Ready for Revival? We Must Redefine Church and Home and Marriage (Introducing the “Set Your House in Order” Movement)

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus Christ (Matt 28:16)

“The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ. If the Church is not Making Disciples, then all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible, are a waste of time.” C.S. Lewis

Many church organizations and homes are in disorder because churches are not making disciples of men. This must change so we get back the original meanings and purposes of both assembly places and homes… and marriage and family. We believe God is calling men to “set their houses (and churches) and order. We believe it is time for another reformation.

Disclaimer: my next words might come as a shock to some people, and many might find them very unsettling. I would just ask that you meditate on it before reacting.

Let’s start with a question: What is the church we go to on Sunday but a man’s home that he has invited others into to hear the word of God and worship?

Christian churches started in people’s homes. Then they became organizations, and now (sadly) many of them have morphed into highly profitable enterprises in which men have been lifted up as celebrity personalities and act as though they are the only ones in the house who have been designated to preach and testify. Consequently, the home has fallen apart.

I do not believe this modern design many churches are following is the will of God. It smacks of business enterprise and entrepreneurial expertise and not submissive, meek, deferential, reverence for Christ as the head of the church. Same with the home. Both are in disorder and in need of straightening.

I believe we need to get back to basics. To start, let’s level set on what our Lord considers CHURCH and ASSEMBLY.

Church

“Church” is we, the body of believers. Each one of us has been designated the house of God. We, each of us, are His holy temples, first and foremost. Together, we form the BODY of Christ, and Jesus Christ is our savior, Lord, high priest, shepherd, counselor, mediator, and teacher. In fact He said He is the only teacher. Matt 23:10

As for guidance of His body, the Lord has invited and commissioned ALL men to be disciples and lead his people, especially in their own homes, for their own wives, children,  orphans, and widows. Each one of us has been called into that  “royal priesthood.” Matt 28:19; 1 Peter 2:9. The Lord has defined this as “true religion.” James 1:27.

Assembly

When the Lord said we must assemble together and worship Him, He never specified that there must be a high number of us; in fact He specified the exact opposite. He said, “wherever there are two or more of you gathered in my name, there I will be in your midst.” (Matt 18:20).

This has profound and far-reaching implications that I think have been lost on many people. What the Lord is saying is that you can hold “church” anywhere. I know this probably comes off as a very radical and unsettling idea to people, but it is biblically true and there’s no getting around it. I’d like to provide some examples.

If you invite some friends over to your house and you say “come, let us gather and break bread together and share some fellowship and testify and encourage each other,” you will be holding church.

If you encounter someone at your local gym who is seeking and you and they share the word and your love for the Lord, and you testify about him to each other, and you encourage each other for His glory, you are holding church right there in the gym.

If you and your spouse and/or family draw together in His name to eat and pray and fellowship in the park, you are holding church.

If you GATHER with a coworker and pray and worship, you are holding church at work.

Every single one of these examples is completely legitimate form of church in the estimation of the Lord. There is no requirement for a high volume of people. There is no requirement for temples built with the hands of men where statues and orders and rituals and ministries of all sorts are demanded.

Here is what the Lord requires of you: assemble and gather in his name with whoever you can wherever you can and share the message about Christ and worship him as Lord and Savior and sharpen iron together for his glory.

As it stands, many people, especially men, have a very limited view of church as this thing we can only do at some official organization on Saturday or Sunday with a whole bunch of other people. We go and listen to another disciple preach, and while we hear the word and feed on it, very few of us ever become disciples of our own home churches and families. We end up thinking it’s another man’s job to lead our families. Let that sink in. We hear another man’s testimony and witness and prayers but we never get together with our spouses and families and hear our own. Hence we don’t grow and we never become disciples and leaders.

In our ignorance, many of us live as followers of another man but not as disciples and fishers of men ourselves, as we have ALL been called to be. And that is. I think, why our society and church is so messed up in so many ways. We lack disciples and there are only a handful of churches and disciples in our neighborhoods, when there should be many. We think it’s amazing that thousands come to our church in our neighborhoods, but what the Lord wants is thousands of disciples and churches in our neighborhoods” starting in our own homes.

Notice how many church organization leaders are obsessed with numbers and building their house into the biggest possible mega organization that can be. But that is not what the Lord wants. The Lord wants them to be obsessed with developing disciples and home churches first and foremost. Imagine if they had the same passion for developing disciples as they do for packing the pews. I imagine churches being focused on developing disciples to lead their homes, marriages, families, and communities in a way that is pleasing to the Lord and glorifies Him.

