Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lovin' Church...

I took a class this past week at Asbury on "Christology."  Going in all I knew was: I had a lot of reading to do by guys who were so smart it made head hurt just trying to read their names!! As the class began and my professor started to speak something amazing doors were completely blown off as we delved deep into the reality of Jesus the Son and Jesus the man and grabbed hold of the implication of what His life here meant for us today.  (Now for those of you out there who are "haters " of higher learning and believe it to be one of the seeds the mean old devil uses to subvert a real move of God, let me say this was not one of those classes.  Instead I had a Spirit filled, Scottish (cool accent...I literally heard his voice in my head when reading....kind of strange), New Testament theologian who had spent the weekend before our class partaking of the Lakeland Outpouring.  This class was an intentional move of God in my life.)
Not to go too far into the class and bore you with things that you may not care about (but probably should...but not here in this blog,) let me just say that one of the things we talked about in class was the reality of the church being the agent through whom God wants to move to reach a broken world.   However, too often we are more of a distraction to an authentic move of God than an asset.  One of these reasons is the unfortunate reality that we focus on things many times that just aren't all that important.

So here is the thought I would like for you to consider and weigh in on:

Realizing we have a clean slate of a new church plant to work with...what are the top 5 things you think are most vital to a church being used to affect positive change in a community? There are no right or wrong answers here but, the ones in which you can provide historical or biblical precedent for might just get you some bonus points with Jesus or maybe even an extra room in your mansion in heaven...I'll have to see what I can do about that.  

What are your thoughts???


Mari said...

Here is my short answer...

Ephesians 4:1-5:21 Offers some great insight

These are my 6, sorry about that extra one):Transparency, Be Intentional,Teaching/Discipleship, Unity, Love & Fellowship

I don't know about "some bonus points with Jesus or maybe even an extra room in your mansion in heaven", but I think we could just see "His Kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven"

dgodsey said...

Here are my immediate thoughts... take them for what they're worth!

1. Live & give the KINGDOM OF GOD above everything else


3. Establish & protect the UNITY of the Body

4. Seek out & rely on the presence & power of the HOLY SPIRIT

5. Be CONVERSANT with the culture without COPYING or CONDEMNING it

Candice said...

1. Expectancy = Before the Azusa Street Revival, the people heard of the Welsh Revival of 1904 and were expecting God to move on them also.
2. Prayer = Also before the Azusa Street Revival the people were praying for the outpouring of the latter day rain (Joel 2:23-29)
3. Relevance = In Colonial America the people had their roots in Christianity, but most of the people had become unchurched due to living far from the local parish and the local parish preaching platitudes that did not relate to their lives of struggle and survival. Jonathan Edwards believed church should be relevant to people's lives.
4. Experience God = George Whitfield another preacher during The Great Awakening believed that you should experience God's presence in a very real way during church.
5. Social Activism = During the Second Great Awakening, the people began to get involved in their communities by protesting slavery and helping people.

That's my five. Have you been to Lakeland? We've been watching some on TV. It's cool.

Laura said...

Mission. If it doesn't breathe mission it might as well be a country club!

Obviously part of mission is loving each other and being light in the darkness, but it's easier to start with "let's be a cool community, that would be fun for me" than to start with "let's be available for God to use us to transform our community and the world"

Not that you're doing that :)

The Hambricks said...

All of these are fantastic!! Thanks for your input...keep it coming.

The Hambricks said...

Here are a couple of others that were sent to my email....ey Steve,

I think the 5 elements most vital to the community as a church body are
as follows:

1. Obedience to God.
2. Unyielding Faith.
This brings an immense trust in God in all areas as the
fruit of our faith begins to manifest. Abraham exhibited this on the
mtn. w/ Isaac and so did the Centurion who asked for the healing of his
sick and dieing servant.
Also George Mueller is a great example of this. God
provided for ALL his needs because of his faith.
3. Compassion.
I think a strong impact can be made in the community just
by going door to door, asking about the current needs of the residents,
and asking if we can pray w/ them. Then they will see God working and
want to know more of Him. Jesus sent the Disciples out 2 by 2 to do this
very thing.
4. Prayer.
On our knees with God's will in mind and not our own.
5. Teaching.
We should be teaching the followers of Christ. Give them
the knowledge they need to stand up against the spiritual warfare that
tries to keep them from doing God's will and purpose day in and day out.
We can tell them more than just what Jesus did, we can teach them how He
did those great miracles, signs, and wonders. God did them through Jesus
by the power of The Holy Spirit. ( Acts 2:22 ) Jesus also said that
greater things we will do than He did. It will be by the same principle.

Your Brother in Christ,

Todd Helms,

Tom Roan said, "It doesn't matter what you pursue as long as your first pursuit is the presence of God. If you pursue the presence then everything else will come with it."

Anonymous said...

Well, just shooting from the hip, I'd say:

1). Love the Lord with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, & all you strength.

2). Love your neighbor as yourself.

3). Love your neighbor as Christ loves you. (No greater love has a man than to lay down his life for his brother).

4). Love & digest the Word of God.

5). Love & engage with the "unloved". - Pure religion is this, to look after orphans & widows in their distress.

I think that we all know these things, but we tend to think of them as being calls for us as individuals...which they are, but they are also calls for the Body of Christ to move. After all, faith without deeds is dead.