ARE YOU JUST A BABY HUEY?

Last Updated : 11/11/98

My Personal Vision, Disillusionment With Organized Religion,
A Living Faith And Works, Dead And Blind Churches, Tradition
New Wine In New Bottles, Materialistic Churches, Start Your
Own Church In The Home, Are You A Baby Huey?, Spiritual
Growth Or Spiritual Stagnation?, Breastfed Babies, Nursing
Fathers And Mothers, Our Goal - Spiritual Progress, Doers Of
The Word, One Small Step, By His Power, Testimony Of A Child
Bear Fruit Or Be Burned, The Lord, Lord Group, Called One By
One, Come And See!, Potlucks, Sharing All Things, Scheduling
Your Fellowship, A Family Atmosphere, Persecution, When You
Get Too Big, Rotate Your Place Of Fellowship, Divide The
Flock, Quality Flocks And Not Quantity, Divide Like An Amoeba




In my article 'My Personal Vision And Your Challenge', I
endeavor to explain to my readers, my main motivation behind
this current ministry for the Lord. As those of you who have
already read that article will know, aside from my personal
desire to be a shepherd who faithfully feeds his spiritual
flock with the Word of God through the many articles I have
written, as well as through our international electronic
mail ministry, it is also my vision, and my hope, that some
of you, my readers, will be motivated and encouraged to do
more for the Lord in your personal lives. To assist you in
doing this, I have written a number of articles which deal
with discipleship and Early Church organization, such as
'The Parable Of The Sower: Salvation And Service', as well
as the two-part article 'Where Are The First Century
Churches?'. This current article will follow that same
theme.

At the beginning of this month, I performed the first ever,
mailing list purge. One of the reasons for this purge, was
to hopefully reduce our numbers to only those members who
possess a real interest in my writings, as well as a sincere
desire to participate in our online fellowship. Since then,
I have been slowly preparing these interested members for a
question which the Lord laid on my heart to ask them since
some time ago. The first step I took towards preparing list
members for this question, was to post directly to the list,
the aforementioned article; that is, 'My Personal Vision And
Your Challenge'. Since that time, among other topics, we
have discussed the differences between on-fire churches and
fellowships and dead ones, spiritual growth beyond organized
religion, witnessing and winning souls for the Lord, and our
proper relationship with the world. Having set the stage, I
then asked a theoretical question which would lead to my
main question; although I didn't tell anyone this at the
time.

The theoretical question which I posed to my readers was the
following: Assuming that you all lived in the same town, and
assuming that one day I came to that town, and began a home
fellowship, how many of you would be willing to leave your
current church or fellowship in order to join mine? As I
pointed out to list members, this was only being posed as a
theoretical question; afterall, we all don't live in the
same city or town; and unless the Lord shows me otherwise, I
don't have any plans for going to anyone's town in order to
begin a fellowship. As those of you who are members of our
online fellowship will know, like myself, we have members
who have become quite disappointed with organized religion.
Some of them are tired of the widespread hypocrisy, the
materialistic attitude, the spiritual coldness, the rigid
legalism, and the obvious lack of doing what the Scriptures
teach us to do as bona fide members of His Church.

Despite the fact that they feel this way towards organized
religion, these people have found renewed faith in the Lord,
and renewed faith in His Word via this ministry. They have
greatly enjoyed, and have been greatly blessed by our online
fellowship. To even share the many positive responses I have
received since this ministry began, would require a lot of
space; but that is not the main emphasis of this article.
Being as some of these list members have been with us for
over a year now, I believe that recently, the Lord has been
leading me to ask them a very important question, of which
the previous question was merely a precursor. In fact, the
following comments are really directed to anyone reading
this article, who feels disillusioned with their current
church or fellowship. When the Lord presented this idea to
me one night several weeks ago, I must admit that I was
greatly inspired by the possibilities. Here then is the main
point I wish to emphasize in this article. I hope that you
will take it to heart.