I believe if we truly desire REVIVAL, we MUST redefine church and home and marriage and start proclaiming something that most preachers won’t: YOU ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD, and CHURCH is anywhere and everywhere you assemble with fellow believers—especially at HOME and especially in marriage ministry. I think what we need more than anything right now is men who help other men establish their homes as churches and themselves as ministers to get their own “houses in order” because many many houses are in disorder. I for one am willing to be a huge part of that movement. Let me know if you’re interested.

By the way, I’m not saying we should do away with organization churches. I’m saying we should re-define them and what they teach. As CS Lewis said. “The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ. If the Church is not Making Disciples, then all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible, are a waste of time.”

Also, feel free to share this with anyone who might be interested. I have also started a Facebook page called “Set your house in order.”

#SetYourHouseInOrder #HomeChurchPlanting

Mark Johnston with Rebecca Johnston
Disciple, Author, Editor, Coach
TREASURELIFEMEDIA.COM

New Book! Sniper’s Handbook: The 3 Secrets to a Killer Jump Shot

We are excited to announce our next book by Mark Johnston titled “Sniper’s Handbook: The 3 Secrets to a Killer Jump Shot.” Mark wrote this peer-reviewed book to share everything he has learned about basketball shooting from 40 years of playing experience, scientific research, analysis, and experimentation. Not only does he fully break down every single physics component of the perfect jump shot, but he provides deep insights for players at every level in a practical and easy to understand manner that will inspire confidence and determination to be victorious—not just in basketball, but in life.

If you would like to be notified when this book is published, please subscribe to our blog via the link on this site.

Each one is to teach one: What is YOUR passion and vision?

REACHING AND TEACHING. “Each one is to teach one.” Amen. You have gained skills and experience in a certain area and only you can teach the subject the way you are able to teach it. You want to influence others and make a difference? Don’t abandon an idea or vision you have for sharing your knowledge simply because there are other books or resources on the market. No one can teach the same exact way you can. 

Case in point. When Yamaha first released their “Motif” keyboard series, there were endless videos, instruction manuals, and other resources for people to learn the keyboard. Yet people were still complaining that the keyboard was too complicated to learn. We are talking about thousands of videos to help them, and they still couldn’t grasp the most basic concepts. 

God showed me that opportunity and I wrote a book called “Commanding the Yamaha Motif, step-by-step.” I then approached Yamaha’s biggest distributor with the idea. Initially, people doubted Motif keyboard customers would be interested in such a “basic” manual. When I showed them proof that keyboardists were struggling to learn the instrument, they started to budge. Then they said I should change the title because they didn’t think it would resonate with anyone. But God had given me that vision, and I was not willing to change it. I stuck to my guns and told them I would sell the book as designed with or without their involvement. They agreed to sell it for me.

That book sold thousands of copies in multiple languages and I (and they) made a lot of money. There was so much demand for my step-by-step instruction book, I wrote a follow-up and it sold just as many copies.

My formula for success? First of all, I paid attention to what people were saying about the Motif keyboard. I read the discussion forums and made mental notes of their pain points. I also paid attention to what frustrated ME about the keyboard and noted the operations that were not intuitive (the ones that forced me to look in the convoluted official manual for answers). And, most importantly, I didn’t let all of the other resources and authorities in the market intimidate me and talk me out of my vision.

I do believe we are all called to reach and teach others. All of us have gained skills and experience in some area to give others a hand up. All we need to do is pay attention, take notes, develop a niche for ourselves, and execute. It helps when it’s an area of your passion. For me I was writing about one of my favorite things: producing music. What’s your purpose and passion? What can you teach? What’s your vision?

I am also a professional book editor. I can help you develop your story, your how-to manual, your memoir, or anything else. I can also copy edit, line edit, proofread, and publish it for you. Contact me anytime for a free consultation.

Mark F Johnston, Author, Editor, Publisher, Writing Coach
treasurelifemedia.com

sprout grows

THIS is the most effective, inexpensive, and simplest way to market and sell your self-published book

You worked your tail off to write your book, you paid to have a professional copy edit and proofread it, you have a nice front cover and an engaging back cover, and the printing presses are rolling. Congratulations! That’s a major achievement and you should be proud of it. But now what?

As a self-published author, I understand the anxiety you might be feeling as you face the dreadful question: How are people going to find my book? Fear not, you’re not alone, and there is a very simple answer to what may feel like a colossal challenge. The answer? Socialize it.

Socialize it to whom? To your network of co-workers, friends, and family–and anyone else who will read it. For the next at least six months your book needs to become your business card. Seriously. I’m not even going to waste time explaining why.

If you need an explanation, read the biography of Nike founder Phil Knight (who sold shoes out of his trunk at track meets), or Master P (who sold CD’s out of his trunk at concerts) or Michael Dell (who sold computers out of his trunk at colleges and business campus parking lots).

