This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Are our seminaries perhaps filled with young students ambitious for the pulpit, who regard talent over theology? Could the same concern be a reality among the more mature in years, pastors who may regard theological training as a sterile exercise? What about the many naïve, supercilious Christians who fill the pews who boast that “loving Jesus is all that matters” to secure a vibrant, meaningful Christian life?

Introduction

In this essay, I will help the enquirer rediscover the value of theology. I will expound on important definitions, explain the nature and need of theology. I will discuss some misconceptions and how to avoid the pitfalls of studying theology.  Whether one gobbles it up like a burger or savour it like a seven-course meal, just like any good food, theology, if prepared with the right heart, can nourish our faith, strengthen our minds, help us speak prophetically into our generation and intensify our love for Christ.

1. Analysing Smith’s Theological Thoughts

1.1. The nature of theology

R.C Sproul presents an encyclopaedic line of reasoning on what I think is the purpose of theology, “a true Christian university is committed to the premise that the ultimate truth is the truth of God, and that He is the foundation and source of all other truth” (Sproul 2004, 3). In other words everything we learn in the academic disciplines of humanities and sciences (economics, philosophy, biology, mathematics, sociology) has to be understood in light of the overarching reality of the character of God (2004, 4).  If we presuppose God and his word as ultimate truth, and the “bible is God’s revelation of reality” (Smith 2013), then Sproul and Smith both make an apotheose claim – why we need to rediscover the value of theology.  Until the era of Enlightenment – the rise of modern scientific thought, during the high Middle Ages – theology was heralded as the “Queen of Sciences” (Zakai 2007).  Theology spoke authoritatively over nature and science.  This can be seen in the life and work of three forerunners of modern scientific thought —Nicolas Copernicus (1473–1543), Johannes Kepler (1571–1630), and Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) [127].

What is theology? According to K.G Smith, “theology is the study of God” (Smith 2013). The term theology is a combination of two Greek words, the prefix, theos, meaning “God” and the suffix, logos, meaning, “word”. In its simplest form, theology is ‘a word about God’ [p. 18]. Sproul and Smith shares the same sentiment about the shared suffix, –ology, which is shared with the names of many disciplines and sciences, such as biologyphysiology, archaeology, anthropology and technology (Sproul 2004, 4; Smith 2013, 18). It is remarkable that the suffix, comes from the Greek word logos, which we find in the opening of John’s gospel (John 1:1). Albeit a borrowed term, which harks back at least to the 6th-century-BC, to philosopher Heraclitus (Britannica 2021), Sproul expands and explains logos to mean “word” or “idea”. He also claims that one philosopher translated it as “logic” – it is also the term from which we get the English word logic (Sproul 2004, 4). So, we could deduce, theology, is the study of the logics of God (Smith 2013), or the field of study where God is the object of inquiry [p. 18].

Following this etymological foundation, I think it is important to add that the term “theology” is ambidextrous. For instance, Smith, in a refreshing way, affirms that we can obtain knowledge about God’s being, essence, nature and purposes through two main channels: (1) God’s revelation and (2) people’s faith.  Therefore, we can define [p. 18] “theology as the systematic study of divine revelation and human faith.”

1) Theology is the systematic study of divine revelation

If our chief task is to study revelations of God and his truth, which provides a basis for a coherent and meaningful world view and if the scriptures (Old and New Testament) “logos” is the written form of God’s special revelation, then people’s faith takes a secondary position.  One John 1:2-3 and Ephesians 1:9 tells us that God has revealed himself and his plan to us, elucidating Smith’s statement that “we can know God because he has chosen to reveal himself and his truth”.  The scriptures also confirms the supremacy of Christ. The Son is the apex of God’s revelation, “ but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb 1:1-3), and in whom “God revealed himself most fully and finally through in the words and works” (Smith 2013, 18).Then the task of a sound theologian is to discern what God has revealed about himself, through a Christological lens, concerning His nature, will and purposes. This must also be followed by one more important function of theology –restating this reality back into our context [19].

