Elim in a few words
Two couples come to live in Bergweg 7 in Doorn; community life started, but semi-officially and not really intentional.
The Elim community is officially established by three couples. Living together with a common purse, working together, hospitality, open house …., just what the Bible says: ‘All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.’ (Acts 2:44-45)
Gijs and Dieneke van den Brink travel to India to visit the missionfield in that country. The consequences of that trip are not insignificant for the young Elim community.
From 1984 till 1997 the direct practical involvement in projects in India is growing.
And anno 2011 Elim is involved in several projects in India, Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand and Pakistan, varying from purely missionary activities to social development work.
The church is established. From this time onwards Elim is known as housechurch.
Elim opens a platform for evangelical intentional communities. Thirty-five communities have joined the platform. From 1989 till 2010 an annual congress was organised.
Elim becomes more and more a multicltural community and starts with bilingual meetings. Iranian, Afghanian and Armenian believers attend the church. Often it happens that in our meetings Dutch believers are a minority.
- Regular meetings at Bergweg 7 in Doorn.
- Weekly on Tuesday evening, prayer meeting from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Weekly on Thursday evening, bible study or a meeting devoted to a particular topic.
- Weekly on Sunday morning, a worship service in which the advice of 1 Cor.14:26 is followed: ‘When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.’ The service lasts about two hours and has a definite order: hymns of worship with personal testimonies, through which everyone can have a part in the service; a time of prayer with freedom for anyone to pray or to worship. And a time for preaching the Word of God, i.e. either each one who has something on his/her heart to share may do so, or one person does bring a sermon to teach the others.
We believe in the Bible as the inspired Word of God. Yet our principles of faith are not so much a doctrine, but a Person: Jesus Christ Who is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Our conversations are not so much about the right doctrine as they are about the right practice, as described by Luke in Acts 2:42, ‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.’
The following is a point by point summary of what we believe, written in the form of a prayer.
- Dear Lord, You have saved me from an eternal judgment, and have brought me into Your everlasting light. Therefore I submit myself to You and the authority of the Bible (2 Cor.10:3-6) according to the light which we (in this church) together have (Eph.3:18-19)
- Lord, You have baptized me into your body. Therefore, both spiritually and practically, I want to belong to this church, this part of the body of Christ (1Cor.12:12-27), which means that I am available 24 hours a day for God and for my brothers and sisters; and that I am loyal to the spiritual authority and the well-being of the church, even when I, personally, have other desires.
- Lord, through your Holy Spirit, You have given me a ministry and a gift (Rom.12:3-4; 1Cor.12:11). Therefore I will be active in at least one discipleship circle or working party.
- Lord, You are the Eternally Faithful One, and You will always remember me. I will share your faithfulness with the brothers and sisters that You have given me, and I will keep the friendship with them alive by regularly (at least twice a week) attending the meetings (Heb.10:25).
- Lord, You have given your life for me. And because You want everyone to be saved and that there are no needy persons among us, I give at least 10% of my income to You (Lev.27:30-34; Matt.19:21-22 en 23:23).
- Lord, because I have learned to know your love and your holiness, it is my longing to grow together with my brothers and sisters to become a fellowship as you want it to be, where there is a definite clear dedication on the part of all members, that all members are of an equal well-being, spiritually and materially (2Cor.8:13-15) and where there is a powerful testimony of love and care for all people, a testimony that is clearly visible to the world
We do not attach importance to denominations, and we are completely independent as a local church. We accept the other churches as churches of the Lord who are walking in the light which they have. That means that we accept that accents can differ in the one Kingdom of God. In this Kingdom there is unity and diversity. The difference between the church of the Corinthians and the church of the Galatians in the Bible is in our opinion abundantly plain.
We have with many much in common:
- We feel very close to the early anabaptists, because of their community life (Hutterites, named after their first leader Jacob Hutter)
- With the Reformation we share the emphasis on Word and Spirit.
- With the Baptists: the baptism of believers.
- With the Catholics: the feeling to be a part of a world-wide-church.
- With all kind of movements at grassroot level: a basic structure and a social engagement.
- With the charismatic movement: emphasis on a life led by the Spirit and on the spiritual gifts.
- With the ‘fundamentalists’: a concrete eschatology, i.e. Jesus Christ will return to this world on the clouds and arrive in Jerusalem.