If you answered 'yes' to the previous theoretical question,
then you must obviously feel that by joining my fellowship,
you would derive more spiritual benefit from it. A positive
response to my question also indicates to me that you must
believe in and accept to some undetermined degree, the
things which I have been teaching you. If that is the case,
and I can only assume that it is, then allow me to ask you
something: If you are so dissatisfied with your current
church or fellowship, to the point that you are even willing
to consider joining another one, albeit, a theoretical one,
what are you still doing there? Why haven't you done
anything to better your situation?

If all your current church is doing is merely preaching the
same dead message day after day, week after week, month
after month, and year after year; if your church is full of
nothing but spiritually retarded people who don't want to go
beyond sitting on their rumps and hearing the weekly sermon,
but never really doing anything about it; why are you still
there? A church or fellowship that talks about faith, but
never really puts their words into action by showing their
good works, is a dead church; just as the Apostle James
wrote in the following verse:

"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith
without works is dead also." (James 2:26)

As we all know, this is the very same message which our Lord
Himself proclaimed during His famous Sermon on the Mount. In
the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, the Lord said in
part:

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an
hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put
it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light
unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine
before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify
your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)

God wants the world to see our good works; and as I point
out clearly in other articles, which I hope you will read,
those good works are being faithful witnesses and soul
winners for Jesus Christ. It is preaching the Gospel of
Salvation in some way, to all who will hear. If you have
realized that your church or fellowship is simply going
through the motions like the dead church of Sardis in the
Book of Revelation, then why are you even still with them?
Do you enjoy being a part of a dead, rotten, putrid corpse?
The Lord Himself said through the Vision and the Prophecy
give to the Apostle John:

"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These
things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the
seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that
thou livest, and art dead." (Revelation 3:1)

As the Lord says above, and as I have pointed out before,
maybe some of those churches appear to be alive, but they
are really dead corpses which are going through the final
twitches. Jesus said to let the spiritually dead bury the
physically dead, and that if the blind lead the blind, they
will both fall into the ditch. Instead of being just like
them, what did the Lord say to the man who was interested in
following Him? Consider the following verses:

"But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury
their dead." (Matthew 8:22)

"Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go
thou and preach the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:60)

"And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the
blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?"
(Luke 6:39)

Notice our Lord's clear response. He said to the man 'Follow
me...go thou and preach the kingdom of God'. Did our Lord
instruct us to remain with those dead corpses? Not anywhere
that I can tell. Believe me, there have been some people who
have honestly and sincerely tried to infuse new life into
some of those old dead corpses, but sadly, the majority have
discovered that their honest attempts to rekindle the fire
in their church or fellowship, has only resulted in harsh
resentment from the spiritual overlords, as well as from
their flocks, who like things just the way they are. Like
the Scribes and the Pharisees of old, they have their laws,
their church traditions, their doctrines, and their routine
which they don't want anyone to challenge. Such traditions
are sacred; they are hallowed; and you better not mess with
them if you know what is good for you. If you do, those whom
you currently believe to be sheep, might just some day show
their real fangs; and you just might be their victim! Jesus
Himself likened it to trying to pour new wine into old wine
bottles:

"Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the
bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles
perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are
preserved." (Matthew 9:17)

In like manner, if your current church is only interested in
the false gospel of the 'abundant life', in materialism, in
mammon, in 'financial blessings' as many of these modern
preachers refer to them, in maintaining the status quo, in
making a name for themselves, then you would be better off
leaving and starting a fellowship of your own, if there is
truly no hope for change. As some of you may know, this was
the very same problem which was being experienced by the
church in Laodicea in Asia Minor during the First Century.
Notice our Lord's words of warning to that church:

"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I
would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art
lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of
my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with
goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou
art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and
naked:" (Revelation 3:15-17)

As I point out in the article 'Are You A Burning Ember For
The Lord?', if your present church or fellowship is dead,
and you personally are truly a burning ember for the Lord,
then get out and start your own fellowship in your own home!
Look for people who share the same love for the Lord, for
His Word, and who have a burden for lost souls. As James
wrote, look for those who wish to be doers of the Word, and
not hearers only, for they are hypocrites who only deceive
themselves:

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22)

