Sept. 9, 2021.
We are profoundly aware of our humanity. We go to bed tired every night, wake up foggy every morning, and yo-yo between clarity and confusion throughout most days. That is our human reality in this fallen world. And yet we are called to be leaders in the inbreaking Kingdom of Heaven. Hmmm.
#JesusStories: I was reflecting on the Great Commission this past week in Mt. 28, and particularly on the line, “All authority has been given to me on earth and in heaven, therefore Go…!” This verse is loaded with meaning. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry he met the devil in the desert who boasted that he held all authority over the earth, and if Jesus would bow and worship him he would hand that power over to Jesus. It’s interesting that Jesus did not rebut Satan’s claim; if the devil was exaggerating the authority he held Jesus would have protested, but no. So now, at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry the believers are gathered for the ascension, and his dramatic rising into the clouds. It is in that moment he utters his final words, and makes it clear that he has now won back authority over the earth. That is not a small statement! But what is even more interesting is what he decided to do with that newly-gained authority.
Rather than set up his visible government upon earth, he directed his authority to flow to his Church. He did this with two words: “Therefore Go!” In other words he directed his people to take his new authority, push back darkness, and bring his inbreaking Kingdom upon the earth a step at a time. It was a divine decision to exercise his authority through us. Wow. And then he demonstrated his long-term commitment to this decision by ending with these words: “and I will be with you until the end of the age.” Which means that even us, two millinea later are still expected to take that divine authority, push back the darkness and instill the inbreaking Kingdom every place we go and in every town we serve. This begs the question: Are we operating our ministries in the knowledge that we are authorized to push back the uprising kingdom of darkness and advance the blessed Kingdom of Heaven into our families, neighbors, churches, neighborhoods, cities, and nation?
#DinnerChurchQuotes: “The Holy Spirit does not anoint plans, he anoints people, and especially people of prayer.” (EM Bounds)
#PracticalStuff: Summer is over. The season of rest is done. It is time to refocus your dinner church team upon the ‘Jesus Table’ again. One way to do this might be to gather your core team, remind them of the anointing that comes upon those serving on the frontlines of the gospel like dinner churches do, and then pray for a fresh anointing upon each of them. And if you are comfortable with this approach, you might even have the group lay hands on each person one-at-a-time, asking for a fresh anointing to descend upon each of you. What do you think?
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.