How the Church Without Walls International Began
I want to share with you how the Church Without Walls International got started. For the first 25 years of my Christian walk I was in every kind of ministry from a small country church to a large, multi-million dollar mega-congregation. In February of 2001 I was ministering in a church in Mississauga Ontario which is outside of Toronto Canada. Suddenly, I saw the Lord a few feet away and He came walking to me and He said as it was in the beginning, so it must be now. For the first 300 years, I learned that churches met in homes.
The New Testament was written by people who were establishing disciples in homes and they were writing to people in house-based churches… home-based churches… family-based churches. Gentiles perceiving the grace in one another is what it’s all about. We’re not centrally controlled or anything else, but by your own faith you stand. –Paul, 2nd Corinthians 1:20 and Galatians 2:9.
Hey everybody this is John Fenn, Church Without Walls International, and I want to share with you how we got started because a lot of times people will see my face Thai or excuse me my Facebook videos or they’ll see YouTube videos or maybe they’ll go to our website and they’ll see some of the question-and-answer videos we have on there or read some of the articles but they sometimes skip over or they don’t get how we actually started so I want to share very briefly how church without walls international got started and here’s the basics of it for the first 25 years of my Christian walk I was in the traditional church everything from a pastor of a small country church to an associate pastor traveling in ministry all the way to a leader and what would be classified as an elder in a large mega Church of over 10,000 people director of a Bible School I was also director of Canada for another ministry and so I traveled all over North America so everywhere I would go they would ask me the same three questions how do I grow my church how do I pay for my church how do i shut the back door that is to stop people from leaving my church and traveling all around I began seeking the Lord saying it’s all the same they say that this church is different but it’s basically all the same and I began seeking the Lord you know about where he was moving what he was doing and in February of 2001 I was ministering in a church in Mississauga Ontario which is outside of Toronto Canada and during the worship service my eyes were open to the natural but suddenly my eyes were also open to the spirit realm and I suddenly saw the Lord a few feet away he came walking to me and he said this see what I see people running to and fro to this meeting and that looking for the spectacular thinking that is supernatural while they miss the supernatural work in their midst and even in their own hearts for the process of discipleship is supernatural and then he said as it was in the beginning so it must be now I’m moving in relationships now as I said that was February of old 1 2001 and that set me on a search because I did see people running to and fro looking for the spectacular and they were missing the supernatural work of Christ in them the hope of glory that how he was trying to grow them up in him and they were taking opportunities to grow and they were tossing it aside in favor of chasing the latest and the greatest and then whatever the fad movement was you know who was who was doing the greatest things it’s and they were missing the discipleship process in their hearts and so by the by about October of that year I had researched I’d found out that the church met in homes for the first 300 years until they became legalized in the 300s and when Constantine legalized Christianity he called people out of the homes he kicked some of the pagan priests out of the pagan temples realized that they were a same format that would be needed for having people be out of churches and into the auditorium setting and that’s where we have the pews the pulpit the platform the whole bit came from the temples of Zeus and Apollo and everything and Church has been in the building ever since but for the first 300 years I learned they met in homes and it was astounding to me that that at that point in my walk I’d walk with the Lord 25 years and I had always read the New Testament not realizing except maybe mentally agreeing as a historical footnote that that churches met in homes and it but it was an amazing revelation to me to really realize that the apostles who wrote the New Testament were doing so as apostles who were establishing disciples in homes and they were writing to people in house based churches, home-based churches, family based churches who meet in homes and that was amazing to me that for 25 years I’ve taken God’s word out of context because nobody likes to be taken out of context and by October of that year I told my wife I said I don’t want to Pastor a church again but if I ever did it would be in my living room the way Paul did it and three weeks later November of 2001 I happen to be in Edmonton Alberta Canada Western Canada and the Lord again this time on the Sunday night service appeared through during the worship Lord appeared during the worship and he came walking over to me and the power was turned up and I hit my knees because my strength had left me and he came walking over to in the laid hands on me and he said you’ve learned much from the people I’ve brought across your path in the last few months and the word that you studied he said I want you to start a house church and a house church Network and structure it in such a way to facilitate the development of house churches around the world he said you’ve been doing the work of an apostle now I’m laying hands on you as an apostle for this task and when I asked him if he had a name for it I said what it called it he said the church without walls international and then I said why would you do that why do you want me to do this and he said it’s against a time to come it’s a provision against a time to come be a resource for them for it’s against a time to come and that’s how we started in January of 2002 my wife and I started in our living room and when we the same as in the New Testament when you outgrow the living room because you’ve been rotating homes and rotating who leads everyone’s used to leading you outgrow a home you just multiply out and then those groups begin rotating among themselves they multiply out we’re taking them among themselves and now our network is around the world not always multiply directly from the same ones but people who’ve been raised up to start house churches and then stay related to each other and relate it as part of a network and that’s what we’re all about that’s how we got started a healthy balanced a good balance of the word and the spirit in truth two scriptures that the Lord gave us right from the beginning one is 2nd Corinthians 1:20 for it says not that we would have dominion over your faith but for we are helpers of your joy for by your own faith you stand not that we have dominion over your faith that’s not what we’re about it’s not centrally controlled or anything else but by your own faith you stand and then the second one Galatians 2:9 we’ve said Peter James and John who seemed to be pillars perceived at the grace in me and Barnabas and they agreed that they would go to the Jews and we would go to the Gentiles perceiving the grace in one another is what it’s all about we can look past our backgrounds our culture’s our nation’s even our languages and we perceive the grace of Christ in each other’s hearts and we’re bonded together in that in that grace and so that’s how we got started that’s what we’re all about god bless you church without walls international door guy hope you visit our web site and look for me also on Facebook and YouTube there are a lot of videos on that for you God bless if it resonates with you get in touch with us.