Do it the right way, the Scriptural way, as I have laid out
in such articles as 'Where Are The First Century Churches?'.
Follow the First Century pattern. Get out of your current
church or fellowship, and start one of your own with people
who do want to obey the Scriptures, and who do want to be a
real witness for Jesus, in your very own home! This is where
the First Century Christians held their fellowships. Allow
me again to share some of the verses I include in the
aforementioned article:

"And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple,
and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat
with gladness and singleness of heart," (Acts 2:46)

"And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you,
but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and
from house to house," (Acts 20:20)

"Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my
wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto
Christ." (Romans 16:5)

"The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla
salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in
their house." (1 Corinthians 16:19)

"Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and
the church which is in his house." (Colossians 4:15)

"And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier,
and to the church in thy house:" (Philemon 1:2)

It is truly amazing the way the Lord will often use things
which happen to us in order to teach a valuable lesson. As I
have mentioned before, sometimes certain things occur to me
which seem insignificant at the time; but then later, lo and
behold, they end up in an article. Well, just now as I was
working on this article, I was reminded of a cartoon I used
to watch a long time ago when I was a little boy. Maybe some
of my American readers who have been around for a while will
remember it. There was a silly cartoon in which the main
character was named Baby Huey. As I recall, Baby Huey was a
big, fat, oversized, bungling, slobbering chicken character
who always had a milk bottle stuck in his mouth. This bird's
problem is that he was always trying to make it back into
his momma's nest; and every time he'd try to do this, it
would result in some kind of hilarious disaster. In short,
Baby Huey just didn't want to grow up. He wanted to remain a
baby, take up all of the space in the nest, and just keep
sucking on that milk bottle of his.

I am sure some of you have already seen my point. Allow me
to ask you; in a spiritual sense, how many of you are also
Baby Hueys? How many of you are way overdue for leaving
the nest, but have simply refused to do so? How many of you
want to just keep selfishly sucking on that spiritual milk
bottle, when it is high time that you not only start eating
meat yourselves, but that you start feeding and ministering
to others as well? As Peter makes clear in the following
verses, the Christian walk of faith is supposed to be marked
by spiritual growth:

"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that
ye may grow thereby:" (1 Peter 2:2)

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for
ever. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)

What is the purpose of the milk? Is it just to selfishly
enjoy year after year after year? No; it is so 'that ye may
grow thereby'. Imagine if you will, a poor mother who is
forced to breastfeed her baby year after year after year,
because that baby simply refuses to eat anything else. While
in some countries a child is nursed until it is about two
years old, we all know that anything beyond this would be
viewed as being abnormal. Sadly, in our world today, some
babies are only breastfed for a few weeks, or a few months;
and some are never breastfed at all. In some cases, this is
due to selfishness on the part of the mother, or perhaps due
to medical problems, or maybe due to time constraints placed
upon the mother by a busy work shedule. It is truly sad that
the only thing some babies will ever know, is a chemical
liquid placed in their mouths by a rubber nipple attached to
a cold hard bottle. The comfort and assurance of warm skin
against skin is gone; and the bond which is formed early in
life may never be given a chance to develop.

Returning to the idea of a mother who is forced to nurse her
child year after year after year due to her child's stubborn
refusal to be weaned from the breast, not only would it be a
total physical drain on the mother to try to keep up with
her child's demands, but it would also be a real eye-opener,
an embarrassment, and downright odd to see a six-year-old,
or a ten-year-old coming home from school and sucking on his
mother's breast. Maybe some of you are laughing, and maybe
some of you are even offended by such an example, but it
certainly emphasizes the point, doesn't it? Well, it might
interest you to know that in the Bible, in discussing the
return of the Jews, the Old Testament Prophet Isaiah also
spoke of 'nursing fathers' and 'nursing mothers' who would
take care of, or support, the Lord's scattered children
until the time of their return to Israel:

"Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me
these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a
captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up
these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?
Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to
the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they
shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall
be carried upon their shoulders. And kings shall be thy
nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they
shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and
lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am
the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me."
(Isaiah 49:21-23)

