“I heard God” when I decided leaving Institutional church system behind of which I’ve spent 9 years in it. That was in 1999 then. He did not actually told me to ‘stop’ doing something but instead He told me to ‘start’ doing something ‘new’ by leaving the ‘old.’ Simply put, obedience requires you to ‘stop doing what you are currently doing’ in order for you to do what God has told you to do. With a small band of brothers with me we’ve started ‘experimenting’ on what is called ‘house church.’ And what was suppose to be a response to the calling became an 8-long years of maintaining these small churches with meetings-after-meetings. We had more meetings than when I was in the institutional churches. I had built a ‘house church ministry’ based on what God has told me to do eight years ago! The problem with that is obvious: I did not ‘continue’ hearing God.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” said the Psalmist (119:105). This Scripture doesn’t promise us that God will give us light to brighten up the whole street that we are going to walk upon but only provide a light to our ‘next step’ to set our foot in! That is why seeking Him what to do next requires trust as we obey, not trying to ‘figured out first’ before we obey. “Seek ye first the kingdom” it says. It didn’t say, “Figure out first the kingdom.” Many of us when we hear what God wants us to do are so excited to do them without listening ‘continually’ to His instructions along the way. The result is clear enough, the’ work’ becomes ‘all about you and me’ and not ‘about Him’ anymore. Remember, that if God could have given us ‘lists of things’ on what to do for the rest of our lives He could not have given us His Holy Spirit! So, let’s be guided by Him because the work that we do is not ours, were never ‘ours’ and it will never be ‘become’ ours but His ‘alone.’ God is a jealous God, He would never share His glory with men who are like ‘flowers that would wither and fade away.’ (1Pet.1:24)
He ‘killed’ us both first, me and my wife, of our own desires and opinions about the church and His kingdom. Anyhow, that’s what the first calling anyway to anyone who wants to follow Jesus to “deny yourselves and take up your own cross daily” of which the goal is to crucify yourself unto death. Death to self. Before we’re even married I told my wife that ‘my heart is to go from place to place starting something and then leave.’ Is it possible that it can be that I prophesied my own journey? I never knew what it is. Not until we are prompted to start our second hub somewhere.
Nine locations, cities and towns, in my province alone (there are places outside Cebu also although not directly connected here) that ‘making disciples’ has had an impact. This is the result of ‘sending out’ disciples to make disciples. Making disciples is our ‘first foot.’ We step in to an area where there is no ‘making disciples’ happen yet. I don’t care if there are ‘churches’ around. If those churches didn’t make disciples then we have to step in and do it. We don’t go into churches and train Christians ‘already’ on how to make disciples, like T4T model, if I do then I would have some qualifications for them to follow, but that’s another topic to discuss.
We are looking for Luke 10 people, “finding a house of peace.” If we cannot find one, (we had some experiences too that we haven’t found even one) then we go to other places. But if we did then that family becomes our ‘temporary’ hub. We don’t go ‘from house to house’ obeying what Jesus said. But we ‘stay in that house’ and model the life of the kingdom. From that family, when they themselves make disciples to their own family members or clan and friends, as it normally happens here, then we start considering setting up a ‘permanent’ apostolic hub with that family. Starting an apostolic hub then is our “second foot.”
It is when ‘making disciples’ happen in the area that we go in and saturate it with the gospel. That means, we don’t do something on our own initiation and ask God to cooperate with us by asking His blessing. Instead, we were ‘prompted’ first by the spirit to go and make disciples and when we see God is opening doors, that is He is pouring out His spirit in that area that’s when we go and pour out ourselves also with Him. We follow where God is already blessing.
