House2House Questionaire

19 12 2013
I just received a monthly news-letter from house2house.com written by my friend Paul Byrley. He talks about church “movements” including those who are in the simple, organic, house church movement if either we become like the others who are only good for a start but has a “bad or not so satisfying” ending. He quoted an analogy by an author named Mike Breen saying that “so many movements in the Western church have failed in the past century. They are a car without an engine, it won’t go anywhere.” The same is true with simple churches: if we simply do what we have been doing, even multiply it by hundreds of times; the programs, the meetings, the leadership, the systems in our simple churches, it won’t go anywhere.

I had my share of “honey, I shrunk the church” for 8 years. I have seen the complications of multiplying the system into smaller churches rather than multiply disciples. I had to face myself of questions of which I do not have the answer. I felt so ashamed of myself in the sight of God and friends. I know how to evangelize and do crusades, start churches and to preach, start a band and do concerts at mall, do discipleship ‘classes’ and sunday schools BUT I do not know HOW to make disciples that makes disciples. I decided, with my wife, to kill ourselves: literally stop doing what we are currently doing and wait on God to give us the work and teach us how to do it. A person who wants to obey the King’s command to make disciples has to stop doing what He is currently doing or else he can’t do what the King have ask him to do. So we die so that He might live.

“What are you doing to be the Church?”

“How do you make disciples?”

“How are you caring for the least of these?”

After reading the article and the above questions was challenge by its readers I want to share a bit of our stories. Although many stories of how we live Jesus-Life-Together as a family in our sites and Felicity has written a new one, allow me to write something.

It is important to “treat” each other’s members as part of your extended family. If someone is at fault or there’s a need of correction and rebuking I always ask myself, “What if he is my own brother/sister how should I talk to him/her?” I normally ended up not talking to the person unless I know exactly what to say, when to say, where to say and how to say it. At times, I wish I had a duct tape on my mouth. “He who manage well of his own children can manage the household of God.” This is what Paul says to his “son in the faith” Timothy. Being the church is being family to each other. Now, that’s a lot of relationships in there. We are a body and so the hand could not say to  the foot, “I have no need of you until next Sunday.” Because the way we look at church as a family, we do not have Christian “neighbors” then. We don’t “support” a brother, we “help” him of his need. We serve one another in the community through our gifting and talent that Father has given to each one of us. We start living next door to each other. We started sharing each others possessions. We do not buy from each other and we do not sell to each other. We give and receive, we “accept” one another. Following the apostolic pattern in Acts 2:42-46 and the life of the Thessalonian Saints, yes, we have had our struggles and challenges. Only different than how most Institutional Churches and house churches look like.

We have orphans and widows among us and around us. We helped the widows on their need and fathered and mothered the orphans. We don’t start “orphanages mentality ministries” such as Children’s Feeding Centers or Orphanages or Elderly Homes. We invite them to our families and become families. We encourage families to adopt a parentless child like one of my sisters adopted one orphan who has two children (orphans too right?) and start helping her of her needs. Thus, widows have families to be with and orphans have father-mother figure. I normally say that a child in the orphanage is an orphan but an orphan in the family is a child.

Because it’s a family-based relationships and not just meeting-based relationships, we don’t do meetings we just meet a lot as any normal healthy families do. We don’t “attend” a family, we are family. We live the Life of Jesus Together in the community in a daily basis (Hebrews 3:13) thus meetings is only a by-product of our lives being knit-together. As one of my fathers in the Lord Mike Peters would say, “A family that you “attend” is not a family, it is an orphanage. People in the orphanage may do-things-together, eat together or play together yet it is still an orphanage, not a family.”

This is what we are doing to be the church with each other. How about to be the church to our neighbor? A story might be a good idea at this point:

“Albert, why not read your Bible in the morning with a widow that we just handed a wheelchair?” I encourages him to not waste his time reading his Bible alone every morning and instead do “one more mile” by reading it “aloud” to a widow who cannot read anymore. I don’t know if I was led or not but one night I kept on thinking what can we do to serve the community around us. I woke up in the morning and start roaming around, get in to small foot paths and right inside to small houses. Found several old lonely people, one is even look like she’s inside a cage for years. Then I went to one of the Japanese surplus shop and get a rusty, flat tire broken wheelchair for $50. Tied it with my bike and went home and fix it and took it to one of the old-widow woman in the community. That’s when Albert starts seeing her every morning, brining her food from our common garden, help cook food, fetch water, clean her house and eat together and read the Word of God. And in four days of loving and caring he baptizes her on her toilet room. Some verses I am not good to remember, but somewhere in the Bible it says that “you young man should take good care of your widows”?

Not for long, the friends we make have become disciples. We know how to make people curious about the Kingdom of God. We just live kingdom life amongst them and then they start asking good questions. Our way of life demands a question: What are you guys? Why are you doing this? Why did you do that? Why you do things differently? Why you see things differently? What is this all about? What is your religion? Any kinds of questions we led them into the kingdom of God by answering back, “Do you really want to know? Are you really seeking the truth? Do you want to know the truth?” And mostly their answer is yes and then we continue, “If so, then I cannot tell you yet what and why. I am gonna have to make you a disciple first.”

