Category Articles

Revolution Through Restoration II: The 20th Century Church

Preface : by Al Baird  "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:47 "So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly." Acts 6:7 "The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord." Acts 11:21 Revolution II is our first sequel to Kip McKean's article, "Revolution Through Restoration: From Jerusalem to Rome, From Boston to Moscow", which originally appeared in Upside Down magazine, April, 1992. Typically, movie sequels are rarely as good as the original. Kip's latest article, "Revolution Through Restoration II: The Twentieth Century Church" is even better than the first. Communication is a major challenge in every interpersonal dynamic. It is the major problem area in marriage as well as in churches. It is so very difficult to get everyone in every church around the world to grasp the big picture of what God is doing. Almost three baptisms per hour and two new churches a month in places we have seldom or never heard of staggers our minds. Kip has done an excellent job in this article of putting these events into perspective. A few days ago I was interviewed via telephone by a newspaper reporter in London. He had heard that the United States Churches had just sent 50 evangelists to London to help the church there -- a major cause for alarm in his mind. Of course, I had to clarify for him that 50 disciples from Philadelphia and Washington D.C. had taken a vacation from their jobs to go to England to help out for a couple of weeks in a summer campaign! The world has a hard time understanding such commitment. In a question that revealed his skepticism, a reporter challenged me: "Surely you do not believe that your people will be able to grow from 1,000,000 disciples to 5,000,000 as easily as you did from 10,000 to 50,000, do you?" "Why not?" I replied. "Just as long as everyone continues to do his part it will happen." I have so much confidence that it will happen when I see what has already occurred. Your confidence will grow as well when you see the miracles of our church's growth, the increase in the number of churches and the number of nations and attendance in just fifteen years. Truly God is good. It only gets better.

Plan for United Cooperation Summary

The purpose of this document is to provide a structure for Regional and International cooperation among our family of churches around the world. The Regional Families of Churches For decades we, like the churches in the New Testament, have functioned as regional families of churches.  This cooperation plan recognizes the existing families of churches worldwide and encourages their growth and continuation. Churches participate in this “Cooperation Plan” by first identifying themselves with the circle of churches in their geographic region.  These regional families of churches are expected to engage in humble and meaningful relationships with each other at the regional level. They are committed to mutual discipling, exchanges of full-time workers, and cooperation on church plantings, missions and working relationships and mutually respectful,  agreed accountability with other church leaderships in their region. [1] These regional families of churches are committed to cooperate in every way needed to advance the gospel and maintain doctrinal and relational unity.  Leaders meet regularly to pray, coordinate, and strengthen one another.   Regional groups work together to plant new congregations, plan regional conferences, camps, seminars, and events.  Each region establishes regional committees as needed and works together to strengthen weak churches.

Be Careful How You Build: A Study of The Statistical Narrative Of The International Churches of Christ (ICOC)

Today is an important moment for the International Churches of Christ (ICOC). As the movement enters its second generation, understanding our history, our strengths and our weaknesses, has never been more important. Although God’s word has world-transforming power and he desires for the whole world to be saved, there seems to be internal resistance impeding a gain in momentum and forward motion. I believe that part of this resistance can be attributed to lack of faith and discouragement, and self-focus rather than God-focus. At this moment, in this situation, we need the faith of Abraham as much as ever: Against all hope, Abraham in hope believe and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “so shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was a good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. (Rom 4:18-19) That our moved as slowed in growth is a fact, but that does not change what God is able to do through our faith and faithfulness. What God wants to be done in this world, can only be done through his strength and wisdom. From 1979 to 2002, the ICOC grew from a single congregation of about 30 members to a worldwide fellowship of 439 congregations and 135,072 members. Although the growth was perceptibly slowing in the latter part of this period, the organizational collapse and loss of membership in 2003 were severe and largely unanticipated by the leadership. The purpose of this in-depth statistical analysis is to examine the available data of this “initial growth phase” and look for trends and patterns that might have served as indicators and warnings as to what was about to take place.

Revolution Through Restoration I: From Jerusalem to Rome, From Boston to Moscow

Preface : by Al Baird "Let it begin here!" cried the American revolutionists in Lexington and Concord over two centuries ago. The British band played The World Turned Upside Down as their troops marched into battle. No one knows who fired the first shot, but it soon became the "Shot heard 'round the  world." Revolution had come. What more fitting a theme for July 4th than Revolution? In 1992, Kip McKean wrote "Revolution Through Restoration" for Upside Down magazine. In it he describes the beginning of the church in Lexington, Massachusetts, and how it has truly become today's "shot heard 'round the world." This article explains who we are as God's modern-day movement and where we came from, better than any other single piece of which I am aware. For this reason I frequently give a copy to someone with whom I am studying the Bible or to someone from the media who wants to know more about us. Introduction: by Kip McKean Revolution was and is in each step and breath of those who dare follow this man called Jesus. Revolution comes about only when there is at least one person willing to take a stand for God and say "the present system" is wrong and thus will not accomplish the purposes of God. All of God's purposes center on His glory and meeting the needs of people. Jesus was the ultimate revolutionary. After the first several centuries of Christianity, men tried to reform from within an apostate movement. When the Christian establishment rejected these men and women, denominations formed that genuinely attempted to be God's movement. These predecessors, who strove to return to the Bible even to the point of death, are to be commended for their faith. Now in our day, we are confronted with unbelieving seminaries and dying denominations with systems of doctrines that have been compromised and crystallized short of the Word of God. However, His Spirit continues to call all men and women to make the ideals of Scripture become our everyday standard and sole authority. Therefore, revolution in Christianity--a return to the doctrines and lifestyles of the first century church--can only occur when we abandon the apostatized systems and their poisoned foundations of traditions and hypocrisy. This path is both frightening and exhilarating, for only by studying the Bible and then by trial and error implementation of these rediscovered teachings can a movement be forged like the original that shook the entire world in one generation. Enemies and critics, Pilates and Judases will abound, for with each restoration of Scripture a more clear, narrowing and convicting, path appears. The restoration of ancient paths evokes the same ancient reactions God's movements have always received. Therefore, I felt the need to write a more complete explanation primarily for those who are seeking the truth but have heard only our critics, and secondly, to encourage and strengthen God's people everywhere. My prayer is that this treatise will produce a deep, abiding sense of gratitude to our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. I write this article not as an apostle inspired by God, for I am not. I am simply a Christian who dreams that God' s modern day movement will never stop restoring and living out God's Word.

ICOC establishing churches in tough mission fields of the 10/40 window

The beginning of the Christian Church is reckoned from the great day on which the Holy Ghost came down, according as our Lord had promised to His Apostles. At that time, "Jews, devout men, out ofevery nation under heaven," were gathered together at Jerusalem, to keep the Feast of Pentecost (or Feast of Weeks), which was one of the three holy seasons at which God required His people to appear before Him in the place which He had chosen (Deut 16:16). Many of these devout men there converted by what they then saw and heard, to believe the Gospel; and, when they returned to their own countries, they carried back with them the news of the wonderful things which had taken place at Jerusalem. After this, the Apostles went forth "into all the world," as their Master had ordered them, to "preach the Gospel to every creature" (St Mark 16:15). The core of the unreached people of our world live in a rectangular-shaped window! Often called "The Resistant Belt", the window extends from West Africa to East Asia, from ten degrees north to forty degrees north of the equator. This specific region, which has increasingly become known as The 10/40 Window, encompasses the majority of the world's Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists -- billions of spiritually impoverished souls. The Indian sub-continent falls in the window and is among the toughest mission fields.