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Sidewalk
Member



Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 705
San Diego

 Re: Fellowships in your home

I tend to agree with jujushan4, that one's home would be a place to invite believers for prayer, worship, ministry, and discussion. Inviting unsaved strangers as a matter of policy would be difficult- though there will always be exceptions.

Interesting turn of a phrase, "through the foolishness of preaching." Preaching is so different from counselling, it is a simple proclamation of useful truth that the Holy Spirit is then able to direct at some individuals and not at others. He is given, through the preaching of a Word, an opportunity to burrow into hearts without the preacher really knowing what the Spirit is actually doing in a person. Some seed falls on rocks and bad soil, some on fertile ground. The Holy Spirit knows the difference, but He needs us to sow the seeds!

So it is the wisdom of God that preaching is the primary tool for reaching the lost, not counselling, not home fellowships. Preaching has to be done "out there" where they are. I guess that is why I am drawn to street preaching as the evangelistic method of choice, and reserve the sanctity of my home for believer fellowship.

Others will work this out in the individual ways God directs, and I don't want to criticize anything that works!


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Tom Cameron

 2014/6/22 17:58Profile
AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3462
Louisiana

 Re: How do your Gospel Fellowships get unsaved people to attend?

"Lord, please bring us to or bring to us a handful of people who have no experience with You, who do not profess to know You or to be Christian or born again or any other phrasing that implies relationship with You, who would be willing to sit for an hour or so in our home to discuss You and hear about You and enjoy a snack and a soft drink or sweet tea."

Brother, since reading this post this morning, I have felt stirred in my spirit to tell you to do whatever God is leading you to do in these home meetings.

I believe that it is the Holy Spirit that is leading you to invite unbelievers into your home. The main thing is to start the meetings even though that it might be only you, your wife and daughter in the meeting. The Lord has promised that He would be there. "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." (Matthew 18:20).

There is no set way or format to follow to conduct home meetings. The main thing that you need is the presence of the Lord in your meetings. As you praise and worship the Lord, and His presence is manifest, the Holy Spirit is going to lead you and direct the meeting. He will lead you in the prayers that you are to pray, the scriptures that you are to read, and because it is the will of God to save the lost, He is going to show you how and where to cast out the net.

You are blessed brother because you have seen what man can do when he attempts to build the church with his own schemes and methods. Being desperate and hungry for God is a good thing, and He promises us that all those that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled.

We will pray with you brother that God will lead you and direct you as you step out in faith to do His will. I was reading just the other day about the great prayer revival that started in New York among businessmen as one man started a prayer meeting in which the first day there were only a few that attended. I hope that the following account of this revival will be an encouragement to you.

"In 1857, the leadership of the Fulton Street Church in New York City saw a sharp decline in church attendance. They tapped Jeremiah Lanpher to lead the effort to reach the unchurched of the city. Lanpher was a former merchant with no formal theological training. He wasn't sure how to proceed, so he organized a noonday prayer meeting. He printed up notices and handed them to anyone who would take one. On the day of the meeting, Lanpher waited.

Jeremiah Lanpher announced he was a city missionary and there was going to be a prayer meeting. No one showed up and he began praying. Twenty minutes later he heard someone coming up the stairs and that first time maybe two or three joined him. The next time someone joined him and then the room was filled. And so he went from one room to two rooms to three rooms and he went to the church sanctuary.

In the following months, noonday prayer meetings sprung up all across the city. In fact, many factories blew the lunch whistle at 11:55 a.m., giving workers the chance to rush to the nearest church to pray for an hour. Churches of all denominations were filled with people praying on their lunch break. This caught the attention of the media.

The Layman's Prayer Revival had the motivation that we must pray one hour. Jesus said, 'Could you not tarry with me one hour?' And they wanted to go pray during their lunch hour so there was fasting and great prayer. The editor of the Herald Tribune was looking out of his window at a few minutes before twelve and he was shocked to see men running from their places of business, bumping into one another and within a minute they all disappeared into churches. And he said what's going on? So he sent a reporter down to see what it was and he said, 'they are all praying.'

The next day he got all of his reporters together, put them on horses to cover the whole city. They came and said there must be fifteen thousand people. So he began to write stories, and then before you know it, there were twenty-five thousand. The more stories he wrote the bigger the meeting got. And he put them on horse to cover the whole city and they came back and they said there must be about forty thousand men praying through the lunch hour. What's happening here? Because New York was center of the world at that time, all over America, in Cleveland, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, people would read the New York papers and then revival began to break out.

Prayer meetings organized by lay leadership spread like wildfire across the United States. By 1859, more than one million unchurched Americans were won to Christ. God was pouring out His spirit, preparing America for one of its darkest chapters in history.

The layman's prayer revival took place two years before the Civil War. And think of all of the thousands men who were slain and cut down in battle. The only positive thing we can say is that many of them knew the Savior before they went into that battle."

