We had to send our best leaders. We had to begin to think global, not just locally. We were forced to be more externally focused than internally focused. Missions was no longer a department in our church, it was the essence of what we were about.
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All things seem obvious, but when you start to live them, the consumeristic, internally-focused church culture begins to rare it's head. You have to be okay with losing people in order to pursue the heart of God. You have to be ok with be criticized for caring more about people you don't have than those you do have.
You have to be willing to even lose staff that just can't make the transition. Managing a church can be comfortable and safe but leading a church is guaranteed to be messy and dangerous. So, it really comes down to asking the question, "Do I want to continue to play church and maintain the status quo, or do I want lead the church God had called me to pastor to experience the unequalled joy of pursuing His heart for the nations? Support our work.
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I knew something was wrong. I will be exalted among the nations. But we forget the second part. I will be exalted on earth.
How Leaving The Institutional Church Brought Us Closer To Jesus - Relearn Church
It was at this point that God began to transform our ambitions and goals. We are created to advance the mission of God. Pat : Wow! You have to begin with prayer.
And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do.
And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
For The Church
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. How I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,.
And they received from Moses all the contribution that the people of Israel had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.