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July 2006

The Spider and the Church

Would you be interested in planting a church that will one day equate to several thousand people, having a direct, positive effect on the ultimate spiritual and moral transformation of your region? How would you like an annual financial budget of millions of dollars, that you do not have to keep, but could sow into ministry world wide? Many today would enjoy the concepts that all of this would offer them, yet the looming question of, “How?” is ever present.

In the First Century A.D., the “Early Church” seemed to be able to achieve such long lasting results. That Church changed the world, not just of its day, but we are still the lasting, ongoing product of their endeavors, even though some would say that we are a very flawed product.


The Lord recently said, “Learn the lesson of the spiders!” I saw a thick forest in summertime. As I walked through the trees, I soon became entangled in many spider webs. I soon ended my walk, and began to watch. Here is the vision the Lord gave me. I saw many webs, and each was covered with a mother spider and several hundred baby spiders, so small I could hardly see them. The baby spiders began to grow and soon left the web and found some branches of their own. They surveyed the area, and chose their boundaries and began to form their own webs and worked from the outside boundary inward. Within a few days they began to have baby spiders themselves and the process was duplicated over and again. Soon the forest was filled, over-run with spiders! A nasty fly flitting through that forest did not have a chance!

The forest represents a region or an area, the baby spiders are churches, the mother spider is an apostolic, itinerant, church planting worker, with her web being the covenant relationships linking everything together. The Lord said, “Do not underestimate the power of the web!” To understand this one must take pity on the fly. The fly is often larger than the spider but does not stand a chance against the power of the spider web! The spider never leaves home without the web! I have seen spiders flying through the air, as they grasp onto a long length of their web, allowing the wind to blow them to the next tree. Therefore the glue to everything we do is based on the web of covenant relationships. Everything has to begin at this point. Without the web the spider cannot survive!

The “Simple Church”

The First Century Church is often called the “Simple Church.” The reason being it was extremely simple in structure, yet totally affected the entire world it touched. The Church, the spiders, met in homes. There were no buildings to pay for. Wherever a “young spider” would land, a new church was formed. There is not even one verse of Scripture that would even faintly indicate that the Early Church ever paid to have “church buildings” built!

~Romans 16:3-5, “Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila…..also give my greetings to the church that meets in their home.”

~Romans 16:23 speaks of the church that meets in the house of Gaius.

~I Corinthians 16:19, “The churches here in the province of Asia send greetings in the Lord, as do Aquila and Priscilla and all the others who gather in their home for church meetings.”

~Colossians 4:15, “Please give my greetings to our brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house.”

~Philemon verses 1, 2, “I am writing to Philemon, our beloved co-worker, and to our sister Apphia, and to our fellow soldier Archippus, and to the church that meets in your house.”

If you examine a working, fully functioning family, you can understand the concept that God choose for His Church. A family eats together, works together, relates together, and even plays together. The children of the family one day leave, creating families of their own, yet they are always linked together by the bond of the family tie. Likewise so worked the Church of the First Century. The concept of the Church worked 2000 years ago, and if the same principles would be applied today, they would now also.

Looking at a Simple Church Meeting

In the 1930’s, Watchman Nee said, “People go to a Sunday meeting 52 Sundays per year, and never once attend a church meeting.” Nee said that a “church meeting” could be described by one word, “Mutuality.” Here’s a view of the typical “simple, church meeting” that the Baby Spiders would have:

When you meet together, one Will l sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.”  I Corinthians 14:26

This church meeting works best in a home. A defining characteristic would be that everyone comes together, sits in a circle and opens up, enters in, actually becoming the Church.

The Web

Now catch the concept of hundreds of these Baby Spider meetings being held all over your Region! And, if you look close enough, you can see the almost invisible webs attaching all of these “Spider Churches” together. Again, the Lord said, “Do no underestimate the power of the webs!” The fly fully understands! The Simple Churches of 2000 years ago were all linked together. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself.” (Ephesians 2: 20, 21) The “Simple Churches” of 2000 years ago were “webbed together” by covenant relationships. These relationships, or strands of the web, are almost unbreakable. Ask the fly what he thinks about them! They are the glue that hold the Spider’s Church together.

Babies become Parents

As the baby spiders grow, mature, they begin to develop a strong instinct, that of replicating themselves. Baby spiders; eventually have baby spiders of their own to take care of. And so the process expands. Soon the forest is full of spiders, all linked together by the same DNA and strong webs of relationships. Soon a Mega Spider Church is formed, taking complete control of everything in the forest. Even the giant bears have to wipe the spider webs out of their faces as they amble through the woods! No thing creeping or flying has a chance. The spiders will devour all insects!

The parent spiders, the apostle spiders will say to the young ones, “Go plant your new web between those two branches and I’ll help you get started, and guide you along the way.”

The Larger Picture

We see apostolic networks of the church planting “works,” comprised of hundreds of house churches in the region, functioning in the I Corinthians 14:26 model, coming together from time to time for joint, corporate meetings of the “Work.” All of the churches are linked together in a network of covenant. Soon, the community is transformed, as well as webs of influence begin to go to other areas and the same model is taught, empowered and released.

One last thought here; through this working, New Testament model, millions of dollars will be released into the work of the Ministry of Jesus Christ.

Let us learn God’s lessons of church planting from the lowly spider. After all, the fly bets his life on it!

Blessings ~ Larry

The New Circuit Riders

Today is a very busy day for Corinne and I as tomorrow, June 21, we leave California, after 7 months, and we begin a very long, hot trip to West Texas.  Today is a day of preparation.  We must pack up and stow things in Pilgrim I, our 37 foot, 1991 Winnebago motor home, pick up some supplies for the trip, check out and repair a few things, get some rest and hit the road early in the morning.

