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Posts Tagged ‘Ministry’

Union with Christ 5

September 9th, 2016
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Pentecost effectively is about the church being invited to participate with the living resurrected and ascended Jesus in his continuing ministry in this world.

Jesus when he went back to his Father did not retire.

Gary Deddo:

In seeking to honor Christ in their actions, some ask, What would Jesus do? But a better question, if we want to truly participate with Christ, is this: What is Jesus doing? Answering this question leads us to seek to discover what Jesus is doing in the present situation and consider how we can get involved with his activity.

When we see the depth of the grace of God in uniting us to Christ to share with us his communion with the Father, what else can we possibly do with our lives except to go where he goes, do what he does, and live for the glory of the Father as he always has and still is doing?

One of the symbols we referred to last week in living in the life of Jesus was the loaves/fishes. Lets look at it more deeply.

Mark 6:30-44

30 The apostles gathered round Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.

They were being trained on the job.

31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

They were exhausted. Jesus was very attractive to the ordinary person. He was always surrounded by people.

33 But many who saw them leaving recognised them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

This wasn’t what was planned. But Jesus was responsive to their need. In many ways these people had been abandoned by the official religion of the Temple.

One hears the symbol of the good shepherd in contrast to the shepherd condemned in Ezekiel 34.

35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. ‘This is a remote place,’ they said, ‘and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.’

They need to go and look after themselves. A practical observation of the situation.

37 But he answered, ‘You give them something to eat.’

Not a very practical suggestion.

They said to him, ‘That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?’

Two obvious problems: the cost and the deliverance of that amount of bread in a short time.

Did they have that amount of money? Their shock seems to imply that it was beyond their resources or if they did , there wouldn’t be anything left in the attempt.

38 ‘How many loaves do you have?’ he asked. ‘Go and see.’

When they found out, they said, ‘Five – and two fish.’

What a strange request. And it got worse: only five loaves and just two fish. The disciples did not know what to do next. Slide

39 Then Jesus told them to make all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.

Jesus provided some leadership. He directed the disciples to get all the people to sit down in groups. The people actually did what the disciples asked, though it would not have been clear what would follow. Some must have muttered, “It’s getting a little late, isn’t it? I thought he was finished.”

41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.

What was going to take place not only would involve Jesus and his disciples but also Jesus with his Father. This oneness is central to who Jesus is.

Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.

This illustrates how our union with Christ and our participation in his ministry are held together.

Remember the symbol of living waters: we share from what we receive. Jesus with his Father in the Spirit supplies our needs – we share his gifts with others. It is never about us. Or how clever we are or how much we give.

42 They all ate and were satisfied,

The fullness of Christ. Not our wants but our needs. He is sufficient.

43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

Not only that, but from those five loaves and two fish, there were twelve baskets full of broken pieces of bread and fish leftover! Twelve baskets—one for each of the disciples. Can you imagine their reaction as each one brought back a basket full after handing out just a few scraps?

As we read in  2 Corinthians 9:10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

If we have eyes to see we will know that Jesus is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.

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Message for the Day

Ministerial Conference Notes part 3

July 15th, 2013
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Talk 6

Joe Tkach – GCI Transforming its World.

Mission: We are committed to living and sharing the good news of what God has done through Jesus Christ.

 Making disciples who are making disciples.

 We all come to the light in different ways:

 All kinds of churches

 For all kinds of people

 In all kinds of ways.

 Many groups are coming to us.

 We follow Peter’s response in Acts 3:3-6

 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

 As Kalengule Kaoma says: Silver and gold have I none, but I can introduce you to Jesus Christ.

 Remember in 2 Corinthians 1:20

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

 Our believing and doing are not separate. We are seeking to join what Christ is already doing.

There has been a major change in the way we as a denomination operate.

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Message for the Day ,

Ministerial conference 2013 Part 2

July 9th, 2013
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Talk 3

Finishing well -Sustainable Christian Leadership -Keith Farmer

 How not to be a discouraged. drained leader?

 A sign of being drained is the feeling: I don’t want to do this any more or I can’t do this any more.

 What can drain us?

  •  We cannot measure progress. Ministry is not like building something. It is hard to measure spiritual progress in congregations. They go up and down.
  •  The congregation expects the pastor to always on top of things. They can judge a pastor if he is upset or struggling in his personal life.
  •  Leading, motivating volunteers isn’t always easy. They can say no and not help any more.
  •  Often there is no honour, respect or trust or support in the wide community.
  •  Consumer factors in the church. People are only thinking about their needs. If they feel they are not being satisfied they will go somewhere else.
  •  Public speaking is emotionally draining.
  •  The church may have an inadequate leadership /governance structure. Pastors can have too much control and everything depends on them. Or they do not have enough control and have to always answer to bickering committees.
  •  Sometimes both the minister and the congregation have over expectations putting the pressure on the pastor to always do something special each week.
  •  Most churches are tight financially.
  •  Pastors are expected to lead changes in their congregation. This can be very emotionally draining as people disagree on these changes.

 

When the church goes through a difficult time of stagnation –when all the ways we measure success are not happening, we can lose motivation.

 Our focus should not be on success but on faithfulness.

 Sometimes the harvest is declining : we are not replacing those who leave or a dying.

 Perhaps we have a false view of discipleship: too head orientated. People only need to read the Bible and come to church. The Jesus model is an intimacy with God. We want people to have a peaceful sanctuary with God, knowing they are beloved children of God.

 We should be willing to try new models of leadership.

 Young people can have fresh perspectives. We need to build teams and empower those teams.

 We need to see our common ground with other denominational leaders and be of one heart.

 A fundamental approach to helping our leaders thrive:

  •  To love Jesus.
  •  When we are going through stressful times, get back to the essentials: realize that God is still embracing you as his child. Learn to embrace him.
  •  Fill in what you have give out. We don’t last long on an empty tank. There are times to be kind to oneself so as to recharge. Jesus often did that –especially being intimate with his Father.

 

This leads to personal security:

  •  Spiritual security –through love . God is for us, who can be against us.
  • Spiritual freedom – through grace. Everything I have that is worthwhile is from God as a gift: his love, gentleness, kindness, caring, compassion, discipline.
  • On -going healing – the healing must keep up with the hurting. Repentance means to have a quiet place, to be humble -if we have made a mistake. We can be vulnerable. It is important that we are rejuvenated after each day we are hurt.

 

We don’t perform out of insecurity so we can feel secure. This is the guilt, fear , anxiety motivation.

 Security gives us the drive to perform. Because we know that we are loved,we trust and have hope.

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Message for the Day