“Church as we know it is over. And, maybe for the best…. “
In a recent post, I wrote the above quote as part of my thoughts concerning the recent Supreme Court ruling. I have been pondering a number of aspects and this weekend, one of them came into sharp focus.
We had the good pleasure of hosting a couple from the lower part of the state who came to fellowship and spend Shabbat with us. Our prayer at the beginning of the weekend was that Abba would lead us and give us some direction as we considered options before us. The Balak portion was interesting and provided good fodder for conversation considering some of the discussion on the table, but it was not until a late Shabbat afternoon conversation under the pecan trees that I felt a sense of clear direction.
Besides considering personal and family options and the very real possibility of becoming an expat, I have wrestled quite a bit with how to reach and help those being called out of the Church and into a closer walk with Messiah.
As we sat under the pecan trees in our backyard with a cool breeze and unseasonably nice temperatures, we began discussing home fellowships and discovered that we were very much on the same page with many common ideas and thoughts. So much that I had studied a few years ago began to flood back to my mind and I realized excitedly that the leadership in the Messianic, and the Church at large, has a definite need to begin making a very active and concerted shift toward home fellowships in preparation for the coming persecution.
Even if thousands or tens of thousands of American Messianics were to exit the country, there would still be a larger number who, for whatever reason, do not leave and will need to be prepared to stand as an underground network of fellowships. How then do we begin to prepare for this eventuality?
Part of the journey that led me to the Torah was a deep and abiding sense that something was terribly wrong with the Church and how most local churches traditionally operate. In an effort to better understand what the problems were, I spent a great deal of time reading Acts as well as a number of books. The two I best remember were Jon H. Zens’ The Pastor Has No Clothes: Moving from Clergy-Centered Church to Christ Centered Ekklesia and Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices by Frank Viola and George Barna. In hindsight, neither book goes far enough, but they began to open my eyes to the decidedly unBiblical model of traditional clergy based church with a resource sucking building and staff.
Our discussion began to turn to the need to begin encouraging and educating the Messianic body in some of the many aspects of home fellowship building, worship and growth. Further, as we discussed, it dawned on me that in all of our discussions regarding community on this blog, I have failed to see the natural place of home fellowships between the family block and the desired community result.
My hope is that in the coming couple weeks I, along with someone I invited to begin writing for the blog, can begin exploring this topic and sharing some thoughts that will benefit the larger Body as we encourage a shift from the usual building/teacher centric model to a more organic home-based network of fellowships that encourage and support each other while growing in the most normal place for fellowship and intimacy with the King: in homes.
I would love to hear thoughts and input and hope this will be a topic of interest through which we can all grow.
12 thoughts on “Church as we know it is over…”
Glad you brought this up as this has a been a playing concern on my mind that if everyone leaves who will elp all those who wake up last minute. The floodgates have yet to open and they are gonna need help getting out of the pit. Good to hear
So very timely…I had several important phone calls with friends today. One with a friend who I met in a home felowship over 35 years ago in another state. We participated in home felowships for 14 years before coming back into the church. I then was lead to leave again when realizing I was learning more in my own study then I was in the church which eventually lead to the roots movement. My second call was with a friend about leaving the country…wow…it’s a huge decision. Whether we go or stay we need to make sure we are in Yah’s will. There will need to be people to teach others the ancient paths as well as those positioned in way stations along the road to places of refuge! We need to each be seeking Abba’s leading on this & encouraging others to do likewise.
Sounds great! Looking forward to the upcoming posts!
Have been saying for several years. There are those only you can reach who will help only those who they can reach. It is never ending then. There has to be a dedication to the calling and a willingness from the heart that only HE can give if it is to be long lasting. Otherwise, there is ‘burnout’. Seen it happen. It is not without it’s difficulties. So wish I could be one of those. Some day.
I think many of us are thinking along the same lines, and believe the Ruach is leading many in this at this time, as we can see what is happening governmentaly and religiously most likely for many reasons. It’s interesting that you write this at this time as a couple of weeks ago I was looking at Psalm 78 and meditating on vs. 70-71, and started doing some word studies with the help of a transliteration website http://qbible.com/hebrew-old-testament/psalms/78.html
and just jotted down some thoughts from that. I would like to know your thoughts about it if you wouldn’t mind.
Thoughts…..June 21, pondering more of 78:70-71 and the churches (sheepfold) (pen) and the remnant (flock) getting out from among men, feeding on milk and did a little fun word study and came up with…
He chose David also his servant, and took him out from the pen of men (sheepfold) from following after the mommas (ewes) that gave milk or suckled the young, to go rule by association or graze, tend (shepherd) with the Israelites, his people and Israel, his inheritance. So he ruled by association or grazed, tended (shepherded) with them to completeness, ( of innocence, integrity) of his heart and transported them by intelligence (skillfulness) of his power (hand).
And then I thought of John 10:2-3, But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. vs.3 “To him the doorkeeper opens and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. vs.4 “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him for they hear his voice. vs.5 “Yet, they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
vs.9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture (food).”
vs.11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
Also, on another note, thinking of the door, v.9 above, the name Judah includes the Name YHVH with the insertion of the letter Dalet, suggesting that Judah would be the “door” or “gate” into the presence of Yah (Yahshuah was from the tribe of Judah who described Himself as Ha-sha’ar “the gate” (John 10:9). The arrangement of the tribes placed Judah directly in front of the door into the Mishkan (Num. 2:3) And of course we know Gen. 49:8-10 that the scepter would not depart from Judah until “Shiloh” the Messiah Yahshuah, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life comes, also called the Lion of Judah :).
Blessings to you, Kelly and family, and thank you for your blog and all you freely share.
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Yes, this subject is very much on the body’s mind – no doubt. We had an area-wide Passover celebration this year, with many Torah study groups of South Eastern Michigan coming together for the first time as a greater Messianic community. It didn’t escape me that it was somehow prophetic to what should soon be happening within an ever burgeoning Messianic community. Time to get small while we get bigger – if that makes any sense. Networking, getting familiar with where communities are, praying for each other, learning from each others giftings, sharing resources, etc. It’s been on our hearts for some time now, and we too sense the time is coming where we will be used by Yahweh somehow towards fulfilling this John 17 calling.
I really like what avleigh said: “Time to get small while we get bigger” It makes GREAT sense avleigh! My heart has been connected to Acts 2 and home groups for over 30 years! Let’s network, get familiar, pray for, learn from and share with each other like avleigh said – and most of all lets ask Abba to lead us by His spirit every step of the way. :0)
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Hello Pete my bro: home fellowship is a very positive wy to reach out to others. We also can control what is taught in r fellowship, we are Torah oriented and we obey the wrd of ADONAI. Home fellowship the way we should go. Shalom.
Shalom, shalom!! Give me a call when you get time.