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with Madame Guyon



To see the kingdom of God established in our cities, regions, and
nation, by linking arms as a relational, intentional, and missional

network of house churches, that develop and deploy every believer
in Christ as they impact others.

Starfish line the shores of the world’s beaches. Chop off an arm,
and a new one grows to take its place. Tear a starfish in half, and
you’ll soon have two starfish on your hands. A torn-off limb can even
become a brand new starfish. And what’s more, they populate by

releasing hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions, of eggs
in just a few hours. Just like the house church movement through
the ages. An estimated 300,000 new house churches have started
between 1998 and 2006. And this doesn’t include China’s 80 to 100 ¸/64,*/<9*/*(5(+(¹
million house church believers or Latin America’s 1 million Basic BY KERRY L. GEORGE
Christian Communities in 2007. It’s also taking root in Canada.

Enter the Starfish Files. The magazine’s goal is to inspire, inform,
and interconnect the house churches across Canada and beyond. .9,(;*6440::065

Editor, Rad Zdero, rzdero@yahoo.ca
Designer, Jason Stacey, jason@yellowcanarydesign.com 9,*3(0405.6<9
Print Producer, Kyle Bultman, synkros.org
:<)40::065:& BY GORD COULSON
Send your writings, suggestions, and photos to Rad Zdero (editor),

c/o The Starfish Files, P.O. Box 39528, Lakeshore P.O., Mississauga,
ON, Canada, L5G 4S6, or by email to rzdero@yahoo.ca 9,=63<;0652640?

Non-tax-deductible cheques can be made out to “The Starfish
Network” with “Starfish Files” in memo line. /67,-(0;/(5+>,33:
-(0;/:;(;,4,5;& BY BETH BULTMAN
Our team agrees with historic Christian statements like the Apostles

Creed and the Nicene Creed. However, we do not necessarily
endorse every particular belief held by individual contributing ,4)9(*05./6<:,*/<9*/,:
authors to this magazine. (5+;9(+0;065(3*/<9*/,:
Publication is 3 times yearly—winter, spring/summer, and fall. A
limited print run is available for each issue. Print copies can also be
purchased at www.Synkros.org (click on “Starfish Files” on bottom
left menu). Electronic versions are available free online at www.
OikosMinistries.com, and www.scribd.com/rzdero.
with Madame Guyon





Victor Choudhrie is a cancer surgeon by profession. He is a Senior Fellow of the American and British Colleges
of Surgeons. He left his medical work in 1992 to take up a full-time church planting ministry in central India.
His wife, Bindu, is also in a full-time church planting ministry, equipping women to be house church leaders and
trainers. They now have disciples making disciples in some 40 countries. In the year from Pentecost 2009 to
Pentecost 2010, over 1 million people were baptized through their ministry partners. Many grassroots leaders have
been trained, who have subsequently planted tens of thousands of house churches across India and abroad. Victor’s
books include The Ekklesia: The Church In Your House, The Apostolic Gardens, The Prayer Warrior, Teaching
Cards, and From Mega Church to Meta (Beyond) Church soon to be published. Electronic copies of his books are
available for $10 U.S. via PayPal. Contact: GreetTheEkklesia@gmail.com

9,>90;,;/,16) a minimum of organization. Luke 10:5-9; +0:7,5:,>0;/>(-,9(5+
+,:*907;0656- Matt. 10:11-13; Acts 7:48-49; 2 Cor.6:16. :07/63@*644<5065:,9=0*,:
796-,::065(3*3,9.@ (5+ 79646;, )9,(205. 6-
from a pulpit orator, sacrament dispens- 7/(:,6<;796.9(44,+ )9,(+ >0;/ :0473, (.(7,
er and tithe gatherer, to a shepherd who :<5+(@º:,9=0*,:»>/03, 4,(3:36=,-,(:;:
feeds his flock to be healthy and reproduc- 0473,4,5;05.05-694(3 from house to house that believers take
ing, by encouraging them to practice the :4(33.(;/,905.: together with glad hearts, so the Lord
priesthood of all believers with authority The Bride of Christ must have intimacy can add to His numbers daily. The Lord
to baptize, break bread and equip fishers with her Lord every day, not only for a served roast lamb, bitter herbs, bread and
of men. He or she must model a flat church couple of hours a week, lest she become wine ‘in a house’ for the Last Supper. Fa-
structure wherein brothers and sisters unfaithful. However, discourage cross- ther God had lunch with Abraham under
submit to one another, pray one for anoth- gender disciple-making, lest chemistry a tree and discussed Sarah’s pregnancy,
er, serve one another, exhort, forgive and fouls things up. Acts 2:46-47; Heb. 3:13. Sodom’s ruin and Lot’s rescue plan. Acts
love each other. John 13:34,35; Matt.18:21- 2:46,47; 1 Cor.11:20-23; Gen. 18.
22; Eph. 5:21. 9,73(*,46:(0*;0;/05.
>0;/*/90:;0(5:/(905. 9,73(*,796-,::065(3
46=,-9644,,;05.05 thereby harnessing the enormous, finan- 4<:0*>0;/),30,=,9:
;,473,:;6.(;/,905.05 cial resources, hospitality and goodwill :7,(205.;6,(*/6;/,9
º/6<:,:6-7,(*,» available in Christian homes. Believe in psalms and spiritual songs, making
‘God does not dwell in temples made by that God is going to work a work among melody in their hearts to the Lord. OT
human hands’; rather He dwells in hu- the nations through you which will leave worship required the sacrifice of four-
man hearts. For we are the mobile walk- you utterly amazed, and also provide re- footed beasts, the NT celebrates by offer-
ing and talking temples of the living sources for it. Deut. 8:17-18; Acts 5:32-34; ing two-legged Gentiles as a living sac-
God, with a maximum of organism and Hab.1:5.


