By Dr. Richard Ing
August 13, 2008
The Bible is clear that the Church is in a war. Rev. 13:6-7; Da. 7:21, 25. There will come a time when conventional church services will be made illegal. When that happens, the true Church will go underground and into house meetings.
However, even before that happens, we need to return to the original plan God gave the Church, in terms of meeting in homes. Therefore, we have put together the following recommendations to guide your efforts as you enter into house churches.
The below discussion was largely borrowed from James Rutz’s book entitled Mega Shift. There are thousands of things you can do to:
1. Invite a strong presence of God
2. Lift everyone’s spirits
3. Enable them to overcome sin in their lives
4. Help them to face and solve their problems
5. Teach them the whole counsel of God
6. Empower them to do things they’ve never done
7. Build them into a true team.
The following are only tips. Following the Holy Spirit is most important. Pay attention to the above and below because one day you will be able to help form other house churches.
1. Stop the sermons. Sermons only put people to sleep and take up most of the time.
Paul said, “I am quite certain, my brothers, that you are full of goodness, complete in knowledge, and competent to instruct one another.” Ro. 15:14. Yet, Rome was 2/3rds slaves that were illiterate at the time. God made all of us kings and priests. Rev. 1:6; Rev. 5:10. God trusts in every one to help one another. Everyone should exercise his or her right and privilege to exhort, stimulate, needle and encourage all others. Each member should be looking for something all week that they can share at group meetings.
2. Testify. Give a praise report. Tell about something that happened to you where God was working in your life. Get the team members to count their blessings daily and give a report on the goodness of God.
3. Confess. “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed.” Ja. 5:16. There are times when 100% communal righteousness is a must. This is a difficult thing, but many are still carrying curses because of unrepented of sins.
If people don’t know where you failed, they cannot help you in that area. Just praying to God alone is sometimes shallow. The healing is not complete until public confession and repentance is made and others can help pray for your repentance and forgiveness. But beware of copycatting in order to gain attention.
4. Reconciliation. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will cause members to forgive one another spontaneously. If there are personal problems between and among team members, bring reconciliation and unity, especially between husband and wife. Encourage unity.
5. Teach. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom, as you teach and train one another.” Col. 3:16. “. . . put that teaching into the charge of men you can trust, such as shall be competent to teach others.” 2 Ti. 2:2. There are members in the group that can teach others in the group. It doesn’t always have to be from the Bible. For instance:
Teach a skill, such as how to have a quiet time or lead someone to Christ
Tell a story from life, history, Bible – a fictional/allegorical tale from their own imagination, etc.
Drill the team in memorizing certain scriptures
Give a ten-minute dialogue sermonette based on the Bible
Discuss and denounce a trend or event in society that Christians should confront or pray against
Read a Bible passage and comment on it
Real a key passage from a book or give a book report
Bring a news report and explain its meaning to the kingdom
Announce important news from a mission work
Tell something they learned about God or His dealings with us.
6. Pray. Try to achieve better balance and not just traditional things. Give more praise and thanksgiving instead of just asking for something from God. Be more sincere and stop using the trite statements usually given by those who love to pray in public. Be more focused and effectual. Converse with God rather than give a speech. As starters or for the beginning Christians, try one-sentence prayers. Bring the Holy Spirit into the action and let Him show you what to pray for. Reach out beyond members and their families. Pray for neighborhoods, communities, states, countries, and the world. Learn to pray in agreement.
7. Bless. Bless people in specific areas of their life. Restore forgotten dreams, revive love for a spouse, bring conviction of sin and repentance, unlock silent, long-dormant feelings. Encourage and release people into new ministries. Tell each other what you see in them in terms of gifts and abilities.
8. Sing. You don’t need instruments or music professionals. God listens to the heart.
9. Wait on God. The Holy Spirit’s presence can be overwhelming if you know how to wait on Him. This does not mean that you are to “meditate” as in Hinduism and it doesn’t mean blanking out your mind. Quiet your mind and heart in expectation of hearing from the Lord or feeling His presence. Learn to reverence the presence of the Holy Spirit.
10. Worship. Be deliberate. Worship means to fall down, bow, prostrate yourself. Be balanced. You don’t have to get into only worship at each meeting. But sincere worship is needed in any group.
11. Share communion and other symbolic acts. Try foot-washing, anointing each other with oil. Power walks. Holy Communion.
12. Eat. Pot-luck or have everyone bring a snack. Share about God as you eat.
13. Care and share. Love one another. Help each other. Get to know each other.
14. Spiritual warfare. Bind up ruler spirits over persons, the church, neighborhood, state, etc.
15. Advance. Avoid stagnation. Take steps of faith. Walk into the unknown. Trust God. Bless homes, evangelize together. Pass out tracts.
16. Team prophecy. Practice prophesying over one another or give a word of knowledge or wisdom.
17. Healing. Practice praying for healing.
18. Deliverance. Cast out evil spirits from one another.
19. Tongues. Practice speaking and praying in tongues. Lay hands on those that have not yet been baptized in the Holy Spirit.
The main thing is to allow the Holy Spirit to lead. Give God back His Church.