I will no longer attempt to fit into a Constantinian way of church. I am no longer addicted to the pulpit. I think this is one of the greatest breakthroughs of my life. We want to resolve everything from the pulpit; we like the prestige, the reaction of folks, people shouting amens, etc. People just seats there and listen; nobody dares to interrupt or ask any questions; Wednesday after Wednesday and Sunday after Sunday… the same thing!
Meeting at home is not a supplement to a church; it is not what you do in the beginning of your ministry until you have enough people and enough money to buy a building; meeting at home is the way. I have been knowing this for over a decade but lacked the passion and conviction to pursue it. I thank God for my pastor, Andrés Briceño Ruiz and for the prophetic anointing that confirmed that the time for me to step out and do what I am called to do is now.
Now, let me make this clear, I don’t have a new vision; I am not doing anything original here; I am simply going back to the orthodoxy of this thing called church; I am going back to the original way. The apostles were not perfect either, but they gave us the perfect theology and doctrine, and this is our focus.
I am not perfect; I do not have all the answers; but I know that this institutionalized way of doing church is not of God. I don’t care if you have been doing church for 10, 20, 40 or 100 years. If time in ministry is the standard for us to keep doing what we are doing, then the Catholic church is the standard, but we know the Catholic church lost the gospel over a thousand years ago.
On Tuesdays my home is open to minister to the Hispanics. I did not look for this; it started with a couple in trouble; ready to sign the divorce papers. I started meeting with them in a weekly basis and then invited them to come over to have our Acts 2:42 gatherings. They invited others and it became a weekly thing also.
On Thursdays I started opening my house to minister to the English-speaking people. God started moving from the beginning. We eat together, we fellowship, we sing together, and we dig into God’s Word. My disciples ask questions, and they are allowed to comment. They confess sins, they confess struggles, and we pray for one another.
During the rest of the week, I meet with folks individually as needed, to minister to their souls, to engage in deliverance, pastoral guidance, etc. Oh, there is so much to do, but I look forward to doing this work. As Pastor Andrés told me, you should not have a church congregation of more than 25 people. If you are truly ministering to their souls, there is plenty of work to do.
I will make disciples; I will raise elders and deacons and I will be ordaining folks to open their own homes and for them to make disciples and so on. No names and no advertisement. We will see God bringing folks through our spheres of influence as we are guided by His Spirit. For example, my English Acts 2:42 gathering started last week with three of my coworkers.
I am not the only one doing this. God is not changing anything; He is getting us back to the Book of Acts, to the simplicity and power of the modus operandi of the church described in Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (NIV)
- Devoted to the apostles’ teachings.
- Devoted to fellowship.
- Devoted to breaking bread together and,
- Devoted to praying together.
I no longer go to a building; I am the church. I no longer preach from a pulpit. I gather in a circle in my living room with my laptop on my lap allowing a discussion to flow, confessions, fears, traumatic experiences, struggles, etc.
I want to protect the privacy of my disciples, but I have heard some very deep testimonies and confessions; folks crying out for help, folks that sat in churches for years and are told that they should be ok because they are now saved. They sit in churches week after week, but still secretly struggling with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress from an awful experience in the past. What a joy is to work with these folks one-on-one and see God delivering them!
I do regret causing confusion and hurting people alone the way. As I said before, when Jonah ran from his ministry, others were affected. I did the same thing and for that I am truly sorry. But I am moving forward; lessons learned!