to the south and produce millions of meta
churches and fill the earth. Gen. 24:60; Isa.
54:1-5; Acts 1:8.

Dismantle the ‘Reverend’ culture that di-
vides clergy from layman. Like Melchizedek,
the royal priest of Salem (city of peace),
who served bread and wine, took tithe and
blessed Abraham, bring godly governance to
your city. Catch the vision of cloning royal-
priests for every city and run with it. 1 Pet.
2:9; Rev.5:10; Hab.2:1-3; Isa. 9:6-7; Gen.14:18.

and to lay out a road map to translate that
vision into action plans to ‘do greater things
than these’. Armed with maps, stats and
the Great Commission, go two by two and
teach the divine arithmetic of planting just
rifice. The meta church is a discipling hub 5(;065(35,;>692:6-º4,;(»
one multiplying church every month. In
and not a singing club. Eph 5:19; Col 3:16; ),@65+*/<9*/,:
Rom.15:16. ten short months, even the least shall plant
Instead of bringing everyone under one
a thousand meta churches. John 14:12; Acts
roof, have them gather under a thousand
:/0-;-964),05.( roofs, just like the mega church at Jerusa-
16:5; Luke 10:1, 2; Isa 60:22.

:7,*;(;69690,5;,+*/<9*/;6 lem planted meta churches across Judea, Sa-

(º4,;(:;(:0A05.»05;,9(*;0=, maria, Antioch, Corinth, Rome and beyond
7(9;0*07(;69@7967/,;0* (Greek = ‘meta’) that grew in faith and in
*/<9*/ numbers (both quality and quantity) daily.
Empower men, women and youth, to get the and send them to heal the sick, raise the
Rom.16:3-15; Acts 1:8, 16:5.
dragon off the driver’s seat. We, the seed of dead, tread on snakes and scorpions (expel
demons), bind the ‘strongman’, plunder his
Abraham are blessed, “with multiplying I 05-,*;;/,)(99,5)90+,>0;/
possessions and demolish the gates of Hell.
will multiply you and your seed will possess ;/,4<3;0730*(;065=09<:
the gates of the enemy”. 1 Cor.14:26-31; Acts Doggedly pursue demon demolition drive
A healthy mature female (Bride) implies
13:13, 18:4; Gen. 22:17,18; Gal. 3:27-29. until ‘the kingdoms of this world have be-
that she is ready to have babies. Rebecca the
come the Kingdom of our Lord and His
Bride of Isaac was blessed by her family to
-6976>,9-<3:@5,9.@ have millions of children. The time has come
Christ’. Matt. 11:12; 12:29; 16:18,19; Mark

4,;(4697/6:,4,.(*/<9*/,: for the Bride of Christ to stretch her tent to

16:17-18; Luke 10:19; Rev. 11:15

05;6*0;@9,.065(3(5+ the left and to the right and to the north and

the most cost-effective strategy for city pen-
etration and reaching the ends of the earth.
Acts 2:46-47.

Sound doctrine is the ability to convince
those who oppose. The lost of this world do
not need scholars as much as they need spir-
itual fathers and mothers who bring many
spiritual sons and daughters to glory. Acts
20:20,27; Tit. 1:9; 1 Cor. 4:15; 2 Tim.2:2; Heb.

Your business, workplace or home, wherever
you spend most of your time, is your ‘prima-
ry nuclear church’. It matters little whether
you are the CEO, or the janitor or the kitchen
queen, you are a full-time minister there and

9,:<99,*;-964),05.( Tyrannus, change spiritual demography. 1 accountable. Adam and Eve were account-

+,(+69.(50A(;065;6(30=05. Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15; Acts 19:8-12. able for the Garden of Eden and they failed.

