June 29, 2021.
Significant amounts of the scriptural narrative captures the heart of church people, but doesn’t have the same affect on the secular population that fill our towns. Many Christians want to talk about things of faith that stirs them, but when they try their neighbors eyes glaze over. However, to assume they are disinterested in Christianity is incorrect; we just need to get re-inspired about the scriptural content that breathes life into their world.
#JesusStories: There is an intriguing interaction found in Matt 21 when Jesus was addressing the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. They were upset that Jesus had tipped over the tables in the temple the day before, and demanded to know the authority by which he did this. The conversation went back and forth a couple times until Jesus said this: “You surely know that the Scriptures say, ‘The stone that the builders tossed aside is now the most important stone of all. This is something the Lord has done, and it is amazing to us.’ Anyone who stumbles over this stone will be crushed.” At this point the religious rulers realized that Jesus was implying that He was being elevated by God, and that those religious leaders were stumbling over Jesus and would be crushed. This did not set well with those leaders, and they walked away plotting how to get Jesus arrested. I am intrigued by the ‘Jesus the Cornerstone’ image. I propose it would do us well to meditate upon these words for ourselves. It is so easy for Christian leaders to be in the ‘church business’ and the ‘Bible business’ and forget to be in the ‘Jesus business’. Do you need to stop and remember that the only cornerstone in the Christian faith is Jesus Himself? To remember and recover the ‘Jesus-Center-Of-All-Things’ message does something to our ministries – a new strength and anointing is released upon our words and efforts. Oh Jesus, lead us back to where we talk more about you and your stories than everything else combined.
*Speaking of a respected mentor: “I’d talk about my fears, and he would talk about Jesus.” (Michael Slaughter).
*The gospel is the core of the Bible, and the gospel is the story of Jesus. Every time we talk about Jesus, we are gospeling. (Scot McNight)
#PracticalStuff: A few weeks ago our Bible project entitled Jesus Stories was released. This occurred as the result of a partnership with American Bible Society, and we are so thankful for their investment into this project. So, we started passing them out to everyone attending all of our Dinner Churches, and soon people on the sidewalks who didn’t even attend our DCs started asking for them. What was initially imagined as a great gift for our people and something for our pastors to preach from, caught a new gear. Now, we are viewing these Jesus Stores as a very meaningful gift for first-time friendships as well. The title, subtitle, and the cover promises to deliver the stories that flowed from the life of Jesus. And as it turns out, many more people are intrigued about that story than most Christians realize. You can order this Bible from this website/books. And due to some very generous donors, the cost is only $3.99/each. What do you think about ordering a case and enable your team to have something compelling in their hands to give away, inside and outside of your DC rooms?
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.