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Copyright ÂŠ 2012 Issachar Ministries UK
First published Autumn 1989 by PWM Team Ministries Under the title The Biblical Basis of Whole Body Ministry ISBN 1 872395 10 4 and reprinted 1992 by PWM e-publishing version with further revisions under a new title Autumn 2012 by Issachar Ministries
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Issachar Ministries UK.
Biblical quotations are from the New International Version ÂŠ International Bible Society 1973, 1978, 1984 unless otherwise stated.
Published by Issachar Ministries UK, Moggerhanger Park, Bedford MK 44 3RW
The Community of Believers The Community The Community of Believers of Believers
The Community Chapter
THE COMMUNITY OFOF BELIEVERS THE THE COMMUNITY COMMUNITY BELIEVERS OF BELIEVERS Introduction: Why Look at the Biblical Basi Community of Believers?
- - then now then - and then and now and now 1 The Community of Believers
Monica HillHill Hill Monica 2 ‘IMonica Will Pour Out My Spirit’
thenContents and now
Contents Contents 3 Status in the New Testament Church
Chapter Chapter Chapter
Page Page Page
Introduction: Why Look at the Biblical Basis of the Introduction: Introduction: Why Look Why at Look the at Biblical the Biblical Basis of Basis theof the 5 Strategy and Structure
Community of Believers? Community Community of Believers? of Believers?
1 The Community of Believers 6 Testament 6 Implications of the New Teach 1 The 1Community The Community of Believers of Believers 6 6
2 ‘I2Will Pour OutOut MyMy Spirit’ 12 Future 7 Christian Action in the - the Ideal C ‘I Will Spirit’ 12 2 Pour ‘I Will Pour Out My Spirit’ 12 3 Status in the New Church 3 Status in the New ChurchChurch 3 Status in Testament theTestament New Testament 4 Leadership 4 Leadership 4 Leadership 5 Strategy Structure 5 Strategy and Structure 5 and Strategy and Structure
17 Republished for Issachar 23 23 23 29 29
6 Implications of the New Testament Teaching 6 Implications of the New Teaching 6 Implications of theTestament New Testament Teaching 35 35
7 Christian Action in Action the Future - the Ideal Church? 43 43 7 Christian Action in the Future - the Ideal Church? 7 Christian in the Future - the Ideal Church?
Republished forfor Issachar Ministries Republished Republished Issachar for Issachar Ministries Ministries
The Community of Believers
The Community of Believers
Introduction to the e-version
Why Look at the Biblical Basis of the Community Why of Look at th Believers in the Early Church? Beli Background and Change
Background and Change
The original version of this booklet was written in 1989 with the titleThe Theoriginal Biblicalversion of th Basis of Whole Body Ministry. It took this title because at the time interest Basis ofinWhole Body Min church growth was at its height and there was considerable optimism church as both growth was at its renewal and planting were on the agenda of many churches. There was renewal a and planting we growing recognition that if the gospel was to be passed on to the next growing recognition tha generation, change was needed in the church and new ideas which were generation, totally change was biblical had to be introduced. Many of those churches who were open biblical to had to be introdu making fresh starts from a biblical basis, especially new churches, were making fresh starts from experiencing rapid growth. The situation today is very diﬀerent but experiencing the need for rapid grow insights and resources on this subject has probably never been greater. insights and resources o
At that time, those who specialised in church growth were particularly At that time, those who interested in discovering both the Biblical and Kingdom principles and interested the in discovering factors that encouraged growth in all dimensions. I count myself among factors that that encouraged number and we were not exclusively interested in numerical growthnumber but in those and we were no factors that promoted the spiritual health and strength of a fellowship. factors We that also promoted th put an emphasis upon highlighting the biblical principles underlying church put an emphasis upon h growth particularly studying the life and development of the Early Church growthasparticularly stud recorded in the New Testament. recorded in the New Tes
In the mid 1990s the British Church Growth Association, of which I was In the themid 1990s the Bri Director, formed a close alliance with Christian Schwartz in GermanyDirector, through formed the a close European Church Growth Association of which we were founder members. European Church Growt Christian was at that time developing a new concept in church growth Christian – ‘Natural was at that tim Church Development’. It was still at the research stage in Europe with Church a Development’. It concentration on the health of a church and I carried out the pilot research concentration in on the he the UK with a number of churches across the nation. It was exciting the to be UKable with a number of to see conﬁrmation of a number of the conclusions relevant to this study, to see conﬁrmation of a particularly on the positive roles of enabling and empowering leadership particularly in our on the positi churches. churches. The Current Situation
The Current Situation
the world, Although today the church is growing exponentially in other parts ofAlthough today the chur the situation in the UK shows very little of the optimism that we hadthe twenty situation ﬁve in the UK s 3
The Community of Believers
years ago. Then, both renewal and church planting were major factors but now they continue in a minor way. Over the past decade most of the denominational churches have been in steep decline and many of the newer churches have stalled as their degree of institutionalisation has increased. So the situation we now face is very diﬀerent from that of the 1980s which was the background for the original text.