Eliminate all extra-biblical cosmetic titles -03;,96<;5657,9-69405.  9,*6.50A,º/0;/,9,»º/,336»
like Director, Chairman, CEO, and Secre- .6(;: /(5+:/(205.:<5+(@*/<9*/
tary, by appointing five-fold ministry-gifted who come only for hatching (baby baptism), (:@6<9º:,*65+(9@67;065(3
Elders, like apostles, prophets, evange- matching (wedding) and dispatching (funer- */<9*/»
lists, shepherds and teachers, as equippers. al), and replace them with sheep who take A church that does not send you out to ‘raise

Healthy feeding and leading will keep the care of the hungry, thirsty, naked, strangers, your holy hands to pray everywhere’ and

flock healthy and fertile and build bridges sick and prisoners. Culling the non-produc- equip you to make Christ ‘high and lifted up’

with the ‘other sheep which are not of this tive sheep is an integral part of the ‘best in your home, workplace and neighborhood

fold.’ Eph. 4:11; Tit.1:5-9; John 10:16. practices’ of sheep rearing. God chose David is not worth going to. 1 Tim. 2:8; Isa. 6:1.
to shepherd Israel because he took care of

,476>,9,=,9@:<5+(@ “ewes great with young”. Matt. 25:31-46; Psa. 9,:,;@6<9790690;0,:;6

:*/663)0)3,:*/66379(@,9 78:70-72. 79,(*/*/90:;>/,9,/,/(:
*,33>64,5»:-,336>:/07(5+ 56;),,55(4,+
*6;;(.,4,,;05. :04730-@+0:*073,4(205. For this you do not have to go to church from

by calling them full-fledged, authentic Get a Bible and invite a couple of truth- Sunday to Sunday nor work from paycheck

churches. They must make disciples who seekers for a meal where the main dish is the to paycheck. You are “ordained” to be fruit-

baptize, break bread, equip laborers and Lamb. Redefine authentic church as wher- ful, to multiply, and to fill your home, work-

send missionaries and, like the school of ever two or three friends meet to eat, gossip

the gospel, and to multiply. Meta church is

place, neighborhood, and the city with the
knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the wa-
ters cover the sea. Matt. 6:33; Rom. 15:20; John
15:16; Gen. 1:28; Hab. 2:14.

Evaluate your ministry with the Great Com-
mission as its mandate, and for its bench-
marks the number of disciples made, baptized,
equipped and sent out. Aim to become a mil-
lionaire of souls. Why not? After all, you claim
to believe in a great and awesome God for
whom nothing is impossible. At the very least,
like Peter, shoot for 3000 baptisms by every
Pentecost. Or like Paul, plant a multiplying
church every day, till you can claim that there
are no more places left here for you to ‘fully
preach the gospel’, not just with words, ‘but
with signs and mighty deeds’. Acts 2:41, 16:5;
Rom. 15:19,23.+

626 :(=,6<9:;(9-0:/













*96::*(5(+( (3),9;( 4(50;6)( 8<,),*
Micah Newman Ken Stade Lon Vining
(Lloydminster, AB) (Winnipeg, MB) (Montreal, QC)
mhnewman@shaw.ca kenstade@shaw.ca lon@impactchurch.ca

he Lord has reetings to mpact Church is
been doing all from the a group of young
great things province of adults and students
here in Lloydminster! Manitoba! I’d like to in Montreal who want
We are excited about give a brief update on to reach students on
house churches and our network of simple the city’s 31 universities
networking. We have house churches in the and junior colleges.
seen many salvations Winnipeg area that We began praying for
and people being set free in our house we call Kingsfold Communities. labourers for the harvest in 2007.
church. We give God all the glory!!! On September 18, 2010, our network The Lord led us to transition to a cell
We just baptized eight new believers. is hosting a BBQ and an evening of mu- structure in 2009. The vision is to multiply
Six of them were one entire family. We sical worship with Canadian Christian cell groups across the city and on every
baptized them during a house church singer and songwriter Steve Bell. campus. These cell groups are to work
camp out that we held at Silver Lake. On October 2, we are planning to together as part of a multiplying network.
We have seen the Lord do many mira- have a Redemptive Listening Seminar for Since 2009, new cells have multiplied out
cles, healings, and deliverance in many all of our FOGs (Facilitators of Grace), of our original two groups to now comprise
people. who are basically the spiritual moms a total of six cells, some having been started
One of the new believers was bap- and dads of each of the house churches. by new believers who have been mentored
tized in the North Saskatchewan River. On October 16, we plan to host and trained.
This woman was afraid to step into a an area gathering for simple church We do not own a building or a church
traditional church due to her past sin. seekers and inquisitive folks who are bus and likely never will. We have about 40
But now she has trusted Christ. asking questions and testing the wa- members who gather corporately in a rented
She still has a long journey and is ters regarding the so-called simple or space weekly. Our only resource is the Holy
being set free from her past. She made house church movement. Spirit changing lives and raising up leaders.
many poor choices because of her dys- It seems that God has us leaning to- The “work” of the church takes place in the
functional childhood, but now has been wards true exponential growth, which homes and apartments that host the cells
born again and has been set free through of course starts very slow. We try not and in leadership training meetings.
the saving power of Jesus Christ. At her to invite anyone to our gatherings. In- I meet with and mentor the cell leaders
baptism, we had a chance to share the stead, we invite them into our lives as each Monday night for three hours. We
good news of Jesus with her unbeliev- we ‘gossip’ about what Jesus is doing fellowship, study the Word, discuss how to
ing family. in our group. best lead people to spiritual maturity, and
There is another house church here With a great deal of love and friend- pray, especially for lost people we know and
in Lloydminster, and we have connected ship, we are finding that people will unreached people groups around the world.
with them. Our vision is to see a larger eventually ask if they can come and be Each leader has three primary tasks: (1)
house church network emerge in the with us during our meetings too. This lead cell members to share Christ with their
city and the surrounding area. encourages an attitude which is re- friends and invite new people to their group,
I am looking forward to attending markably different than a straight out (2) help cell members grow spiritually, and
future regional and national gatherings invitation to just another meeting. (3) identify and mentor new leaders in the
and meeting all of you. May the Lord Please continue to pray for us here cell. Thanks for your prayers!+
Bless and keep you!+ as we labour in the vineyard in this
part of the country.+

