Hebraic Home Fellowships
Must Produce Godly Generations
[click here for a printable copy]
Training Succeeding Generations to Follow Jesus
Is An Inter-Generational Responsibility
Our Father’s Goals & Objectives
Introduction to Part 4
In Part 3 you learned about the tribal
understanding that undergirds the Bible’s concept of
“Church.” The extended
family relationships of the Church
which Jesus is building serve a far greater purpose than for
people to just experience relational closeness with one
another. Through intimate fellowship with our Father and His
Son, Jesus, as well as with each other, you’re called to
fulfill Kingdom purposes and goals.
Home fellowships are much like a military
squad. The members do become close friends as they serve side by
side, but they “enlisted” to fulfill a purpose far
greater than their friendship. The extended spiritual family of
a home fellowship serves their glorious and beloved King to advance His Kingdom.
As with soldiers, the extended family of a
home fellowship realizes that their very lives may be at stake
as they fulfill their mission in times of battle. Only by mutual interdependent cooperation can “soldiers for Jesus” accomplish
their fellowship goals and purposes in the Kingdom and bring
glory to their King.
“death-to-one’s-self” heart that enables a
military unit to effectively fight their battles to victory.
For example, military Special Forces units have this one
element in common — they are dead
to themselves. For followers of
Jesus: Completing the mission and caring for the well-being of
those in our spiritual care are more important than focusing on
preserving our own earthly lives in complacent comfort and
acceptance by the world’s standards. We who are in Christ
need to be like-minded according to His Spirit and
life-extending to others.
Think about Jesus’ instruction to
His disciples to be “salt of the earth” (see
Matthew 5:13). Salt served many vital purposes among the Hebrew
people. It was a flavoring agent, a medicinal element, a
preservative, a required part of the grain offering, and a very
necessary nutrient for life in that hot climate!
Much of the salt came from the Dead Sea,
where it was harvested in clumps with the sandy dirt still
attached. When the user reached the part where the salt mingled
with the dirt, he threw it out. It was less than useless
because when salt is ground into the earth, plants have a hard
time growing. That’s why enemies sowed with salt the
fields of those they conquered so that the vanquished
couldn’t grow crops.
In the spiritual dimension, the salt of our
righteous lives brings healing, zest, and preservation of the
soul — as long as our “salt” doesn’t
lose its flavor! If by compromise with the world’s ways
some “dirt” pollutes our relationships and
fruitfulness for our Lord in His Kingdom, then our so-called
religious works are useless. Actually, they’re LESS than
useless because our sinful compromise brings down the name of
Jesus among unbelievers and inoculates them against Him and His
holy and gracious gift of salvation.
“Salty” righteousness is worked out in our lives as we stay
repentant. The “clean hands and pure heart” of
walking in obedient trust through the Spirit of Christ produces
the holy boldness that’s needed to extend our God’s
KINGDOM. As you’ll see, the first of four objectives of a
home fellowship, upholding communal
righteousness, is the crucial
foundation for all the other objectives to bear fruit that
brings our Lord praise.
Hebraic home fellowships serve the interests of God. Note the key distinction between Hebraic and
home fellowships are extended
spiritual family working together through the power of
God’s grace. Every activity and purpose is evaluated by
whether it is pleasing to God, aligns with His Word, and
fulfills His purposes. Staying “salty” is key!
small groups rely on manmade
techniques and programs. Need for God’s empowerment may
be taught, but it isn’t considered necessary. Success is
evaluated by numbers and participant comfort levels, not by
God’s standards and purposes. Compromise with the world
Because the United States is an Atomistic,
individualistic-oriented nation, communally preparing succeeding generations to follow
Jesus is going to require dramatic change in people’s
attitudes and lifestyle in order to accomplish this objective.
Remember some of the symptoms of an
Atomistic Society from Part 2:
Ties within the family unit
disintegrate, and obsession with
Individual rights are emphasized
rather than family responsibilities and the good of the whole.
selfishness is normative.
Atomistic people resemble a swarm
of antagonistic insects engaged in conscience-less combat to maintain their status quo.
Commitments and responsibilities
are re-garded as infringements on
personal freedom, disregarding the
needs or suffering of others.
Most of the people in your home fellowship
are the product of Atomistic influence as well as public
education. Unless they’ve been “deprogrammed”
from the insidious influence of Humanism which permeates this
culture, they still see themselves as the center of their world rather than
Probably few of your extended spiritual
family have experienced cooperative en-deavors which involved collective accomplishment of a common goal unless they’ve served in
the military or taken part in team sports or similar
At the retreat center we administrated
from 1983-93 we set up a confidence course with various
elements involving ropes, pulleys, tires and barrels. The course was designed so that no one could
complete an element without the help of other people. Our goal was to train guests to cooperate by discussing together how to complete an element until they came up with a plan and
then executed it.
For instance, we hung a tire from a tree
about five feet off the ground. We told the group that they
were on a sinking ship and the tire was a port hole — the
only way they could get off the ship.
We’d then encourage them as a team
to discover a solution to get everyone off the ship. Then,
they’d carry out their plan. For the vast majority, cooperative discussion and communal
accomplishment were foreign
practices. Often many would grow frustrated, especially if it
took a while to plan or execute the task.
After completing several elements on the
confidence course, though, most of the retreaters would start
to unite in their attitude and want to help one another achieve
the goal. The exceptions were mostly people who were use to
getting their own way working alone. They were
unconfortable in cooperative projects. Usually it was the oldest child in
a family who was the least cooperative. The give-and-take that
was necessary in these group situations irritated them.
You’ll find in Our Father’s Goals and Objectives for Home
Fellowships that a Hebraic home
fellowship is a communal endeavor of serving our Lord in His Kingdom. Built on
the Trustee Family style, the extended spiritual family of a
Home Fellowship calls for self-sacrifice and self-denial — elements which are foreign to
those influenced by Humanism, and whose motivations align with
the contemporary Atomistic culture.