I have therefore both revised and added to the original text to take account of the changed circumstances that face us today as well as changing the title to a more appropriate one. In the course of working on this revision it has become apparent that this exposition and biblical study has even greater signiﬁcance in today’s British situation where increased secularisation, and the growth of Islam, presents multiple challenges to the gospel. The church is being shaken and faces challenges today at many levels as it is being marginalised with a voice that has less and less inﬂuence in the life of the nation. The Christian moral basis on which Britain has depended for many years, is being, or has been, laid aside and forgotten.
But the church is not alone in experiencing diﬃcult times; all our social institutions are being shaken. The collapse of Lehman Bros in 2008 and the banking crisis marked a new phase in the economy that had been steadily changing the course of history in the western nations since the beginning of the 1960s. The widespread breakdown of family and marriage and the rapid and radical changes in cultural norms has led, over the past ﬁfty years, to fundamental changes in the personal and corporate values of the nation. The exposure of malpractice among Members of Parliament in handling their expenses and allowances, followed by a succession of exposures of non-ethical and fraudulent ﬁnancial practices in the City of London, caused shock around the world.
But Britain is not the only nation being shaken today. The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ has changed the face of Middle Eastern politics, while the currency crisis in the Eurozone has had worldwide repercussions in ﬁnancial systems. Even the weather patterns in many nations have been shaken. Extreme conditions, climate change, tsunamis, earthquakes and storms have caused disruption, loss of life and suﬀering to millions. All these events have combined to create a highly unstable social situation that has aﬀected every nation and the processes of change appear to be accelerating rather than slowing down.
Today we live in a global village so that changes in one region aﬀect all others. In Britain all our social institutions and our moral values have, for many centuries, been based upon biblical principles. The rapid progress of secularisation has undermined these values with the consequence that the foundations of the 4
The Community of Believers
The Community of Believers
nation are crumbling. The question asked by the Psalmist is highly relevant for Christians and especially for church leaders today: “When the foundations are being destroyed what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11.3). Why Look
at th Beli
The study of the Biblical Community of Believers, which requires every member of the Body of Christ to be actively involved in helping to provide answers to this question, could help give a deeper understanding of God’s desires for his church. It could have a strategic eﬀect on the life of the nation at this time. Background and Change
The original version of th Basis of Whole Body Min church growth was at its renewal and planting we growing recognition tha generation, change was biblical had to be introdu making fresh starts from experiencing rapid grow insights and resources o
At that time, those who interested in discovering factors that encouraged number and we were no factors that promoted th put an emphasis upon h growth particularly stud recorded in the New Tes
In the mid 1990s the Bri Director, formed a close European Church Growt Christian was at that tim Church Development’. It concentration on the he the UK with a number of to see conﬁrmation of a particularly on the positi churches. The Current Situation
Although today the chur the situation in the UK s 5
Monica Hill wrote the main part of a mini-book on Whole Body Ministry when she was Editor of the “Church Growth Digest” and Executive Officer of the British Church Growth Association. It was updated in 2012 to form part of the developing understanding of the Purposes of God for the future in Britain and it was agreed that it should be used as a pilot for the future production of electronic publishing by Issachar Ministries. During Monica’s 25 years of leading the British Church Growth Association she was also Chairman of the European Church Growth Association, for both of which she has edited and published many books. She was a Contributing Editor to the magazine Prophecy Today and a Trustee of Prophetic Word Ministries. She has lectured in Community Studies and Church Growth as well as in Inner-City Ministry where most of her practical experience was developed. During a period of ministry in the East End of London with her husband, Clifford, she was responsible for re-opening three redundant churches. During that time she authored “Rich Christians Poor Christians”, and together with Clifford, “And They Shall Prophesy!” both of which draw on experiences from their international ministry. They have co-authored a number of subsequent books – see the website of Issachar Ministries www.issacharministries.co.uk .
e-published by Issachar Ministries UK ISBN 978 0 95735 220 9