Q) Who are you? What do you do?
A) We are small group of individuals who have similar interpretations and understanding of the life and teachings of Jesus. We believe Jesus’ teachings and example hold the key to meaning and purpose in life. As a result we feel led to, in many cases, literally obey what Jesus taught. (See the section on “living by faith” for an example)
Our ministries vary according to the need and the direction in which we feel God is leading. This can involve counselling, social work and free work. Evangelism comprises the bulk of our work. We distribute books/DVD’s on the streets as well as organize Bible studies, praise and worship sessions, faith outreaches, and visit with those who are interested in meeting with us to hear more.
Q) What do you hope to achieve? What is your vision?
A) Our goal is to educate people about the teachings of Jesus and encourage their faith. Most of the world knows very little about Jesus’ teachings. The majority of his teachings have either been watered down or ignored completely over time. Most people know about the name of Jesus and his sacrificial death on the cross, but they know little about what he wants people to do (or not do) in every-day practical life.
Q) How did you come to this point?
The answer to this question will be different for every individual, but the underlying theme for all of us seems to be a strong conviction that there must be something more to life than family, friends, work, reputation, entertainment etc. This conviction caused us to not only be open to new possibilities about the meaning and purpose of life but to seek them out. Some of us tried many different paths during our search. Some of us tried only a few, but for each of us, it was the teachings of Jesus which made the most sense. It is this shared vision which brings us together in fellowship and unity and which we hope to share with others who are drawn to Christ.
Q) What is your take on ‘salvation’?
A) Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, says that we are to work out our salvation with God ‘with fear and trembling’ (2:12). We believe that this is a continuous process and is inseparable from the working out of our relationship with Christ. Christ came to redeem and save us but we believe we have a part to play in this; a choice about how we respond to Him and our salvation is determined through this.
Q) What is your understanding of the Holy Trinity?
A) The word “trinity” is not found in the Bible, but it is a useful word when trying to describe the concept that God has three different forms while at the same time he is one being. One form of God is ‘God the Father’, one is ‘God the Son’ and the other is God the ‘Holy Spirit’. In some parts of the gospels Jesus clearly distinguishes himself from God while in other parts he clearly makes himself equal to God. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that our salvation will depend on whether or not we understand how God is able to be three and one at the same time.
It certainly is an interesting theological mystery, but too much focus on such arguments only serves to distract from the teachings which Jesus clearly did want us to know about.
Q) Are you a church?
A) Yes. Christ said, ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’. We believe this embodies what Christ meant by the church. There are numerous references in the Bible explaining that God cannot be found in buildings made by men but rather the temple of God is within each of us (Acts 7, 17, Isaiah 66, Luke 17, 1 Corinthians 3, 6).
Q) Are you born again Christians?
A) Yes. Christ taught that we must be “born again” if we are to see the kingdom of God. Peter said that we are born again ‘ by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever.'(1 Peter1:23). In today’s world the concept of being “born again” has become synonymous with a religious state-of-mind; a situation where one must at least make the claim in order to be considered a Christian. Becoming born again usually means following the appropriate rituals (i.e. water baptism, church attendance, no more drinking, smoking, or swearing etc…).
However, being born again, as Jesus described it, only happens when we make a conscious decision to change our lifestyle to conform with Jesus’ teachings. This decision making should be happening every day. It is not about one clear moment, but about a process of learning how to live by a completely new set of values every day.
Q) What is your attitude towards other faiths?
A) We believe Jesus and his teachings are the highest revelation of truth that there is, and through him all might be saved (John 3:17). At the same time, like John said, “love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God” (1 John: 4). We believe there are sincere people of all faiths who are seeking God and His Love, and by their actions are building his Kingdom, even if they do not profess to being doing so (Matthew 21:28-31).
Q) What is your attitude towards institutional religion?
A) We understand that different people will feel called to express their faith in different ways, even amongst Christians. Some Christians may choose to help orhpans while some choose to help the homeless. Some may choose to evangelise using written literature while some may choose methods involving music/audio but these kinds of differences are fine because they still fall within the basic guidelines Jesus gave about helping the poor and preaching the gospel. There are many areas where institutional religion can differ in practice without contradicting what Jesus taught.
The problem (in Christianity) comes when churches/individuals claim to act on behalf of Jesus, but refuse to apply his teachings, or even worse, when they distort his teachings. The safest way to accurately know if a group/church really is following Jesus is to know what Jesus taught and make a comparrison.
Q) What is your understanding of prophecy?
