By: Tim Bauer,
Many in the home churches, having become disillusioned and discouraged with the present state of the institutional church, have gone out without a revelation of what is next. The result is often “restructured-structure” that is void of the Spirit. They do not understand that the Lord has led them out of a corrupt system in order to prepare and bring them into His “promised land”.
“…He brought us out from there (Egypt, the house of bondage and “man-made” bricks where God’s people were building a house for the wrong master.) in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our fathers.” Deuteronomy 6:23
The cloud of His redemptive purpose for mankind is moving and many within the Church are not “looking up” as they should be. Their eyes have become fixed on something other then Jesus. If they do not repent, they will become the foolish virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the Bridegroom, but had no oil with them (Matthew 25:1-13). Oil (the Holy Spirit) is poured out for us through repentance (see Proverbs 1:23). There is no other means.
The midnight shout from those heralding the return of our Savior are proclaiming, “Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” He is telling His people to prepare themselves through consecration to enter His presence. Jesus is coming back for a pure and spotless bride, not for those who hear but do not prepare by faith and cleanse their hearts. Those who have been invited, but are not paying attention will be cast into the outer darkness (Matthew 22:1-14). They are pre-occupied with the things of this world and will not allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse them.
Why Is A Home Fellowship Different?
The Greek word for fellowship is “koinonia”. It is also interpreted as “communion” or “to communicate”. The literal definition means “partnership, joint participation, social intercourse, community”. There is no way for this to happen in any meaningful way in the big group setting. Is it any wonder that there is so little real intimacy between the members of the Body?
Small groups have the structure which allows for spiritual intimacy and group interaction, which is what true Biblical fellowship is all about. If you are not involved in some type of small group, interacting with fellow believers, your growth will be stunted to a large degree. We are to humbly learn from one another lest pride and arrogance are allowed to control others in our midst. It can create learning disabilities in many disciples who never have to engage with one another as they routinely sit under a monologue type of teaching environment not led by the Holy Spirit.
Instead of the large corporate setting being the driving force for small groups, we should meet in small groups that empower the corporate setting. The intimacy developed within the small groups will carry over to the large setting, creating a much more Biblical fellowship where Christ is exalted through His many-membered body.
In small fellowship groups, spiritual children gain new confidence in themselves and the Lord as they begin to interact with others, feeling safe to share. Some Christians have been in the church for years, but have never been in an environment to be stimulated towards growing up in Christ. They are kept as infants, unable to discern good from evil. In this immature state they are easily deceived and led astray, carried about by every wind of doctrine by the cunning and craftiness of men (Ephesians 4:14).
Walking In The Light
“If we say that we have fellowship (“koinonia”) with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship (“koinonia”) with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:6-7
Walking in the light is expressed in fellowship with other believers. His light always subdues the powers of darkness. If we say we have fellowship with Christ, or are a Christian, and do not have true Biblical fellowship (“koinania”) with others in the body, we are liars. What we claim to be with our mouths is not what we are in practice.
Our public relationships with others in the Body of Christ reveal to everyone the true state of our private relationship with Jesus Christ. You cannot separate the Body from the Head. The way I treat the brethren publicly is evidence of the way I am treating Christ privately. The two are interconnected. The degree that we are truly walking in His light will be revealed by the degree that we are having true “fellowship” with each other.
According to the verses in 1 John, if we are not fellowshipping with other believers, we are walking in darkness, not practicing the truth. Remember, the Biblical definition of fellowship is not a Sunday morning “hello” to someone and singing a hymn or two together, but involves intimate commitment towards one another. This takes time and sacrifice for everyone involved. We are called by Jesus to count this cost to see if we truly want to be a disciple of His. Anything else becomes dead religion that affects nothing because it costs nothing.
To learn more about Home Groups and Tim Bauer and Capstone Ministries.
To view a video clip of Tim Bauer explaining Home Groups (Fellowship Groups; Church Cell Groups): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdwSGUR0OqE
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WHY HAVE HOME GROUPS?