Elders and others in the fellowship family
who are determined to see the Kingdom advanced will need to
earnestly solicit everyone to do their part in fulfilling our
Father’s goals and objectives. There are no spectators or
“lone ranger” Christians in the Kingdom! The
fellowships of God are like the human body, with all the parts
fulfilling their responsibilities in mutual regard for each
[For more on mutual participation, see our
book God’s Instruments For War: Discovering and Coor-dinating Spiritual Gifts as
Weapons of Warfare.]
Our Father’s Goals And Objectives
For Home Fellowships
Your life is a pilgrimage that’s
intended by our loving God to fulfill great purposes by His
grace at work in you! Our Father has outlined in His Word three
very special goals for your relationship with Him:
to increasingly trust the Lord you love,
to bear much fruit for
in the character of Jesus.
Don’t feel overwhelmed by this
privilege! Through His indwelling Spirit, our Father gives you
both the will and the power to do His work. This
is called grace. But His work is
really a way of life, the same life
Jesus would live if He were you:
In the same way, let your light shine
before men, that they may see your
good deeds and praise your Father in
heaven (Matthew 5:16).
Any motivation or activity that settles
for less than glorifying our Father makes that endeavor an idol.
When your life is joined together in unity
with your extended spiritual family in a home fellowship, you
are equipped collectively to bring our Lord praise! As Paul
reassured the believers in Rome,
May the God who gives endurance and
encouragement give you a spirit of
unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans
Authentic fellowship finds load-bearing believers throughout the
week encouraging each other as you wholeheartedly trust God together,
following our Lord Jesus and carrying each other’s
burdens. You’re being built up to testify of the powerful
love of Jesus through word and deed for a very specific
purpose. Our Father wants sons and
daughters who have tasted His power
as they’ve walked in loving, obedient trust. They yearn to
reach out to others to draw them to Lord Jesus, and to train
successors in the faith!
ministry that was em-braced by our
Hebraic forefathers takes place as a Christ-follower comes alongside someone to help him/her to lovingly trust their Lord in all
circumstances. You may not have all the answers as you
minister, but you know the One Who does, and He never fails! Point the
way to Him and bear the burdens of the one you’re
ministering to through prayer and action.
And, as a wise person once said,
“Always be prepared to BE the answer to prayer if the
Spirit prompts you to!”
Describe your pilgrimage with Jesus
thus far in terms of how your trust has grown, your fruit has
brought Him praise, and how your character has been
transforming into Christ’s likeness.
How in the past have you
experienced authentic fellowship and authentic ministry? Are
these taking place now? In what ways?
Our Father's Goals For Home Fellowships
Numerous passages support the reasons our
Father calls His people into true fellowship in Jesus as they
grow in relationship with one another.
1. Your fellowship with others must spur you on to glorify our Father through praise, worship, and a lifestyle
that yields glorifying testimony of praise to Him. [See Matthew
2. Your fellowship with one another should
result in progressive growth in
Christlike character in each
person as you walk in the scriptural
“one-anothers”. [See 1 Corinthians 11:1;
3. Your fellowship must provide the
corrective/confrontational means to assist each other to enter the narrow gate. [See 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 2 Timothy 4:2;
also, our book, Growing
Relationships Through Confrontation.]
4. Your fellowship must strive to extend the Kingdom of God on earth, pursuing the lost so that they too may enter
Covenant with our Father in Jesus. [See Matthew 28:18-20; Acts
Because of the pervasive influence of
Hellenism within Christendom for centuries, many have lost
sight of God’s goals for biblical fellowship in homes as extended spiritual family in Jesus. Please, indelibly blaze these loving
objectives of our Lord into your heart:
to spur you on to
glorify our Father through love-grounded, obedient trust
to encourage progressive growth in
Christ-like character by one-anothering
to help each other enter the narrow
gate by walking in Jesus’ steps together
to extend the Kingdom of God on
earth that others might respond by grace.
These four goals call for cooperative interdependence among those in your home fellowship family —
followers of Jesus together who are deeply committed to each other and who collectively desire
to glorify our Father. [For more on
spiritual cooperative interdependence, see our book, God’s Instruments for War.]
The human body is interconnected in a way
that parallels our Lord’s design for His Bride —
spiritual body life. Each part of the body serves the other parts,
and collectively the parts serve the whole. If you truly yearn
to serve our Lord through these goals, make sure you’ve
humbled yourself to need others and to serve others as extended spiritual family!
Now that we’ve addressed the goals
and purposes of a home fellowship, let’s touch on four
specific objectives for individuals, families and home
fellowships that enable you by His grace to meet our
1. Uphold communal righteousness.
2. Develop load-bearing relationships.
3. Multiply through actively sharing
4. Prepare succeeding generations to
The first three objectives will be covered
here in Part 4. Objective #4 is discussed in Part 5, “Home Fellowships: Communally Preparing
Succeeding Generations To Follow Jesus”.
be viewed as specific indicators that help you discern
obedience to God. Love-grounded,
obedient trust as a way of life
applies to both yourself, your family and your faith community.
Are you on the path prescribed by God in His Word? You really
don’t want to wait until you stand before the Judgment
Throne to find out that you’ve disregarded our
Father’s scriptural goals and lived in self-gratifying
compromise with the world. Paul warns us, “If we judged
ourselves, we would not come under judgment” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
The four biblical objectives for true
fellowship are not merely vague ideas to consider then stash
away. They represent four foundational practices that fashion a
home fellowship into the righteous, extended spiritual family
that God ordained it to be:
God-centered rather than man-centered,
fulfilling His goals rather
Are you eager to restore the goals and
objectives that were so tenaciously embraced by the called-out
ones who first followed Jesus? This calls for a love that is
commensurate with their love for Him, regardless of personal cost. This
kind of love comes only through yielded dependence on the
Spirit of Christ.
The remainder of this article on home
fellowships offers some considerations to help you collectively carry out the objectives that enabled fellowship in homes among
the earliest followers of Jesus to be so interpersonally
intimate and spiritually powerful. As you reflect on these
objectives, evaluate your own faith practices, both
individually and communally. Ask our Lord to help you see these
restored in your faith experience as you lovingly serve your
The first objective, Uphold Communal Righteousness, is the underpinning for the rest. Take your time to
completely understand why it’s so important. If you’re
unconcerned about righteousness in your Christian walk, nothing
else will go well for you.
