At Back to Eden Group, we are privileged to have the opportunity to coach/mentor many people and help them on the road to renewed “relationship, stewardship and dominion”. This blog is cut from several “Intro to Coaching” emails that we have sent to those at the beginning of this process. It tells you a lot about who we are and what we do and hopefully also encourages you in your own growth process.
You have requested that we coach/mentor you in spiritual matters through the Back to Eden Group. As we told you, we do a program called S.E.E., which means ‘Spiritual Entrepreneurs Emerge’. This is business learning, coaching and mentorship for those who desire to commit to making changes for transformation in stewardship and dominion. You have told us that you want to see God change your life through walking in Godly principles for the purpose of expanding the gospel, helping the poor and raising the standard of living in your community.
We have received your request. This is your official letter of acceptance.
The requirements we have for you are transparency before us and those you are accountable to. Therefore any emails or correspondence associated with the S.E.E. program may be seen by anyone you choose. We are committed to walking in the light and learning along with you about your land and people and our glorious God.
We ask you to fervently pray for us as we minister to you ‘free of charge’. Our time is very valuable as is yours. We must all give an accounting of how we spend and use our precious God given seeds of time on earth.
What we will give to you is clearly seen on our www.b2egroup.net site.
John is a very influential business consultant to large companies and has over 35 years of experience in leadership training and consulting. Katherine is a self-taught landscape operator and owner of my own business called Back To Eden Landscaping. She is in her 17th year and is also very successful. She has had no formal education in her field, only experience. Back To Eden Landscaping has financed us, our sons and friends going collectively to over 30 countries in the world.
We have run our own school of ministry and assisted the building of several internationally renowned ministries, including:
Vineyard Canada where we hosted (in our home) the birthing of a Vineyard Church in North Langley, B.C. and served on the leadership team of the Vineyard Church in North Delta, B.C.
Assisted Streams Ministry Canada (John Paul Jackson) in getting established in Canada.
WorldCast Ministries (Harold Eberle) and Destiny Bible Colleges in Africa, which involved many trips (together with our sons) to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. This has now been taken over by Bethel Church in Redding, California.
As you know, through these experiences and others, we have had much persecution from the body of Christ in our lives because we believe in the ‘priesthood of ALL believers” as the foundational gift that Jesus life gave to us. He tore down the veil between us and God and also the temple ways, sacrifice and priesthood where only one man was to rule or be at the top of the people. He established submission one to another and said we ought to consider the other person higher than ourselves. Jesus example was for us all to follow. He refused to have a reputation, to be held up high in front of people or to be a king and lord it over the people.
Jesus did not set up the pastor, apostle or prophet to be the head of the church. Jesus is the head of the church. The 5-fold function of the ministry gifts were set in place in homes. Larger settings were on steps, in grassy fields or in upper rooms in that day. This Hebrew way was chosen by God as the setting for Jesus to come to earth. The ways of the Hebrews were the way the early church functioned and is very important to embrace.
Jesus and the apostles did NOT set up the pulpit, one man/woman preaching only, seats in Roman fashion and one teacher (Greek pattern) up on a platform or a building for gatherings and call it ‘church’. All these things were taken from the time period and ways of the Romans only a few generations after Jesus rose from the dead. They are not biblical. Neither is the typical Sunday church meeting biblical. It is a tradition of men. The pastor as the main speaker and power center person controlling all the administration of a gathering, decisions, baptisms and many other things we do each Sunday…. none are biblical. They are tradition.
The offices of the 5-fold ministry were for building up the body, training and nurturing them to grow up so that they could walk before God without protection of ‘parents’. Then those who had been trained were to “go ye and do the same”. They are not to be set up as a separation of higher authorities and common followers. This is not what Jesus taught. Whenever Jesus followers tried to make him their king, he raised the requirements of following him to a shocking level. He offended their minds to reveal their heart. He absolutely refused to allow the people to elevate him higher than anyone else. This was and is our example.
“But you are not be called ‘Rabbi’, for you have one Teacher and you are all brothers.” Matthew 23:8
This is one of the most bold statements about the equal state of all Christians. One that even traditional churches should take to heart because Jesus often goes where we fear to follow. We are all brothers (and sisters) and we expend far too much energy attempting to climb the ladder of religious success.
“You have no need at all for each one to teach his fellow man…since they will all know me, from the least to the greatest.” Hebrews 8:11
“you yourselves are built up as a spiritual house to be a royal priesthood” 1 Peter 2:5
“are you not behaving like mere men, when one says ‘I am of Paul’ and another says ‘I am of Apollos’ are you not carnal and acting like the world system?” 1 Cor 3:4
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God…made himself of no reputation…” Philippians 2:3-7
Finally it is our conviction that believers are not required by God to have a man’s covering of protection, either spiritually or naturally. But we are all to submit one to another and respect our roles all together.
And so from this place before the Lord we present to you our Godly values. It is our life goal and commitment to God to feed all parts of the body, to those who ask for our support; to call, equip and train all followers of Christ to grow up into maturity, to the Head of the church – Christ Jesus.
Stewardship and dominion of our personal God given sphere/circle of influence is our foundation for coaching and mentoring you.
We pray you can glean from us in such as way that it will enrich your life and the lives of those you serve, both poor and rich. We are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus. To be clear, you will likely find that as we teach you the principles that Jesus taught and modeled that you will come into direct conflict with any traditions of men/elders that you may be presently following. The pearl truly is of great price. Selah.
John and Katherine Matthews