As normal in our making disciples conversations one would ask more, “Why?”

“Because spiritually dead people could not understand spiritual things. So, I’m going to make you a disciple first and then later I will explain to you what kind of stuff I am made of and what country I belong.” This is how we bring people into a decision to become Jesus disciples. We don’t give our pearls to pigs and let them trample it. People who ask questions about the way you live are normally ready to enter into the Kingdom of God. Because the kingdom will not be given to people who do not even know how to ask the right question. You have become the “witness” of it, an “ambassador” of your country, the “Kingdom of God.” This is how we start making disciples and within 3-6 minutes “making,” the person is already willing to be baptized immediately without delay.

We don’t negotiate with dead people. We bury them as quick as we can. When Jesus said “go and make disciples AND baptize them” means that it is your prerogative to make baptism happen, not the other guy. But if he himself offered to be baptized during the “making” like the Eunuch with Stephen who shares the Messiah then you’re an expert if making disciples!

“How are you caring with the least of these brethren?”

Here is the architecture of the New Testament Church: 1) They have orphans and widows 2) They have spiritual parents who look after their “children in the Lord” as a family, the one’s that they’ve made into disciples 3) They have kingdom projects that in turn support the 1 & 2 and number four, their “last priority” is they support the poor that is “outside” of them, why? because there is no poor “inside” of them. “No on is poor among them because they own everything.” (Wolfgang Simson)

When it comes to loving one another as disciples of Jesus, we ask a question: How much can we lay down our lives to one another? We’re not that expert yet about it but we have had some wonderful times together obeying Jesus commands to take care the members of our family.

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Doing Things Diffrently – how do we respond to typhoon victims differently?

22 11 2013

I love doing things differently. That’s how probably one of the reasons why I put myself into trouble? 🙂

When it comes to the command to “go and make disciples” to the world, we don’t do ‘discipleship’ to the found. We make disciples to the lost. We don’t lock up people in the room and taught them ‘about’ God, we ‘cast’ them out to the field and taught them ‘how to live.’ We don’t create our own ‘discipleship materials’ but uses what Father has already created for us to learn. “See, I have told you earthly things and you didn’t get? How much more if I told you heavenly things?” Jesus said to Nicodemus. (Paraphrase, Jn 3:12) “The Kingdom of God is like,….” “Faith is like,…” “If anyone hears my word and does them, I would liken him,…” We do ‘discipleship’ right there on the field, right there in the community where miracles happen. We don’t even call it ‘discipleship’ anymore for when you start explaining and defining things then it becomes complicated.

When it comes about “doing church” we don’t do meetings, we gather as a “family” thus meetings becomes the by-product of our relationships. We don’t do “bible study programs” but we read and discuss the Bible a lot. We don’t do “prayer meetings” but we talk to God with one-another a lot. We live Jesus-Life Together Daily. Thus, making our days full of one-anotherings.

When it comes to “be the church” we change our priorities. We live Acts 2:42-46. We live “from house to house” “shared everything in common” “no buying, no selling but only giving and receiving” “no one is poor among them because they own everything.”

When it comes to giving, we don’t take up an offering. We voluntarily lay down our lives for the sake of the brethren. We don’t pray for a need to be meet. We meet a need. The best way to meet a need is to meet a need.

When it comes to “orphans and widows” we took care of them. We have them among us everyday.

When it comes on “how to handle children” we raise and treat them as our own. Thus, erasing the ‘orphan’ mentality because we have become “hundreds of fathers and mothers” to them. Take notice that a child in the orphanage is an orphan, but an orphan in the family is a child. Thus, we don’t build orphanages as we are not called to do so. We are called to be family with each other. Adopting those who are fatherless and motherless. Thus, eradicating spiritual orphans that are roaming around spiritual orphanages (churches).

And lastly, when it comes to responding differently in this recent typhoon that devastated our country we want to do things differently. Red Cross and other organizations does their own thing by putting up their own names. They have their own place but honestly, even the anti-christ can do that. Watching an end of the world Christian movie “Megiddo” the cast played as anti-Christ told his wife to feed the hungry people and children of the world using all his money. Indeed, he can as he owned the whole world. But, how do we respond differently? Giving food and clothing is not enough, we know better than that. Even building them a decent house won’t do. Well, as my friend Wolfgang Simson wrote to me, “Molong, now you can start as many apostolic hubs as you can. What could be the purpose of wiping out many areas?” I know, we know that he is only joking to make me laugh right?

My heart is to start apostolic hubs around my country. Make “making disciples” a “movement” by unleashing the church to the barangays of the Philippines. Why not? (search ‘apostolic hub’ in google or my site)

When I started doing “house churches” in the year 1999 for 8 years, I was so bored at doing meetings and trainings and I gave up and start from the ‘early church’ way – making disciples. Now, after 4 years we’ve reach up to the 16th generation. We have our stories on our websites, (yes, that’s with “s”), names, photos of baptism, dates, videos are documented for the purpose of helping the next generation to make disciples. Chart is available too of who made who into a disciple of Jesus. I may not have a thousand house churches, but we’re connected to at most 600 individual families around the country.

