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September 2012 Newsletter

JCG NEWS

Limited PDF Offer: Myths and Truths of the Cell Church for 99 cents (less than one dollar). Click here

2013 JCG Events 

--We will have our next JCG event on March 02, 2013 at the Elim Church in Reseda, California (greater Los Angeles). Mario Vega and Joel Comiskey will be ministering with simultaneous translation in English. Place it in your calendars now. Register today and get the special deal of 39.00.

--We will have a second JCG event in the Elim Church in Richardson, Texas (same place as last year) on May 18, 2013. Mario Vega and Joel Comiskey will be ministering and English translation will be available. Place it in your calendars now. More information coming. 

September 
Ministry  
 
--September 7-9, 2012. Ministry in San Salvador, El Salvador with Jim Wall. Contact person: Carlos Hernandez  

--September 15-18, 2012. Cell ministry in London, England at Manor Park Christian Centre (pastor David Foster) and Harpenden, England (Laurence Singlehurst

--September 28-29, 2012. Charlotte, North Carolina. Cell seminar in English and Spanish, sponsored by North Carolina Baptist Convention. Contact persons: Jorge Hernandez or Rusty Price.

Myths and Truths book, available in print form 
  
--Myths and Truth of the Cell Church: Key Principles that Will Make or Break Cell Ministry,  is now available for purchase. Feel free to read the introduction, table of contents, first chapter, second chapter, or press release
  
 2012 Schedule

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 Donations  

--Find out more about how you can invest in  (donate to) JCG, a non-profit ministry.

 

 

Oikos Evangelism

Those of us living in the Western, individualistic world have a hard time imagining the New Testament culture in which it was normal to live with parents, servants, and other workers. We are accustomed to nuclear families--father, mother, and children. 

Yet, the ancient world didn't even have a word for what we call the "nuclear family." We only find the word for extended family. The cultural norm for the early church was centered around the oikos, which is the Greek word meaning household, house or extended family.  God used those natural links of relationships to penetrate the Roman world through multiplying house churches.  

The way the early church reached people through their oikos relationships helps the church today understand that people are already grouped in natural relationships. Those web-like relationships include family, friends, co-workers, and anyone we come in contact with on a regular basis. God uses those natural links to spread his gospel message through house to house ministry. 

Each believer should identify those oikos contacts and then begin praying daily for each of them, asking God to open hearts to the gospel message. The next step is to serve and bless those oikos relationships. Finally, invite them to an outreach event in cell or celebration.  

As you emphasize oikos connections, those who come to the cell or celebration  will already be connected to existing friendships and will more likely stay connected to Christ's family, the church. Your cell church will begin to develop natural organic links with people, which will keep them stay connected in your church.  

This month on the  JCG blog, we will be exploring how the concept of oikos relates to the cell church today. Experienced cell church pastors will write 25 blogs on the topic of oikos outreach for the month of September. If you'd like to receive these blogs in your email each day, please sign up HERE. We'll cover:

  • Week 1 (September 02-08): the definition of oikos. Oikos refers to the extended family of New Testament times which not only included immediate relatives but also slaves, freemen, hired workers, and sometimes tenants and partners in trade or craft. The gospel flowed along these family lines in New Testament times. As Jesus transformed people, they behaved differently within these natural relationships and eventually became part of Christ's family, the church.  
  • Week 2 (September 09-15): Developing oikos relationships. Cell churches teach members to develop relationships with those who they naturally connect with in life (family, close friends, neighbors). The next step is to serve the oikos relationships, blessing them in word and deed. Eventually, an invitation to the cell or celebration is appropriate. 
  • Week  3 (September 16-22): Oikos transformation.   A key factor in the incredible growth of the early church was the transformation of the oikos structure.  Husbands and wives submitted to one another; husbands loved wives in a new way, wives submitted and respected their husbands; families were restored and behaved differently toward each other and their testimony influenced friends and neighbors.  
  • Week 4 (September 23-September 29): Tips for developing oikos connections. Cells should have a white board to remember to pray for oikos. Another key principle is hospitality and meeting needs. Elim focuses on meeting needs and serving oikos connections. Over time, these people are more receptive to the gospel message and willing to attend cell and celebration.  
  • Week 5 (September 30-October 06): Hindrances to oikos outreach. Here are some of them: not having a target group of close relationships, lack of prayer, and getting too consumed with the busyness of life.  

How are you doing in the area of oikos outreach, both on a personal level as well as teaching these principles to your cell or church body. Please feel free to comment HERE. 

 

Joel Comiskey