Nr.142 ended with: “Maybe we ought to get back to that, or, as time goes on, we may be forced, due to persecution, to go back to that, as is already happening in many parts of the world. Are we preparing for that………?” (See richardandmarina.net).
Yes, that living room evangelism really worked. People who were not willing to come to a tent meeting right in the town square, or stand listening at an open air meeting where everyone could see them, had no problem with coming to someone’s living room. We would often start with a small group, but it would soon grow and become so large that we had to split and start up another study somewhere else. That’s also the way it went, at least in the beginning, with church planting. Just to use our home in Lovendegem, east Flanders as an example, we started with a Bible study, which grew into a church in our home. As more and more people were added to the church, our house became too small and we went to a building in Eeklo.
Because a number of people from Ghent were coming to Eeklo, I started a Bible study in Ghent and soon we had enough new Christians to start an assembly in someone’s living room in that city. When that group grew we had to rent a building. At the same time the church in Eeklo continued to grow and I started a Bible study with a number of people from Maldegem. That study grew and the people who became Christians came to Eeklo for the Sunday morning service. After some time, a group split off and a new church was started in Maldegem.
Our Sunday meeting was very simple, singing, Sunday school and a communion service, which we called the Lord’s Supper, or the “Breaking of Bread.” Different ones would take part and after the emblems had been passed around, someone would give a brief message. Because we did not need a pastor for every church, as all were encouraged to participate, we were able to start new churches quite rapidly. Teaching was done during the weekly Bible studies.
Most of our churches came into being through a healthy “hive off” from an existing church. Right from the start of a new church, I would tell people that God wanted us to have babies, meaning new Christians, but also new churches. I still believe that. Every church should aim at starting what is sometimes called “daughter” churches. Every church should be a “mother” church. Church planting is the fastest way to evangelize the world, and the world needs to be evangelized, it is in such a mess, only God can change things when we allow Him, but there has to be vision for that. Did Jesus not say, “I will build my church?” Are you part of a church with such a vision? If not, talk to your church leaders and encourage them in this. Wonderful things can then happen, as we saw in Limburg………! (Go to Musings).