;/,4(90;04,: :7,*0(39,769;!*(5(+0(55(;065(3;/052;(52
Mike MacLean (Fredericton, NB) Rad Zdero (Toronto, ON)
mkmac44@hotmail.com rzdero@yahoo.ca

O F *(5(+0(5*655,?065:
ur network of rom July 30 to
house churches Aug 1, 2010, house
in the Maritimes church leaders Gord Coulson (Vancouver)
is growing in spiritual from Alberta, Manitoba, homechristian@gmail.com
depth. We also recognize Ontario, and Quebec
Grace Wiebe (Surrey)
a holy discontent among converged on Toronto wiebe.grace@gmail.com
Christians in more over the weekend for a
 traditional church settings.  Canadian national house church ‘think (3),9;(
tank.’ Friends from BC and New Brunswick Bob Carroll (Edmonton)
Dr. Chuck Lakin, from the group near rev.bob@telus.net
Fredericton, NB, has worked with Maritime were unable to attend for logistical
pastors for 12 years. He says, “some pastors reasons. The 16 delegates represented a John Pritchard (Calgary)
are becoming somewhat disillusioned wide range of house churches and house john.pritchard@cschurch.ca
with the mainline denominations and church networks across the nation. Rob Ross (Calgary)
church structures. Many are looking for The goal was to collectively hear from oikosministries@shaw.ca
greater depth and commitment in their God what the next steps might be for us
Kerry George (Black Diamond)
interpersonal relationships, as well as a as a national movement and to solidify juicyfruitchristianity@msn.com
genuine fresh breath of God’s Spirit moving personal relationships.
within the body of Christ.” On Friday night, a smaller group of us :(:2(;*/,>(5
Wayne and Charlene Erb, from Saint gathered for several hours for a fun, but Leighton Tebay (Saskatoon)
John, NB, say their house church provides “a meaningful, dinner and discussion.
more intimate, close and calm environment On Saturday, we opened and closed our 4(50;6)(
allowing for more freedom to ask questions, time with prayer and worship. We also had Ken/Valerie Stade (Winnipeg)
learn the Word of God in more depth, have a facilitated listening and brainstorming
a deeper level of sharing and individual process on identifying, training, and 65;(906
prayer.” Dave and Dora Jamer say they have launching new house church leaders. Sam/Lori Buick (Waterloo)
enjoyed helping the Erbs “at various times On Sunday, we spent our time listening samthemacman@gmail.com
with their house group, by way of teaching, to the Spirit on the issue of colabouring Marc Wright (Ottawa)
and encouraging.” and networking across the nation. We just1church@gmail.com
Manuel Brayley, who hosts the other recognized the need for enhancing
Rad Zdero (Toronto)
group in Frederiction, NB, believes house communication, mobilizing funds, and rzdero@yahoo.ca
churches are “God’s answer to what is releasing a small team to catalyze national
happening and to what is going to happen, events, processes, and resources. 8<,),*
which is [to be] a refuge from the fiercest This ‘think tank’ was a milestone we Robert Adams (Montreal)
storm the world will ever experience... The will look back on some day as being a
Lord will have a remnant to come for, when catalytic moment. There was a strong Lon Vining (Montreal)
He returns to establish His kingdom.” sense of unity, partnership, and affection, lon@impactchurch.ca
The temptation even in house churches as we join forces as a national network ;/,4(90;04,:
is to move out of the Spirit and into the of house churches. Please pray that the Rik Berry (Nova Scotia)
flesh by relying on programs. We must Lord of the harvest would have his way in rik@valleygate.org
remember, however, that it is not by might, Canada.+
Mike/Anne Maclean (New Brunswick)
nor by power, but by God’s Spirit that we mkmac44@hotmail.com
shall have victory.+


shovel the snow for the elderly woman, go sharing their faith and leading people to Je-
camping in the summer, etc. Servant lead- sus on the public transit. Others could not
ers are trained to lay their lives down for speak in front of people due to fear and now
the people and to exemplify that kind of un- lead a group competently each week. We are
conditional love. Helping each other creates producing reproducing disciples.
Kerry L. George bonds of love. Our house churches will meet in a larger
 (Black Diamond, AB) We emphasize evangelism and encourage group monthly. They use their smaller house
house churches to reach unchurched people. group meetings to be ministered to at a per-
Then we make disciples, not just converts, sonal level. But the large monthly meeting