Home Fellowship Objective #1:
Uphold Communal Righteousness
“Since we have these promises, dear
friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that
contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out
of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
Can you describe the innate weakness of
humanity? Our Father, the Creator
of mankind, is all too aware of our primary frailty: Man is bent on sinning.
Because of their decision to rebel against
God, not even Adam and Eve were able to raise their children in
the Garden of Eden. Their deliberate choice to sin severed
their intimate fellowship with God and brought uncompromising
consequences: The couple was cast out of the home in which
they’d enjoyed such loving intimacy with their Father. No
childish laughter rang in Eden. Thorns made food-gathering
difficult. Their first son, Cain, born in pain, murdered his
The first family’s sin was just the
beginning of mankind’s intentional violation of all that
was good — and God grieved.
The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on
the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil
all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had
made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain (Genesis 6:5,6; see also Genesis 8:21).
You might think that with the coming of
Jesus, humanity could better discern good from evil. But human
nature hasn’t changed, “for
all sin and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
A Warning. A
heresy that’s been creeping around western Christianity
proposes that man is evolving into a holier, more ethical human
being. Read Matthew 24 to see how this world comes to an end
— certainly not through the goodness of man!
Communal Responsibility For One Another
Our Hebraic forefathers in the faith were
impacted by a truth that’s been lost to most people today:
Sin and failure to repent don’t affect just the
individual guilty party. None of us lives in a spiritual
vacuum. Know this: Unrepentance by
one person within a home fellowship will hinder the prayers of everyone in that
fellowship family from being answered.
Do you realize that most commands in the
Newer Testament are written in the plural rather than the singular? Scriptural directives
are proclaimed to the collective
body of followers of Jesus.
True, each follower of Jesus owns his or
her loving responsibility to God to obey His Word in His
Spirit’s power. But because of their communal awareness as extended spiritual family, the early followers of Jesus were deeply
concerned with more than individual righteousness. As a
pulsating spiritual body they understood the need for corporate righteousness. They knew themselves to be mishpachah [mish-puh-KAH],
extended family who are responsible for one another as brothers
and sisters in fellowship.
Those of us who are the product of
Hellenized Christianity may think that we can hide our
“secret sins” and hurt only ourselves in so doing.
Not so! The Bible reiterates that unrepentance by one brings terrible consequences on the heads of others. In God’s sight, we are our brother’s
The Hebrew Scriptures recounted that God
prevented the entire nation of Israel from conquering the tiny
city of Ai because of the hidden sin of one man, Achan (see
Joshua 7). King David’s sin of counting his troops (see 2
Samuel 24) brought three days of plague upon all the people.
Jonah’s insubordinate retreat from God’s purposes
wreaked havoc on all the ship’s storm-tossed sailors (see
God upheld His same standard of
righteousness for the fledgling Church by taking the lives of
Ananias and Sapphira (see Acts 5:1-11). The consequences of
that deceptive couple’s disobedience thrust holy fear on
all who heard of their deaths, a reminder to not mistake
God’s love for toleration of sin.
And isn’t winking at sin epidemic in
western Christendom today because people fear being called judgmental or legalistic if
they confront the unrepentant as God’s Word calls for?
If you were among the earliest followers
of Jesus, you’d grasp right away the importance of
God’s standard for relational accountability. His
standard encompassed the responsibility to uphold “communal righteousness.” It was on the basis of communal responsibility for righteousness that Jesus could command the church to confront
brother [a fellow follower of
Jesus] sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you [without slandering him to anyone, even as a
“prayer request”]. If he listens to you, you have
won your brother over.
But if he will not listen, take one
or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established
by the testimony of two or three
witnesses.' [With the presence of
witnesses the situation becomes a “legal” matter to
be weighed according to God’s law.]
If he refuses to listen to them,
tell it to the church [the “called-out ones” who know him
well as his fellowship family in homes]; and if he refuses to
listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector [Recognize that he indeed is not walking as a follower
of Jesus and needs to turn from his sin and receive forgiveness
from our Father.] I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on
earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth
will be loosed in heaven.
Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for
you by My Father in heaven. [The ancient sages taught that
where two or three were studying God’s Word, the Holy
Spirit was present to help them apply it according to
For where two or three come together in My name [the principle of two or three witnesses to confirm
a matter as of God], there am I with them (Matthew 18:15-20; see also 2 Corinthians 13:1).
The above passage applies more
specifically to the close relationships of families and home
fellowships than to the larger congregation gathering. Why?
Because it takes ongoing personal
contact to recognize
unrepentant sin in someone else. This is especially true in the
case of attitudinal sins such as bitterness or unforgiveness.
need the personal courage and commitment to care whether a
brother or sister is walking in freedom or is burdened by
bondage to sin. Second, a home fellowship of committed, extended
spiritual family is small enough to recognize when
everyone’s prayers are going unanswered due to an
the Early Church, Chapter 11 “Promoting Righteousness”; Discussing How To Restore The Early Church,
Lesson 45; or our video, Jesus In Your Home: Fellowship In Homes:
If you hold onto unconfessed sin, you have
no fellowship with our Lord. You also have no true fellowship
with anyone else who is walking uprightly in the Spirit of
If we claim to
have fellowship with Him while we are walking in the darkness,
we are lying and not living out the truth. But if we are walking in the light,
as He is in the light, then we have fellowship
with each other, and the blood of
His Son Jesus purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:6,7).
The precondition of our fellowship with
each other is repentance and restoration of fellowship with our
Father and His Son, Jesus.
Our merciful and gracious God provides the
means to restore fellowship and righteousness when
they’ve been sundered by sin: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins and purify
us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
David, a man after God’s own heart,
was an adulterer and murderer. In order to restore fellowship
the Lord sent the prophet Nathan to rebuke him. His heart
broken and repentant before his God, David confessed his sin.
Forgiven and cleansed, his intimacy with God was restored.
The Prayers of the Unrepentant Are Not Heard By God
The ceiling might just as well be brass
for those who pray with unconfessed sin, presumptuously
expecting that God will answer them anyway.