Since God’s revelation is recorded in scripture, the branches of theology, namely “biblical studies” and “systematic theology” [19], aid in the study of God’s revelation more directly. Although correct in asserting this, I think that the other branches such as “church history”; “missiology” and “systemics” could provide us with insight into God’s truths.  Still for the avid lover of God’s word, interpreting doctrine, systematising doctrine and contextualising these principles of scripture in our lives provides us with the exciting task of understanding God and his word better.

2) Theology is the systematic study of human faith

A wise theologian understands theology extends beyond systematising and contextualising doctrine from the scriptures. The subdiscipline of Church history and practical theology which involves horizontal inquiry. For instance, “studying a particular faith tradition’s origin, history, beliefs, and practices” [19], can help us discern God’s will for their context. The same is true for us today. Therefore, we cannot be restricted exclusively to the study of the scriptures without considering the context. This begs the question, how contextually sensitive is our theology in this Postmodern world?

Clearly, human faith has a function. Historical theology enables us to discern God’s will in the horizontal context of the past [p. 20].  Practical theology is the belief and practice of God’s people in the present. Both sub-disciplines are useful tools to help us systematise revelation in the context of human faith.

However, in Evangelical theology, divine revelation (special and natural) stands canonical over human faith for understanding God’s nature, will, and purposes. Human intervention is not infallible or speaks from the “seat of Peter”, which is evidently observed in church controversies and heresies. Therefore, the task of divine revelation precedes people’s faith as the primary means of discernment. Therefore, the “chief aim” of sound theology, is to then first ask, “God, what are you saying”? and secondly “God how can it be interpreted into my context”? The secondary aim involves contemporary analysis [p. 21]. or, contextual sensitivity, which ensures we are faithful to translate God’s truth with relevance (practical theology). In the words of Anselm, who beautifully captured the discipline of practical theology as,  “faith seeking understanding”.

 

The practice of medicine is proof - the doctor does not entirely understand medicine. The practice of theology is proof; the theologian does not completely understand God Click To Tweet

1.2 The goal and task of theology

Smith says, “theology is the quest of those who know God to know God” [p.21]. Perhaps, it is better to say; theology is the quest of those who know God to know God better. Most scholars agree that God is not completely incomprehensible, neither is he completely comprehensible. The finite human mind cannot comprehend the infinite God fully. The practice of medicine is proof – the doctor does not entirely understand medicine. The practice of theology is proof; the theologian does not completely understand God. Still, the goal in theology is to learn about God, to discern his will for our generation and beyond, through the help of the Spirit, the scriptures and in community so we may serve him more faithfully (Acts 13:36).   

 The task of theology [p.21] Smith says, has many implications and they can be summarized as the following:

  • God-focus –theology is relational and doxological [p. 23];
  • Bible-based–the revelation of God to man [p. 25];
  • Christ-centred –the supreme revelation of God and his will [p. 26];
  • Spirit-led–the Holy Spirit is the author and illuminator of scriptures [p. 29];
  • Mission-minded –the overarching purpose of God’s will[30];
  • Historically informed –we reflect on the past to inform the present and the future [p. 22];
  • Context-sensitive–theology is both contextually influenced and orientated [p. 33];
  • Practically-oriented–theology inspires personal living (obedience) and right serving (public ministry) [p. 34];
  • Scientifically plausible –the scriptures are God’s revelation of reality [p. 35];
  • Branches of theology–theologies sub-branches, enables us to understand divine revelation [p. 39].

Theology, then, is not a haphazard bible study. It is the systematisation of God’s revelation and contextualising of people’s faith. Its goal is to restate the implications of God’s revelation for our context, so that we might believe and live in a way that is faithful to God’s will [p. 22].

