Sept 28, 2021.
We talk about different kinds of gifts: leadership gifts, spiritual gifts, strengths, aptitudes, talents and skill-sets. However, there is an inner expression that deserves far more attention than it usually gets.
#JesusStories: Mark 2 tells of a paralytic man who is being brought on a stretcher by his friends to Jesus. But when they got to the house where Jesus was teaching, it was overflowing with people; even the street in front of the house was loaded with onlookers and listeners. I am sure they were immediately disheartened as it appeared they had wasted their trip. That was until one of them had the outlandish idea to climb up on the roof, rip open the thatching, let the dust fall over everyones heads who were crammed into the house, and lower their friend right in front of Jesus. Many rush past this point to the dramatic healing, when we should stop and ponder the thought process of these friends. I surmise that one of the friends kicked the dirt, pointed his finger at his buddies, and said something like, “we’re going to do this anyway!” His courage became their courage, and that collective courage turned into creative problem solving and inspiring innovation. They all knew that roofs were not designed to be entry points into houses. But on this day, they turned that roof into a door – all thanks to the gift of determination. And, Jesus counted their bold act as faith and great healing flowed. Dogged-determination looks an awful lot like extraordinary faith from heaven. Similarly, when Jesus taught on the Lords Prayer, he only spent three verses on what to pray, but then spent ten verses talking about the role of determination in prayer. That tells me that determination is three times more important than getting the words right. Where are you adding dogged-determination to your leadership and ministry?
#DinnerChurchQuotes: “The strategy nor the tactics of the First Christians were particularly remarkable. What was remarkable was their determination to act as Christ’s embassy to a rebel world.” -Michael Green
#PracticalStuff: If you would ever preach on the Mark 2 story, you might use my friends title: “Four-of-a-kind beats a full house”. 🙂 On another note, Covid has been awful. Perhaps it’s time for you and your team set your foreheads like flint to restore your dinner churches momentum anyway? I am not talking about ignoring health protocols, but I am talking about mustering your groups determination to take some forward steps despite the recent setbacks. Maybe you need to apply your boldness to regain spiritual momentum, reassembling your team, or maybe in other ways altogether. Maybe you just need to read this paragraph at your next team huddle. But know this: God loves to see dogged determination from his people – then He acts.
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.