Peter affirms righteousness as God’s prerequisite for
answering prayers: “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are
attentive to their prayer, but the
face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1
Even the uneducated blind man whom Jesus
healed reminded the haughty religious leaders of our
Father’s condition for answering prayer: “We know that God does not listen to
sinners. He listens to the godly
man who does His will” (John 9:31).
To reinforce righteousness as God’s
prerequisite for answered prayer, James refers back to Proverbs
15:29: “The Lord is far from
the wicked but He hears the prayer
of the righteous.” The following passage identifies the vital link
between confession and righteousness for today’s followers of Jesus and
their faith communities:
trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature
like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on
the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and
the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit (James 5:16-18).
Since Elijah “was a man just like us,” should we expect any less results from our prayers?
Is your faith community collectively walking the path of
righteousness and repentance so that you all are available as Elijah
was to pray when called upon? Through your answered prayer our Father
Confession and repentance within your home fellowship family are key to
maintaining ongoing prayer that brings divine an-swers:
Confession acknowledges that sin has indeed occurred.
Repentance prompts you to turn away from that area of
sin and turn toward our Father through Jesus to receive
forgiveness and restoration of fellowship, and to live
according to God’s way.
The family-style commitment of early
Church home gatherings bolstered communal responsibility for
keeping God’s commands. Jesus defined the nature of His
spiritual family when He declared, “For
whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister
and mother” (Matthew 12:50).
The earliest followers of Jesus were
well-acquainted with the character and awesomeness of the God
of the Hebrew Bible (the Older Testament). From His Word they
understood God’s critical conditions for answering the
prayers of His people: the righteousness that comes by His grace, and the trust in His
faithfulness that His Spirit gifts us with. Grateful awareness
that their righteousness came only
by the blood of Jesus impelled them
to live by His Word.
Our Father’s Blessing for the
Righteous: He Answers Their Prayers
The earliest followers of Jesus drew near
to God to worship Him as living
sacrifices and to have their prayers answered.
This may sound like a small point, but think about it:
It wasn’t the act of praying, but answered prayer that
brought miraculous responses and got the early called-out ones
The book of Acts begins with a small band
of disciples who “all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of
Jesus, and with His brothers” (Acts 1:14). When Peter and John were released from
the Sanhedrin’s detention (see Acts 4), they went
directly to their fellow believers to testify and to rejoice! “After they
prayed, the place where they were
meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31).
When these people prayed, something
happened! Miraculous answers to prayer abounded as they trusted
wholeheartedly in the One to Whom they prayed. Peter, chained
and imprisoned by Herod (see Acts 12), experienced miraculous
release from prison as a result of people interceding together
in a home: “When this had
dawned on him, he went to the house
of Mary the mother of John, also
called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying” (v.12).
Think about Paul and his numerous calls
for prayer: “Pray
continually” (1 Thessalo-nians 5:17); “And pray in the
Spirit on all occasions with all
kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and
always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18); “With
this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of
His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and
every act prompted by your faith” (2
Paul wasn’t asking that mere words
or rote repetition be lifted to God. He was earnestly seeking
the response that God would give in answer to the prayers of the righteous.
You Must Pray Unceasingly Because Prayer Is Spiritual Warfare
When the Holy Spirit confirms a matter for
you or your home fellowship family to pray about, you need to
intercede until the answer comes. Prayer in the early Church
entailed spiritual warfare. The example of the prophet Daniel from the
Hebrew Bible demonstrated that persevering
prayer and trust in a loving Father
were key to God’s response. When you pray, you’re
continuously entrusting your petition to our Father until His
response is received.
Scripture reports that God answered
Daniel the day he began to pray. A demonic delay hindered
the response from reaching him, however. Satanic forces opposed
the ministering angels who were bringing God’s answer
(see Daniel 10; Hebrews 1:14).
Urged on by unrelenting trust, righteous
Daniel prayed for twenty-one days until the heavenly messenger,
with the help of the archangel Michael, broke through with
God’s response. Don’t give up crying out to our
Father for that which accords with His will!
Centuries later, Jesus voiced the parable
of the persistent widow (see Luke 18:1-8) to encourage His
followers to pray without ceasing: “And
will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night?” (Luke 18:7).
Casual “one-shot petitions” are as fruitless as a
basketball that bounces off the rim. That’s more like
wishful thinking than trusting reliance on the All-Powerful to
Satan realizes the power of communal
righteousness combined with prayer that perseveres until the
answer is received. If he can’t hinder your prayer
through unconfessed sin, he’ll discourage prayer by
instilling doubt and unbelief that your Lord will ever answer
This is why the relational righteousness of your fellowship family in Jesus who are in close-knit
commitment to one another is critical: to encourage each person
to persist in prayer.
A home fellowship that continues to
experience God-sized answers to their prayers is strengthened
and encouraged by each answer. Answered prayer that brings
glory to our Father becomes communally addictive! Each
testimony of answered prayer is a bullet to pierce the
resistant armor of doubt and unbelief of someone you share the
gospel of Jesus with!
Through communal courage, your extended
spiritual family can fulfill Objective #3, Multiply Through Actively Sharing the Gospel. Answered prayer is like artillery that blazes
the way for the Gospel to be received by those who hear your
testimonies and marvel at our Father’s intervention.
Separate From the Unrepentant
Jesus warns with greatest seriousness both
the religious compromisers of His day as well as those today
who exalt themselves with self-motivated spiritual activities but bring down His
Many will say
to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive
out demons and perform many miracles? 'Then I will tell them
plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew
Jesus can’t allow into His sinless,
heavenly presence an unrepentant person who embraces wickedness
behind a veneer of spirituality.
Your responsibility to God out of love for
Him as well as love for your faith family calls for you to
confront evildoers in your fellowship with the reality of their
sin. If unrepentance continues, then those in Jesus must
separate from that person in order to uphold His righteous
character and standards.
