Seven Churches of Revelation

While Bulgarian Protestant churches and missions in Northern America have been present since the early twentieth century, networking between them is a rather new phenomenon that has occurred for less than a decade. Because of its recent existence, historical records and documented information on the subject is not yet available. However, the mission and vision of such a movement is not new to the Bible.

Cross-cultural church planting is seen repeatedly in the Scriptures. The Synagogue Movement during the times of Jewish slavery is a prime Old Testament example. The New Testament church and the spread of Christianity in the ancient East and the Roman Empire are other examples. In such cases, the mission and vision of religious formation presented in the Bible are applicable to the needs of a contemporary ethnic community of believers.

Of greater significance for this research is networking among religious communities in the Bible. The fact that such process exists is obvious from regular gatherings of New Testament church leaders in councils to make decisions and find solutions for problematic situations. The best example of church networking in a context of cross-cultural ministry is the description of the Seven Churches of Revelation.

This study will examine the text of Revelation chapters two and three in order to analyze similarities in problems and solutions in relation to the problem of ministry of the Bulgarian churches in America. The Scripture review will approach the Seven Churches from Revelation in a way very similar to the larger outline of the present doctoral project. Through establishing the general characteristics of the Seven Churches of Revelation, the cripture review will place the cultural, economic and leadership dilemmas within the churches’ context of ministry. It will then survey the churches and their relationships to the said dilemmas and will provide a statistical overview of the frequency of their occurrence. Finally, the Scripture review will analyze the results in light of the solutions proposed in the text of chapters two and three of the book of Revelation.

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