1.3 The method of theology

If God is the object of inquiry in theology, as we have discovered, how than can one practically do theology?  According to Smith, scholars such as Don Browning, J. Andre Cowans, Gerben Heitink and David Tracy use four essential means to inquire what God and faith are. These words are widely used in their literature: hermeneutical, critical, correlational, and dialogical (Browning, 1993). In the most basic sense, we;

  1. Interpret–into the five subdisciplines to holistically acquire insight (Smith 2013);
  2. Evaluate–we re-examine and re-evaluate our insight and interpretations of Christian texts, beliefs, practices; in other words, we become critical (1 The 5:21);
  3. Discuss–we enter dialogue with other experts on the subject (Prov 27:17);
  4. Compare–we examine how the eternal truth should change our context and how our context shapes the way we interpret God’s word.

These four actions apply to the branches of theology, to help us to discourse with God and apply the implication to our context.

 

Theology’s North Star Click To Tweet

2. Smith’s vision vs. popular misconceptions

It is understandable when sceptics outside of the church maintain a negative attitude about God and his revelations, but it is extremely concerning when the church distains theology (2 Tim 2:14). It is not uncommon within the academic arena to hear theology defined as “systematically articulated superstitious” or within liberal society as “the drag queen of science”. Very often, these proponents against God are unsubstantiated claims or mere theories.

Disconcerting as all this may be, we are not surprised that the world does not consider belief in God or any supernatural being as necessary. Smith (2015) informs us that “negative experience” (e.g, in church, family or university) usually relates to way people would adopt an atheistic, anti-theistic, even a shallow and non-scholarly regard for God’s revelation.  Another factor within Christians is bad theology – another reason why even Church leaders have negative attitudes towards the discipline of theological studies. Tim Keller makes the point that we all do theology all the time. If we don’t learn to “do it right,” we shall propagate heresy without knowing it, even when sincerely desiring God.  Truth is one of the absolute passions of true ministry—in a church or a preacher. Love of truth is one of the earmarks of the true man or woman of God—truth is their integrity (Anderson 2004: 130-131). RC Sproul said, “Unless we know God deeply, we cannot love Him deeply. Deepening knowledge must proceed deepening affection”. Unless we know the power and value of biblical and practical theology, how can one know God deeply?

Good theology is a transformative, empowering love affair with Jesus Christ.

 

The North Star of theology; keep it Bible-based, Christ centred, Holy Spirit inspired, and mission-minded. Click To Tweet

3. Personal implications of Smith’s vision

I regret not learning theology sooner.  The good news, though, is that in recent years, my desire to understand it (informally) has exposed me to some of the greats and now with SATS (formally), from the patristic period to the immensely innovative middles ages, to our contemporary thinkers, including Kevin G. Smith. Truth is essential, along with others who carry the holy burden, to guard it and prevent it from being deluded by error, making it a turning point to analyse Smith’s version of theology. To simplify it, one would not know how to start without a “clear vision”, and it is easy to forget what I would like to call my new north star of theology, keep it Bible-based, Christ centred, Holy Spirit inspired, and mission-minded. One more important thing, to prevent serving theology itself, but rather the object of theology, who is Christ himself (Segal, 2015) – this changes everything!

Naturally, with this approach, one feels confident and better equipped. The “holistic” approach to thinking theology, which engrafts all the subdivisions of theology (even though only five were discussed in this course), as Smith states it, is another valuable framework to analyse and systematise doctrine –particularly the part in Church history –human faith, I found.  Also, the discipline of practical theology enables one to speak contextually –addressing a truthless culture with the eternal truth through the inspiration and power of the scriptures. This is essential to me because it makes Christianity prophetically and apostolically relevant to our times.

4. Implications of Smith’s vision for my church

John Jefferson Davis (Davis, 2016) challenges the pastor hood. He says most ministers are consumed with running from one committee meeting to another and sermon preparation to another, at the cost of neglecting the health of the Church. He says, “like a healthy backbone in a healthy human body, sound biblical theology can provide support, shape and bring stability to the Body of Christ.” As a pastor, this statement truly challenges me. If a strong spine is essential for the health of our human anatomy, sound theology is essential for the Body of Christ. Therefore, I cannot help but ask, what are the catechetical and apologetical structures I set for my congregation’s health? How effective have I been in empowering God’s people to interpreted the faith in our time?