Do pray in earnest desire that the
offender might indeed turn from darkness and be restored to
fellowship. (Naturally, as Paul wrote, that doesn’t mean
you shun those who don’t claim to follow Jesus. Otherwise
you’d have to leave the world! And how could you share
the Covenant good news with them if you don’t cultivate
When all human confrontation proves
fruitless in stirring the heart of an unrepentant person in
your home fellowship to repent, Paul’s instruction is
When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you
in spirit, and the power of our
Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature
may be destroyed and his spirit saved on
the day of the Lord. . .Don't you know that a little yeast works
through the whole batch of dough? (1
If you remain unrepentant and cling to
your sin, in time you’ll influence others to tolerate
unrighteousness or rationalize sin in their own lives. Handing
a person over to Satan is part of God’s mercy as an
important last chance so that his “sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on
the day of the Lord.”
Understanding this truth is crucial. If
you don’t confront the unrepentant in your fellowship family,
others will be influenced to harden their hearts and choose
lawlessness. Equally as bad, everyone will become victim to
unanswered prayer. Can you now appreciate the significance of
Home Fellowships Objective #2:
Develop Load-bearing Relationships
The Influence of Relationships
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as
some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Objective 2, developing and nurturing
relationships in Jesus who are willing and able to bear the
load for each other, is intimately connected to Objective 1,
upholding communal righteousness within your fellowship family.
Communal righteousness makes the second objective all the
Within the context of fellowship, the
Bible emphasizes that men and women are influenced either for
righteousness or for evil by the close relationships they keep. Right relationships can spur you on to greater love, courage, and
service for our Lord. Wrong
relationships can deter you from
the courage you need to accomplish His purposes in you and
Wisdom literature of Jesus’ time
advised people to consider carefully whom they chose to spend
time with — someone with whom you could mutually press on
in pleasing God:
“Associate with a godly person whom you know to be a keeper
of the commandments, who is like-minded with yourself, and who will grieve with you if you
If you want to grow in Christ’s
likeness, you need to pray that our Lord will unite you with
the very ones who will spur you on as devoted spiritual family!
The following verses depict the influence
your relationships can have on you.
“He who walks
with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs
“A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a
path that is not good” (Proverbs16:
“Do not make friends with a
hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or
you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared” (Proverbs
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a
sin, you who are spiritual should restore
him gently. But watch yourself, or
you also may be tempted” (Galatians
“Warn a divisive person once, and
then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with
him” (Titus 3:10).
“You were running a good race. Who
cut in on you and kept you from
obeying the truth? That kind of
persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. ‘A little yeast works
through the whole batch of dough’” (Galatians 5:7-9).
The Bible repeatedly contrasts the life of
the righteous with that of the unrighteous. The comparison in
Proverbs is particularly poignant: The
wicked man flees though no one pursues; but the righteous are as bold as a lion (Proverbs
28:1). The difference is easy to spot! Weigh the impact of this
verse on your own relationships:
Do those with whom you share
intimate fellowship stir you to fulfill our Father’s
goals and objectives? If yes, how?
Who in your fellowship draws you to
compromise with the ways and activities of the world? In the
time you’ve known these individuals, have they grown
closer to hungering for the Lordship of Jesus, or have you
become more lukewarm in your earnestness for Him? Explain.
Here’s a thought to anchor: The
extended spiritual family of a home fellowship is a spiritual warfare unit. Through the combined prayers of bold, righteous
people, much can be accomplished in the Kingdom of God. With
this in mind, many biblical examples warn against the negative
influence of companions who entertain unrighteousness when
courage is called for.
Interpersonal influence impacts for good or for evil those in a home
fellowship family who are prayerfully trusting God as they
engage in spiritual warfare. Heed this admonition to our
When you are about to go into battle, the priest
shall come forward and address the army. . .He shall say:
‘Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be
terrified or give way to panic before them.’ Then the
officers shall add, ‘Is any
man afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his
brothers will not become disheartened too’ (Deuteronomy 20:
The Bold Attract The Bold
Choosing to walk in righteousness helps
you to personally support one another so that you can
courageously carry out the other kingdom objectives and purposes of our Father.
Righteousness is the most potent of spiritual
“glues.” Next to love, boldly living as Jesus would
in the power of His Spirit is one of the most important gifts
we offer to both God and one another.
Biblical men of courage attracted one
another. Jonathan’s devoted trust in his Lord spurred his
armor-bearer to accompany him on a valorous attack against
their enemy. “Jonathan said
to his young armor-bearer, ‘Come, let’s go over to
the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the Lord
will act in our behalf. Nothing can
hinder the Lord from saving,
whether by many or by few’” (1 Samuel 14:6).
Marvel at what God does when He finds even
one or two bold people: “Then
Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They
found the Philistines in total
confusion, striking each other with
their swords” (1 Samuel
David, too, was consumed by courageous
regard for his God’s honor: “David
said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword
and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied’” (1 Samuel 17:45).
From the time David and Jonathan met,
these two valiant men were drawn to each other: “And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath
out of love for him, because he loved
him as he loved himself” (1 Samuel 20:17). The courage these men shared
produced an intense devotion that was eulogized by David: “I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me
was wonderful, more wonderful than
that of women” (1 Samuel 1:
People who are courageous for God attract
other courageous people to themselves. The prophet Samuel
describes the “men of
valor” who joined David.
Three mighty men in turn attracted thirty others who embodied
courage beyond the average (2 Samuel 23:8-12).
Now consider God’s perspective and
purpose for your home fellowship family in light of earliest
Righteousness produces holy
People who are valiant for God
attract others of courage.
Together those who live righteously
in Spirit-graced courage extend His Kingdom on earth.
The writer to the Hebrews unites courage with encouragement to
keep Christ-followers from stumbling into sin’s trap:
But Christ is faithful as a son over
God’s house. And we are His house if we hold on to our courage and
the hope of which we boast. See to
it, brothers, that none of you has
a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
one another daily, as long as it is
called Today, so that none of you
may be hardened by sin’s
deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we
had at first (Hebrews 3:6,12-14).
Who Are Your Spiritual Family?
“Now that you have purified
yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have
sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply from the
heart” (1 Peter 1:22).
Relational fruit is produced when
exten-ded spiritual family members uphold righteousness in
their daily lives in love-grounded, obedient trust. Your
relationships deepen through heart-prompted service to each
other. This supportive love in action is called
“load-bearing”, and is demonstrated by the 54 “one another” passages found in the Newer Testament.
