"The church is not a doctrine or a system or an institution, but an organism of truth an love." -Alexis Khomiakov (1804-1860)
- meet in homes, often over meals (the core of community)
- share lives together deeply and sincerely
- teach one another to obey Christ's commands
- pray and worship together
- seek to reach the poor and the needy and the lost (in obedience to Christ - see 3
Wikipedia has an article about Simple Church which also has a number of criticisms and balancing points of view.
Start a Home Church or Satellite Cell Group
Quick Steps (from http://mentorandmultiply.homestead.com/00_simply_start_a_group.html 18 April 2011)
- Prayerfully follow these New Testament guidelines to start a church or cell group. God consistently uses this simple, biblical pattern to multiply home churches and cell groups.
- Let a new believer with leader potential gather family and pals for a party to celebrate meeting Jesus, like Levi, Zacheus, Cornelius and the Philippian jailer did.
- Guide the new leader from behind the scenes. The group can then easily become a home church or satellite cell (tiny church within a larger one).
- Agree with at least one coworker before God to carry out the project, as Jesus requires in Matthew 18:18-20; don't try to take it on alone.
- Use the New Leader's Duties Checklist to begin mentoring new leaders as they gather friends to meet Jesus. Download the simple checklist:
- If you lack experience in mentoring new leaders the way Jesus and His apostles did, then review these guidelines:
- For help to begin, email or call experienced mentor George Patterson (no fee) :
GPatterson@cvi2.org - 863 382 1062
A list of the commandments of Christ may be useful here...
Seven Key Commandments
(See http://mentorandmultiply.homestead.com/files/New_Leader_duties_checklist.htm for a list of seven key commandments. Below summarised from http://simplechurch.eu/index.php/toolbox/full/7-basic-commands-of-obeying-jesus-out-of-love, 18 April 2011)
What are the commands of Christ we need to obey as disciples of Christ? Jesus commanded many things but we can group them under seven basic commands. The 3,000 new believers of the first New Testament church obeyed the commands of Jesus in their basic form from the beginning (Acts 2:37-47). The only basic command that is not named is love, but we see it in their fellowship and giving.
The Seven basic commands are:
- Repent, believe and receive the Holy Spirit (regeneration) (Mark 1:15; John 3:16; John 20:22)
- Be baptized and live the life that it initiates (ongoing transformation) (Matt. 28:18-20; Rom. 6:1-14)
- Love God, neighbour, believers, enemies (forgive) (Matt. 5:43-48; 22:36-40; John 13:34-35, Luke 10:25-37)
- Break bread (The Lord’s Supper) (Matt. 26:26-28; John 4:24)
- Pray (private and family devotions, intercession and spiritual warfare) (John 16:24)
- Give (stewardship of our time, treasure and talents) (Luke 6:38)
- Make disciples (witness for Jesus, shepherd believers, teach the Word, train leaders, send missionaries) (Matt 28:18-20)
Some Nemnonic attempts: Red Bats Love Bugging Portly Green Martians // Repent Baptise Love Break Pray Give Make
50 Commands of Christ
by Lance Wallnau, http://www.lancelearning.com
(excerpt retrieved from http://simplechurch.eu/images/uploads/50commandsofChrist.pdf, 10 April 2011)
- Be Reconciled Matthew 5:23-24
- Learn to walk in harmony with others, discerning their needs and building bridges.
- Valuing people more than things
- Do Not Commit Adultery Matthew 5:29
- Learn to protect your marriage and your children
- Mastering the appetites of the physical senses and building the spiritual senses to discern right from wrong.
- Keep Your Word Matthew 5:37
- Learning to make commitments you keep and recognizing how personal integrity feeds our confidence and influence.
- Understanding the power of words and expectations
- Go the Extra Mile Matthew 5:38-42
- Giving beyond what is required to change the context of the relationship. Roman law required any Jew to carry a Roman backpack for one mile in any direction. By offering to go beyond a mile, the follower of Jesus made the Romans curious and created a door for sharing your beliefs.
- Love Your Enemies Matthew 5:44-46
- Destroying your enemies, by making them your friends. Whatever you give energy to expands. By feeding hate you get more hate. By loving enemies we feed another powerful spirit, and it in turn, feeds us with peace of mind.
- Be Perfect Matthew
- Learning to compare yourself to the standard that Is highest rather than excusing yourself by comparisons to others
- Practice Your Spirituality in Secret Matthew 6:3-4, 17-18
- Learning to live your highest values in secret and not for the applause of men. Understand that private victories of self mastery lead to public victories.