A) In today’s world there is a lot of superstition and fear surrounding prophecy. Some churches use prophecy to frighten their congregation. Some churches use it to claim they are better than other churches. Some people use prophecy to make themselves feel important by (falsely) predicting natural disasters or the specific date for the return of Jesus.
We should not allow these people to influence us through fear or their own foolishness. The purpose of prophecy is to let us know that God has a plan for the world and that he wants us to be a part of his plan. Some people have more ability in understanding prophecy than others, but it’s good for all of us to take an interest in the lessons prophecy is meant to communicate.
The major sources of prophecy for us today come from a couple books in the Old Testament, several passages from the gospels and epistles in the New Testament, and the Revelation. For more information on prophecy, please read the “prophecy” section listed under “articles”.
Q) Do you spend all your time together?
A) No, but we live and work together which means we do spend a lot of our time around one another. Communal living provides both challenges and benefits and sometimes the benefits come as a result of overcoming those challenges!
Q) Do I have to join your community to support your ministry?
A) No. We have many friends and people with whom we are in fellowship with and who do not live with us in community. We encourage any degree of fellowship and participation. We do hope that those interested in being involved with us are also seeking to develop their own relationship with Christ so we try to encourage people to take steps in faith towards this.
Q) Where do you live?
A) It depends. Sometimes we live in houses or apartments, but generally we live in motorhomes as a means of aiding in our evangelism. At times we also leave the comfort of both house and vehicle behind to head out on foot. We do this to encourage our faith and trust in God’s provision and prepare us for possible future scenarios in which we may be called on to live without the luxuries of a house or mobile home. (For more info please see ‘Faith Outreaches’ under the section ‘Freesources’)
Q) What does a typical day look like?
A) Living by faith in God often means that no two days are the same. It might be that we go out onto the streets to witness and hand out materials. It may be that we go on a faith outreach, or visit people. It may be that we have an in-reach day in which we focus on prayer, worship, games and fellowship with one another. However, whatever we are doing, we try to keep to a structure that centres around a morning prayer/silent listening time, study times, and meals together.
Q) Do you travel abroad?
A) In the past, community members have spent time abroad doing outreach work in other countries. Currently, we have felt led to not renew our passports due to the introduction of biometric microchips into passports. This decision is based on a prophecy from Revelation 13 which says a time is coming when the world will be controlled through a Mark on the hand without which no person can buy or sell. We do not see microchipped passports as the Mark, but we feel that forsaking the convenience of microchips now will better prepare us for a future scenario in which other microchip-based luxuries (such as travel or buying/selling) will not be available to us. We believe that if God wants us to travel, the ways and means will be made available.
Q) What steps would I need to take if I did want to join the community?
A) First, we recommend that you spend some time reading through this website and noting down any questions or thoughts that arise. It would be helpful for you to think deeply about what you are seeking, how we might be able to help you, and to communicat those thoughts to us.
Next, we would propose a meeting in person. If you decide you would like to discover more of our way of life then we suggest spending a few days or a week with our community to get a feel for how we live and to work through any questions, challenges or issues which may arise. Following this, if you feel that God is directing you to work with us as a full member, then we would recommend a trial period in which you live and work with us as though you were a full member of the community before making a final decision about joining.
Q) Is it possible to spend time with your community to find out more? How would I be accommodated?
A) Yes, it is possible to spend time with our community. Our ‘living-by-faith’ lifestyle means that circumstances and situations tend to vary but most likely you’d live as we do in the motorhomes, unless we are spending time in a house/flat at the time you request to visit.
Single males and females may end up sleeping near to one another within the same motorhome, but not on the same bed at the same time. Privacy will be available for things like showers, changing clothes and other areas where personal space is required. We take great care to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for all our members and visitors. We would also ask that you, with us, put trust in God that He will provide what is necessary for your needs to be met. Act in faith!
Living by Faith
Q) What do you mean by ‘forsake all’ and ‘living by faith’? Why do the churches not teach this?
A) We teach forsaking all because this is what Jesus instructed his followers to do if they wished to be his disciples (Luke 14:33). Jesus said that we are to deny ourselves daily and follow him. By putting this teaching in to practice (i.e by letting go of our own plans, possessions, reputation or job) we can start to be truly available to serve others. This is living by faith.
The church does not promote this teaching because it is unpopular. Most churches survive on tithes (donations) from the congregation. If a pastor were to push his congregation to forsake all, they’d probably find another church to attend.
Q Can you be a Christian if you do not forsake all?
