recipe for becoming a spirit filled, growing mission church

recipe for becoming a spirit filled, growing mission church
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Title : recipe for becoming a spirit filled, growing mission church

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Author : James Mealy
Creator : Microsoft® Word 2013
Creationdate : 2017-February-06
Moddate : 2017-February-06
Producer : Microsoft® Word 2013

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Recipe for Becoming a Spirit-Filled, Growing Mission Church

Ingredient 1. We are learning the truth and power of the gospel of Jesus
Christ (and the challenges of repentance) together so deeply that we become
energized and automatically want to share it with others.

As our lives are transformed by a deep encounter with the gospel, our personal
lives themselves will be a testimony to the reality of God and the truth of the
gospel.

The Parable of the Seed That Grows by Itself
26And Jesus was saying, “This is how the Reign of God is. It’s like a person
who casts seed on the soil. 27They sleep, and they get up, night after night,
and day after day. And the seed sprouts and grows—how, the person doesn’t
know. 28The earth bears fruit all by itself. First comes the blade,1 then the
ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29And when the grain is ripe, right away the
person puts in2 the sickle, because it’s harvest time.”

You see, we believers don’t need to worry about getting people to join us or about
making people grow in Christ. Our job is to invest so deeply in the gospel together
that we let our individual and community life be transformed by the good news and
the power of the Holy Spirit. The truth of Jesus Christ—energized by the Spirit—
really does set us free (Jn 8:32). Then we will be a community that is a wholesome
place for God to bring people into. Jesus has his eye on lots of lost sheep. Are we
willing to let him make us into a safe place to bring them home to?

If that feels convicting, if you don’t feel ready, don’t be afraid. Jesus, through the
Holy Spirit, can get rid of a lot of hindrances in a short time if we are willing to
open ourselves and risk everything for the wholeness he wants for us—and for
those he wants to save, but who don’t know him yet.

Ingredient 2. We all regularly do ministries of simple, unglamorous service—
to the spiritual community, and to the wider community.

You could call this the John 13 principle. You know, that’s the chapter where Jesus
takes a towel and bowl and washes his disciples’ feet. And then he says,

Do you understand what I have just done for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’
and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and


1 Wheat is a grass, so early on it looks like grass.
2 Lit. “sends out.”

Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

We Americans (especially we males) are trained from childhood to look at every
social situation, every opportunity to get involved, from a selfish point of view.
We’re consumers. What’s it going to get for me? We want other people to serve us,
or, if we have to serve, we want our efforts to gain us more centrality, more power,
more status, more visibility. Those who are scrambling to be first, says Jesus, are
going to be last when the judgment comes. Those who don’t have (that is, they
don’t have the secret of servant identity) will find that they lose even what they
thought they had when they managed to get positions of visibility and status.
Usually churches solve this problem of fleshy competition and selfishness by (1)
putting all the visibility, status, charisma in the pastor, so there’s nobody else to
compete with, and pastor is too far up on a pedestal to compare ourselves to, and
(2) not expecting anything of people than that they will just act like consumers.
No, we really have to repent and become what the gospel says we can become—
servant-hearted, like Jesus. We’ve got grow out of the habit of competing, not just
have it put out of our reach like toddlers. A key way we do that is that we all work
on humble service together. Ideally, it becomes a part of the agreement of
membership that, unless there is some particular difficulty that prevents it,
everyone has a service ministry—especially those of us whose social locations
have trained us into a sense of automatic entitlement to be served and to be the
boss. White middle class brothers and sisters, I’m talking about us. [I am going to
extemporize for a minute about my personal ability to be tempted by status
seeking.]

Ingredient 3. When we can, we all take part in mid-week meetings for
fellowship and mutual edification.

This is key. Powerful worship services are fabulous, but people can’t get their
needs for spiritual and personal nurture, growth in discipleship, and transformation
met just by taking part in weekly services. The greater part of personal change
happens when we invest in real, faithful, accountable relationships with one
another by regularly praying, fellowshipping, practicing hospitality, and studying
the scriptures together. We have to walk the path of discipleship together. There is
no such thing as personal salvation. When we devote high quality time to one
another in small groups, we learn to take care of one another and spur one another

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