House Church Talk - conferences/agendas/our freedom

David Miller David at
Mon Apr 19 12:48:41 EDT 2004

Claire wrote:
> I have no experience with past conferences, 
> but it appears there is an agenda here, 
> to seek control over the house churches that the Lord 
> has planted, to exchange organic body life and
> connection to the head of the body, Jesus, with 
> a hierarchal system that they control.  

I attended last year's conference and it was very good.  I plan to
attend this year again.  There were no attempts to control anyone.  I
have not received so much as a post card from the organizers of this
conference.  Rest assured that nobody is going to be hounding you or
trying to control your life just because you attend this free

The conference is simply a way for people with home church experience to
meet and share with others.  I met many people who are on this and other
e-mail lists that formerly I had known only through e-mail.  I met
Jonathan Lindvall and some of his sons for the first time.  They live on
the west coast in California while I live on the east coast in Florida,
so if it were not for this conference, I might not have been blessed by
what God has put within him.  Jonathan has a lot of Christ flowing from
him, and I look forward to being blessed with the wisdom and experience
that flows naturally from him.  I also met Beresford Job, who is from
England, and was brought together with someone I had met previously, Jon
Zens, who is from Wisconsin.  The conference is a way of pulling people
together from far away places, that we might share with one another.  It
adds a dimension to home church advocates that might otherwise not be

Claire wrote:
> It reminds me of how the Florida 5 heavy shepherding
> movement took over the many independent churches that 
> sprang up during the Jesus movement.  They offered 
> them organization, accountability, teaching -
> but the end result was a yoke of bondage, much abuse 
> and much destruction.

Your fears about this conference are unfounded.  The problem with the
Florida Five was a false doctrine concerning submission to elders.  A
housewife in that fallen system could not go to the grocery store with
her neighbor without calling her husband first and getting permission,
and the husband might feel like he has to call his elder to make sure it
is ok with him!  Such bondage has nothing at all to do with this

Some people in home church have been hurt by institutionalism, and as a
result they are afraid of any kind of organization.  That is sad and if
any of you on this list are suspicious of any kind of organization being
a false system meant to ensnare you, please seek the Lord for healing
from your bitterness.  I don't know if this applies to you, Claire, or
not, so don't take my comment as a criticism directed toward you.  I am
just saying that organization is not sin, so please do not react
negatively to the fact that this conference is organized.  Please do not
think something is wrong with this conference just because it is
organized with a selected number of speakers.

The truth is that if a group of people larger than 50 try to do
anything, there must be some organization.  That is simply a fact of
life.  Beresford Job mentioned to me at the conference last year, that
in his perspective, a home church should never get larger than about 20
people.  I think part of the reason for this might be his own aversion
to organization of any kind.  Personally, I enjoy home church even more
when it is around fifty people, if the house is large enough, but even
with that, I recognize that Beresford has a point... some organization
is needed with that many people and that might hinder the freedom and
relationship aspects that many of us find enjoyable in home church.  I
find myself still thinking about Beresford's perspective and
reconsidering my own viewpoint.

The way I read my Bible, the early Christians did not have ONLY home
church.  Yes, the Bible says they met daily from house to house, but it
also says they met in the Temple on a daily basis too.  I fully expect
that some of those meetings in the Temple had larger crowds and speakers
giving monologues.  The early Christians also met in synagogues once a
week, which was very much structured, yet not so structured as our
modern Christian institutions, because there often was room for
believers to discuss Christ and minister Christ right there in the

We see very clearly that even the church in Jerusalem moved toward
organization as it grew.  Acts 6 shows them appointing seven men to help
administrate their charity program to widows.  Furthermore, it placed
qualifications concerning what kind of men should be appointed to accept
this responsibility.  They did not just call for volunteers, nor did
they just allow the Holy Spirit to move upon whoever thought themselves
called to help out with this job.  They stipulated that the job should
be assigned to seven men as opposed to three women and three men, and
that these men should be full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.  We may
quibble about why it was done this way, but we cannot quibble with the
fact that the church did organize itself as it grew, selecting a
specific number of men to accept responsibility that others in the
church did not have, with the goal that the church would do a better job
in serving the widows.  Such an observation should dispel any notion
that organization and leadership by a few within the church would be

I hope some on this list will consider going to this free conference.
While the format of the conference is not always "home church," I think
you will find it beneficial in regards to home church issues.  The
conference is free, and if I remember right, I don't think they even
take up an offering.  There is absolutely no effort to control you, but
there will be an effort made to bless you.  

You can learn more about the conference at:

Peace be with you.
David Miller, Beverly Hills, Florida.

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