he vision of our house church net- and teach them to do ALL Jesus commanded of all the house churches is for a lot of fun,
work, called ‘Home Church Cana- (Matt 28:18-20). greater celebration, a focused teaching, a guest
da’, is to affect our soci- speaker, or just to eat and play games
ety by introducing Jesus Christ to together. It is something that is looked
individuals and allowing him to forward to with great anticipation.
do a life changing work in their We have faced various crises along
lives. The transforming work of the way too. We used to meet in larger
the Holy Spirit impacts fami- groups of 20 to 40 regularly, but Jez-
lies at the very core as we plant ebel and other divisive spirits seemed
churches in homes. We want to to work overtime on groups of that
plant churches in homes all across size to find a solid platform for them-
Canada and beyond. Allow me to selves. When we began using smaller
tell you a little about our network. groups, this problem disappeared.
We feel that an apostolic per- Why? Those who just want a platform
son should have a plan or vision for their ego are usually not interested
that the people can identify with, in small groups of ten or less.
or there is no progress and people For instance, in one group a wom-
feel unfulfilled and wander off. So an had become so disruptive over and
whatever we are doing and plan- over again, that I confronted her in
ning, we make it plain. Then the front of the house before she came in
people know it, and if they agree and asked her not to join the group
with it, they join it. When they anymore until she had dealt with
join a cause or a movement in- her sin. Fortunately, she eventually
stead of joining a person or even did repent and was reconciled to the
a group, they overcome and press group again.
on even when times are hard. Currently, we have house church-
For example, a single mom with 5 chil-
We believe that community comes from es in Alberta and Ontario and are looking
dren doubled her income in 14 weeks because
being together and having all things com- forward to partnering with other house
we taught her the Bible’s financial principles.
mon. We encourage groups to help each church leaders and networks in order to
Lukewarm believers who warmed a church
other put the roof on the house, do the yard reach Canada for Jesus Christ.+
pew for 20 years and never won a single per-
work for the member who is out of town,
son to Jesus, have become soul winners as
they minister weekly in the downtown core


“HOLY BIBLE: Handbook for the Christian's Life and Mission.”


12*5($7(5-2< %<0,&+$(/ '(%,3($5/ 3($5/52$'3/($6$179,//(71


9(+0*(3966;: .69+*6<3:65=(5*6<=,9)*

T he modern house
church movement
continues to grow.
Saturation evangelism and
house church planting have
House churches were the norm by necessity.
Because Christians were members of God’s
Kingdom, not Caesar’s, they were opposed to
politics and violence (Eph 6:11-12), although
they were law abiding citizens (Rom 13:1-7, 1 Pet
part, in living as Christ had modelled. They
rejected politics and war. They shared their re-
sources and lives with one another. They fed
the hungry and clothed the naked. They edu-
cated the unschooled. They preached the Gos-
taken deep root and pro- 2:12-16). Like Jesus, they said no to the temp- pel. They set the example of Kingdom life for
duced much fruit in many tations of power, position, and popularity (Lk the world to observe.
nations. And masses of existing believers are 4:1-13, Jn 6:14-15, 18:36). Instead, they created For the modern house church movement
becoming dissatisfied with traditional church- change at the grassroots and were a prophetic to remain relevant, it needs to return to its
es and leaving to form grassroots home-based voice speaking truth (Acts 4:1-20). As a result, radical roots. We need to do more than use
groups. But what does the movement stand they suffered persecution (Acts 8:1-4). Radical house churches as mere vehicles for evange-
for? And where is it going? stuff indeed! lism, for complaining about pastors and pews,
In the first century, Christianity was a We see this pattern repeated in history. or for meeting our personal needs. We must
house church movement that was counter-cul- Time and time again, God raised up groups like visibly model Kingdom life to a world that is
tural and radical (Jn 17:16, Acts 2:41-47). Believ- the Waldenses, Lollards, Anabaptists, Quak- lost in unbelief. We must follow the footsteps
ers turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). ers, and others to restore apostolic Christian- of our Lord Jesus, the pacifist rebel, who rose
The synagogues were increasingly hostile to ity. They were persecuted by the established up against the spiritual status quo and changed
Christianity (Jn 9:22, Acts 18:4-7), and the Ro- church (both Catholic and Protestant), which the world forever.+
man government opposed any group that had was usually in league with governmental pow-
a Lord besides Caesar (Acts 17:7-8, Rev 1:9). ers. But these believers persisted, for the most


626 :(=,6<9:;(9-0:/

76)6? 3(2,:/69,76

Beth Bultman Once you reach it, it comes up
(Rochester, NY) rather quickly. When the water
BethBultman@gmail.com rushes in, it can, symbolically at least,

