Ministry Update, Plans Moving Forward, & Prayer Feast
As I mentioned in the “What Does Ministry Look Like?” post, we hold our plans with open hands. God has authored our past far better than we could, so as we talk about the way forward, let me include a few highlights from the recent past:
|Aarron, Cristine, and Pastor Marvin Jinks at Free Chapel’s
School of Discipleship
School of D – Aarron and Cristine completed phase four of Free Chapel’s School of Discipleship and will receive certificates of graduation in a few weeks. SoD is a four phase course offered at Free Chapel to anyone who wishes to understand spiritual foundations, transformation, formation, and impartation. It’s required for all small group and care leaders and we are grateful for the church’s scrutiny in developing new leaders. We gained a lot of formal terminology and understanding of the spiritual growth process, but like holding our plans with open hands, we know God doesn’t fit in a box and will not mature any two believers the same.
Mentor, be Mentored – Aarron had an opportunity to meet with Pastor Marvin Jinks, head of Free Chapel’s small groups and Pastor Marvin has agreed to meet with him on a more regular basis to further mentor Aarron as a discipler of men and leader in the body of Christ. For years, we’ve made it a practice to not just be disciplers, but to also be discipled; not just mentor, but be mentored; not just pastor, but also to be pastored. This is an exciting new relationship for us and we ask for your prayers moving forward. “I’m so humbled to be a part of of how the Lord is going to use you in the days ahead”, Pastor said. We, too.
DivorceCare – We’re prayerfully considering our DivorceCare involvement for the Fall and Spring – North Point has undergone several changes recently in the Oasis model and staffing in that department, and could use seasoned leaders at this time. But, with the number of available, seasoned leaders at NPCC combined with Free Chapel’s growing program and need for leader-trainers and DivorceCare for Kids leaders, we may find ourselves placing both feet down at Free Chapel for a season or two.
Prayer Breakfast – As we lean heavily into fellowship over the month of July, we’re excited to announce our first Seasons of Life Ministries Prayer Breakfast at our home, here in Cumming. Saturday, July 16th at 8AM, we invite you to join us for pancakes, eggs, etc., etc., and to pray for God’s work through this ministry, the people in our care and their families, the plans Lord has for our future, and for our family, board, and their families as well. RSVP on Facebook at www.facebook.com/seasonsfb or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got BS? Aarron didn’t. After 5 years of undergraduate study, he had accumulated 173 credit hours spread out over 3 majors. When he left college to pursue a business opportunity, the degree was incomplete. After many years in the business world and several years in ministry, he got word from his alma mater that changes had occurred in the university catalog that may allow him to complete his degree with one course. After one phone call, he found out that the situation was even better – the requirement that needed to be filled could be satisfied with a course already on his transcript! Long story short, Aarron will receive his long-overdue diploma from Bridgewater State University in late August of this year!
Not a lot of posting this week or last considering all the rehearsal and build up toward tonight’s performance of “That Day“. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, we’ve got about 8 seats left and you might be able to get them as a walk in.
In the meantime, I’m handing my blogging responsibilities over to Dan Miller, so to speak. I wanted to make sure I passed on a great comment about the spiritual smokescreen people often put up when they say “I have to pray about it.” Please, read Dan Miller’s excellent article about this topic. Then, PRAY. No, for real. Get. It. Done.
One of the most awesome things about the Gospel is that through Christ we have access to God – to boldly approach the throne with freedom and confidence. [Ephesians 3.12] For ages, the wall was up and there was a curtain separating mankind from the Holy of Holies. But, with the crucifixion of Christ, the veil was torn.
Wouldn’t you expect us to pray more often? If we really knew how great and awesome God really is, especially as we read the Psalms and epistles, if we really knew how depraved and filthy we are without Christ, especially in light of Romans and Leviticus, wouldn’t we be lying face down before God for hours honestly and desperately praising Him and thanking Him for His mercy and grace?
Somehow, we get tied up in the mundane, the urgent, the noise and the dirt of the world. Can I just mention something to us who call ourselves followers of Christ? The gospel is for us, too. We need it everyday. Every hour.
This week, I got to meet with a guy who’s going through a challenging season and learning to pastor his wife’s heart while she begins to uncover many of the curses and judgments that have fallen on her through her family of origin and first marriage. She’s been lied to, cheated, and confused about her real worth. Her true identity has been warped and she hears the voice of her earthly father and ex-husband playing over and over in her mind. She’s constantly reminded of who she’s not and what she’s incapable of.
We all need earthly advocates that will approach the throne on our behalf. It is an echo of what Christ is already praying and is a bold, powerful harmony that accompanies the song of heaven.
I didn’t want to give him any “advice”. I just prayed as he spoke and listened for what the Holy Spirit might have for him. I pray that the words that came out of my mouth were from God and God alone – “Mike, as ‘high priest and pastor of the family’, she needs you to pray her through this. Pray with her and on her behalf.” She needs to know the gospel every moment of her day to shield her and defend her against the accuser who daily batters her esteem. “You are worth my one and only Son.”
It strikes me at this time – how many of us are actively praying for the people in our life who already know Jesus, but don’t experience Him every day? How many of us know people who are carrying the weight of false accusations about their identity, their “impossible” situation, their hope and future? We’re going to start doing something about it.
The first step is this – let’s admit that we all need Jesus all the time. Next comes “ask the Lord to reveal to us who He wants us to pray for”. Consequently, let’s gather together and corporately pray for those who need it. We have three enemies at us – the world, the flesh, and Satan. The latter comes to “steal, kill, and destroy”. Prayer is our battle cry – are we in the fight or distracted by life’s “worries, riches, and pleasures” (Luke 8.14)?
Starting in the next couple of weeks, we’re opening our (rental) home for “Pizza and Prayer”. Bring your broken heart, your tales of brokenness, and a desire to storm the gates of Hell and we’ll provide the pizza and time and space to pray. We’ll most likely start on Sunday, Feb. 6th, sometime mid-afternoon and will end by 6, but email us at email@example.com to RSVP.
|Scotty Smith – TGC
For now, I’d love to pass on a post from Gospel Coalition about a great prayer. We could all use a lot of great prayers, couldn’t we?
(HT: Matt Erickson)