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Church planting is the establishing of an organized body of believers in a new location.
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As Christians, we have all imagined ourselves sitting with our brothers and sisters in the church that met in Lydia's home in Philippi, or that of Philemon in the Lycas Valley. House-churches were the primary meeting places of Christians on the First Day of the Week in the First, Second, and early Third centuries A.D. In those early days, the gospel spread relationally over the Empire from house-to-house when common men who were strong in the word of God shared the gospel with their families and friends each day and in Christian assemblies in their homes on the First Day of the Week. I was joyful to participate in their first house-church gathering with Carl and Stacy Alfieri by means of SKYPE in their Brooklyn, NY apartment from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. CST this past Sunday, 11/12/17. Carl was baptized as a result of World Bible School referring him to us for follow-up. Carl attended the Manhattan congregation for a brief time, but he and his wife desire to establish the church in their home. This Sunday, the Lord's Supper was partaken; song of praise sung; prayers offered; and a lesson delivered by Carl and finished my me. Carl and Stacy have invited another couple to services next Sunday at 2:30 p.m. understanding their need to reach others with the gospel. Emphasis was drawn to the need for Christians to be disciples of Jesus who possess the true DNA of Jesus that will lead to reproduction of souls.…
Seeking the wisdom God promises to those who ask in faith, the Elmore elders and core leaders of the Antioch Initiative have determined that a third church-plant will not be launched until a fully-funded evangelist is in place at the Endless Mountains congregation in Tunkhannock, PA. A determined and committed group of rotational preachers and teachers from PA & NY are still circulating each weekend into that second church-plant of the Antioch Initiative feeding the flock and witnessing high morale among charter members. Endless Mountains congregation is the only congregation of the church of Christ in Wyoming County Pennsylvania.
Our present strategy includes the following elements. First, an aggressive search for the Endless Mountains' evangelist continues with four congregations standing in the wings considering financial support. Second, the 2017 Pennsylvania Campaign will target Wyoming County in a ninety-day campaign (June through August) aiming at the building up of the Endless Mountains congregation.Third, once the evangelist is in place in Tunkhannock (Wyoming County), he and the Endless Mountains’ saints will be challenged to evangelize both Wyoming and Susquehanna counties with a total combined population of 70,000 residents urging converts of Christ to drive to Tunkhannock for worship assemblies and arranging weekly home-based studies in Susquehanna County with a concentration on making disciples. (Note: Montrose, the county seat of Susquehanna County, is only twenty miles on good highway from Tunkhannock, which is the county seat of Wyoming County. Economy of resources dictates this strategy above the planting of a congregation in Susquehanna County understanding that Christians from that county can make a future determination of when that should happen taking the necessary steps to bring it about. Residents of Susquehanna County already prove their willingness to drive to the Tunkhannock Walmart.) Fourth, Christians partnering with the Antioch Initiative from NY, PA, TN, AL, AK, KY, & WV will be urged to assist these evangelistic efforts of the Wyoming County Christians and their evangelist to make certain every person in both counties hear the gospel of grace. Fifth, WBS online courses will be expanded to include Susquehanna County residents. Sixth, simultaneous with seeking the implementation of these goals, the core leaders of the Antioch Initiative will study other target cities of the U.S. leading to the planting of a third germinal congregation once Endless Mountains has their evangelist.
Soon, crystalized plans will be communicated to all of you challenging all able and interested readers to join the evangelistic efforts in Wyoming County this summer. Please be in fervent prayer.
When we leave this world to meet the Lord, let us leave disciples behind who will make disciples who will, in turn, make disciples until the end of time. That has always been the strategy of Jesus (cp. 2 Tim.2:2; Mt.28:18f).
Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in a seed.
The Antioch Initiative Team (including an expanding number of passionate and knowledgeable brethren) is being coordinated by the elders of Elmore Church of Christ in Elmore, Alabama. We are beseeching God to use us in the establishment of a germinal congregation in each of four counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania—namely, Bradford, Susquehanna, Wyoming and Sullivan. (Germinal congregations will plant other congregations in the future, which will, in turn, plant other congregations.) These counties represent 142,406 souls—none of which claim adherence to membership in the Lord’s church. You are being invited today to become a partner in The Antioch Initiative with your prayers, input, service and funding. The essential vision being pursued through The Antioch Initiative is a plan which involves the following elements.