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Gathering Places

Where can we gather? – It’s not really a question of where but rather what is the best place for a family to meet. Clearly the best place is the family home but our gatherings can be in many places. Gathering together can be in a coffee shop, the beach, a park and many other locations that bring us together as family. Its not about one gathering place but multiple locations as the family grows. Its not just about Sunday but rather any day and time in the week. Sundays are great for our gathering in homes for the Love Feast but saints love to gather whenever the opportunity arises.

Colossians 4:15                   Acts 12:12

Philemon 1:2                       Acts 4:31

Acts 20:7                               Acts 19:9

If your seeking to gather with the followers of Jesus and would like to offer your home as a place to gather together let us know. If you’ve got questions please make contact and take a look at our Q & A page.

This website has been established to help us gather. If you interested in gathering together with brothers and sisters in the Newport, South Wales and surrounding areas please contact us

 

Our family moved from the West Midlands into Newport in 2016 after a time of great personal tragedy and hardship. God has spoken clearly into our lives and encouraged us with a purpose that makes all our prior suffering worthwhile. We have a vision to see small families of believers living in relationship with each other as Jesus commanded John13:34 “Love one another”. We have a hope that these families will disciple new families to love and reach out to new families who will multiply in love so that John 13:35 “all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” and we will obey our Lord’s command to go Matthew 28:19-20  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

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We want to gather with the saints in the simple practice of the New Testament community which is best expressed in the gatherings of the early church during the time of the Apostles. The scriptures provide guidance for our gathering and we hope to share that simple practice on this site and put that simple gathering into practice together with other saints. This is a time of new beginnings and its the start of a journey. We are new arrivals in the area and are looking for the saints to gather.

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The Great British Bake Off

Its that time of year again, when many of us are glued to the TV screen watching the efforts of many would be bakers who are trying to impress the experts with that awesome bake. There’s a lot of matching of ingredients and making sure all the right stuff is included.
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If the oven isn’t set correctly or you’ve missed that vital ingredient you’ll get a cake that’s possibly edible but not the wonderful creation that the recipe predicted. The failed bake gives something less than the baker intended.
 
There’s something very similar taking place in church gatherings very week and very often the “God intended outcome” of the gathering is very often missed. The gatherings of the saints is like a God given recipe for the outworking of the both the gifts and fruits of the Spirit ……… but so often they become a different “bake” from the Masters intended creation.
 
The scriptures make it very clear that there is a setting for the Spiritual gifts – Love! The two other keys ingredients are “Us” and the “Spirit of God”. The “Us” doesn’t mean one gifted individual or even a selected group in our meetings. The “Us” means each one of the family of God contributing and participating in the delivery of ministry “one to another”
 
When we remove “Love”, “The Spirit” or “Us” we end up with something far less than God intended. Is it surprising that we don’t see the power of the Spirit moving in church gatherings in the manner in which God intended. It took the reformers much struggle and opposition in order to bring to the church the beautiful truth that we are all “Priests” of the Most High with a ministry that works powerfully when we gather. Sadly many have become content with a half baked experience, meeting God through the ministry of the church experts, which is really a return to the priestly function of the selected few.
 
Paul describes the gathering of the saints.
 
1 Corinthians 14:26 What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
 
New Testament believers did not merely attend services. They were active, vital participants who could significantly contribute to what went on in the gathering.
 
God wants every ingredient “the us” to play its part and to do so in order to edify
 
Edifying participatory gatherings do not just happen. New Testament styled participatory worship is to be Spirit led, the Spirit uses elders to help make it edifying. They are behind-the-scene coaches, encouraging and training so that everyone operates from out of his spiritual gift and everything said and done is edifying.
 
Lord let us experience the wonder of edifying gatherings with Jesus amongst us and the Spirit of God given the freedom to deliver His gifts and fruit amongst us.

God knows it may take some time….

If you’ve ever had to cut your child’s toe nails you know that you may get a wiggle and maybe a giggle but its a task that takes about five minutes of your time. Those nails need cutting! your love for your child keeps you looking after their welfare and getting rid of anything that will hinder them in life. Cutting their toe nails is just a little expression of that care and love.

When you’ve got a 13 year old boy with Autism cutting toe nails takes a little bit longer……in fact with Jadon its about a week! He can cope with one or two toes having a trim in a 24 hour period. Its been nearly a week and I’ve got one toe left, which I will leave until tomorrow.

Sometimes our walk with God is a like having our toe nails cut. He loves us so much and wants us to be free from anything that hinders our growth and cutting off some of our stuff is an activity He is very familiar with.

Maybe today your considering your life and how it seems that others are changing a little sooner than you. Remember .. God knows you better than you know yourself and he is amazingly patient, in fact His patience is perfect, having plenty of time to spare for you.

1Timothy 1:16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

God loves you so much and He is prepared to leave some things until His tomorrow.

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New Testament Leadership

The beauty of Church is that its relational, simple and yet as Paul declares a great mystery. The people of the first 1st Century had an idea of leadership that was very fixed in their thinking and Jesus had to work with His followers to change the way they understood leadership. Their understanding would also impact the way they understood the church and how it lived out its life from the love and power of Christ.