In the Hebraic pattern of gathering
together in homes, believing households joined with other
families and individuals to fulfill God’s goals and
objectives as His beloved children. Each was strengthened in
these gatherings as brothers and
sisters, zealous to bear much fruit
in His Name. As you explore the biblical understanding of
“family”, you’ll better understand the
quality of load-bearing that is developed and nurtured in a
home fellowship family.
Two thousand years ago when Jesus walked
the rocky paths of Israel, families functioned much differently
than they do in the US today. Our Lord was building upon the
truths, promises and commands of the Older Testament as a continuum of what
He was revealing and expanding under the new covenant.
Because western society has become so
fragmented, the idea of “family” has de-volved into
a very small unit, be it a husband and wife with or without
children, to the worldly/pagan concepts of family that range
from homosexual unions to various individuals choosing to live
under the same roof.
[See Appendix B, “The Atomistic Family”, at the end of Part 2 for further description of the
state of current western culture.]
However, when you look at
“family” from the context of its meaning in the
biblical languages, your perspective is defined according to
the purposes of our Father. The mishpachah (mish-puh-KAH) we mentioned earlier refers to
an ever-growing circle of relatives in Jesus who share the same blood tie through HIS shed blood.
Broader in scope than the traditional
English meaning, Hebraic “family” reflected a
subdivision of a clan, a tribe or of the nation itself. The
Hebraic mishpachah was not simply an individual’s identity as
a parent or a child; family represented kinfolk collectively responsible for
producing Godly progeny. The whole
community had a stake in this relationship!
It takes tribal thinking to fully appropriate this
responsibility. Tribalism isn’t a primitive step backward
for God’s people today, but a vital step forward if you
yearn to recapture the relational intimacy that’s been
Now consider “family” as it
pertains to the covenant in blood that followers of Jesus share
through His atonement. From a spiritual sense, we share the same blood tie through the indwelling Spirit of Jesus with all who
are in covenant with Him!
The responsibility to help one another
walk uprightly rests in the communal context of spiritual family and clan. This relational responsibility is the primary means
by which the fellowship family fulfills the 54
“one-another” directives given to followers of
Jesus. In fact, almost all of 1050
commands in the Newer Testament are addressed to the plural
“you” — to a faith
community rather than to a specific
Remember that others in your home
fellowship are spiritual relatives—family you look forward to being with,
family with whom you’re developing an ever-deepening,
load-bearing relationship as you serve our King.
If you don’t see them as kinfolk you
really care about, your home fellowship will be shallow and
impersonal. Your times together will degenerate into religious
form and ritual, or social entertainment. Without loving
intimacy, you’ll fail to multiply through bearing witness
to the power of the Gospel to change lives.
No Spirit love = no transforming life.
Supports Personal Responsibility,
Out of relational commitment to each
other, the extended spiritual family in a home fellowship must always support the home of each person as the basic building
block for spiritual development.
Your home fellowship should never try to compensate for
irresponsibility in individuals or families who have no desire
to wholeheartedly to serve King Jesus.
A home fellowship is a faith community of
individuals and families who are committed
to Jesus and to one another. Collectively, you’re as strong as the
weakest home in your fellowship. If
an individual or family are choosing to live irresponsibly,
it’s appropriate and biblical to come alongside to help
those who are weaker to develop reliability. But never step in
to take on responsibility that is rightly theirs.
Unconfronted irresponsibility will burgeon
into an ever increasing burden on others, creating and
increasing apprehension in your fellowship family. Appeasing
irresponsibility perpetuates the
sin that has fed it, thereby
hindering your prayers from being answered. And dependence on
our God to answer prayer as each of
us walks in holiness brings about
the kind of testimony that furthers His Kingdom.
Relationships Through Confron-tation for more on confronting issues that need to be
addressed so that apprehension doesn’t rule.]
Home Fellowship Objective #3:
Multiply Through Actively Sharing The Gospel Of The Covenant
“Then Jesus came to them and said,
‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to
Me. Therefore [as you’re going] make disciples of all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey
everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you
always, to the very end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Our Father’s heart aches for the
lost. He yearns for them to grieve over their separation from
Him because of their sin and respond to His Spirit’s
loving call to repent. He extends both the opportunity and the
power to turn from their sin in humility, and to come to Him
for forgiveness and reconciliation through Jesus’
YOU and those in your extended-family
faith community are the representatives of Jesus in the flesh.
YOU are the “Good News with skin on” to bear
witness to what you’ve seen and heard in His loving
power! Your local “arena of operations” is your
community, workplace and neighborhood.
[To learn more about the extended
spiritual family of home fellowship, see Restoring the Early Church,
Chapters 11 and 12; Pastoring By
Elders, Chapters 13-15; and Section
4: Home Fellowship, in our Jesus In
Your Home video series.]
To get started in sharing the Good News
— or to build upon what you’ve already been
doing to reach others for Jesus — consider the proven
suggestions below. As testified by evangelist Ed Silvoso, this
approach is Scriptural and has worked wonders in neighborhoods
throughout Argentina. Watch our Lord show Himself strong as He
works in and through you and your fellowship family!
1. Create perimeters of holiness around
each home in your faith community.
Remember that the first objective for
fellowship in the face-to-face environment of a home is to
uphold righteousness through His Spirit and walk in fellowship
with our Father and His Son, Jesus. Again, the early Church
understood that God answers the prayers of the righteous.
Upholding righteousness is the responsibility of each home!
From our Father’s vantage point,
much of the Church today represents disjointed, self-serving
POW camps which pose no threat to Satan’s domain. When
you create a perimeter of righteousness around the homes in
your faith community, you put Satan on guard. The enemy all too
clearly recognizes that through righteous, effective prayer,
our Father’s will can be accomplished and His Kingdom
expanded through His Spirit-empowered children.
Why is it vital that you and your family
erect perimeters of righteousness?
Perimeters secure a sanctuary of
spiritual refuge and nurture in your home. Righteousness
produces peace among your family members, and peace is the
necessary environment for love to grow.
Those within the perimeters experience unity as
they pay the price of forfeiting their own inclination to sin
in order to please their Lord and grow in the character of
By upholding communal righteousness
within the perimeters, prayers will
be answered and testimony to His
faithfulness will pour forth.