When Felicity Dale wrote to me and ask me “how many ‘families’ should we plan to help?” I said a thousand. And suddenly that was translated into a “Molong has a ‘thousand’ house churches.” Well, I wish. But honestly, I was challenge by it. Who knows what this tragedy would bring? Like the persecutions of the early church followers have pushed them to make disciples more! Can WE really turned this “mess” into a “mass” production of disciples? The early did it first with 3,000 souls in one day. My uncle Victor Choudhrie did a million in over a period of one year in India! But the question remains “how?”

Many of you are so willing to hold the handle and push us like a knife. We’re the tip that’s sharpen enough to penetrate, that means, we make disciples and baptize the person already within 3-6 minutes (see our sites for more stories). Actually, last month there’s 14 people that was made into a disciple, 14 people is not much but you got to know that the one who made these people a disciple is a 2nd generation mother who is widowed that was passed into a 3rd generation and fourth. Last week there’s two baptisms by a 4th generation. Today, a baptism by a 1st and 4th generation. And that is only happening in here. And as normal as ‘making disciples’ happens here spontaneously and around the country, there are numerous of us that does it. Like my recent trip in Butuan that 100 plus was made into a disciple in 4 months by just one couple alone. Another couple is planning to have a “mass baptism” as she calls it that’s happening this month.

As we go and respond to this crises and as you continue pushing us like a knife, remember that our mission is not to feed a hungry tummy for awhile but our goal is to have a long-lasting impact to these affected families by showing Jesus love without strings attach by a group of disciples who doesn’t bear any name except “being” a disciple, and start a “making disciples” movement and establish apostolic hubs around my province, Cebu.





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





Apostolic Hub

19 11 2012

APOSTOLIC HUB

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. 





Gather, Kill, CAST

15 02 2012

Jesus said, “Pray to the Lord of the Harvest that He will send laborers into His field.”

In an Apostolic Hub, there are three things that is happening: gather, kill and cast. Basically it’s the spirit of God initiating it. Whenever people wants to follow Jesus He basically do these three things to them. He would ‘gather’ them to Himself, then He will ‘kill’ them. “In our churches we gather them,” says Wolfgang Simson, “but who kills them?” Means, making them a disciple. Denying one self to follow Christ. Then after killing them He ‘cast’ them out to the world to make more disciples.

Jesus didn’t use the word ‘send,’ He will be too kind to His disciples then. Instead in Greek He uses the word ‘cast’ as in literally like casting out a demon out of person.

Having thought of it, I found it interestingly challenging. “Sending” would basically means, they are prepared, that is you train them enough to send them out in the field. But “Casting” it isn’t. You are just prepared yourself to be surprise by what God can do through His own ability in you and other disciples. Obedience is crucial when it comes to literally obeying His commands. Many Christians wanted to safely that they need to figure out things before they actually do it. That’s not only make ‘God’s surprises’ absence in the situation but also it’s an unhealthy way of trusting God. The Bible says ‘not to lean on our own understanding’ when it comes to ‘trusting God.’ Again, we don’t trust Christ ‘alone’ but a ‘lot.’

So, not wanting to delay your excitement, here is a story of Albert and other 7 other ‘new’ disciples being ‘cast’ out to the other island of Cebu. Click the link below to get into Albert’s site.

http://albertpacquiao.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/weather-is-not/

Enjoy,

molong

 





A Letter to a friend who wants to start a housechurch

31 01 2012

Thoughts I shared with my Filipino partner in Canada who is starting a church.

Let others get what really a church in the Bible is. Because how we understand “Church” is how we express it.

1. it is not a building nor the meeting, it is the people and their relationship. many church has people but lack relationships.

2. church is you and me, church is where HE lives, not where we meet. this is important, because most house church thought that the ‘house’ became a church now.

3. Mostly, Church is a family. Any healthy family can easily understand this. “He who manage well of his own household can manage the household of God.” But being ‘good fathers and mothers’ are not just able to do take good care of their children but they also teach the REAL Jesus. 🙂

4. Don’t start with having a ‘meeting’ but being a family. Have food, and have fun with everybody including kids. Any healthy family would not do meetings but they already met a lot because they have relationships. At least you could start that. Any Filipino’s know that if we start something at first not only we ourselves who initiate it has having a hard time ‘stopping’ it but also they are expecting you to do the same thing again next week. Example: A house church may study the Bible but it is not CALLED a ‘Bible Study Meeting’ or program. They may pray but it is NOT called a ‘Prayer Meeting.’ Nothing wrong with studying and praying but if that’s what we do every time we meet it will soon become a tradition. We don’t do them, but we discuss more of the Word and pray anytime we wanted to. Simpy because we are a family, we care for each other. It is not a lifetime of meetings but a lifetime of relationships.





Apostolic Hub

31 01 2012

Hi Guys, I have taken myself a video explaining what we are believing and doing here. We tried to keep some noise out but dog’s are barking around but hey, ‘they are part of the church here’ as my friend Criss commented.

Enjoy, click the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kaXUcPSFog