- Lay up Treasures Matthew 6:19-21
- Learning to distinguish that which is temporal from that which lives on in eternity. Investing in that which has ultimate value gives you access to resources others cannot steal or take from you.
- Judge Not Matthew 7:1-3
- Learning to see clearly without the distortion of anger or self interest.
- Learning to discern hidden causes behind surface activity and understanding the universal law of cause and effect in harvests that follow our attitude.
- Do Not Cast Pearls Matthew 7:6
- Learning to rightly discern the time and place to share that which you value most.
- Ask, Seek, Knock Matthew 7:7-8
- Realizing that the Universe you live in rewards perseverance and if you persist you shall be rewarded.
- Do unto Others Matthew 7:12
- Understanding how to practice genuine sensitivity to the needs of others.
- Realizing your common humanity and asking yourself how you would want to be treated in a situation, and treating others accordingly.
- Choose the Narrow Way Matthew 7:13-14
- Recognizing that the easy way does not yield the same reward as deliberately choosing the harder but superior way.
- Beware of False Prophets Matthew 7:15-16
- Learning to test the ideas that influence us through the persuasion of others.
- Be Wise as Serpents Matthew 10:16
- Learn to wisely read and adapt to an environment so that you can achieve the honorable outcome you seek.
- Honor Your Parents Matthew 15:4
- Learn to recognize and appreciate the sacrifice and investment of those who helped you grow.
- Beware of Leaven Matthew 16:6
- Learn to discern the subtle influence of insincerity and hypocrisy in living your core values.
- Deny Yourself Luke 9:23-25
- Learning to say "no" when the call of a greater "yes" is on your life.
- Learning that self control is the master aptitude.
- Despise Not Little Ones Matthew 18:10
- Learning to balance priorities so that you invest and care for the weaker and more vulnerable status of children.
- Go to Offenders Matthew 18:15
- Learning to take the initiative to heal relationships that have been damaged in your life.
- Beware Of Covetousness Luke 12:15
- Realizing that your happiness can never be defined by what you own, rather, life's truest riches are free for anyone who values people more than things and others before themselves. True contentment is built on the bedrock of what is eternal.
- Go to Offenders Matthew 18:21-22
- Taking the initiative to release yourself and others from captivity to their destructive behavior.
- Honor Marriage Matthew 19:4-6
- Realizing that there is no clearer test of your real character than the way you treat the ones who are closest to you. Your devotion to God is revealed in the quality of your commitment to your spouse. Faithfulness to another enables you to appreciate Gods unchanging devotion toward you as one of His own covenant people.
- Be a Servant Matthew 20:26-28
- Understanding that true greatness is not wrapped up in title or position but rather your capacity to set aside a selfish agenda in order to take up an agenda of service.
- Discerning the difference between false and genuine leadership by embracing a role of service over significance.
- Real leadership starts with leading yourself, and committing your energies to do for others what they cannot do for themselves.
- Beware of the leaven of Herod
- Recognizing the subtle corruption that permeates mans philosophies in contemporary political discourse.
- These first 25 commands can be presented to any culture and any nation in such a way as to provide universal principles for practice. These commands, especially 26-28 could actually continue to be presented as principles anyone could apply, however there are certain commands only a devoted follower of Christ can meaningfully enter into. I list them as 26-50.
- Bring In the Poor Luke 14:12-14
- Recognizing that your abundance enables you to demonstrate Gods reality to others.
- Remembering that you are a steward and not an owner of your possessions and that God is free to direct you at any time to acts of unselfish investment in others who cannot repay.
- Render to Caesar Matthew 22:19-21
- Learning that honoring authority is a principle of Gods design and in doing so you honor Him.
- Expressing that gratefulness to God and others for the ways they have benefited you is superior to murmuring.
- Knowing that God requires honesty in paying what is required to secular authorities.
- Love Your Neighbor Matthew 22:39-40
- Demonstrating your love for God by honoring man who is made in His image.
- Repent Matthew 4:17
- Turning your thinking and behavior around to agree with the things God is saying.
- Follow Me Matthew 4:19
- Remembering that you are not practicing a sterile system of principles, but following a living dynamic person who makes Himself real to you through His indwelling Holy Spirit.
- Rejoice Matthew 5:11-12
- Understanding that righteousness is sometimes celebrated and at other times ridiculed. You are free to interpret some opposition as an indication that you are challenging the right things and will therefore be respectful but happy about the rejection of your message.