’ve been thinking bring you to the top. Then you look
and praying about like a genius since all that drilling
wells. You know, was immediately worth it.
the kind you drill. When you choose Have you ever believed, hoped,
a site for a well, you calculate, hope, worked and sweated for something,
and pray that there is water down hoping you’re not crazy? Our lives
there somewhere. Some wells have to and the work we do for the Lord
be drilled very deeply to find a water are like well-drilling. We are either
source. You wonder how deep you geniuses or fools, and here’s hoping
have to go. and believing that we will hit water,
When you drill a well, you dig You wonder, is there really water and that all that drilling and sweat is
yourself into a deeper and deeper down here? Why did I start doing worth it.
hole, with no visible progress except this? Do I have the faith to continue? To all the well-drillers out there
down. In a way, you look ridiculous. You have to persevere through the doing the Lord’s work, may you
You dig in the dirt, are covered with arduous process until you reach persevere until the water bursts forth
sweat and grime, and reap no reward. the water. to flood the parched land. +

 Brian Sauder of church life, I also believe God is using would allow tension between his Special
(Ephrata, PA) today’s conventional church structures.” Forces and regular army?
To use a New Testament analogy, let’s If we as house church leaders are
just say that house churches are like the secure that our vision is from God, then
DOVE International Special Forces of God’s army. They have to borrow a term from Nike, we should
(www.dcfi.org) believes a purpose separate from the regular “just do it” wholeheartedly. If God is
in house churches and traditional church army. Does that make them more impor- placing house church on our hearts, then
structures as viable expressions of Christ’s tant? No. A general would not fight a war let’s plant as many as we can. Each new
body today. Why? Our overriding concern using only the Special Forces. church will impact people that God loves.
is completing the Great Commission. Similarly do we think God would And although there is always room
In light of God’s heart for the lost, why only use the house church portion of his for godly, thoughtful, and Bible-based
would we spend our time and energy church today? Pastors of many tradition- dialogue, let us be mature enough not to
debating which method is better? We al churches are suspicious of the house harshly attack the efforts of other broth-
need all hands on deck. churches and leaders of many house ers and sisters in Christ.
As Larry Kreider states in his book, churches are suspicious of the tradition- We need everyone to work together
House Church Networks, “the new house al churches. How does this help us? The in order to reach the world for Jesus
church networks are tailor-made for to- truth is that both approaches, as prac- Christ (Matt. 9:17, 28:18-20).+
day’s generation and will be a force in ticed today, need improvements to truly
returning to the New Testament model become more effective. What general



Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte-Guyon is commonly known as Madame Guyon. She was a
French mystic, an influential writer, and a key advocate of Quietism, which was considered hereti-
cal by the Catholic Church. She was imprisoned in Paris from 1695 to 1703 after publishing a book
called A Short and Easy Method of Prayer. As a child, she was sensitive and sickly. Guyon’s parents
were pious and gave her a religious upbringing. She was married at 16 to Jacques Guyon. She had
four children and was widowed at 28. She was introduced to Christian mysticism by a Catholic
priest, who became her mentor. After her death, her writings influenced radical Protestants, like
the Quakers, and evangelicals, like Charles Spurgeon. Her many works have been published in
nations like America, England, France, Holland, Germany, and Switzerland. The following text is
taken from the very book that led to her imprisonment, part of which was spent in Paris’s infamous
Bastille fortress prison.

e are all called to prayer, as He is more present to us than we while any savor or relish remains in the
we are all called to salvation. are to ourselves. He is more desirous passage: then take up your book again,
Prayer is nothing but the of giving Himself to us than we are to and proceed as before, seldom reading
application of the heart to God. possess Him; we only need to know how more than half a page at a time. It is not
Children, draw near to your Father, to seek Him, and the way is easier and the quantity that is read, but the manner
and he will embrace you in the arms of more natural to us than breathing. of reading, that yields us profit.
love! Come ye poor, stray, wandering Those who cannot read books, are not,
sheep, return to your Shepherd! Come, on that account, excluded from prayer.
sinners, to your Saviour! Let all without
exception come, for Jesus Christ hath
´&KLOGUHQGUDZQHDUWR The great book which teaches all things,
and which is written all over, within and
called all.
All who are desirous of prayer, may
\RXU)DWKHUDQGKHZLOO without, is Jesus Christ himself.
The method they should practice
easily pray, enabled by those ordinary
graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit which
HPEUDFH\RXLQWKHDUPV is this: they should first learn this
fundamental truth, that “the kingdom
are common to all men.
You must, then, learn a species of
RIORYH&RPHVLQQHUV of God is within them,” (Luke 17:21), and
that it must be sought there only.
prayer which may be exercised at all
times; which does not obstruct outward
WR\RXU6DYLRXU/HW They should then repeat the Lord’s
prayer in their native tongue; pondering
employments; which may be equally
practised by princes, kings, prelates,
DOOZLWKRXWH[FHSWLRQ a little upon the meaning of the words,
and the infinite willingness of that God
who dwells within them to become,
priests and magistrates, soldiers and
children, tradesmen, laborers, women,
FRPHIRU-HVXV&KULVW indeed, “their father.”
In this state let them pour out their
and sick persons; it is not the prayer of
the head, but of the heart.
KDWKFDOOHGDOOµ wants before him; and when they have
It is not a prayer of the understanding pronounced the word, “father,” remain
alone, for the mind of man is so limited a few moments in a reverential silence,
in its operations that it can have but one Meditative reading is the choosing waiting to have the will of this, their
object at a time; but it is the prayer of [of] some important practical or heavenly Father, made manifest to them.+
the heart which is not interrupted by the speculative truth, always preferring the
exercises of reason. practical, and proceeding thus: whatever
And when once we have enjoyed God, truth you have chosen, read only a small
and the sweetness of his love, we shall find it portion of it, endeavoring to taste and
impossible to relish [anything] but himself. digest it, to extract the essence and
substance of it, and proceed no farther