Time to get cracking and become your book’s best salesperson. Follow this list for best results.

  1. Print your book on KDP, order 100 author copies for pennies on the dollar (you might want to order a proof copy first to make sure it’s good to go). Put the back cover text in the description. Make sure all your contact info is in the back of the book.
  2. Post on social media to everyone you know: “My book is done! I’m over the moon excited! For a limited time signed copies are available to all of you for only $10 (free shipping!). Please support me I’m a starving author! 🙂 Include Amazon store link.
  3. Post again a week later thanking those who have purchased it and reminding others it’s on Amazon for sale. Consider paying your social media company to send the post to everyone on your friend list.
  4. Put copies of the book in your car. Put five copies on your desk at work. Bring the book wherever you go. Sell copies, give copies away, beg people to read the book, tell them how it will benefit them — just do whatever you have to do to get rid of all 100 books you purchased. That’s your mission.
  5. Follow up with the people who bought your book and ask them to review it on Amazon. Tell them you would appreciate a five star review. 🙂
  6. Join local book and author clubs. Bring your book. Give it out to people and ask them for feedback.
  7. Leave copies of your book at places when you can.. Starbucks.. cafes.. places that give free books away. Offer it to every business owner you encounter (they are connected with tons of people).

In summary, socialize your book in every way imaginable. wherever you encounter people. Hand it out like a business card. After the books are gone, either order more or keep going, or have custom bookmarks made (with the Amazon link) and socialize them everywhere. As the image depicts, every Oak tree started out as a sprout. So go, grow and prosper!

You reap what you sow. Plant seeds and they will grow — especially if your book is a winner.

mj

On Writing The Last Breakup

I set out to write the book (writing my testimony and ghost-writing Rebecca’s) in November of 2017. Target audience? Anyone, regardless of background and Biblical aptitude. I figured three months tops. Not even close. I greatly underestimated the effort.

The first challenge was compacting both of our testimonies into a small book; the second–and greater–challenge was converting two life-changing spiritual experiences into simple, accessible prose that didn’t require knowledge of the Bible to read.

There were many other challenges along the 22-month journey, although “writer’s block” was not one of them. I had the exact opposite problem: overload. That is, the temptation to tangentially expand on every Biblical topic that arose. I wrote and deleted far more than what made the finally cut. Had I kept everything I wrote, the book would have been at least three times the size–and the story would have been lost. Good segue…

The book did not start out as a story. Our original idea was to publish something like a “Top 20 Things We’ve Learned About Marriage” type of thing. The impetus was couples whose weddings we shot (who told us they would be interested in reading it if we ever published it). So that’s what I started writing. But there was a problem: the list of “do’s” we came up with required desire on the part of the husband and wife, and without an explanation as to how we got our desire, it was useless information.

So after much ado (discussion) we decided it was best to just tell our story and embed our lessons into the prose. Sounded easy enough. But nope. It was very difficult–at least without sounding like we were trying to be teachers, which we had vowed not to do.

The next thing I know I am knee deep in our story and having long conversations with Rebecca. Someone asked if it was painful to have to relive that era of our lives. Yes, it was very painful at times. It forced us to confront several things that we had sort of swept under the rug… and that required getting to the truth… again… which required taking ownership… again.

So in a great twist of unforeseen paradox, writing the book about finding the truth forced us to find even more truth that we had not yet discovered, and that was the most painful part. We actually found ourselves apologizing to each other at times. So writing the book became just as valuable for us as it will hopefully be for others who have not heard our story.

So back to the story. Overall we loved telling our story. It was an amazing experience and we have reached a state of grace with it, thanks be to God. Of course God is the reason for everything good. How faithful He is.

That’s all for now.

BOOK LAUNCH! “The Last Breakup” – a miraculous marriage story

Last Breakup Cover

Click the BUY NOW button at the bottom of this post to purchase.

Rebecca and I are excited to announce the launch of our miraculous marriage story. Friends this isn’t just a relationship rescue book. This is a powerful story of how we miraculously discovered the most life-changing truth from amazing people we encountered on the road to divorce. We are talking about truths that not only saved our trainwreck marriage but totally transformed our lives for the better in every way.

This story is for anyone of any persuasion who wants to witness the power of grace and faith, but also those who are searching for a better way of life and/or marriage, seeking truth and love, straining to see the light, struggling in relationships, or who just loves an inspirational story and wants to hear some absolutely amazing life-changing wisdom from people we encountered on our faith journey.

READ EXCERPT

The Last Breakup, 217 pages, 20 chapters, paperback. $15 (free shipping, no extra tax charges). A portion of proceeds goes to Haitian Christian charity Kolej Project). Please let us know in comments on PayPal if you want us to sign the book.