Archive

Archive for July, 2011

The Challenges & Remedies for a Season of Radical Advance

July 25th, 2011
  • What is a biblical church? It is community on mission. God, the Trinity, is a community on mission.
  • Isaiah 54 – lengthen and strengthen, increase quantity and quality.
  • The Spirit makes us into a community, a family and into a missional people.
  • Jesus was forsaken and overlooked at His most crucial moment of mission. It is hard to get the balance right between community and mission. Emphasis on community leads to frustration; emphasis on mission can lead to people feeling overlooked.
  • Acts 6:1-7.
  • We as CCK are at the stage of advancing in ministry.
  • The people who feel most overlooked are usually those who have been there from the start. Feeling neglected, left out and undervalued.
  • But there is a remedy for the problem – many solutions:

1. Not to abandon mission.

  • We are not a hospital but an ambulance or a hospital ship. We keep moving.

2. Increase honesty.

  • If you really don’t agree with something or if you have a complaint, speak up. Even if you can’t raise the issue in a godly way, raise it anyway.

3. Increase organisation.

  • When a church is large, too little organisation can damage relationships.

4. Increase number of leaders.

  • The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
  • Raising up leaders is the most missional thing we can do.
  • God will only give you the harvest when you have enough leaders to care for those He brings – you won’t catch any more fish if you don’t increase the fishermen.
  • 2 Kings 4 – increase of pots.
  • How? Strategy of trebling everything.
  • We’re not just trying to pastor those we have but the city we’re in.
  • Mission must shape the way we do church, not the other way around.
  • Mission creates more community and community fuels mission.
  • In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. We often discount people because we think they don’t know enough to lead – but they are more useful than we think.

1. Increase responsibility.

  • Are you merely involved or are you committed?
  • The church is a local missionary organisation.
  • The key? Keep saying yes, and when you say no say it with a clear conscience. God will promote you.

2. Increase faith.

  • Have faith for one another because of what God can do.
  • Romans 15:16.
  • Have faith for CCK – faith moves the arm of God to break open Brighton. Have individual faith for it.
  • Have faith for giving.

3. Increase Spirit.

  • Be led by the Spirit for leading and pastoring people – ask Him to prompt you when someone needs special care or encouragement. All it takes is a call/text/email.

4. Increase hospitality.

  • Hospitality is huge in the Bible – it is seen as almost a requirement of Christians, certainly of elders.
  • Be hospitable in your home and in your spirit – being welcoming and friendly with your whole self. Give yourself completely. Be accepting and vulnerable.
  • Where we meet for church is like our lounge – you can relax, be at home, say hi to those who also “live” there. And people who are new you welcome in, love them, make an effort.
  • Arrive to church early to be there to welcome people.
  • God has been hospitable to us, now we show it to others.

5. Increase playing to gift.

  • Use people’s gifting – maximise on what people are gifted to do.

 

Some final points:

  • Give your elders freedom to make radical decisions.
  • Some of us will go by staying.
  • The real work of church is not merely launching new sites but loving those who don’t know Jesus in that area.
Author: Categories: General Tags:

Meet the Brightonians

July 25th, 2011

Acts 19: 1-41

  • Ephesus is very similar to Brighton

Group 1: God aware but no real connection

  • They had an awareness of God the Father but no the rest of the Trinity
  • Galatians 4:4-6
  • We need to know all the members of the Trinity
  • If we don’t know Jesus we are like Christian-robots
  • We need to know God as our Father through Jesus making us co-heirs
  • Without the holy Spirit following God can feel really heavy

Group 2: Intrigued but resistant

  • God makes sure we have ample time to give our lives to him
  • When God shows up he shines into our hearts – if it is ice it melts toward him, but if it is clay it hardens

Group 3: Church as it should be

In it for the long haul…:

In a stategic hub

  • Brighton is very subversive – so is following Jesus
  • CCK: church is a blend of a mature Proverbs 31 wife and the beloved in Song of Soloman > keep buring on this city, keep focussed

Accessible vibe

  • We need to engage the Holy Spirit and show God’s power
  • Need good worship at an accessible length
  • Argue persuasively
  • 33% of world church attendance is male – need to be accessible to men

Group 4: The Ghostbusters

  • Don’t go near the spiritual realm – it will harm you
  • The only spiritual realm we should venture in to is in the Holy Spirit

Group 5: Thoroughly Converted

  • Physically and whole-heartedly following Jesus

Group 6: The Money Lovers

  • Money is a big counter-god
  • Paul says we must excel at giving
  • Luke 16 – if we can’t be trusted with giving away unrighteous money, God won’t trust us with greater spiritual gifts and responsibilities
  • There will be a devaluation – when we die we leave money here. Store up riches in heaven
  • God discipline: giving at least 10% of our earnings first – live off 90%
  • Money – kill or be killed – keep giving!
  • Newfrontiers – it is fruitful ground
Author: Categories: General Tags: , ,

The New Birth

July 4th, 2011

John 3: 1-8

Jesus is trying to teach three things about new birth here.

  1. Who is the new birth for?
  • New birth is for everyone. John 3:8 – Jesus says ‘you must be born again’. To non-Christians ‘being born again’ can often mean having a new lease of life -  only for those people that are broken or lost and need an emotional experience.
  • There is equality to Jesus’ gospel – he came to bring both humility to the proud as well as strength to the lost.
  • Nicodemus was highly successful, intelligent and moral and was kind and respectful to Jesus. But his career and moral standing counted for nothing – Jesus told him he needed to be baptised and born again. The gospel is not just for the marginalised.
  • 2. Why do we need new birth?

  • No-one can see the kingdom of God, unless they are born again.
  • We try to save ourselves through our moral achievements but our self sufficiency can hinder us from seeing the kingdom of God.
  • Trying to redeem ourselves through our own efforts only leads to fear or pride.
  • It’s not about following rules; reading the bible more or going to church more will not save us – we need a supernatural collision from heaven to bring about new birth.
  • Treating Jesus Christ as a teacher and example of how to live our lives is fruitless as we will never reach His perfect standard.
  • Buddha’s last words were ‘strive without ceasing’, and in direct contrast, Jesus’ last words were ‘It is finished’. Salvation is complete through Jesus’ finished work on the cross. There is no more need for striving or searching or trying to fill our own emptiness.
  • The secular world relies upon its own trinity; family, friends and career. But when one of those starts to go wrong, life becomes derailed.
  • Idols are those things that we give our lives over to and hope that they answer our problems.
  • Jesus Christ is not interested in our performance in life. He accepts us for who we are and we no longer need to build our significance from morality.
  • We need a radical change of heart and a new identity.
  • 3. How do we receive new birth?

  • Through Jesus’ pain, suffering and death on the cross, there is new life for us.
  • He came to live the life that we should have lived but never could and died the death that we should have died. He paid the just penalty for our sins so that we could be forgiven and have a relationship with God.
  • This prompts a radical transformation of wanting to live a new and transformed life, because of what Jesus has done.
  • Don’t delay giving your life to Jesus, there’s no need to get life sorted first. It’s the other way round – bring your baggage to God and he will sort it out. He loves you as you are.
  • There is a barrier between us and God and Jesus died to break that barrier. Those that trust is His death and resurrection can step through the barrier and have a relationship with God – completely forgiven and totally free.

 

 

Author: Categories: General Tags: ,