Rad Zdero
(Toronto, ON)

¸*/(<=050:;¹69¸-,4050:;¹ Eldon Jay Epp’s book, Junia: The First Wom- meaning one who “presides” or “sponsors.” A
That’s what people call you depending on an Apostle. form of prostatis is also used regarding over-
your views on women in the church. As house seers/elders (1 Tim 3:4-5, 5:17).
churches, however, may we be “Biblicists”, >64,5>,9,7967/,;,::,:
allowing the Bible to guide us. Some people Anna was a prophetess (Luke 2:36-38), and >64,5>,9,7(<3»:*6>692,9:
jump too quickly to the “limiting” passages of Philip’s daughters prophesied (Acts 21:8-9). Euodia, Mary, Persis, Phoebe, Priscilla, Syn-
1 Cor 14:34-35 and 1 Tim 2:11-12 to point out Peter said women could prophesy (Acts 2:17- tyche, Tryphaena, and Tryphosa are referred
what women supposedly should not do. So, to 18).Although criticized for her heresy and to as “coworkers” by Paul or described as
bring some balance, let us look at what the immorality, Jezebel was not rebuked for call- having “worked hard” for the gospel (Rom
Bible says women can do. ing herself a “prophetess” (Greek = prophet- 16:1,2,3,6,12; Philip 4:2-3).
is) (Rev 2:20).
>64,5>,9,(76:;3,: >64,5>,9,/,(+:6--(4030,:
In Rom 16:7, Paul greets two outstanding apos- >64,5>,9,,=(5.,30:;: Mary, Lydia, and Chloe were the leaders of
tles. One is a man named Andronicus. The A woman spread the good news about Je- their households (Acts 12:12, 16:14-15,40; 1
other person’s name, however, could either sus and saw many in her town come to Cor 1:11). And Priscilla’s name appears before
be read “Junias” (male) or “Junia” (female), faith (John 4:39-42). And Jesus chose Mary her husband Aquila’s on four of six occasions,
depending on where accents are placed. The Magdalene as the first witness and herald of meaning she was more prominent than her
problem is that Greek copies of the New Tes- his resurrection (John 20:15-18), despite the husband in that culture (Acts 18:2,18,26; Rom
tament in the first 700 years did not place ac- worthlessness of a woman’s legal testimony 16:3; 1 Cor 16:19; 2 Tim 4:19).
cents on names. But, other evidence clearly in that society.
favours the female name “Junia.” >64,5>,9,/6:;:6-/6<:,*/<9*/,:
First, there are over 250 inscriptions and >64,5>,9,;,(*/,9: Mary, Lydia, Nympha, and Priscilla hosted
references in ancient Greek and Latin litera- Priscilla and her husband privately corrected churches in their homes, a highly prominent
ture in the city of Rome alone to the common Apollos on doctrine (Acts 18:26). Although role in that society (Acts 12:12, 16:14-15,40;
female name “Junia.” rebuked for heresy, Jezebel was not rebuked Rom 16:3-5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15). And Apphia
Second, there is virtually universal agree- because she “taught” (Greek = didaskein) hosted and likely co-led a house church with
ment up to about 1300 AD by church leaders (Rev 2:20). Philemon and Archippus (Philem 1:1-2).
and theologians that the female name “Junia”
is meant. >64,5>,9,,3+,9: >64,5>,9, -<33 7(9;0*07(5;: 05 */<9*/
Third, no evidence whatsoever exists Some scholars suggest women were includ- 30-,(5+40::065
from any Greek and Latin literature of the ed in the list of qualifications for overseers/ They could pray, prophesy, teach, encourage,
day that anyone was ever named “Junias.” bishops (i.e. elders, pastors) and deacons by and use all their spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:7-
12,27-28, 14:26; Col 3:16; Heb 10:24-25). And
 during Jesus’ ministry, women materially
supported his work and hosted him at home
(Matt 27:55-56; Luke 10:38).

Scripture and prayer must be the foundation
for empowering women in our house church-
es to fulfill their calling. To avoid confusion,
each house church might consider having a
short written statement about its beliefs to
Fourth, no evidence whatsoever exists the gender neutral word “man” (Greek = tis, give to newcomers, including those views
that the known male name “Junianus” was meaning “someone”) (1 Tim 3:1) and the con- about women in the church. And let us work
ever shortened to “Junias” or any other necting word “likewise” (Greek = hosautos) (1 closely with other house churches even when
form. Tim 3:11). we disagree on this topic.
Finally, no good evidence exists linguisti- May today’s house church movement re-
cally or historically that Rom 16:7 should be >64,5>,9,+,(*65: capture a more scriptural and strategic view
translated “well known to the apostles.” Phoebe in Rom 16:1-2 is called a “deacon” of women in the church to reach the world
For the definitive work on the topic by (Greek = diakonos), meaning “servant.” She for Jesus Christ!+
an eminent New Testament scholar, see

is also called a “minister” (Greek = prostatis),

/6<:,*/<9*/(<;/69: -9,,L)662


• Can you change the world?