We are really "pumped" for this trip as we have been spending the past week on a beautiful mountain, getting some R&R, having some great fellowship with our hosts, Roger and Kim, and  seeking the Lord for direction for our coming meetings, and our ministry. More importantly we've been seeking more of Him during this time and we are feeling pretty full of God and ready to go!

Yesterday we took a wonderful side trip into Yosemite National Park.  We stood at the top of Glacier Point seemingly looking down at the world.  We stood under the forceful spray of Bridal Veil Falls, being baptized in the vast beauty of God's wonderful creation.  On the short trip back I was reminded of the circuit riding preachers of old.  How I recall the stories of John Wesley, writing sermons on a special desk that would fit over his saddle as he rode from meeting to meeting.  I thought of the story of how he almost missed a river ferry at a crossing, and he jumped his horse onto the flat deck of the ferry as it was being pulled across the river, just so that he could preach that day.  What a guy!

We don't fly to too many meetings.  We travel in Pilgrim I, mostly at 60 miles per hour as this helps in conserving expensive fuel.  More importantly, we see and feel the spiritual climate of the Nation as we travel.  Many times we note spiritual oppression and we're able to pray, other times we sense a great presence of God in a town or a county and we rejoice in it.  You can not experience this at 35,000 feet in a plane.  When we pull into a new location, we get a real sense of what God's going to do, as He's prepared us for it on the way in.  One can only imagine what Wesley must have been hearing from God as he rode his horse from meeting to meeting.

Today people like Corinne and I are becoming scarce.  It seems that pastors of large churches can focus on well known "Guest Speakers,"  while the smaller churches feel that they do do not have the funds and resources to invite outside ministry in.  So often I speak to a pastor on the phone and he'll say something like, "You know I'd love to have you in, but it's just not time, etc."  I can't tell you how often I can read between those lines and hear, "I'd love to have you in, but we are a small church and we don't have the money."  Of course our desire is to be able to minister in every size church and we never charge for ministry.

A brother told me the other day, "I see you having a debit card that people give into the account to keep you on the road."  Of course I said, "Amen!"  However, the Bible does teach that traveling ministry is important.  In 3 John verses 5 -8 it says, (NLT) Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you.  They have told the church here of your loving friendship.  Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God.  For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers.  So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth." 

Two important things are seen in these verses.  The first is that, of course, the traveling ministries should be financially supported.  The second, even more important.... there is a very Biblical place  in the Church of today for the modern Circuit Riders!  Corinne and I are very thrilled to be able to do what we do.  Sometimes it is a challenge to live in "our home on wheels."  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I appreciate my wife, who's been willing to lay all desires of homes and being with family down for the calling of God on her life.  I know that some day God is going to richly reward her!  In the meantime we wish to continue to be God's Modern Circuit Riders, hopefully coming to a church near you.  We too only "Travel for the Lord!"

One last thing.... Please.... our heart is to serve those we minister to.  We work for the local church, we love the Church in all of her diverse forms!  And if you ever would feel to invite us in for meetings, please do not let lack of money keep you from sending us an invitation.  We work for God.  Just find us a place to park Pilgrim I, take offerings for us, and we'll trust God for the rest.  Fair enough!

And for you in Texas, here's a little Texas talk for you....."God's fixing to do something!"  We hope to see you there, and join you right in the middle of one big move of the Holy Spirit!

Blessings ~ Larry


Jesus Has Returned!

I wonder if my title got your attention?  I hope so, because I have an important word for you today.  The word is.....We live in the Kingdom of God NOW!  In my thinking the awareness of this great Scriptural fact is actually true revival being manifested in the life of a Believer.

Last evening Corinne and I met with a small, Monday evening, home meeting of "His House" in Coarsegold, CA.  There were probably 10-15 of us gathered in this beautiful mountain community.  We began to worship the Lord and within just mere seconds He blessed us with His wonderful presence.  We didn't have to work anything up, no hype here, just  one guitar playing, with us singing a few simple songs being lifted up from hearts passionate for more of Him.  We worshiped like this for way over an hour, and no one ever considered the time.  Our schedules, plans and programs were quickly thrown out the window.  I came with a message in my heart, and I very quickly threw that out the window as well, and we feasted on His Word, that came fresh from His Spirit.

Last night, we who had gathered, were totally invincible.  We could tame the fiercest lion, climb the highest mountain, trample on snakes by the hundreds.  Why?  Because we were totally immersed in the presence of the King.  Faith was so high that just about anything could happen.  It was awesome to say the least!

Corinne has been teaching lately about "practicing the presence."  By this she means, that one is aware of the presence of the Lord all of the time, 24/7.  This does not  happen only in an intense Holy Ghost meeting,  with the "fuzzy feeling" you get from being in a time of corporate worship.  Instead this is a sensitivity of being so aware of Him being with you all of the time, like at home, at work,  or even in the store.  It's simply abiding continually with Him.  In this state the glory of God is always being released.  In the Book of Acts, Peter's shadow could heal the sick.  He was walking the streets of the city and miracles happened all the time.  He was continually in the presence of the Lord.

Why was this possible?  It happens when we become fully aware of the present reality of the King and we choose to focus on Him as the King of Glory, instead of wasting our time focusing on the tribulations of daily living. 

Oh, before I close, I guess I must say that the physical presence of Jesus has not returned, yet one day He will.  But after all, you knew that!   In the meantime, so many of us are missing out on the wonderful blessings that we have by not "practicing the presence of God."  Yes, the Kingdom of God is NOW!  Here's what Isaiah saw in his spirit: "And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord..... Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is rising upon thee."  Isaiah 59:20, 60:1 (KJV)

He's with us now!  Today we can "practice His presence."   The Kingdom of God is at hand!

Blessings ~ Larry

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