Under the overarching reflections of Smits expressions of theology, there is no question how the study of theology could profoundly impact a Church and her leadership both doxologically and contextually.

Conclusion

Anyone who has a less than holy reverence for theology fails to understand it.  Anyone who does not have “a clear vision of theology” and how one should do theology cannot discover or substantiate the Truths of God’s word let alone, experience a profound personal relationship with God or share their faith effectively with others.  Theology is not only the queen of science; it is the king of bridges. Life on earth is more meaningful by it; God is reached through it.

Work Cited

Sproul, Robert C. 2014. Everyone’s a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology. Pennsylvania: Reform Trust Publishers. Epub edition.

Smith, Kevin G. 2013.  Integrated Theology: Discerning God’s Will in Our World. Johannesburg: South African Theological Seminary Press.

Zakai, A. 2017.  “The Rise of Modern Science and the Decline of Theology as the “Queen of the Sciences” in the Early Modern Era”. Jerusalem: Equinox Publishing. (127),  doi:10.1558/rrr.v9i2.125.

Browning, D.S. 1985. “Practical Theology and Political Theology.” Sage Journals, 1 April 1985,

(15-33), http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/004057368504200104

Britannica. 2021. “Logos: Philosophy of Theology. Britannica”, 1 September 2021. https://www.britannica.com/topic/logos

Segal, M. 2015. “You Cannot Serve both God and Theology.” Desiring God. Posted 6 February. 2015; retrieved 18 September 2021.

 

 

The power of the Resurrection has both doxological and contextually relevant implications.  We looked firstly at the Cross, and said, the Cross is not only,

  1.  The demarcation of Christianity – The Cross distinguishes Christianity, by a historically and empirically verified Resurrection.
  2. The security to character enhancement – there is no other power to transform a depraved human heart.
  3. The separation from religion into a relationship -religion is what we do for God. Relationship is what we do for God, with God!
  4. The disconnection from the world – the Cross is our alignment to Christ and His Way of doing things (See Galatians 6:14).
  5. The reference point in life – even though it is a historical reality, the Cross holds contemporary relevance.
  6. And finally, the Cross is our ongoing identification – By carry my Cross daily, I give the accuser of the brethren sufficient evidence to find me guilty for loving God (See first Corinthians 15:31.)

So, to circumvent the decline that we see in Christianity, mainly in western countries. We must prayerfully seek to understand what the causes are for the decline. As I’ve mentioned, one of the most significant assaults on Christianity today is a Crossless Gospel, or a Bloodless Gospel. The Cross is the Power of God! Paul said, 1 Corinthians 2, and verses 2, and 5; For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified. And again verse five says, That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Still, the cradle and the Cross are of little value without the Resurrection. But the cradle plus the Cross, plus the Resurrection, equals salvation. So in today’s message, I want to talk to you about another Powerful aspect of the Cross of Jesus Christ –The Power of the Resurrection!

Think about it, without a resurrection, Christianity would be stillborn. You need a living Saviour to have a living faith. If Jesus did not Raise from the dead, then our faith is vasectomised (or sterilise), meaning that it has no power to bring about the New life! 

But in the scriptures, Jesus says something that no other claimant of deistic status ever claimed;  John 11 and verse 25 says, “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the Resurrection and the life…

Eternal Life is Synonymous with Resurrection Life

Notice how eternal life is related to resurrection life? If Jesus did not Raise from the dead, then our faith is vasectomised. It has no power to give life! Romans 6 and verse 4 says, “just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. As we reflect on Church History, the Apostles’ Creed, also known as the Nicene Creed, it concludes with this declaration: “…I believe in the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.” This is based in 1 Corinthians 15.

Resurrection is the Womb of the New Birth! Click To Tweet

Resurrection is the Womb of the New Birth! This is not only a doctrinal reality; this is an empirical reality. People who believe that Jesus died and the third day rose had their lives change! So we don’t believe in a lifeless and powerless religion. But our faith is in the Way of life that truly saves, delivers, sets man free from the slavery of sin and its consequences! Glory to God!

