I’ll try to squeeze a lot of information in this month, there is so much to tell, so much to reflect on. Our Dutch conference had a different dynamic this year, including a lot of children present, who had many visions and words from the Lord – it really amazed and blessed we adults!
In the middle of worship the Lord opened the eyes of about 6 or 7 adults and children to see Him walking around and ministering. It is one thing to have adults testify about seeing Jesus and tell what He said or imparted to them, but it takes on a whole other level when children talk of seeing the Lord or angels or the glory cloud.
I love family based churches that meet in homes! We don’t separate the children but rather believe the same Christ in us is also in them, and they are fully capable of moving in the gifts as we are…it’s just amazing to see it happen. Someone recently commented to me that what makes our conferences different is that it isn’t a situation where you sit for hours and get preached at, but rather have lots of time to visit with people and get to know them, as well as the dynamic worship that is intimate and flowing as the Lord leads.
Montreal/Granby, Quebec retreat. July 14-16, contact Ginette if interested: firstname.lastname@example.org This will be an informal, small group gathering, with lots of Q&A and very spiritually enriching.
Facebook live and YouTube videos
My FB live on Wednesday mornings (8am, US Central Time) and then posting them on YouTube are reaching a different audience that those who have known of me and CWOWI for some time. Some comments are to be honest, pretty harsh. I’ve been called a false prophet because one guy doesn’t believe there is any way a person can lose their salvation while I do, for instance (this week).
I’ve been attacked by atheists, and so on…and yet at the same time there are many more who write to tell me they are blessed, and many have excellent questions about the Lord and the things I’m sharing. These are all archived on FB and YouTube, so you can just do a search of ‘John C Fenn videos’ or on YouTube ‘Super House Church’ and find them.
Someone on Facebook reminded me of a vision the Father showed me a year or more ago that predicted a time when conservatives would control the US Congress. The vision was of a man in a suit trying to walk up a playground slide, holding onto the sides of the slide trying to walk up, but going only so far and then sliding down to where he started.
The Father said when conservatives are in charge of the Congress it would be like that – and so far that is what we’ve seen – a lot of talk but no meaningful legislation coming through. The fact it was on a playground slide indicated insincere efforts by some about making change. Sad. Praying this will change.
Another interesting development is the alliance of Arab nations against Qatar. Though some years ago something similar happened between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, this seems a bit more severe. For years people wondered (as I mentioned previously) how ‘Sheba and Dedan’ of Ezekiel 38 would object to the invasion of Israel, being Arab nations themselves, but in the correct political alignments it is easy to see it happening.
Relationship based faith
I’m seeing 3 things happening as it pertains to family based churches that meet in homes. On the one hand we are seeing people from the denominational side of things, or from non-denominational auditorium based churches try to implement what they call ‘house church’, but it is just the auditorium in miniature, or they are a tightly controlled cell group. It seems all over the auditorium church world I’m hearing people tell me their church is doing house church…but they are just re-labeling cell groups.
On the other hand we see those who have the basic concept of relationship based faith trying desperately not to call what they are doing, house church. They use terms like simple church, organic church, and so on – but many of them are close but not quite there in terms of the scriptural examples of family based church that meets in homes.
What we find works remains the same as when the Lord told me to start CWOWI or 15 years ago – rotate who leads, and when possible rotate homes with each meeting. What is understood with what we are doing that isn’t with many others, is that these people are meeting with purpose and commitment to one another.
And that is the third thing happening, which is people launching on their own saying they are starting a house church, even if it is just them and a friend, or just their family, they are doing it. That kind of boldness to just step out is something I’ve only seen on this scale in the last year or so – and they want to be part of something larger like CWOWI, and get to know people on the same spiritual page, so it keeps me busy – which is a good thing! lol.
Final thought on this: Many would like to have ‘simple church’ or ‘organic church’ without the commitment to one another, but if you look in scripture you’ll see they were committed to one another and they met with purpose. When conflict arose they worked through things rather than running away. I’m not trying to find fault with others, rather diagnosing elements missing because I have people come to me via email or Skype or Facebook Messenger wanting more, and they aren’t sure what is missing. Sometimes they are part of a ministry focused on evangelism or one having missionary bases around the world, and they come to us saying they need relationship and something real, for they feel all alone, or sometimes they feel self-insulated in that ministry.
The body is finding balance, for Jesus said to make disciples by letting others observe us doing what He told us to do. The trouble is we’ve been raised in a church culture that thinks spiritual children are made by anointed meetings, when in fact the Bible says they are made through spiritual fathers and mothers.
What many fail to realize is that house church is actually an outflow of a lifestyle; it isn’t something we ‘plant’ or just ‘go to’. For instance, last week I saw a statistic that said in the US only 1 in 10 people have a genuine friend. That doesn’t include your 232 Facebook friends – that study took social media into account and dismissed social media ‘friends’ and rightly so, as not being genuine friendships, and produced that amazing finding – only 1 in 10 Americans have a genuine friend.