It’s important for each person or
family to establish halakhahs (HAH-luh-kuz) of righteousness for their home. Halakhahs are the specific applications of obedience
you’ve established through prayer and Bible
[For more on applying God’s Word to
your everyday decisions, see our book Christian Halakhahs.]
When you’ve determined the biblical
parameters for yourself and your household, scrutinize your
home for any unholy items or practices. Sinful reading or
internet materials, offensive television programs, unholy music,
even occult relics can hinder your intimacy with God and the
effectiveness of your prayer. So will alcohol or drug abuse,
rage, or excessive self-indulgence of any kind.
Prayerfully examine your attitudes and
behavior toward each other in your family. Is your home a sanctuary and refuge of love and peace
for each family member and visitor? If
not, identify and confess your sins, and turn away from them to
the choices our Lord Jesus would have you make so that
righteousness is the hallmark of your home.
2. Guard your perimeter to protect it from
Guarding the perimeter of your home calls
for diligence, particularly on the part of fathers and elders.
When holy perimeters have been established, Satan will try to
infiltrate them by any scheme or temptation possible. Sin will seek you out like never before as an
active demonic weapon. Satan has
been watching the powerful effect of righteousness among
Jesus’ followers for generations. He won’t sit back
without trying to seduce you individually or collectively into
sin or alienated relationships.
Satan’s most common weapon of war
against followers of Jesus is unforgiveness —bitterness. That’s why Jesus
warned, “For if you forgive men
when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14). That
seed of unforgiveness can fester into a cancerous root of
bitterness if you don’t confront it right away. By not confronting
unforgiveness, you’re welcoming into your fellowship
family someone whom our Father hasn’t forgiven.
People who are plagued by ongoing
bitterness may appear to be needy and ask for your help. But in
time they’ll defile others in your faith community
through their refusal to renounce that unforgiveness and walk
in holiness, without which they won’t
see the Lord (see Hebrews 12:14).
That’s why this command is so forcefully worded:
Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing
up cause trouble, and by this many become
defiled (Hebrews 12:15).
God has offered the power of His grace for us to
forgive in the manner through which He forgives. When a person
chooses instead to arrogantly hold onto bitterness against
another, he is nullifying the forgiveness our Father has
extended to him. And if you step in to listen to one-sided
slander shared by a bitter person against another, both you and the bitter
individual become a source of defilement to others.
How can you recognize bitter people? They
are generally so self-focused that they have little room for
the needs and interests of others. Because of past experiences,
they resent any form of correction, even if it’s lovingly
shared. Not having tasted restoration with the ones they blame
or hate, bitter individuals agitate
others who are in troubled
relationships rather than encouraging them to seek forgiveness
[For more, see the April 2001 Mishpachah Yeshua newsletter, “The Preeminence of Jesus”; also
Lifebyte 40. Do You Confront For Jesus? Or, Placate For Satan?]
The world’s way is to retaliate. But
God urges His people to respond otherwise so that your response
will align with His gracious purpose and will:
Do not be conformed to this
world. Keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what He wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed. (Romans 12:2).
Notice that it’s within your mind that you
formulate the thoughts that will determine your actions. Be
vigilant in your thought life! “We
take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5b). If you give Satan a
foothold from which to operate, he can use you for his evil
purposes and schemes.
When you’re captive to Satan’s
will, you’re not available to love and serve God. People
who choose to cling to their bitterness, or any sin for that
matter, need to “come to
their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has
taken them captive to do his will” (2
[For more on dealing with captivity to
spiritual forces, see our book Demolishing
Don’t underestimate how critical a
secure perimeter is for effective spiritual warfare. If you are
an elder leading a home fellowship family, encourage your flock
by example as well as word to walk in holiness, forgiveness and
repentance. Continue to emphasize that each person make a habit
of cleansing their homes of unholy items and practices.
Wherever you detect tension or
apprehension in marriages and other relationships within your
extended spiritual family, visit them in their home. Come
alongside them with your spouse to help them restore intimacy before Satan can
establish a foothold.
How essential to be ever mindful of
personal righteousness and the power of prayer to release
God’s intervention! If an elder is diligent and vigilant,
then the faith community he’s gatekeeping will function
from a position of strength. The perimeter will be secure.
3. Expand your perimeter.
In keeping with our Father’s goal to
reconcile the lost, expand your perimeter. Pray for your
neighborhood, school, workplace. Establish
personal relationships with
unbelievers to reach their hearts. Those in your faith
community should be using their
homes as the primary place to
represent Jesus to their world around them.
This is where outreach comes into play as you invite unbelieving
acquaintances to your home to spend time socially with some of
your home fellowship family. Together you’re getting to
know them and showing them the joy of relating to one another because you care.
Inviting a person into your home
is one of the most powerful actions
you can take to affirm him or her.
There is no biblical basis for bringing
unbelievers into your home fellowship worship times in the hope
that they might get saved. Your
relationship with that
individual is the key for his eyes to be opened to the holiness
of God as he sees Jesus working in and through you by your
As your relationship with him grows, you
can keep praying that God will be working through encounters and
circumstances in his life so that he’ll see his need for
forgiveness through Jesus and respond to the Spirit’s
beckoning. Those personal times of sharing with him outside the
fellowship gatherings will prepare your curious friend to
become a sincere seeker. During this time you can share the
powerful truth of the Gospel of the Covenant with him.
When your unbelieving friend yields to
Jesus as Lord of his life, the effort you’ve expended to
befriend him will be even more appreciated when you can share
true spiritual fellowship. People need to be connected to other individuals,
not to a congregation per se. A home fellowship family is a
series of inter-connected relationships, and your friend will
be initially connected to the others through you.
Jesus calls everyone who is known by His
Name to bring sinners to repentance and reconciliation with His
Father so they can live in covenant union with His Spirit. Relationships
with unbelievers help you establish beachheads in enemy
territory as you pierce the darkness with His light. To wage
Make a prayer list of the
unbelievers with whom each person in your faith community has
contact and is burdened for their salvation and life in Jesus.