- Let Your Light Shine Matthew 5:16
- You will let your good works speak more loudly than your good words as I demonstrate the superiority of Christ's life by illuminating the darkness with acts that help others in unexpected ways.
- Honor Gods Law Matthew 5:17-18
- Understanding that Christ did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it by making it possible for you to live the law of love through the power of His Spirit.
- Seek First the Kingdom Matthew 6:33
- Discerning that the highest priority in your life is to do the will of Him that sent you and to complete your current kingdom assignment.
- Being confident that your pursuit of heavenly priorities will be rewarded by heavenly provision.
- Fear Not Matthew 11:15
- Discerning the power of perfect love to cast out all fear.
- Welcoming the only fear that actually produces blessing- the fear of God- who observes your paths and is rewarding or disciplining you according to your behavior in His sight.
- Having ears to Hear Gods Voice Matthew 11:15
- Being attentive to the projects and priorities God shows you so that you can give them your undivided attention.
- Cultivating a lifestyle of listening so that you can be sensitive to the sound of His voice.
- Learning to honor the prompting of your spirit and the still small voice of conscience.
- Take My Yoke Matthew 11:28-30
- Knowing that as you come to Christ you find rest for your soul that no other source can satisfy.
- You willingly adjust to His teaching so that you can plow in the field He places you with accuracy.
- Be a House of Prayer Matthew 21:13
- Learning that prayer is the very atmosphere of God's house realizing that as you engage in steadfast prayer you are building a habitation for Gods will to be done completely in your life as a living temple of His Spirit.
- Ask In Faith Matthew 21:21-22
- Understanding that Gods words will feed your spirit that your words will have the power to release His will in the earth. Therefore, fill your heart with His Words and speak that which is in agreement with Him, believing that what you say will come to pass.
- Love the Lord with All Your Heart Matthew 22:37-38
- Realizing that God is deserving of your full and entire affection, you will therefore guard your heart so that nothing will be more important to you than pleasing the one who gave His infinite and utmost for you.
- Watch for His Return Matthew 24:42-44
- Keeping your attention upon the fact that there will be a literal return of the resurrected Jesus and that your stewardship of influence and blessing will be evaluated to determine your reward.
- Take, Eat, Drink Matthew 26:26-27
- Realizing that you must continually examine your state lest you become hardened by the subtle deception of sin. Eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ in a worthy manner so that the grace quickening power of this sacrament can infuse you with life.
- Receive Power to Become Sons of God John 1:12-13
- Understanding that you have been received by Him and are therefore a new creation, a full member of Gods own family, partaking of the divine nature that is worked out in you daily as you abide in Him and His words. You now have authority at the throne of grace to present your needs and to represent the authority of heaven on earth in the scope of your assignment.
- Keep My Commandments John 14:15
- Knowing that as you abide in His love He abides in you and you make your way prosperous and filled with His Joy and Peace.
- Watch and Pray Matthew 26:41
- Understanding that your spirit may be willing but your natural man is weakened under the downward pull of the earth, flesh and temptation augmented by the devil. Therefore you will be diligent to experience Gods power to deliver you from evil by drawing nearer to Him daily and especially at the very time you feel weak and susceptible to temptation.
- Feed My Sheep John 21:15-16
- Understanding the importance of taking heed to both yourself and those whom you have influence over in the kingdom so that they may be properly nourished in the revelation of the Word. Purposing to do the will of God regardless of cost and investing in the growth of other believers.
- Teach all Nations and making Disciples Matthew 28:19
- Remembering that you are called to not only feed the flock where you live but to teach other nations the truths that can bring the blessing of Christ's commandments to them. Believing that you can play a part in making disciples of nations. You can serve leaders of nations by healing their national sickness much like a believer heals an individual's sickness, and like Joseph or Daniel, serve your way into a place of influence.
- Baptizing them Matthew 28:19
- Remembering that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is something you experience fully the moment you were born into the kingdom and that this experience of a new beginning is manifest in waters of baptism.
- Realizing the message of forgiveness and reconciliation can touch entire nations.
- Receive Gods Power and Demonstration Luke 24:49
- Realizing that the life God has called you to live cannot be lived without the power of His Spirit continuously filling you. Jesus knows that you cannot stand apart from Him and has commanded you to be filled daily with the power of His grace and to pray for the sick and set free those that are bound. You are able to speak words with great penetration and impact because He has called you to be clothed with power from on high and will use your words to fix lasting impressions in the hearts of others.