Jay Ashcraft, Lighthouse Ministries, June 8, 2017
From the beginning we have known the work God has called us to here in Antioch, California, would not fit the typical church planting model. We love to hear of the awesome ways God is blessing traditional church plants that begin by meeting at a specific location and building a critical mass. We, on the other hand, are trying something different.
We set our sights on reaching the lost by starting multiplying house churches that others are successfully implementing across the US. Our plan is neither new nor unique. It can be traced all the way back to the New Testament where Jesus sent his followers out in pairs to go house to house with the Good News. We also see this method employed almost exclusively in the book of Acts. The modern day attempt to duplicate this method has seen phenomenal success in places like China, India, Africa, and South America. Let me briefly describe what we have been doing and how things are going here in the USA, specifically in our area of the East Bay, Antioch.
For nearly two years we set out to build a team of believers with the vision of reaching the Bay area, beginning with Antioch and the 93% of people in our community who do not know Christ. We knew things would begin slowly. Our prayer has been that over time we would begin to see movement from addition to multiplication and from there exponential growth.
During this time we used two methods to bring the Gospel to lost people. First we shared Christ with the people in our "Oikos" (circle of family and friends). Secondly, we reached out in our city by going door to door and neighborhood to neighborhood. During the first year and a half we witnessed twenty-some people make a profession of faith. Naturally, this is only the first step in the process of beginning multiplying house churches and growing mature multiplying disciples.
Presently, we have two Teaching House Churches meeting on a regular basis. Teaching house churches are places, where people who are already church attending believers, meet to practice being a house church while committing to reaching out weekly to people far from God within their own sphere of influence (Oikos).
Since January 2017, we have seen 10 more people come to Christ and two embryonic, first generation house churches start to get off the ground. It is always exciting to hear stories of conversion and life change. If you would like to learn more about Lighthouse Ministries or support the ministry in Antioch contact Jay Ashcraft.