An apostolic hub is like living the life of the early church in Acts 2:42-47. Where disciples lived next door to each other, shared life and things together, no buying and no selling, “no one is poor among them because they own everything,” etc. They have four things among them:
Orphans and widows, the fatherless and those who needed care. The early church took care of their widows and took in orphans. This is what true religion is (James 1:27). Not building orphanages but providing families for the fatherless. A family for an orphan is actually better than orphanages for God is not an orphanage director or a supporter of it. He Himself is a helper and a father to the fatherless. (Psalm 10:14; 68:5) It’s easy to support an orphanage, you just have to send your money and you’re done with your guilt. But accepting an orphan and treats him or her like your own child is totally a different story to tell to the world. Families were God’s design also to change our orphan ‘mentality’ among Christians who has many pastors but lack fathering. Without ‘parents in the Lord’ creates orphanage mentality!
Apostolic dad and prophetic mom – serves as ‘parents in the Lord’ fathering and mothering their next generation. If we, the older generations will father/mother our next generation then we would not have spiritual orphans roaming around from church to church today. I believe that the very reason why Christians transfer churches they want without a need to change their lives is not because they’re looking for ‘good sermonizing pastors’ but actually looking people who can father and mother them. People who will not treat them as ‘projects’ to raise funds but ‘people’ to be loved and cared for. A place like a hub provides “hundreds of mothers, brothers, and sisters,” this is exactly how Jesus defines church!
Kingdom projects – they create their own economics. They are secured by the way they live: seek first the kingdom of God and ‘all these things shall be added unto you. Their security is found in their King, Jesus and in the ecclesia. We lived because we do His work and He provides everything that we need. We seek His reign and obey His commandments. Unlike, in the world: we work, eat and merry, pay taxes, burn, and die. So, because God provides us of our need by living the life of His kingdom, our businesses/projects in the hub then helps the 1 & 2 above and then the 4th which is the,
Poor ‘outside’ of them. Helping the poor that is ‘outside’ of them because there is no poor ‘inside’ with them. Unbelieving poor comes in second on the list when it comes to doing charity work. First priority of our helps is the ‘poor among us.’ Jesus said that ‘the poor will always be with you’ and that ‘he who does these (feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those who are in prison) to the least of My ‘brethren’ you did it unto Me.” Thus, we don’t ‘support’ a brother, we ‘help’ a brother because it’s a family. If all money of Christians today would be use to help the poor ‘among us’ I believe we would literally have a ‘real prosperity gospel’ message that can say to the world, “We are the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill that cannot be hidden. Look, how we love one another!”
An apostolic hub is basically a ‘spirit,’ not a location or else anybody who has resources can do it. It a spirit where ‘assembling,’ ‘killing’ and ‘casting’ happens. They ‘assemble’ as a family. They just don’t simply gather to do meetings, any group of people can do that, even a ‘house church’ group. Little pieces of puzzle can be gathered but not assembled. A family-based church live Jesus-Life-Together, so their meetings is just the by-product of it. Families don’t do meetings, they just meet a lot.
“Killing” simply means ‘discipling.’ Because we live ‘from house to house’ like one family, means we can ‘show’ to new believers ‘how to live’ and not just ‘teaching them about God.’ Lives change because we do things together ‘as we sit, walk, and as we lay down’ (Duet 6:4-6). Killing means, denying, dying to self. Means, I’m not looking after my need but to your need. Same of you to me. The selfish life that we know has come to an end. Behold, God gives us new Life and that Life is not meant to be live in isolation but with other members of the body accepting and caring one another.
“Casting” means ‘sending’ disciples to the field. “Pray to the Lord of the harvest that He will ‘cast’ (original Greek word) workers in to His field. “Go out and make disciples” with a ‘little’ training but for Jesus it is enough because you have the Holy Spirit in you. The promise of Jesus to be with us “at the very end of the age” was given to those who “go” and not those who “stay.” In reality here when it comes to ‘casting’ out disciples in the field means that they have reach generations upon generations on their own without a need of you and me. It happens, that’s why when starting an apostolic hub we are only following where God is already blessing and join with Him there.
So, how to start an apostolic hub? Basically you can’t. No one can. That’s actually asking the wrong question and basically you’ll get the wrong answer. The right question is “how to start a making disciples movement in your area?” If you can do this then you’re not far from starting one!