As a faith community, intercede for
each unsaved person on a regular basis. Weaken the power of the
enemy through prayer for those people. Ask our Father to bring
about the encounters and circumstances in their lives that will
begin to incline their hearts toward Jesus and respond to His
As a follower of Jesus, you have
authority over the unclean spirits that will try to interfere
with the salvation of the ones for whom you are praying. As you
pray, bind the spirits in the name of Jesus. You can experience
the same faith-filled confidence as your forefathers in the
Kingdom: “Lord, even the
demons submit to us in Your name!” (Luke 10:17).
If you have the courage, ask your
faith family to put a sign in their homes to indicate that
theirs is a house of prayer, and that you will pray for any of
the needs in their neighborhood. Then be sure to follow through
Ask each fellowship family to keep a
prayer notebook with four columns in it: date, petitioner,
prayer request, date answered. Have each one ask the neighbors
they encounter for specific prayer needs that they can note
down and pray about. (They should urge those neighbors to let
them know when and how the prayer was answered so they can
write that in the notebook and give our Lord the praise!)
As your faith family walks through their
neighborhood, they can intercede for these people and renounce
in the authority of Jesus the spirits that interfere with our
Father’s purposes. Consider the same plan for your
workplace and the community groups and activities in which you
4. Destroy Satan’s perimeter by multiplying your
Any goal that doesn’t include provision for new faith
communities to be formed is an exercise in selfishness and,
ultimately, futility. Plan ahead for new faith families that
could accommodate new followers of Jesus.
Our Father, in the name of His Son Jesus,
has given His people the power and authority to plant new faith
communities. Shep-herds of extended spiritual families need to
be purposely training successors to protect, train, nurture and
equip the new flocks that are birthed.
The size of a home fellowship is limited
by the elders’ ability to render account to God for the
people. “Obey the ones
leading you and submit. They keep
watch over your souls as men who must give an account. Obey them so that they may do this with joy,
not groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13:17).
Home fellowship families which become too
large foster impersonal forms of control. Rather than leading
and nurturing brothers and sisters, the elders see themselves
as managing a group.
As your faith communities multiply, they
can remain affiliated and coordinated through the relationships
of the shepherds and the friendships that exist among the
believers in the multiplied groups.
Keep in mind that as your faith community
expands, you are developing clans of extended spiritual family
or kinfolk. The different home fellowships can gather
corporately for any number of purposes, be they social and/or
spiritual, just as extended families do.
Revisit these four steps:
creating your perimeter,
expanding that perimeter,
destroying Satan’s perimeter
Then you can be confident that the roots
will go deep and the believers will be nurtured in safety to
become fruit-bearers themselves in the Kingdom of God and bring
Summary of Part 4
The biblical goals and objectives unfolded
in Part 4 can become part of your life only as you pray and discuss them with others. The objectives must extend beyond your intellect
into your heart’s motivation so that you’ll yearn to live as
Kingdom people and to glorify our Father.
When you’re concerned that with
loving-trust you’re walking in obedience to our
Father’s will, you overflow with desire to uphold
personal as well as communal righteousness. This is your vital
link through the Spirit with both God and with one another.
Habitual unrighteousness is like severing your own aorta. You
can’t go on living!
As many others have sadly discovered,
don’t just go out and try to find a group that’s
living out our Father’s goals and objectives. You, and
hopefully a few others, are going to have to prayerfully see
these goals and objectives become part of your own lives.
Our Father isn’t recruiting people
into the Hebraic Restoration who are interested in just teaching these
truths. The truths He’s revealing have to be lived in your
own life before you can share them with others!
While we’ve been writing our books,
articles and newsletters, we’ve had to pray about and discuss how to apply the different things we present. It was during this process
that we found ourselves being changed — first in heart, then in
action. Doing the research in Israel on the early Church was
one thing. Just uncovering historic information didn’t
change us. But as we wrote about these restoration truths, our
much-needed prayer-based discussion caused us to apply the foundational principles
of the earliest Church to our own lives.
Obedient trust in
our beloved Lord Jesus that’s walked in righteous
relationships mirrors the lifestyle of our forefathers which
brought such glory to our Father. You may not initially be able
to give every goal or objective the level of commitment our
Father desires. But don’t overlook any of these
objectives. They all work together. By His grace, over time
you’ll find, as we have, that they become as natural as
And remember, prayerfully discuss with
your loadbearing relationships that which you read!
Review the four goals and purposes
for fellowshipping together:
1. Your fellowship with others must spur you on to glorify our Father through praise, worship, and a lifestyle
that yields testimony of praise to Him.
2. Your fellowship with one another should
result in progressive growth in
Christ-like character in each
3. Your fellowship family must provide the
corrective/confrontational means to assist each other to enter the narrow gate.
4. Your fellowship family must strive to extend the Kingdom of God on earth — pursuing the lost so that they too
may enter Covenant with our Father.
Does your fellowship family meet
these criteria that are dear to our Lord’s heart? If no,
in what ways does it fall short? Discuss which purposes the
Spirit is stirring you now to walk in by His grace.
Evaluate the effectiveness of your
fellowship family in serving the Kingdom interests of our Lord
through these objectives.
1. Uphold communal righteousness.
2. Develop load-bearing relationships.
3. Multiply through actively sharing the Gospel.
4. Prepare succeeding generations to follow Jesus. (See Part 5.)
How are you personally, and your
fellowship family collectively, living these objectives? In
what ways are you and they falling short? Discuss how the
Spirit of Christ in you would have you respond to each of
We encourage you and those you fellowship
with as extended spiritual family to seriously discuss and pray
about any resistance to carry out your Kingdom responsibilities
in the grace He’s given you. You don’t want to show
up at the Judgment Throne and give our gracious King excuses
why His purposes and will weren’t your responsibility.
Through your prayerful discussion
you’re bringing Jesus into your midst to guide you:
“I tell you the truth, whatever you
bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose
on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you
by My Father in heaven. For where two
or three come together in My name, there am I with them” (Matthew
Your prayerful discussion with the intent
to apply and carry out the will of our Lord is what will enable
you to fulfill your part of expanding His Kingdom in the power
of His Spirit.