This month’s CD/MP3 series is about God’s culture of generosity that is woven through all He does and all we are, based on ancient Jewish understanding of what faith and righteousness is all about. In the Bible you really can’t be righteous before God unless you are in right relationships with others. Righteousness is both vertical with God and horizontal within relationships with others. I like to say it this way: Righteousness comes through faith in Christ, but that righteousness is unproven. God has designed righteousness to be proven (and matured) within the framework of relationships.
Within righteousness is God’s kingdom culture of generosity, that quality of the human heart that is outward looking towards bettering others – generous of spirit.
What this means is that just going to a small group doesn’t make that a house church. Just flitting in and out of a small group meeting like a bird that alights somewhere for a time they flies away, even if they call it house church, isn’t actually a Biblical house church. In the Bible those people were meeting with purpose and commitment to one another. Without purpose, without commitment to the development of the relationships, you’re just going to a Bible study or prayer meeting.
House church is messy. You get to know one another and care for one another and pray for one another and help one another. There are no sterile gloves where faith is theory and people can keep the unlovely at arm’s length. House church is more like putting on gardening gloves and helping nurture God’s garden of people.
An auditorium church affirms a person, making them feel all warm and fuzzy inside by the external senses like the structure and familiar order of the service, the comfortable surroundings, the music, the decor, and so on. Relationship based faith that meets in homes affirms a person on the inside, through the fulfillment of real friends, discussing real issues and how they walk with God through those issues to find solution and discover His provision and faithfulness. Big difference.
The days are coming when things are going to happen quickly and you’ll need those people you sit across the living room from each week, as we are each other’s biggest resources for walking through life.
I remember the vision of a couple years ago when the Lord showed me the body of Christ as children playing in a field, chasing (spiritual) butterflies, totally focused on self. But all around the perimeter of the field was darkness with people sitting on the edge of the dark and light boundary in rags, wanting light, wanting the provision the body of Christ had. Then slowly at first then more and more of them, these little children that represented the body of Christ began getting bored with chasing spiritual butterflies and turned their attention to the people sitting in rags on the edge of the light…and helping them into the light.
We are starting to see that turn, but it will be awhile before we really see it. And it was in those days that He said many who think they have been people of faith will discover they never knew what faith was after all. Hear what the Spirit is saying – now is the time to get serious about your faith, about your relationships, about what is real in life rather than inwardly focused on what God and faith can do for you. Stop chasing spiritual butterflies.
To be real honest…
Thus far the Father has not said much about the current administration in the US, nor about Brexit, nor about the EU. When the Lord appeared to several at our Dutch conference He came over to me and put His left hand on my shoulder and started talking to me about some things I’d see over the next year, but they were more personal. The reason for bringing it up at all is that it had to do in part with provision, staying focused on the Father’s business, and not being shaken by world events, but rather be caught up in what He is doing. Beyond that I’m not willing to share at this point.
But I can say when this President was elected there wasn’t a big rejoicing in my spirit, it was actually rather ‘blah’ inside, and the sense for prayer was that he might not finish his term, that he might resign or something, or not run for a 2nd term. There just isn’t anything there in my spirit (at this point) about an attempt at a 2nd term, nor is there any life for this term. I don’t know what this means, so I watch and pray.
I know a certain minister has prophesied he would be in 8 years and usher in an age of unprecedented prosperity, but there isn’t any life in that in my spirit. So we wait and see. Pray, just pray.
How are we doing?
Quite honestly all these spring trips to Europe and back plus working to catch up after the trips, plus just Chris and yard and house things – life doesn’t stop just because you fly off to Europe for 2 weeks, lol. This spring’s trips were very hard on me physically. After the Finland/Norway trip I was so tired I had some symptoms that prompted me to go to the doctor, and he said I was exhausted and my immune system was worn down, and that I needed to slow down and rest. But now I feel good, and I recently had some blood work done to test my DNA to see what my cellular and DNA age was, as I just turned 59 the end of May.
It turns out my DNA and cellular age is only 40 – in the 100th percentile of men my age – so that was actually some really good news and amazing what they can do with technology now. I’ve not felt 59 and do feel like 40, so now I know why, lol.
I’ve always had a lot of energy, so as I continue to drop the weight (can you see a difference in my face on my Facebook Live sessions?) I continue to feel very energetic – I just have to pace myself and be sure I do take a full day of rest weekly, which I do by disconnecting at least 1 day a week now – otherwise I’m always looking at the phone or computer. Thanks for your prayers.
Chris did reasonably well while we’ve had these many trips, and we have our annual meeting Wednesday with the staff to plan the coming year – there are several issues we have to discuss with them so keep it in prayer, it could be tense for some of the issues we have to raise.
As is the case with house church and travels; many meetings are an investment in time and money with a living room group of people, so the offerings don’t usually cover the expenses – thus your giving is very important to us. I leave the rest to you and Christ in you if you can help.
I always refer to II Corinthians 8:4-5 where Paul gives thanks for the giving of the Macedonian churches (northern Greece at that time) who first gave themselves to the Lord, and then gave to help Paul for they counted it a privilege to join with him in ministering to the saints. Barb and I are so thankful for your prayers and support! Thank you!
Thank you and blessings!
John & Barb