Mike


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Mike

 2014/6/23 7:45Profile
dolfan
Member



Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:

AbideinHim, thank you for that.


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Tim

 2014/6/23 12:39Profile
flameoffire
Member



Joined: 2008/1/3
Posts: 189
Michigan

 Re: How do your Gospel Fellowships get unsaved people to attend?

In the Great Commission, Jesus said "Go" not "come." In other words, we are to go to them, not expecting them to come to us. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. He was seeking them not asking them to seek God. He also left the 99 to go after the 1. He "left" to "go." While it is wonderful when the Holy Spirit draws unbelievers to our groups, New Testament practice is to go to them with the gospel, moving into their homes. Jesus taught this in Luke 9, Luke 10, and Matthew 10, which is really the model the apostle followed for evangelism and church/fellowship planting. We see through the rest of the gospels and the book of Acts that Jesus, the disciples, apostles, and Paul all went to where the lost were, proclaimed the gospel, and moved into the homes of those who received the message. I usually contextualize this approach with the simple question, "Can I come to your house and do a Bible study with you?" or "Can I come to your house and share another Bible story with you?" There are sundry reasons why their home is preferable to ours, though the number one reason is because it is the scriptural example. That said, it is certainly not wrong to invite them to your home.

When it comes to attracting unbelievers to fellowships, the only example is miracles. Crowds formed because Jesus and the church (Acts 5) were meeting needs through supernatural power. Jesus was different than our attractional models however because Jesus was highly mobile, in order to be a part of his fellowship you had to leave every thing and follow Him, and because His teaching was incredibly hard: either hard to understand or hard because it demanded ultimate commitment and surrender.

God bless you in the harvest brother. I pray everyday for laborers to go into the harvest, and I am encouraged by your heart and obedience to our Lord Jesus.


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Jonathan

 2014/6/23 15:04Profile
dolfan
Member



Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:

flame,

It'll be fine with me to go to their houses. :) In fact, part of the heart desire is for the lost to be saved and spiritually reproduce spiritual sons and daughters. They can do that in their homes. To God that they would! I know my own daughter is formed by our home time, not merely by our church services (if i thought otherwise, I'd surely be fasting and repenting in sackcloth).

There is an entire swath of people who are being ignored by the church here in the Bible Belt. The one I am part of included. The rural poor are simply not urban enough to be on the hipness radar, are Balkanized past the point of any church growth or church planting movement caring about them, and/or in this part of America they are very incorrectly presumed to have a church background or influence. Either that or the church just doesn't care at all. There is more outreach on death row than in the cotton rows, if you know what I mean.

This serving and ministering we are crawling before God in prayer to do is not "come and see" as a means of outreach and evangelism. Oh, that may occur and praise God!, but if the churches that dot our countryside have not stopped to talk with and listen to these people, there is no reason why some family inside town should expect these poor folks to beat a path just because we say we are meeting to study the Word and pray and share. That is not where we are in this.

The thing that would break my heart is if we just formed a home based "huddle of the holy" instead of a maturing and sending family of Christians. If that is where we are headed, then I ask God to stop us. And have.


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Tim

 2014/6/23 15:27Profile
flameoffire
Member



Joined: 2008/1/3
Posts: 189
Michigan

 Re:

Awesome Dolfan!

The larger network I am a part of is deeply motivated by generational ministry (2 Tim 2:2), hoping to see four generations in everything that we do, disciples, churches, gifts etc. etc.

We encourage people to start groups with the lost which would lead to church formation or start groups with believers who desire to make disciples.

You have identified who to go to. I am praying right now that God empowers you to reach them.


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Jonathan

 2014/6/23 15:43Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1997
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: How do your Gospel Fellowships get unsaved people to attend?

dolfan: The desire to see the lost won to the Lord is not necessarily synonymous with getting lost people to come through the doors of the place where you meet together as believers. We have seen several people born again in our fellowship over the last year. I cannot think of one of them that came as a result of any kind of "approach" to get people in the door. They came because someone ministered to them outside of the church walls. With the exception of one Easter service, we have not passed out invitations or canvassed the neighborhood. Instead, as a result of our witness outside of the walls, people have said, "I want to come to your church."

I know many churches have a very evangelistic focus in their preaching every week. I am not sure that this is healthy for a church. Weekly meetings are for the mutual edification and growth of the body so that the body can then do the work of the ministry. This is not to say that God will not lead in that direction occasionally, but I think that the bulk of our evangelism will be one on one as we live our lives.

My suggestion is that you begin to minister the gospel of Christ to those around you on a daily basis. Pray that God would lead you to someone in your sphere that needs the Lord. People are looking for truth and answers, and we have that truth and those answers. When these people turn to Christ and are born again, they will come in the doors of your church.


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Travis

 2014/6/25 11:03Profile





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