Oikia Ministries of Biblical Theology     

 

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© by Desmond Allen

Last updated: 01/26/2016

 


Oikia Ministries of Biblical Theology is an association of small in-home Christian congregations with governance similar to that of the First Century Church, dedicated to providing its members a thorough background in biblical and practical theology.

Mission

 

Our mission is to teach and practice biblical theology, to train qualified Christian disciples for leadership and teaching positions within our membership, and to support select external ministries with our time, prayers and money.

Scope of Ministry

Our scope of ministry is reflected in the name, Oikia Ministries of Biblical Theology.  Oikia is the NT Greek term used for a dwelling, a household or even a family; to wit, we are a home based body of Christian disciples who gather to learn and practice biblical theology.  As such, we assemble in our homes with no ambitions toward ever acquiring or building a meeting facility.

The expectation is that once an Oikia congregation outgrows its ability to meet comfortably in a single home, an Elder or Pastor will be appointed to hold meetings in a second home.  Members are invited to participate in the Oikia cell of their choice.  Periodically, all of the Oikia cells congregate at a determined location for various functions such as baptisms, ordinations, community service/mission events, evangelical sermons to which friends are invited, or mere fellowship.    

Our goal is to make believers strong in the faith, so they possess both a clear understanding of biblical theology and a well-rounded experience in practical theology.  For this reason, Oikia cells meet twice a week.  One meeting is structured as an informal, group setting with songs, prayer, fellowship and a biblical lesson focused upon a specific issue of Christian theology.  The second meeting is to implement our theology in a practical since; herein we put our faith into action by visiting the elderly, serving the needy, ministering to the infirmed and bedridden, etc.  Some cells choose to have their group lessons during the mid-week and reserve Sunday as a day to implement practical theology.  Other cells choose to have lessons on Sunday and implement practical theology service during the mid-week.  Either way, the goal is to learn and practice our faith. 

Governance

 

Oikia Ministries of Biblical Theology is an Elder rule organization that recognizes the following leadership offices: Bishop, Pastor, Elder, Deacon, and Deaconess.  Each leadership office is a volunteer position held without financial or material compensation.  The leadership is a self-perpetuating body, in which appointees to any position are confirmed by the unanimous vote of the aggregate Pastors and Elders from each Oikia body.           

Each Oikia cell has a Pastor, one or more Elders, and one or more Deacons and/or Deaconess.  The Pastor is the leader and primary teacher.  Elders also teach and are often in training to be Pastors.  Deacons and Deaconess assist as needed and coordinate service opportunities, whether within or outside the cell group or community.  A Deacon, my or may not be in training to be an Elder.  The Bishop, who is also a Pastor of an Oikia cell group, serves as the leader of the aggregate body of officers from each Oikia cell.

The leadership shall have no power over the membership other than the excommunication of any member who continues to engage in unrepentant ungodly behavior, or who fails to abide the Statement of Faith.  Excommunication shall consist of denying said individual of claiming to be a member of, or claiming in any way to represent, Oikia Ministries of Biblical Theology.  A majority vote among extent pastors and elders of the aggregate cells is necessary to implement the excommunication process. 

Finances

 

Because Oikia leaders serve on a voluntary basis, and because there are no facilities to maintain, Oikia Ministries of Biblical Theology does not collect or receive donations or tithes.  Rather, members are encouraged to be stewards of their own finances and to donate, as desired, to missionaries or needy individuals (such as widows and orphans) of their choice.  To assist in this process, OMBT provides a list of known needs.  However, there is no obligation on anyone’s part to donate to these particular entities; the list is merely a collection of vetted needs, thereby helping to avoid less than honorable requests.

Membership

 

Membership to OMBT is limited to self-professed, born again believers in Jesus Christ who agree with our Statement of Faith.  Membership is attained by the unanimous vote of the attending members of any singular Oikia cell.  Because we are an association of likeminded believers with a desire to learn Christian theology and to serve our respective communities, membership in OMBT does not preclude one's membership or activity in a local church.