In a spiritual sense, those of us who are called to shepherd
and feed the Lord's flocks, are also nursing fathers and
nursing mothers. As the Apostle Peter notes, we are feeding
God's children with His spiritual milk, with the pure milk
of His Word, so that they may grow by it; and thereby mature
into responsible Christians who will also be able to witness
to and win others to Christ. The Apostle Paul also spoke not
only of individual spiritual growth, but growth as a body as
well. Consider the following verses:

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,
evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the
perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for
the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the
unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the
fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children,
tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of
doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness,
whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth
in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the
head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined
together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth,
according to the effectual working in the measure of every
part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of
itself in love." (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Notice some of the terminology that Paul uses here to denote
spiritual progress such as 'perfect man', 'unto the measure
of the stature of the fulness of Christ', and 'henceforth be
no more children'. All of these terms describe spiritual
growth, and not spiritual stagnation. On the other hand, the
Apostle Paul also admonishes us, that there are those who
have walked in the faith for so long, that they should be
spiritually mature enough to eat spiritual meat, yet they
are in reality spiritually retarded children who can still
only handle the milk of the Word:

"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need
that one teach you again which be the first principles of
the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of
milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk
is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even
those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to
discern both good and evil. Therefore leaving the principles
of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not
laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works,
and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of
laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of
eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit."
(Hebrews 5:12-6:3)

Notice that the Apostle Paul again emphasizes the importance
of spiritual growth in the life of the Christian with the
phrase 'let us go on unto perfection'. He then explains
exactly what he means by this; and it relates directly to
what I said early. If you are involved with a church or a
fellowship which is stuck in a rut, which just keeps on
preaching the same things day after day, month after month,
and year after year; if you are stuck in a church which just
can't seem to go beyond the basics as Paul states above; and
if you personally feel that you have matured spiritually
beyond that level, then why are you still with them? If you
feel uneasy or dissatisfied in your current location, if God
has placed the conviction upon your heart that you can be
doing more for Him, then get out and do it! Get out of there
and obey Him! Put faith and action behind your words and
beliefs! Don't let it be said of you as Jesus said of the
Scribes and the Pharisees:

"All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe
and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and
do not." (Matthew 23:3)

In his Epistle, James also wrote the following words which
cut most of us to the heart:

"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not,
to him it is sin." (James 4:17)

So tell me, has the Lord been trying to encourage your faith
lately through this ministry, or perhaps through some other
way, so that you will begin to do more for Him? Might it be
possible that you have been resisting His Will for your life
because you are simply afraid to try it? Is your hesitancy
due to the fact that you feel that you don't have the faith
for it; or maybe because you don't think you have the right
skills and talents to do the job? If so, allow me to ask you
a simple question: Did the first Apostles have the necessary
skills and talents to do the job? Based upon the Scriptures,
I would say that in the flesh, no, they did not. What was
required was the boldness and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit
as is witnessed in this verse:

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and
perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they
marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had
been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13)

So if you are feeling that you are not capable, and not up
to the task, take heart; because there is Someone who can
empower you from on high to do both His Will and His Work,
if you will only trust in Him completely. If you have the
faith to just take that first small step of obedience in
your life, He will give you the faith to take the next one.
Please consider the following verses:

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto
thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
(Philippians 4:13)

To further help increase your faith, I would also like to
encourage you to read such articles as 'The Only Credentials
You Need!', as it will show you that you are definitely not
alone in feeling that you are inadequate to do the job. So
let me ask you again:

ARE YOU JUST A BABY HUEY???

That is the big question I wish to ask you. That is the big
challenge I wish to place before you. It is all according to
your personal faith, but I believe that there are some of
you reading this who can meet this challenge; even if you
don't think that you can. Of course you can't; but He can do
it through you if you are willing and able. You, by your own
faith and obedience, must be the one who chooses to place
yourself upon the altar of His sacrifice, as I explain in
the article 'Are You Crucified With Christ?'. Some of you
might say 'Oh, I can't do that! I don't know the Word like
you do! I am not ready to be a shepherd yet! I am still too
young in the faith! I have never led a fellowship before!
How would I even start one?'. If that is your response, then
allow me to share a little testimony with you which was told
to me today while I was writing this current article. This
little story really inspired my heart.