But what does this mean from a doxologically and a Contextually sensitive perspective? Firstly, other religions or world views could compete with Christianity and say something like: “Your founder gave you a holy book? Our founder gave us a holy book. Your founder has a large following? Our founder  has a large following.  Your founder teaches you how to be morally good. Our founder teaches us how to be morally good.

But only a Christian can say, “All of that may be true, but our Founder rose from the dead!” Religion is an attempt to find merit with God. In Christianity, God places Christ’s merit on us! Secondly, the Resurrection secures three reality: that makes Jesus and Christianity worth following:

One: The Resurrection substantiates the uniqueness of Jesus and Christianity.

Two: The Resurrection authenticates the validation of Jesus and Christianity.

Thee: The Resurrection affirms the victory of Jesus and Christianity.

 

Watch this message now on YouTube: Resurrection Realities 

I hope you enjoyed reading or listening to this blog.

Please remember to subscribe to my blogs and get thought-provoking inspiration right into your inbox! Also, subscribe to my YouTube channel, Shan Thumbran, and get a notification each time I am live!

God Bless you!

What is the mark of authentic leadership? Talent? Knowledge? Experience? Confidence? Humility? These are some of every great leader’s essential qualities, but it is not what ultimately makes him a great leader! 

One of my all-time favourites in the subject of leadership, you guessed it! … John Maxwell! 

Let’s Play Golf and Do Lunch

He said before a leader recruits another leader, he should do two things;   One, take them golfing, and two, take them to a buffet.

John explains why,  A golf course and a buffet can teach you a lot about a person. On a golf course, John says, he looks to see if someone is honest, efficient, and comfortable with themselves by watching how emotional they get. VERY SMART!

In a buffet line, John says, he looks for someone to work around lines and pick and choose where and when to get their food. This is a sign of a leader rather than a follower. Practical tips for SURE, but I am pointing out how great leaders consistently identify other potential leaders and develop them into leaders themselves! 

Isn’t this what the greatest leader of all, Jesus Christ himself, encouraged?  Isn’t this what the Apostle Pauls leadership to Timothy, … commit these sayings of mine to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Paul said this to his dear spiritual son.

This is the Law of Reproduction! 

 It Takes A Leader To Raise A Leader 

It is true; few steps into leadership because of a crisis. Others end up in leadership because they were born to lead. But did you know, four out of five leaders you meet have emerged as leaders because of the impact made on them by leaders who mentored them?  It takes a leader to raise up a leader! So why don’t we see the Law of Reproduction at work in our lives, ministries, teams, businesses, especially when it is a spiritual law in the Kingdom? 

There are many reasons. Sometimes people don’t recognise the tremendous value of developing leaders. Others may focus so much attention on their followers they don’t have anything left for their high potential future leaders. For other leaders, the real problem may be insecurity.

In my blog, The Law of Empowerment, I stated that: Only secure leaders give power to others. 

Don’t Forget this about David

The problem with the worlds leadership culture in contrast to the Kingdom leadership culture can be better understood in David and Goliath’s story. Most leaders only see David as a warrior who won against a giant and a king promoted because of his victory.    This is the great tragedy of leadership in ministry and the marketplace. TRUE David was a mighty warrior and a great king, but most leaders forget that David raised up other mighty warriors or great leaders. 

Finally … if you want to live a life that glorifies God, then you must be committed to the law of reproduction. Jesus spoke of the law in John 15, when He spoke about fruitfulness.   The problem is when we try to reproduce what we are not. Jesus begins with the instruction, abide in the Word… because —WE REPRODUCE ONLY WHO WE ARE! Not what we know.   

If we abide in the Word and the Word abides in us, that is who we are, and that is who we will produce.  So if you want to be a leader of leaders, you must abide with leaders of leaders.   It is not possible to neglect these laws of reproduction if you want to become an effective leader.  Evey effective leadership mentor or disciples-maker makes the development of leaders one of his highest priorities. Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Daniel, Jesus, Paul and Timothy focused on the priority of reproducing leaders. Remember, the potential of the organisation depends on the growth of its leadership. 