We like this video from the Simple Church Alliance. It may not express everything that you or I may believe on the subject but it gives a really good insight into the reality of New Testament leadership and the footprint that Jesus left for us today.

Its worth giving this some time and consideration because Jesus said “It shall not be so among you” Matthew 20:26

Theologian Donald Guthrie in his book “New Testament Theology” – The Developing Church p789 states in referring to leadership in the 1st century church

“There was certainly no hierarchical system. The purpose of the church officers was to ensure orderliness and to teach. The NT does not present any clear indications of one man being in charge of the community. This looseness of structure is in keeping with the view of the church as the body, with Christ himself as the head”

Participatory Worship

Can modelling our gatherings on early church practice make our worship services more meaningful?

In the scriptures, we read of the early church gathering and the believers regularly and significantly contributing to the corporate worship of those church gatherings. An open format allowed those prompted by the Spirit to give testimony, share a spiritual experience, exhort those gathered, lead in prayer, testify, sing, give praises, prophecy, minister one to another in love and more. Each person operated out of his spiritual gifting. According to Scripture, the prime directive for anything said or done was that it had to edify, strengthen, build up or encourage all the other believers present. “Let all things be done for building up” (1Co 14:26).

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So what’s the purpose of participatory worship? It’s to allow for a fuller expression of the spiritual gifts. It also provides opportunity for the fulfillment of the various “one another” passages of Scripture. There are 59 “one another” passages, such as John 13:34; Romans 12:10; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 3:11, 23; 4:7, etc

Go! Make Disciples

Jesus never told us to bring people but rather that we should GO!

Our gatherings are the moments when we meet as God’s family. We encourage, build up and admonish each other to love Him, love each other and love the world. We love the world as we go.

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Our gatherings are occasions when disciples are equipped to go and make disciples. All believers are disciples and priests whose mission is to go – into our communities seeking to make disciples of all who will respond to the call to follow Jesus, the beautiful Gospel that reveals the mystery of the Body of Christ, the Church, indwelt and made manifest to all creation.

Matthew 28:18-20

Colossians 1:26-27

The Love Feast

A beautiful celebration of the love that has been established amongst us by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The Love Feast is a full fellowship meal which brings together the Body to partake of the One Loaf and Wine within the setting of a meal. Its here that we have regard for our brothers and sisters and acknowledge that we are a people called out from the world to love our Father and neighbour with the inexhaustible love of the Holy Spirit. This is a time for worship and ministering one to another in the power and love of the Spirit. It’s an opportunity to bring together the various members of the One Body with all their gifts and works of love, to overflow in our gatherings.

The Love Feast or Lord's Supper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 10

Freedom

We are a people who are called to be free and that means free from the traditions of men and the power struggles of the modern religious corporations and companies.

Gathering does not require a dedicated building which demands our money and energy for its upkeep and development. Our own homes will serve us well. Our gathering does not require a collection of money, in fact we don’t need to give anything except our love for a brother and sister in need and yes that may mean someone chooses to support a family member financially. We don’t have salaried leaders, large buildings or expensive sound equipment to maintain. Your money and what you do with it is between you and the One who actually owns 100% of everything you have.

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We have one Father, Teacher and Leader and that is Jesus. Our gatherings do not present an opportunity to climb a ladder of leadership. We are all equal as brothers and sisters in Christ. There are those that have opted to climb down the ladder to lead by the example of obedience to Christ. This is the highest form of leadership which has no dominion over the family but gives itself to sacrifice and surrender all they have for the body. These leaders or elders are accepted by brothers and sisters as those that are able to teach, serve and give an example of obedience to Christ.

Matthew 23:8-12

2 Corinthians 8:12-14

Jesus is Lord

The only belief and practice that makes us One is our belief that – Jesus is Lord – and our response of obedience to Him. Those that gather are followers of Jesus. It’s not about your specific theology, views of the second coming or regard for special days etc. Those that are following Jesus and seeking to obey all that he has commanded are brothers and sisters in Christ and answerable to Him alone.

1 Corinthians 12:3

Mark 9:38-41

Romans 14:1-12

Matthew 7:21-23

His hand is still stretched out

Isaiah 9:17 Therefore the Lord does not take pleasure in their young men, Nor does He have pity on their orphans or their widows; For every one of them is godless and an evildoer, And every mouth is speaking foolishness. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away And His hand is still stretched out.

This is interesting as at first it seems somewhat strange that the text would say that in spite of all this – His anger is not turned away.

Until we understand that His anger is merciful and combined with an outstretched hand that calls us to repentance through that same anger of discipline.

The text is actually stating something amazing …. that despite such wickedness He still disciplines and holds out his hand.

Far greater and fearful that his anger would cease and He would turn His back and withdraw His hand.

We read the scriptures and very often read into them something that fits our idea of God rather than God’s own revelation of Himself.

mercy

Exodus 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.

Often understood as teaching that God punishes children for the sins of parents, this well known text has been the source of deep misunderstanding of God’s character and justice – the text actually declaring that God punishes the children for committing the sins of their fathers to four generations.

Once again God’s mercy abounds for He promises to punish as an act of discipline four generations of those that walk in the sins of their fathers. Only after these generations have past does He bring judgement.

Genesis 15:16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

Oh Lord in my sin do not cease to be angry and withdraw thy glorious hand!