The Protestant Reformation of the 1500s began a reform of unscriptural church practice and belief. As wonderful as the Reformation was, the Reformers stopped short of fully reforming church practice. For example, in the 1600s the Baptists took reform a step further, insisting on the separation of church and state, believer’s baptism and the autonomy of each local church. The New Testament Reformation Fellowship is simply a fellowship of brothers who desire to continue the reformation of today’s church by the adoption of New Testament church practice.
We at NTRF believe in the Doctrines of Grace, hold to New Covenant Theology and agree with the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. The essential tenets of the faith to which we subscribe are identical to those found in the doctrinal statements of any sound evangelical institution. Our favorite statement of faith is the
First London Baptist Confession of
We advocate orthodox, historic, classic Christian theology poured into the wineskin of New Testament church practice as established by the apostles. We argue from Scripture for such things as small churches (under a hundred people), the Lord’s Supper as actual meal (a sacred, covenant feast), elders who are truly servant leaders but not lords, government by elder-led congregational consensus and participatory church meetings. Our emphasis on small, simple, relational, family integrated churches is coupled with careful attention to order and organization. Our goal is to be Christ honoring and thoroughly biblical in every area concerning our church life.
While we are firmly convinced that God’s best is for all His people to organize their churches according to New Testament patterns, we are not against those who do things another way. We just think that they are missing a blessing! We understand that sincere, godly saints sometimes understand the same Scripture passages differently. We hear Paul when he asked, “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Ro 14:4).
Our desire is to provide resources and training in how the early church met together in community. We seek to aid others in recapturing the intimacy, simplicity, accountability and dynamic of Spirit-led first century church life. God has opened doors of opportunity for us to travel and present these concepts to believers in North and South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. We’ve sent materials to many countries that we have not yet gone.
As for those of us at NTRF who lead house church workshops, we truly do identify with Paul when he wrote, "we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake" (2Co 4:5).
About Our Workshop Leaders
Married since 1983, Steve Atkerson and his wife Sandra have three children, two in college and one married, and two grandchilren. A graduate of Georgia Tech, Steve worked for several years in electronics before enrolling in seminary. While there he served on the part-time staff of a 14,000 member Baptist church. After receiving an M. Div. from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, he ministered on the pastoral staff of a Southern Baptist Church in Atlanta with a membership of around 1000. Then in 1990, after seven years in the traditional pastorate, he resigned to begin working with churches that desire to follow apostolic traditions in their church practice. He thus has transitioned all the way from mega churches to much smaller churches. He travels and teaches about the practice of the early church as the Lord opens doors of opportunity. Steve is an elder at a local house church, is president of NTRF, edited Toward A House Church Theology, authored both The Practice of the Early Church: A Theological Workbook and The Equipping Manual, and is editor of and a contributing author to both Ekklesia and House Church: Simple, Strategic, Scriptural.
Dan Trotter is an NTRF trustee, former editor of The New Reformation Review news letter, a contributing author to House Church: Simple, Strategic, Scriptural and Ekklesia, author of Red Neck In Red China, co-sponsor of past Southern House Church Conferences, team teaches NTRF workshops, and was actively involved in starting and leading a church in South Carolina that followed New Testament church practices. He has degrees from the University of South Carolina in history, economics, business administration, and law, plus a Master of Arts in Church History from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
In addition to their love for their three grown children and several grand-children, Dan and his wife, Linda, have a love for China and its people. He surrendered his tenure at Coker College so as to be able to teach business at colleges in China.
After college and a military career, Tim went on to earn a Masters of Divinity from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (MABTS) while serving on two Baptist church staffs in Memphis, Tennessee. He then did three years of doctoral work in Hebrew and Old Testament while teaching Research, Writing and English at MABTS. He and Sarah home educated their three daughters, two of which are married. While in the Memphis area, he also planted two house churches. He and his wife Sarah and their youngest daughter now reside in Columbus, Georgia. Tim travels widely teaching church life workshops for NTRF. In addition, he teaches a child training seminar, "Raising Wise Children in a Foolish World," and is a contributing author to both Toward A House Church Theology and Ekklesia.