The more leaders there are, the greater its chance to succeed!

 

Thank you for reading! Please remember to subscribe to my blogs and get thought-provoking inspiration right into your inbox! Also, subscribe to my YouTube channel, Shan Thumbran, and get a notification each time I am live!  God Bless you!  

Hungry for meaningful community and authentic relationships, people involved in this spontaneous movement worldwide are learning the Kingdom’s values firsthand, through smaller church meetings.   

Barna says (Barna, 2009), when the focus shifts from geography and independence to the individual’s faith experience or spiritual expression with much less structure and formalities, “people are especially likely to recall such participation.” This may be primarily so because people can take part in some form or the other, instead of feeling like a bystander.  

Although these new expressions of church are just dotting the landscape, they already cover the landscapes of other nations around the world. Places like China, Central Asia, Latin America, India and Iran have experienced tremendous growth through small, simple churches that disciple and empower participants to be “the Church.”

 

When the church becomes a way of life, not a way in life: Discipleship and growth occur naturally, as everyone develops their gifts and learns by doing under the mentoring of spiritual fathers and mothers Click To Tweet

A Way of Life

When the church becomes a way of life, not away in life: Discipleship and growth occur naturally, as everyone develops their gifts and learns by doing under the mentoring of spiritual fathers and mothers ( Gal 4:19).

The Future of Church

The gathered church will never stop and while this may be true, but the church that loves her model more than the mission will. There is no doubt that today, the online church has become a back door for Christians who are done with attending church. However, the online church can never replace the gathered church. 

Cary Nieuwhoff, says, but, for those who are not done with the gathered church … they still need community.  Yet within a few years, a new role for online church and ministry will emerge as the dust settles. With the new front door, the online church, has much greater potential to reach the curious, unconvinced, and those who want to know what Christianity is all about. 

But is our congregation and leadership ready for the catch? 

Today there is almost no one who visits a hotel or restaurant without first checking it out online? A church’s online presence will [is], be, the first home for people, which for many, will lead to a personal connection with Christ and ultimately the gathered church. It is wise, therefore, for a pastor to invest in an online presence and for his congregation to support their church’s efforts to embrace change.   

Smaller is Smarter

The Covid-19 pandemic sent all the statisticians back to the drawing board. Until 2019, the future of Megachurches seemed bright and leaders felt unstoppable. After a global standstill, many leaders are re looking at the effectiveness of their church model. 

The future church will become larger, as Niewhoff says it,  “not because they necessarily gather thousands in one space, but because they gather thousands through dozens of smaller gatherings under some form of shared leadership.” Also, millennials and Gen Z’s seek tighter connections so the church’s future might also be in coffee shops or even home venues under a simple structure.   Still, some religious historians believe that house churches represent the next wave of evangelical worship, after the boom in mega-churches that occurred during the 1980s and 1990s. The trend was recently captured, in an article in Time magazine, which describes how “evangelicals are abandoning mega churches for mini churches, based in their own living rooms.”  

Personally, I feel we cannot talk about the church without reflecting on church history. When we consider the large empty church buildings (Cathedrals) all over Europe, the question remains, will the church love Jesus’ mission more than her model?

I believe the church will love the former more! 

George Barna found that 5 per cent of all believers in America are currently involved in house churches-and the trend is booming. (See my blog,  The Miracle of House Church). 

Although there are thousands upon thousands of healthy, vibrant churches throughout the world, new expressions of church are continually needed to accommodate believers who do not fit into the current church structures. Just as wine can be contained in both bottles and glasses, so God’s Church necessitates many sizes and shapes of containers. Jesus referred to this problem of “wineskins” in His day. 

He taught that new wine needs new wineskins because old, brittle wineskins will burst with the fermentation of new wine (Luke 5:37).

