Reinventing Christian Ministry
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2. Reinventing Christian Ministry

Through Ordinary Homes

Rev Ron MeacockWhen NASA was first planning a trip to the moon, it had to reinvent the idea of a spacecraft. The moon's gravity is a quarter that of earth, and therefore everything weighed a lot less. Weight, however, was of great importance to the spacecraft as it took three pounds of fuel to get one pound of the spaceship on to the moon's surface. Aluminum like kitchen foil made up the craft's skin, and the pilot stood rather than sat on a seat to save weight. The spacecraft to take a human down to the moon's surface and off again was a completely new invention and entirely different from any other craft in the earth's atmosphere.

Different Kind of Ministry

Different Kind of VehicleThe Household of Faith method of evangelism proposes to reinvent Christian ministry, though, in another sense, it is not new at all. In the first three centuries of her existence the Early Church had nothing but households to use for evangelism. They were however, very successful in their communities through ordinary houses. It was not at all like our Christian church today, which has become institutionalized and which will need to invent Christian ministry all over again even to survive.

Contemporary Christian Ministry

Jerusalem HouseWe need to urgently discover contemporary Christian ministry that will meet the needs of our times as Christians did in the Early Church. In Early Church days, a Christian family gathered quietly in a respected household. They lived and worshiped and enjoyed ministry differently from our type of worship today. For them, "Church" meant not a weekly encounter with other Christians for an hour or so on Sunday mornings, but a close-knit community who daily cared for each other and shared their love of Jesus. They prayed, worshiped, and supported one another because of their faith in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. This devotion created enormous difficulties for the secular authorities who were trying to stop the "Way" from developing and growing. Today's Christian Church is, in some sense, in a similar situation to the Early Church. It lives in a secular society that often considers people and things as just tools for creating wealth for themselves. Our twenty-first-century Christian church pours much of its resources into buildings and maintenance of an institution. Our church buildings have often become museums and a focus of our time, financial resources, and energy instead of ministry centers for outreach. Today, we need a contemporary Christian ministry like the Early Church to develop and grow.

Christian House Ministry

Household of FaithWe need to reinvent our Christian house ministry in the Twenty-First Century church if it is to survive and grow. There are little groups of Christian people in every place who want more than anything else to keep their faith and their calling secure. For them, the Household of Faith and its relational evangelism can be a support and encouragement and a means of growing Christian house ministry. This ministry program can bring a Household of Faith into being and discover its full potential and that of its members. My thanks go to the many Christians over several years who have contributed to its development. My prayer for you as you embark on this exciting new venture is that God will bless you and your local Christian ministry and, as a result, draw many to our Savior.

Handing the Gospel Over

PotterThe Church needs to reconsider handing the Gospel over to others and to being a dynamic missionary unit where evangelism becomes central. "Apostolic tradition" has been defined as "the dynamic missionary handing the gospel over." The Gospel needs to blossom in people's lives. Many who share my concern for those "on the outside looking in" call for a "metanoia" (a "repentance" or a "turning around") in the church community to "being a church." Many are "re-thinking" models of ministry that will help liberate the church from the self-captivity that comes in maintaining structures for the sake of tradition.

Hints of Change

Captain Bruce SmithHints of change are all around us, as mission and evangelism become central again, uniting our energy to break us out of our time-capsule. Many are praying, even longing for the Spirit of God to take the liberty to sabotage our structures and traditions to make us more effective in handing the gospel over and caring for others in the Christian community. It is all about people - genuinely caring for people.

Making Christ Known

ChapelDynamic community people and the dynamism of a faith grace church affects the community in making christ known in an ever-changing world. "The Household of Faith" is a timely demonstration of an effective means of "being a faith grace church" in our ever-changing world. Communities of the faith are something the world longs to see authenticated. A belief that grips us loves us, envelopes, challenges, and remakes us - a grace that says 'yes, you belong here, you are welcome and needed here.' It is a community that is prepared to be surprised by God, being 'living proof' that God is still building the church, that Jesus truly is alive as a friend, Savior, and Lord.

Dynamic Community People

Christian PeopleI am thrilled with the potential of Households of Faith and am eager to see and hear how God will make full use of this tool in enriching and enlarging the church. May our prayer be sincere and straight forward, believing this may prove to be a noble instrument for building the kingdom, sharing in the dynamic ministry of making Christ known.

"Reinventing Christian Ministry"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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