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;/,.36)(3/6<:, • Packed with stats, diagrams, quotes, exercises
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626 :(=,6<9:;(9-0:/
RAD ZDERO earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical
Engineering, specializing in bio-mechanics
and bio-materials. He is currently the director
of a hospitalbased research group in Toronto.
DQGDUWZRUN)LQDQFLDOVXSSRUWLVDOVRQHHGHGWRSD\ Rad has been involved in the house church
IRUGHVLJQDQGSULQWLQJFRVWV3OHDVHPDNHDQRQ and small group movement since 1985 and is
WD[GHGXFWLEOHFKHTXHRXWWR´6WDUÀVK1HWZRUNµZLWK committed to the full restoration of original
´6WDUÀVK)LOHVµLQWKHPHPROLQH6HQGWR New Testament Christianity in our day. He is the author of The
Global House Church Movement (2004) and the allegorical novel
9(+A+,96,+0;69 Entopia: Revolution of the Ants (2008). He is also the editor
76)6?  of Nexus: The World House Church Movement Reader (2007)
3(2,:/69,76 and The Starfish Files house church magazine. He lives in
40::0::(<.(65 Toronto, Canada.


RrEeVvOoLlUuTtIiOoNnAaRrYy BbOoOoKkSs

T he G lobal House Nexus: T he World E ntopia: Revolution

C hurch Movement House C hurch of the A nts
Rad Zdero gives you Movement Reader An allegorical tale written
biblical, historical, and As the editor of this in the tradition of C.S.
practical insights for a volume, Rad Zdero has /HZLV¶VNarnia chronicles
radical new type of compiled the writings DQG*HRUJH2UZHOO¶V Ani-
church that is arising all of almost 40 house mal F arm. An adventure
around the world. This church leaders and of grassroots revolution in
book is guaranteed to scholars from 20 the hierarchical and or-
challenge your under- countries in over 60 dered world of an anthill.
standing of what the provocative articles. The system must change!
church is really meant Get trained to start Although just a fable, it
to be and do! Perfect as your own network of has challenges for the
a study guide to kick- missional house church to grapple with.
start a new house churches no matter Fun for kids of all ages!
church! (paperback, where you live! (paperback, illustrated,
155 pages) (paperback, 528 pages) 132 pages)
Best price from « Best price from « Best price from «
www.missionbooks.org www.missionbooks.org www.amazon.com


University (Kingston, Canada), specializing in bio-mechanics and bio-materials. He is
the director of a hospital-based research lab in Toronto, Canada. Rad has been actively
involved in the house church and small group movement since 1985 and is dedicated to
encouraging the full restoration of original New Testament Christianity in our day.
DdEeAaRr SsTtAaRrFfIiSsHh RrEeAaDdEeRr !
Please enjoy this latest issue of The Starfish Files. May it
inform, inspire, and ignite you into action as you fulfill your
God-given role in Canada¶s house church movement.

Picture yourself taking a trip across this land on a spiritual

trans-Canada highway that stretches from Vancouver Island
in the west to Prince Edward Island in the east.

Every hour or so, you can stop and visit a dynamic and
missional group of believers that meets in homes, coffee
shops, board rooms, and almost anywhere imaginable.

The goal of The Starfish Files is to relationally link the house

churches and networks across Canada for greater missional
impact on our cities, regions, and nation.

$OWKRXJK ³KDUG FRSLHV´ and e-copies are basically free

for the asking, the magazine requires the talents and
finances of folks like you!

Thanks for considering how you can get involved!

Rad Zdero
Editor, The Starfish Files

CcOoNnTtRrIiBbUuTtEe YyOoUuRr SsKkIiLlLlSs (CcHhEeCcKk AaLlLl TtHhAaTt AaPpPpLlYy)

I can write an article, book review, etc., on ________________________________
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I can be a one-time distributor for a house church event scheduled for _________. I need __ paper copies
I can be a regular distributor to the house church(es) in my region. I need ___ paper copies of future issues.
I have access to professional-quality production facilities. I only need a print-ready PDF copy to become a
printer-distributor of the magazine in my region.
Other skill ? ________________________________________________________

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One-time non-tax deductible gift of $________
1 subscription for 1 year (³KDUGFRSLHV´RIthe next 3 issues) for $ 20
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Other funding or donation (paper, hardware, etc.) idea ? ______________________________

YyOoUuRr IiNnFfOo
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Address ________________________________________________________________

SsTtAaRrFfIiSsHh FfIiLlEeSs CcOoNnTtAaCcTt IiNnFfOo

x Mail this form to: Rad Zdero, PO Box 39528, Lakeshore PO, Mississauga, ON, Canada, L5G-4S6
x Scan and email this form to: rzdero@yahoo.ca