As some of you know, I have a young daughter who attends the
public school system. She loves the Lord, and she loves His
Word. Because we no longer have a television set in our
home, she is not distracted by it; so she spends a lot of
her time reading and studying the Word in her KJV Bible, in
her Bible story books, as well as by listening to our KJV
Bible tapes, by listening to a few programs on the radio, by
memorizing new verses often, and by working on articles on
her computer. In short, she spends a lot of time immersed in
God's Word; and she enjoys every minute of it. To emphasize
this point, consider the fact that all on her own, without
any encouragement from me, she decided to make it a personal
project to read a few chapters from the Bible before heading
off to school in the morning; and she has been very faithful
with it. She has already finished the Book of Job, and is
currently reading the Book of Proverbs; and she has already
listened to the entire Bible on tape quite a few times.

Physically-speaking, my daughter is a petite little thing.
She is normally quite shy and very quiet. She also tends to
be very sensitive, and her feelings are easily hurt. Despite
these things which might hold her back in the flesh, the
Lord has empowered her to be a faithful witness for Him in
the devil's very own territory; that is, at the elementary
school she attends. She has already witnessed to some of her
friends and teachers, and has passed out a number of Gospel
tracts which she folds herself, and then places in her
little 'sower's pouch' which she keeps in her schoolbag.
Even though she has been reprimanded and scoffed at on a few
occasions, even by one worldly teacher who sent home a four
page letter of complaint, she continues to be faithful to
the Lord. Today, as I was working on this article, she
shared the following with me.

She has a little friend at school who also appears to be a
Christian. I am not certain with what denomination or
organization her family is affiliated. At any rate, when my
daughter first offered her one of our homemade Salvation
tracts, this girl was not very receptive; however, things
soon changed after that. You see, this situation was quite
upsetting to my daughter, as it is difficult for her to
understand why some of the children make fun of her and
treat her with disrespect when she is only trying to help
them by telling them about the Lord. I believe it may have
been around this time that we had a talk about bringing
forth fruit with patience. We also prayed that the Lord
would work in the life of her little friend, and turn the
situation around.

Well, it turned out that the girl took the tract home and
read it; including the Salvation prayer on the back. That
seems to have made a difference. My daughter now tells me
that they are friends; and that the girl has asked her for
some of her Gospel tracts on several occasions, so that she
can share them with her friends and family; and of course my
daughter has been happy to oblige. In fact, today she told
me that her friend gave a tract to her grandmother. From
what I have been told, her grandmother apparently liked the
tract so much, that she gave it to her pastor; and they are
now going to print some themselves. So you see, God can do a
lot through those who are yielded to Him, despite their size
and age. If the Lord can use these two little girls, who
were willing to take a step of faith and obedience in the
right direction, just think of what He can do through you if
you will let Him. Are you willing to take that first step;
or do you prefer to remain a spiritually retarded Baby Huey
sucking on the milk bottle?

So again, this is my personal challenge to you; to let go of
the old; to forsake the spiritually dead; to forget about
the spiritually blind who are not interested in spreading
the Light of the Gospel, but who only wish to continue in
their same old manmade rut of tradition; and to let the Lord
do a new thing through you. Believe me, I am willing to help
you all I can. You don't have to start out big. In fact, you
will probably never even get very big. As I have shared on
previous occasions, this is not about size or popularity; it
is about obedience and faithfulness to the Lord and to His
Word; to put into practice some of the things you have read
in the Scriptures and in my articles. It is a chance for you
to bear some positive fruit in your life; and to be more of
a witness for the Lord; for as I have shared many times
before, this is the main reason we are called to be
Christians:

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained
you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your
fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the
Father in my name, he may give it you." (John 15:16)

Do you want to be a healthy branch which bears fruit that
remains; or do you want to continue being an old dead branch
which may some day be cast into the fire? This is precisely
what the Lord tells us will happen to the unfruitful
branches who abide not in the Vine:

