Christians Meet in Big Groups and In Homes

Those who teach children should read study #44 for children.

Prayer: “Lord Jesus, you have made us alive by your own resurrection. As a living Body, help us to reproduce many daughter great-grand-daughter bodies.”

1.    Prepare to help your congregation to work in little house churches.

Find in Acts 2:46 & 47; 18:7 the kinds of places where the first Christians met together.  [Answers are in italic]

·         Find in Acts 2:46 where the believers ate the Lord’s Supper. [In their homes.]

·         Find in Acts 5:42; 20:20 where the apostles taught about Jesus. [Temple and homes.]

·         Find in Acts 16:40 where the apostles went to find believers in Phillipi. [Lydia’s house.]

Find in Acts 16:40; Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15-16; Philemon 1:1-3 where many churches met, to which the Apostle Paul wrote his letters. [In people’s homes.]

Some congregations are like big elephants that are strong and can do a lot of work. Other congregations are like little rabbits that are not strong, but they can reproduce rapidly.

Elephants

Mature in 18 years

1 baby per pregnancy

Fertile 4 times a year

22-month gestation

Family increases from 2 to 3 in three years

 

Rabbits

Mature in 4 months

Average of 7 babies per pregnancy

Almost always fertile

1-month gestation

Family can increase to millions in three years

 





 

2.    Plan with your co-workers how to form new house congregations.

Discuss with your co-workers some advantages of house congregations:

·         They can reproduce more easily than big groups.

·         Novice shepherds can lead them.

·         They allow everyone to encourage one another with their spiritual gifts.

·         They can practice all the “one-another” commands of the New Testament.

·         They need no money for a chapel.

·         They are almost invisible to hostile authorities.

Discuss with your co-workers how you and they will guide and mentor novice shepherds who serve the house congregations.

Read together Paul-Timothy Leader Training study #3, “Guidelines for Trainers” (24 pages).

Discuss with your co-workers who might become novice shepherds. Visit those persons and agree to train them while they lead new house congregations. Good shepherds will come from those who:

·         Lead their families in worship.

·         Are able to get others to meet together.

·         Have a good reputation in their community.

Plan the activities that you will train the novice shepherds to help the new house groups to practice:

·         Worship God

·         Pray using Jesus’ name

·         Baptise new believers

·         Break bread together

·         Give to meet urgent needs.

·         Learn Scripture together.

·         Encourage one another

·         Serve others

·         Share the Good News

·         Cooperate with other house groups

Plan where and how often the house congregations will come together in big meetings, if possible, in order to…

·         Hear strong Bible teachers and gifted preachers.

·         Share reports on what God has been doing in their small groups.

·         Enjoy talented musicians and learn new songs.

·         Meet other believers and build friendships.

·         Learn about opportunities and plan new ministries.

·         Praise God and pray and public officials.

Caution: if big groups meet too often, then some believers will no longer come to the house congregations.

Plan with your co-workers the up-coming worship.

Choose activities that fit current needs.

Have the children present to the adults the skit and questions that they have prepared.

Explain and ask questions about the things you found in Part 1 above.

Read and discuss from 1 Corinthians 14:26-32 what kinds of activities the believers can do together.

Practice together some activities that the believers can do in their families and house congregations.

To introduce the Lord’s Supper, read 1 Corinthians 11:18-34.

Memorize together Matthew 18:20

Have the believers gather in groups of three or four to listen to each other and to pray for one another.

If you train new shepherds and have not yet read P-T study #3 Guidelines for Trainers of Novice Shepherds,
then please do so now.

 

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