Being missional

Missional is a word that seems more trendy than real. For me, it’s become more real than trendy.

Many pastors want their churches to be permanently and pervasively missional, but churches can’t be missional without multiplying disciples. Being missional is more than an occasional event to help the poor or practice friendship evangelism with a neighbor; it’s a body of people being equipped and unleashed to see the kingdom of God take root in a neighborhood, an agency, or a company. — Bob Roberts, Jr., Lessons from the East 

Living transformed lives

Today’s reading for MULTIPLY discipleship is Romans 12. This passage fits perfectly following a very powerful day at our church. We had a great missions service in the morning with a packed out house. It’s Missions Emphasis, so it’s always exciting to hear what God is doing in the toughest places of the world.

We had a Prayer and Praise night last night that focused specifically on missions. Local and global, we had 90 minutes of powerful intercession.

This morning, I see this passage to read and hear these words from the Spirit: “Lock it in. You’ve broken through in some significant areas. The enemy is alerted and ready to lash back. Lock it in.”

Live transformed thinking this week. Live in a way that keeps our eyes UP, alert to what the enemy is doing… and attack more. Don’t let up.

I then saw this C.S. Lewis quote passed along by a friend on Facebook:

” In religion, as in war and everything else, comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth — only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.” – C. S. Lewis

Pray with an alert spirit this week!

Serious Prayer

With the election over, I can put away my snarky hat (for the most part) and get back to other matters far more important.

Beyond the “Alex from Target” and Taylor Swift issues of our day, and certainly WAY past the “War on Christmas” issues are the serious matters of prayer for what goes on in the world.

Christians being driven out of towns in Syria.

Missionaries being threatened in areas simply because they are American and warnings have gone out for radicals to find Americans and kill them.

These are times we need PRAYER.

Please pray for believers around the world who are in FAR more harmful areas than comfortable Americans at a mall who hear “Happy Holidays.”

True crisis

We insist on panic in areas that don’t need it. Ebola in America, for instance. We have completely ignored the heavier issue of West Africa… but what is that to us?

While we panic over a handful possibly contracting the virus, we continue to ignore larger issues.

ISIS is still tearing through Syria and Iraq and is bent on destruction.

If there are weightier things to pray about and, if you insist, be panicked about, you might want to give that some consideration. Personally, I’d start with prayer and simply ignore the panic.

Apprehended by Christ

I’ve been home a week and have hit the ground running. It’s left me little time to reflect on the Ethiopia trip, as I had to dive right back into teaching here, getting up to speed on our church property and how the marketing of the property is progressing, etc.

Preparing for Sunday, I’ve slowed down somewhat to look at pictures and think back over the trip. The Lord spoke specific words to me about WHY he led me to Ethiopia and opened up more things in prayer.

The best thing about going to Ethiopia? It was born out of prayer. I was not asking for anything in particular, but out of prayer these past two years, I have asked what God wants for me and the church. Out of that ASKING came the opportunities.

The best thing to come out of this trip is the sense that I only want to pray God’s prayers. I truly want to be captured by his vision! I am driven not by a desire for Ethiopia, but a desire to KNOW HIM… and that has led us to the opportunities that abound in Ethiopia.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Phil. 3:12)

I don’t want to press on to DO more things. I want to press on to APPREHEND CHRIST!

Being prayed over by the Gospel of John class I was privileged to teach at Addis Bible College.
Being prayed over by the Gospel of John class I was privileged to teach at Addis Bible College.

The ordinary radical

In the current tension between “radical” (via David Platt, Francis Chan, et al) and the case for the “ordinary” (latest from Michael Horton), there is some sort of balance to strike.

We don’t want complacency in our lives, but we should learn something of the term Paul calls content. 

We don’t want our lives so set on edge we burn the spiritual and mental gears out before we’re 30, but we need to hear the urgency of a world still needing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I think in living ordinary lives, walking intentionally with Jesus, we find extraordinary opportunities. They are not necessarily everyday, but they are wonderful. It was in a very “ordinary” service over 2 years ago the Lord first spoke to me about planting churches and then, a month later, “owning” a country. It was the ordinary daily routine a year ago the Spirit spoke and said, “You’ll be in Africa next year.”

And, in an extraordinary way, it happened.

It’s a both/and world, folks. Not either/or.