 

Thank you for reading! Please remember to subscribe to my blogs and get thought-provoking inspiration right into your inbox! Also subscribe to my YouTube channel, Shan Thumbran, and get a notification each time I go  live!

 

God Bless you!

 

To clarify, it is not a particular model of Church that matters, as it is to witness what the Spirit of God does in people’s lives when they discover the New Testament principles of being and doing Church in small communities. 

The Church is the Hope of the World 

Think about it, over three billion people on our planet have never heard the name of Jesus, even once.  Add to this the many complexities of the post-Covid world, which presents people with various social and spiritual challenges; joblessness, loneliness, mental stress and fatigue,  spiritual corrosion, lukewarmness and the disconnection from godly influences, to name a few.    

I believe the Church is the hope of the world. Therefore, contextual sensitivity is critical for her relevance, which means that she must always discover new ways to be outward-focused! The Church has been commissioned to respond with Jesus’ compassion and the good news of the Cross to both the physical and spiritual challenges the world faces. 

Indeed, she is not perfect (well, at least not yet); sure, she does not have all the answers, and because of her diversity, we all understand that a “one size fits all” approach does not work with her. Nonetheless, I am excited about the House church movement, not excluding any other part of the Body of Christ. So, if you are looking for a blog that strikes and criticizes the institutional Church or denominations or mega-churches, this is the wrong blog for you.

Rather, I am excited about how God’s Spirit moves through House churches to touch people, especially those who would not otherwise attend the institutionalized Church.  Most of the people who have never heard the good news about Jesus live in countries, that are closed to traditional expressions of Sunday oriented, building-driven churches. What is happening around the world right now through house-church movements is spectacular. 

In communist China alone, one million people are being saved each month. Tens of millions of people are coming to Christ in Middle Eastern Islamic countries through hundreds of thousands of small, simple churches worldwide. 

 

Home churches produce greater ownership, accountability, spontaneity, involvement, responsibility, growth among attendees and the best part; it is not at the mercy of any secular States lockdown restrictions. Click To Tweet

A Post Covid Reality 

If we are to reach the unchurched in their masses, the unsaved whom we are ACTUALLY called to touch with the love of God, I believe it will not be through program-driven, professional-clear models of the Western Church Model. Individualism is a dying breed.  Individualism is a dying bread. Our recent pandemic has revealed this, our most innate need for community. 

In the light of the post-Covid world, the increasing hostility against Christianity there is probably no more significant factor in the growth of the Church worldwide. Then the recently rediscovered power of small, simple, easily reproducible house churches –the principles that make small, simple churches work well are not only fueling worldwide church growth but are also helping people grow spiritually. 

Home churches produce greater ownership, accountability, spontaneity, involvement, responsibility, growth among attendees and the best part; it is not at the mercy of any secular States lockdown restrictions. 

To reach every nation and every person with the Gospel is a BIG DREAM! God is just that, a BIG GOD! We, too, should dream big dreams while we build small. Like God who has a big dream for the Church-but, He builds His Church one life, one family and one small church community at a time. Then this is how we must begin!

Finally, Fostering a Culture of Micro Groups

This is essential for the future health of the Church.  Its effectiveness measures the maturity of the leadership and effectiveness of the movement. Healthy micro-groups have a lasting impact, providing it is the central mission of your Church’s leadership.    

Remember, the principles that form the engine in the house-church model are not the model itself but the Spirits working in us in a smaller community. The beauty here is that these principles are not complicated, and figuring them out doesn’t require a seminary education or very talented individuals.  The New Testament principles are woven throughout the story of the Church in the book of Acts, and they continue today to permeate the house-church movement worldwide.

With this in mind, please read my other blogs (The Future of the Church) with the hope that they will guide and inspire you to see what God does when you open your home, your office or your classroom to a few other people. 

You may also email us if you wish to join the movement by starting or attend a house church!

Thank you for reading! Please remember to subscribe to my blogs and get thought-provoking inspiration right into your inbox! Also, subscribe to my YouTube channel, Shan Thumbran, and get a notification each time I am live!

God Bless you!