Biblical And Practical Principles On House Church Multiplication - Apex Elders - June 13, 2009
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- We must multiply or die.
- Only 4% of Southern Baptist churches multiplied in 2002. Something is wrong and our future is in danger.
- (APP) Come up with a goal of % of HC that we want to see multiply each year. 50%? (every two years?)
- Need to plan to multiply. If not, then when church dies it's over.
- (APP) Don't allow a person to become a shepherd who will not plan to multiply
- Apply to both making BOTH HC and disciples
- Apex has Equipping Sessions
- How then do we multiply? This is what this seminar is about
- God is interested in multiplication: Acts 2, Mat 28:19-20, 2 Tim 2.2, Acts 1.8, Gen 2.28, Gen 12.3, John 21.21 so am I sending you. Heaven Rev 5 and 7. God has a heart to reach the nations. God is not isolated, he is not interested in just a few people.
- Bible examples of church multiplication
- Jerusalem style multiplication Acts 8. Some church growth comes through persecution
- Jerusalem style: (Acts 2) forced to multiple after circumstances that were belong the churches control forced them to
- People who have to leave your HC due to circumstances beyond their control. Job lost, transfer. Encourage them to begin a new work.
- Antioch style: (Acts 13:1-3) Directed by Holy Spirit after fasting and prayer
- Has the Lord burdened you or some of your people for a specific group of people? Can you pray and fast and send some out after HS confirms it?
- Send out a pocket of the HC for Muslims, de-churched people, next block over neighbors.
- Ephesus style: (Acts 19:6) equipped them and trained them v20 spread widely, -- multiply intentionally sent after teaching and training
- Is there anyone in your HC that you want to train to be a future year. Paul trained (time and knowledge) them
- Acts is descriptive history not prescriptive doctrine. Learn principles not prescriptive doctrine (principles mandated).
- Practical Principles
- Reactive Multiplication: Group is too big. When is your group too big?
Things to do before multiplication:
- When HC shepherds are not confident that discipleship is happening.
- When practicing the "one anothers" is not happening
- People can not be added to your group
Some things to do immediately after multiplication
- Pray, pray, pray Psalm 127:1 says "Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain". If it's your own effort and not the HS
- Remember the correct progression. Members become disciples first, then shepherds (lead groups of Christians), then overseers (elders) in the church (initiate networks). (APP) Don't worry about multiplying churches if you're not concerned about making disciples. Don't be concerned about more and more house churches. Rather focus on more and more disciples. Then the HC will follow.
- Identify capable teachers (our best practice) Healthy HC have people within them who are able to teach, ready to guide through issues of doctrine, know how to use the word of God in a persuasive way to rally the troops about the reality of God's word.
- Give potential shepherds other leadership roles such as quad leaders, lead content, lead Lord's supper, Jesus story (testimony) time.
- Know why you are multiplying. Persuasive Biblical vision casting is very important in helping the HC understand why it needs to multiply. Communicate it clearly and Biblical.
- Met with the potential leaders before for several weeks. Why are we multiplying? Is it because we're too big or because we have a passion for Disciple making.? And then prepare lessons to help the HC understand.
- List all responsibilities so new shepherds can delegate them. Who's going to keep our email loop, maintain our hub, meal rotation, keep prayer requests. Need to coach future leaders
- Take spiritual gift makeup. Don't send out all with gift of hospitality and none with apostolic. Or all encouragers but no teachers. This assumes you have identified the spiritual gifts of your people. Everybody in HC should know how they are gifted and how they contributed to building up the body of Christ. These gifts should be confirmed by the house church, not just proclaimed by an individual. How do you see them building up the church body.
- Be ready for resistance. Especially tend to get resistance from people who never multiplied before or been part of an unsuccessful one.
- Make sincere attempts to resolve baggage from previous HC or traditional churches. People transplanting or from multiplication. Resolve tensions before multiplying. Don't multiply out of frustration. Don't want new shepherds to be carrying bitterness against other believers. At least make sure genuine attempts have been made to resolve the issues.
- Consider starting the new HC in the home of a family that has kids. They have all the baby stuff.
- Commit to future evaluation and reconnecting if necessary. There were 50 in last HC and sent out 20. If it doesn't produce discipleship then we will come back.