"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:
and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it
may bring forth more fruit...If a man abide not in me, he is
cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather
them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
(John 15:2, 6)

To put it another way, are you happy with just being a part
of the 'Lord, Lord' group; that is, being a part of those
who offer the Lord lip service but who never manifest their
faith through real actions? If so, remember what Jesus said
about such people:

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not
prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out
devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then
will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me,
ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:22-23)

"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which
I say?" (Luke 6:46)

The choice is really up to you. You must operate according
to your own personal faith and conviction. We have been
talking a lot lately about finding a good church, or a good
fellowship. For some of you, perhaps that isn't the right
approach. Instead of moving from church to church, and from
fellowship to fellowship each time you become disappointed
with the previous one, perhaps it is time that you started
one of your own. Instead of just being a Baby Huey who
sucks on the spiritual milk bottle, which is the only thing
that most churches offer these days, you need to grow up!
You need to move on to the meat! You need to become a mature
Christian who not only learns to feed himself, but who also
learns to feed others as well through holding your own
fellowships at your own home church. You can do it with His
help!

It really isn't that hard once you get your feet wet. Just
begin by inviting a relative or two, or a friend or two over
to your home to study the Bible together. Passing out tracts
is a good way to find God's hungry sheep. Now and then you
will come across a few hungry sheep who will ask 'Well, tell
me; where do you meet? Where do you fellowship?'. Wouldn't
it be great if you could say, 'Well, why don't you come over
to my house this weekend? A few of us are getting together,
and we'd be glad to have you over. I'll be happy to answer
any of your questions if I can'. If a question comes up, and
you don't know the answer to it, maybe you'll find it in one
of my many articles. If you can get just one or two people
interested in getting together with you on a regular basis,
that is a beginning. Maybe they will each tell a friend or
two who will become interested, and who may come along next
time. Jesus called His Disciples one by one or two by two,
did He not? Remember again what the Apostle Paul wrote:

"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many
witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall
be able to teach others also." (2 Timothy 2:2)

This is precisely what we find happening in the Gospels. The
news that the Messiah had arrived was initially spread by
word of mouth, one by one, or two by two; then whole groups
of people heard the news; and then entire towns; until
today, it has been spread around the world to all nations by
many different means, such as this one. Consider the
following example found in the Gospel of John:

"The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and
findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip
was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip
findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of
whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of
Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him,
Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith
unto him, Come and see." (John 1:43-46)

That is exactly what you want to do; you want to say 'Come
and see! If you are really interested in what we are all
about, well, come and see! Come to one of our little home
fellowships! You just might like it!'. As your home church
begins to grow in size, perhaps you can consider having what
we Americans refer to as a potluck dinner, where everyone
brings a little something to eat; afterall, if everyone gets
inspired, sometimes these things can last for hours; and
everyone is going to become hungry. By having a potluck
dinner, the financial burden doesn't just fall upon you the
shepherd alone. As I explain in 'Where Are The First Century
Churches?', this is in agreement with the Early Church
pattern of sharing all things:

And all that believed were together, and had all things
common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted
them to all men, as every man had need." (Acts 2:44-45)

"Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many
as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought
the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down
at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every
man according as he had need." (Acts 4:34-35)

As your flock continues to grow, you will find the need to
devise a schedule which might include Bible sharing time, a
time for song and praise, testimony time, a time given to
prayer, and Communion time. You should do whatever uplifts
the Lord, draws your flock closer to the Lord and to each
other, and inspires them to do more for the Lord in their
personal lives. Remember; your overall goal is to feed and
to inspire so that in the long run, it will bear more fruit
for His Kingdom. Please also keep in mind that instead of a
stiff, cold, impersonal atmosphere like you find at some
modern churches, you want to do your best to promote a
positive, uplifting, friendly, family atmosphere; afterall,
we are supposed to be the family of God, right?:

"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but
fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of
God;" (Ephesians 2:19)