A) According to Jesus, no. Jesus told us that we cannot be his disciple if we do not forsake all that we have. In the book of Acts, disciples are referred to as Christians; they are interchangeable (Acts 11:26). Perhaps a more appropriate question would be to ask ‘Am I really believing in Christ if I am not doing what he commanded”?
Q) I want to live by faith apart from your community; how can you help me?
A) We can offer practical advice on a wide range of issues from our own personal experiences. This includes issues like living outside the system, living cashless, where to go, how to relate to authorities etc. Also, we can help you with literature for distributing and we can offer counsel if you encounter difficulties.
Q) How do I discern God’s will for me?
A) There are several ways to know God’s will; Jesus’ teachings, godly counsel, dreams, coincidences, circumstances, direct revelation, or personal desires. Some of these methods may be more reliable than others. We suggest you focus most heavily on the first three and then rely on the others more cautiously.
Q) I agree with living simply and I oppose the monetary system and want to be free of it, but I don’t believe in God. What do you think about this?
A) Jesus taught, “whoever is not against us must be for us”. God is able to look deep into the heart of each individual and see what the real truth is in their thinking. He told a story about a Samaritan (person with the wrong theology) and a priest and pastor (people with the correct theology). In the story, the Samaritan was the hero simply because he showed love to his neighbor, while the other two were the bad guys because they did not show love.
Q) I’m an atheist/agnostic but I believe in breaking free of the system. Can I still work with you?
A)Yes. We’ve experienced different kinds of atheism/agnosticism, from extremely bitter to genuinely loving yet unconvinced or undecided. Because we believe God is the source of all love we’re prepared to work with a fairly large spectrum of people who are interested in showing love.
Q) What is your approach to war and conflict?
A)Jesus taught that we should “turn the other cheek” and love our enemies. We feel this relates to war and conflict. Despite the number of weapons in the world, people still die from violence. Ultimately, God is our protection, but there are times when he may want us to lay our lives down to demonstrate that showing love is more important even than our physical bodies. It’s not like we want to suffer or be killed, but knowing that there is life after death does help us to face the possibility of being called on to lay our lives down.
Q) Do you have any political affiliation/agenda?
A)Individuals within our group will have differing ideas on the usefulness of politics. We do appreciate various efforts by politicians to make the world a better place but ultimately there is no political solution to the world’s problems.
Q) What role does money play in your life?
A) Jesus said ‘you cannot serve two masters'(M6:24/L16:13). We take this seriously and so do not work for the purpose of gaining money. Nor do we receive state benefits. We depend on God for our provision. However, we do use money in the form of donations (which we ask for) when distributing our literature. The difference is explained through motivations. We ask for donations when distributing because it really does help to pay for the printing cost of the literature and because people generally value something they pay for. In the past we’ve tried distributing without the donations and a good number of the material ends up being thrown on the ground or in the bins. Asking for even a few pence sorts this problem effectively.
Another step we’ve taken in helping to distinguish our asking for donations from “working for money” is to make the donation “any amount”. We do not require any specific amount; people give anything which they personally decide they want to give regardless of the amount.
The money which each individual distributor collects from donations is put into a common purse and used as community funds. Every community member is asked to be involved in how they think the money should be spent. All work is voluntary and no person receives any wage.
Excess donations (over the cost of printing) are used to pay for vehicle upkeep, fuel, and any other expenses related to our work. We try to spend very little on ourselves though we try not to be overly hard on ourselves, either.
Q) Can I support you financially?
A) We gratefully receive financial and material donations. At the same time Christian fellowship and our relationships with one another is more important. It is important to us that anyone giving a financial donation is clear about their own motives, in the same way that we must be when receiving. God must always be our motive when giving and receiving.
Q) How are your material needs met?
A) Our needs are met in various ways and through various means. It’s difficult to say precisely because there really is no specific formula. Jesus tells us not to worry about how our needs will be met (M6:25). In a culture where we’re taught to depend on material goods, it is normal to worry about material needs, but this kind of worry almost always causes us to act in fear rather than faith.
God knows we have physical needs, but he wants us to understand that those needs can be met through the value of sharing with one another rather than forcing payment. The things we need may come through other people, through gifts given in love, it may be through food thrown out of supermarkets or people opening their homes and lives to us because they see value in what we are trying to achieve. Our job is not to worry however. We must simply have faith.
The provision generally comes as a result of just getting out there and doing the job.
Q) How do you use donations?
A) The bulk of the money goes into evangelism (books, dvd’s, etc…) and various projects aimed at promoting the values of Heaven. We keep budgets and accounting for all expenses. We also organize regular buisness meetings which include all members so that everyone is kept up to date on what’s happening with the finances.