Apr 29, 2021.
There is an angst that shows up in my soul every once in a while. I am such a cerebral person that it is often hard for me to diagnose the reason for this quite turbulence. Am I bothered about something? Somebody? Some impending deadline? Such is the ongoing inner life of Verlon Fosner. Can you relate to this?
#JesusStories: Jesus tells a story in Matt 7 about two builders. One of them built their house on the sand, and when the storms came their life collapsed in a heap of ruins. The other one built their house on rock, and when the floods rose their life held steady. Jesus went on to interpret his story by defining the ‘sand‘ as people who build their life on their own ideas, and the ‘rock‘ as people who build their life on Jesus’ words. Interesting! Today, there are so many good ideas and resources available right at our fingertips – i.e. our smartphones and google apps. However, this ease of information has subtly undercut a central idea of Christian discipleship – that JESUS’ WORDS are the only solid foundational materials available to build our life upon. Can we hear that? Others ideas are helpful, but they are not foundational; the lessons we have learned throughout our life are valuable, but they are not foundational; spiritual writings may be useful, but they are not foundational. The only solid foundational materials available to humans upon this earth are the actual words of Jesus. This understanding will impact our inner lives, our work, our family relationships, and our leadership. Each of the early apostles highlighted the potency of Jesus’ Words in their own way. John reported that he wrote about the life and words of Jesus so that our joy may be full (1 Jn. 1:4). Peter talked about Jesus’ words as the cornerstone, and that anyone who places the weight of their life upon it will not be disappointed (1 Pet 2:6). Paul said he was not ashamed of the stories of Christ, for they were the power of God (Ro 1:16). Now, back to my inner-angst; I have learned in my 62 years of ‘doing me’ that what I need most in those angsty moments is just to hear Jesus talk. His written stories combined with His inner-stirrings have the ability to restore my soul, renew my courage, and replenish my peace in the most interesting of ways. While I still benefit from other insights, and writings, and counselors, the foundational stability of my life rests solely in the ACTUAL WORDS OF JESUS. Do you need to stop and hear what this story is saying, and reposition your salvation and leadership upon Jesus’ Words?
#DinnerChurchQuotes: Why were Jesus’ words so powerful? Because they contain the living essence of Jesus’ presence. -Rex Miller
#PracticalStuff: Consider having a leadership huddle with your Dinner Church team about the power of Jesus’ actual words in their interactions. Once your team has internalized the Jesus Stories for themselves, these stories will start flowing out of them naturally and powerfully. Thus, their effectiveness in evangelism, discipleship, and preaching will spike in noticeable ways. There is an anointing that flows from us when we become fascinated by Jesus’ words. Have your team put this to the test: have them read and internalize a Jesus Story every day for a week, and then report back to the group what happens. This is the BIG STUFF of a Jesus Table.
Blessings & Boldness,
Dr. Verlon and Melodee Fosner have led a multi-site Assemblies of God Dinner Church in Seattle, Washington since 1999 (www.CommunityDinners.com). In this decade when more churches in the U.S. are declining than thriving, and when ninety-six churches a week are closing, Verlon and Melodee sensed that a different way of doing church was needed for their 97-year old Seattle congregation. It soon became obvious that they were not the only ones in need of a different path. They joined the FX team in 2016 and founded the Dinner Church Collective. And then in 2019 founded the Dinner Church School of Leadership. There is a lot to be gained when church leaders begin to see open doors in the American landscape that they had previously overlooked. Therein lies the journey for those who will forge a new future for the American Church.