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Thoughts and Ideas
Network of Cell Churches in the Czech Republic
The Principles of the Cell Churches - Thoughts and Ideas

For an international conference I was asked to prepare a short video about the network of cell churches in the Czech Republic.
Click the picture and look. It only 5 minutes.
(For nicer view set the quality to 1080p.)

Pavel V.

 
EVANGELISM IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
The Principles of the Cell Churches - Thoughts and Ideas

The Mission Magazine Echoes approached me with a request to write an article about Evangelism in the Czech Republic.
In the correspondence I was informed that the magazine aims to educate in mission, inform of people and mission projects, and bring news from mission workers in 46 countries. It is subscription-based with 5,300 UK church members.
Their theme for the year 2012 is The Challenge of Europe. The collapse of Christian influence, staunch secularism, and 700 million people who have no personal relationship with Christ, make Europe a priority in mission.
I was asked to speak about the Czech Republic, some facts and fugres, main areas of challenge for evangelism and mission and other issues.
With their kind permission here is the article also for you.

Pavel V.

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The harvest is great, but where to get the workers?
The Principles of the Cell Churches - Thoughts and Ideas

When I pray for the church in our country to grow, I realize that one of the greatest obstacles is a lack of workers. It is key that the Lord would call these people into his harvest. And he really does long for it because he wants us to pray for it: He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (Luke 10:2)
Firstly, he wants to use us who serve him already. That's why after the Jesus's appeal to ask for more workers he continues by this command:
Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. (Luke 10:3)

Shortly before he was taken up to His Father he reminds us not only where to go but also what we should do there: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20a)

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Ministry of Pavel and Danka
The Principles of the Cell Churches - Thoughts and Ideas

HOW WE CAME TO CELLS
For many years we have had a burden for people who don't yet know the living Lord Jesus. Personal contact with and service to nonbelievers is a constant part of our life. We have seen tens of people come to know the Lord Jesus and become his followers...
When God prepared the chance (1993), with a small team of co-workers, we planted a new local church in the city of Ostrava, Czech Republic. This fellowship grew because new people were caming to the Lord Jesus. In 1999 about 20 people left to start another church in the city...
From 2004 onwards we initiated a series of large outdoor and indoor events (attendance up to 2200). All of this was with one desire: that more people could come to know the Lord Jesus and start to live with Him.
We wanted to initiate planting of more churches. We took part in several great courses and read interesting books with this in mind. But repeatedly we found out that it is not easy to find Christians who are devoted to the Lord and have the desire and courage and skills to start something new. After all, it is a difficult task, starting a new fellowship... Many times we realized that the task of church planting is somehow 'too big' for most Czech Christians. It's not motivational idea for them but rather something unreachable, which they usually don't even want to try.
Nonetheless we found a number of people who have experience with starting and leading smaller groups, whether groups of people who do not yet know the Lord Jesus or groups of believers. These people are an inspiration for us.

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To Love, to Live and to Pass on the Word of God
The Principles of the Cell Churches - Thoughts and Ideas

God’s word – the Bible is one of the key values of the cell church movement and of the evangelical thinking in general, which be belong to. We strongly wish and do various things so that everyone who is involved in cell churches could learn to really love the Word of God with their heart, to live it out and to pass it on.
TO LOVE the word of God means that we give it high priority, that we enjoy it, we’re getting to know it more, by heart as well.
TO LIVE the Word of God means that it directly influences our practical life, it’s not just information for us but it literally is a food for our souls and it’s something that transforms our thinking, our character. To live God’s Word can sometimes simply mean obedience flowing out of the trust we have in Jesus.
TO PASS ON the word of God means that we share our discoveries with other people; we work that other people would be able to see the transforming power of Scripture in us and thus they would understand the importance and effect of it. Then they would personally fall in love with the Word and learn to live it and later pass it on as well.

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Acknowledging Authorities
The Principles of the Cell Churches - Thoughts and Ideas

I was inspired by a statement of one Christian: „New churches are founded by those, who don’t want to accept an authority above themselves.“
In the cell movement our motivation for new things wasn’t a problem or a conflict with authorities but a desire to go out and reach and minister to people who don’t know Jesus, yet.
So, I was thinking and exploring the history of the past about 200 years. In a way, we can say that all the contemporary evangelical denominations were created as a result of a desire to do things differently than they had been done until that time. Whether it was for the reason of coming back to biblical theology or to practical model of the New Testament church or (especially in the past 30 years) with a desire to find the most effective ways to reach non-believers for the Lord.

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Now I commit you to GOD and to the WORD of his grace
The Principles of the Cell Churches - Thoughts and Ideas

When the apostle Paul parts with the church in Ephesus, he gives them important instructions and certain warnings. For example, in Acts 20:29, he says: “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.”
This seems dangerous enough on its own but Paul continues and claims (Acts 20:30) “Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”
What would you do if you knew that it’s very possible that something like this could happen in ‘your fellowship’, the fellowship which you established and into which you had invested so much energy, prayers and other efforts? What protection would you set up to prevent ‘your’ newly-established fellowship from falling apart or led astray?

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One Generation Is Enough
The Principles of the Cell Churches - Thoughts and Ideas

I have read the book Organic Church (by Neil Cole). Apart from many great practical ideas and stories, I was caught especially by Neil's view of the first generation of Christians.
During one generation of disciples, Christianity could have died out! There were only a few disciples, and they were weak and the strong hostile forces stood against them (both, their own nation and religion - Jews, and later the armed govenment too – Romans). And we need to say that these forces tried hard to persecute and kill the Christians! However, the dedication of these new believers to the Lord Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit was so great that, during a few decades instead of extinction, Christianity became well-known in a great part of the civilized world of those times!

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What have we been doing here for the last 20 years, Lord?
The Principles of the Cell Churches - Thoughts and Ideas

Optimists estimate that about 0.5% of today’s Czech population are ‘evangelical Christians’. With a total population of over 10 million, that would mean something over 50,000 people.
Some figures say only 0.4%, others as little as 0.3%. These estimates are mostly based on approximate numbers of members in individual churches and groups which we place in the ‘evangelical’ category. That means that they don’t say anything about genuine surrender to the living Lord or effective personal spreading of the Gospel.

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"Churches Plant Churches"
The Principles of the Cell Churches - Thoughts and Ideas

This is the slogan which I hear in various Christian circles quite frequently. It's true that it sounds quite reasonable but somehow I can't find it in the Bible. And from practical observation over the past 20 years or more in the Czech Republic I think that waiting for churches to plant other churches has formed a hindrance to more active development of the Kingdom of God in our country. You see, practical experience shows that contemporary Christian churches in this country aren't prepared to do something like that. Some don't have a vision for it and don't even think about anything like that. Some churches speak about it but aren't prepared for it as regards people: they don't have anyone they'd like to send out. In fact most of them aren't even prepared for it methodically: they don't know how to do it.
The church in Antioch is sometimes used as a Biblical example: It sent Barnabas and Paul out as instructed by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13).

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