If you and your little flock are faithful in your witnessing
tasks, eventually, your home church is going to reach a size
to where you can no longer acommodate everyone in your home.
Another problem which will probably develop sooner or later,
is that some of your ungodly neighbors will decide that they
don't like the busy traffic, and the noise, on the weekends;
even though they might have the stereo at full volume, or
the television turned up loud so they can hear the football
game in the next room. If they are mean enough, and yielded
to Satan enough, they might begin to complain to the local
authorities about 'those crazy Christians next door'. You
might even be branded a cult! In other words, sooner or
later, that roaring lion, the devil, is going to growl; and
try to put a stop to your fellowships. You will begin to
receive persecution; but praise God; you won't be the first
ones to whom it has happened. As the old saying goes, 'If
you do it right, the devil will fight!':

"Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not
greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will
also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will
keep yours also." (John 15:20)

"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall
suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12)

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as
a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
(1 Peter 5:8)

If you are interested in reading more on the topic of
Christian persecution, I encourage you to read the article
'Civil Disobedience And Christian Persecution'. For now
though, let me just say that in some ways, persecution is
good for you. It will tighten and strengthen the flock, and
it will also weed out the weak sheep. What do you do in a
case like this where the enemy is breathing down your neck?
Well, you have several options. Unless you all just want to
give up and stop being bona fide Christians who really want
to live the Gospel, I can offer several possible solutions.
The first one is that you simply change the location of your
fellowship. As we saw earlier in this article, the First
Century Christians fellowshipped from house to house; so
perhaps you can rotate the location of your fellowship from
week to week so that it isn't so noticeable. Perhaps your
neighbors will be more willing to endure your 'strange
behaviour' if it only occurs once every few weeks.

Another alternative to consider if your home church is
simply too big to fit in anyone's home, is that you hold
your fellowships in a public place where there are no size
limitations; such as at a public park, or at a beach, or at
some similar place. Of course, if you do this, you should
expect to be harrassed by a few hecklers now and then. In
the case of foul weather, if there are enough members in
your particular fellowship, perhaps you can even consider
sharing the expense, and rent a large hotel room or some
other type of meeting hall for a day. Many organizations do
this. While I have offered the previous ideas as possible
solutions, based upon the Biblical pattern, if your home
church grows so big so that you are having acommodation
problems, or are beginning to receive serious persecution
from your ungodly enemies, then this may be a very clear
indication from the Lord that it is time to divide the
flock.

One thing you need to remember, is that unlike many large
worldly congregations which may have up to several thousand
members, the great majority of whom don't even know each
other on a personal level, you are not just supposed to be
interested in acquiring large numbers so that you can show
off your size, strength and wealth to other denominations
down the street. If that is all you are interested in doing,
then please don't even start your own home church, because
your motives are all wrong. As the shepherd of your flock,
you should be mainly interested in quality, just as our Lord
likewise strove for quality amongst His original followers.
Remember, Jesus only trained twelve men to be His closest
Apostles, and then the seventy as well. In like manner, you
should be interested in faithfully feeding your small flock
so that they too will grow to spiritual maturity.

In other words, just as you had to learn not to be a Baby
Huey who sucked on that same milk bottle year after year,
they must likewise learn the same thing. They must learn to
stand on their own two feet, to feed themselves, and to feed
others. They must each eventually learn to shepherd their
own home churches. With that point, we have now gone full
circle with this lesson. What was once one home church, has
now grown in size so that like an amoeba, it can divide into
two; and that is only the beginning. Through united counsel
and prayer, you can all decide together who will participate
in each fellowship. Of course, it is important that you try
to divide the flock so that both home churches have the
necessary skills and talents to ensure their survival and
continued productivity for the Lord. This begins with the
wise selection of the new shepherd(s) who will be able to
keep the sheep of the new home church well fed and inspired
as they go about their tasks of serving the Lord.

But you see, none of the things I have described in this
article are even possible if you aren't willing to take that
first step of faith for the Lord. So tell me:

Are you just a Baby Huey?

God bless you. I hope that you will be one of the bold ones
filled with faith who will step out and give this a try. I
would be truly thrilled to hear of your success in your new
ministry for the Lord. I trust that this article has been a
blessing and an encouragement in your life.

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