Prayer active multiplication (different from re-active multiplication). Happens because you have a desire to reach new people. Mostly it has been reactive as they have been assimilating 3,000 APEX people. In future hope to see more pro active
Practical strategies to consider if you have a desire for evangelism
- Leads HC through intentional times of prayer. Desperately ask God to meet with us, don't just do the prayer list.
- Emphasise Jesus Christ as the head of the HC. Best tool is "Reimagining Church" by Frank Viola chapter 8 is great on what it means to have Jesus Christ as the head of your HC. Maybe start the HC with that chapter.
- Quickly delegate responsibility or burn out will happen.
- Plan outward focus initiatives. Meet your neighbors, do prayer walks, looking for people to share the gospel with. Plan mission trips together. Get HC focus outwardly almost immediately.
- Expect some people who initially came with you to eventually leave. It happens.
- Be willing to reconnect with previous HC if after 3-4 months discipleship is not happening.
- Identify apostolic individuals who desire to be sent to pioneer fields. People who have a passion for people groups. International students, Muslims, poor, homeless, unbelieving contacts of friends. Starting a fireproof HC (eventually to start a new HC among the lost)
- Start a new HC in the home of a new Christian. Let's go to your house for 2 months and we'll read the Bible with your friends. Book study, video series. Get new convert back among his contacts.
- Identify persons of peace in your neighborhood or spheres of influence. Build relationships with them and try to have spiritual conversations with them.
- Have some HC members (who are evangelistically apostolistic minded) do follow up for local evangelistic meetings with goal to start new HC.
- Think outward by initiate neighborhood Alpha or apologetic studies. They have not done these yet.
- Noodling vs bridge fishing. They go in the water, find holes and stick their hands until catfish bite their arms and then they pool them out. Jesus was more like a noodle than a bridge fisherman. He came to our world. (Phil 2). Buddy Barn moved to Africa, planted a church, married the women. Incarnation ministry means stop inviting them to our event. We go to them. We need to stop being attraction in our approach. Block parties are good. But do more, get into their lives and care for them.
- Pray sincerely through these principles. Lead by example. We need to be missional by example. That's what leaders/shepherds do.
- Make a HC multiplication plan. It might be 3 years from now. But be intentional! What are we going to do to grow the kingdom of God, to grow the individual disciples within the HC? Train them up so that they will be ready for either of 3 styles of church multiplication. Don't just be hearers but doers. Don't feel good because we attended, instead
- I hope your HC dies if you don't make a multiplication plan. If we don't care about evangelizing and winning the lost and spreading the Kingdom of God we're just Christian country clubs and he hopes they die out.
Where The Music Starts September 6, 2009 Rob Turner
- at end of message
- "If you are a follower of Jesus and you are not in community where brothers and sisters are really digging into your life you are being disobedient. Not to Apex but to God's word."
The Discipline of Jazz September 20, 2009 Rob Turner
Colossians 1.28-29 NIV We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. ESV Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
1. What is Christian Maturity
Gathering. Not much church happens at gathering.
HC is most consistent NT expression. Eat, communion, Bible, prayer, counsel each other, missions, get in each others face.
Goal for HC but to reach neighborhood, have community, study God's word BUT it's Christ. To be more like Christ is the reason why we do all.
If your Jesus does not make your heart dance and want to share with others, then please leave him!
Christian maturity is a process in which our hearts, minds, and action grow in conformity to the nature of Christ. He is both the power and motivation for christian maturity
2. What is the process of Christian Maturity
By warning (admonishing) others.
By teaching others. We are all called to teach. Whether you like it or not you are teaching others by how you live. What are you teaching them. Paul says we proclaim Christ.
By suffering for others (labor to the point of exhaustion, struggling - agony). True discipleship does not occur if their is not a suffering component. Making disciples is hard, agonizing work. Break your heart, schedule. Need to ask NOT how can I change discipleship to fit my lifestyle BUT how do we change our lifestyles to make biblical disciples? Are we willing to adjust our careers, pay scales, move to different types of places to make disciples. It is hard, but very rewarding! If you choose to become involved in HC you will get hurt. There are hurting people. Did Jesus get involved in our mess.
It's with his strength.
3. Who is involved in Christian Maturity
- 1 Peter 2.9 We have created a class system in the church. It's on all of us to mature and to mature others. We each have the task of presenting each other perfect in Christ.
- When we die are we going to have the reality of never having made any disciples? If yes, you do not want to meet Jesus.
- Some of you are very lazy about making disciples. Only make disciples with left over time.
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