In July 2021 Pastor Mick Fleming of Church on the Street Ministries in Burnley was appointed by Bishop Steven as the TICCN lead for house-church and Group of Three (GoT) ministries within the UK.
Bishop Steven described the developing strategy: “We are seeing many people coming to faith who are often for various reasons, unable to find a suitable fellowship to worship in. Our desire is to continue to facilitate small fellowship groups of two, three or four people. Each of these groups will ideally be located within the wider church and the house-church TICCN network. The groups are a non-judgmental place where people find acceptance and love (Agape). We continue to also facilitate larger groups and our growing house church network.
GoT: Growing in Grace
Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Matthew 18:19).
You can set up a GoT group easily. Find two, three or maximum of four trusted friends and meet along these lines:
- Commit to meet with a trusted friend or friends once a week
- Open in prayer to God asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in Jesus’ name.
- Each person answers questions about the previous week. Groups should aim at bringing: Openness, honesty, accountability, being non-judgmental and confidential.
- It becomes a place to listen and to be listened to bringing healing and freedom.
- Groups can worship, read from the Bible and close in prayer at around an hour. Whilst enthusiasm might cause you to want to go on longer than an hour, in our experience sticking to an hour will help the group’s longevity.
GoT Questions & Forgiveness for groups:
- (THANKS) Describe what you can be thankful for this week. Consider the Biblical advice to: ‘Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
- (SIN) Describe what you are struggling with, where have you missed the mark (sin) during the previous week. Don’t be ashamed just pour out the sin and create a space for God’s forgiveness to flow in. Pour our as much details as possible, this helps deal with the issues thoroughly. There is a humility in opening up to others about your sin, it’s not easy but it can have a life changing impact.
- (FREEDOM) You are totally forgiven, if you don’t feel forgiven it’s no surprise, repentance a change of knowledge needs to happen. Just accept forgiveness, not by feelings but by faith and soon enough your feelings will follow your faith. For many people their faith follows their feelings (Confess and discuss the following verse: ‘In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace’ (Ephesians 1:7). ‘Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?’ (Romans 2:4). You are the righteousness of God in Christ free by faith in Jesus alone and all your sins have been paid for ‘In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace’ (Ephesians 1:7).
GoT learning is available through TICCN and New Life Bible College, the impact of understanding Biblical truth can be tremendous. Let’s look at repentance as an example: One of the most frequent words associated with Christianity is ‘repentance.’ However, repentance is an English word and the Bible was not originally written in English. In the New Testament the Greek word we often translate as ‘repentance’ is ‘metanoia’ and it means ‘a change of mind.’ It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with salvation or penance, those correlations came later through the Latin Vulgate.
A return to the original Greek text came through the reformation. ‘Meta’ comes from the root for ‘after’ or ‘beyond,’ and ‘noia’ is ‘to think.’ So metanoia means to reconsider or rethink something.
This is a Biblical route to healing: ‘Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much’ (James 5:16). Also, ‘Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy’ (Proverbs 28:13). Also, ‘Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord’ (Acts 3:19).
This apparent weakness will cause the power of Christ to enter into your life: ‘And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me’ (2 Cor 12:9).