait, He will do it and you won’t like it. In the US alone, there are may be 1,500 new churches planted every year, but around 3,500 churches close down the same year as well. It is true with the pastors: five pastors said they were called by God to pastor a church, the verysame pastors now say that they are called by God to leave their churches!

How did we burn our church? I did literally nothing with my wife for the next two years. We stopped ‘reading’ our Bibles and having our ‘religious’ prayers. We even stopped ‘praying’ for food until we got rid of that guilty feeling of not doing “it”. When we asked, “is it Sunday, today?” then we knew we haven’t burned the church down fully. We are not killed yet fully. If you are sitting in a church and think about the beach,then you are religious. It is when you are walking on a beach and think about God that you are becoming righteous and godly. We are so in love with ‘doing’ things that the ‘doing’ becomes a maintenance of our title and status with God where in fact we are not created as human ‘doers’, but as human ‘beings’. We are called to “be” the church.

We started to wait on God and to listen Him speak to us. When you want to start obeying God, the first thing you need to do is to stop what you are doing and listen to His instructions. That means if you want to ‘listen’ you gotta keep ‘silent’. (it’s nice to take note that the words ‘listen’ and ‘silent’ has the same letters).  And from that silence came prophecies of what we will be doing in the next phase of our journey.

😉

Molong