Oct 28, 2021.
We need to hear from the Lord. Not just occasionally, but in an ongoing way. Without it we are only relying on our three pound brains. In the world of epistemology, we have two inputs of knowledge available on this earth: our experiences and others experiences. That’s it! However, when we tune our hearts toward the voice of the Lord, a third input of knowledge begins flowing into us. And we sure need that! Without it, we are just rehashing carnal reasonings. I once saw a bumpersticker: Don’t believe everything you think! Something happens in our leadership when we start listening to a deeper wisdom than the calculations of our minds.
#JesusStories: In Mark 4:10ff, the disciples asked Jesus why he used so many stories? His response is worth some serious meditation: “I have explained the secret about God’s kingdom to you, but for others I can use only stories.” I don’t know about you, but this grips me heart. How long has it been since you and I have heard some secrets about the kingdom? There is an awful lot of talk today about ‘best practices’ and ‘church growth metrics’. Hmmm. Church leadership principles abound, but they not be the same thing as ‘secrets about the kingdom’. I have a sense that the leadership material Jesus told his disciples were not the logical and rational and cause-and-effect observations that are common to earth. That is why he called them ‘secret’ – they flowed from heavens way of doing things, not earths. They were based on the God-calculator, not the man-calculator. The more I think about these ‘secrets’ and ‘mysteries’, the more my heart longs to hear Jesus talk to me. Like the boy Samuel in the Old Testament who heard the Lord call his name, I want more of that ‘talk-to-me-in-the-night’ stuff. Best practices and church leadership metrics might have their place, but my soul yearns for something deeper. How about you?
- The missional church live their lives with the idea that they are on a mission trip, and on mission trips people focus on the work of God, and are alert to the Spirits prompting. (Reggie McNeal)
- If we are going to count for much in the postmodern world, the Spirit must remain the key to the churches existence and God must be breaking into our lives. (Gordon Fee)
#PracticalStuff: The JesusStories Bible has been printed for secular readers. It does not have concordances, commentaries, cross-reference tools, chapter explanations, or even numbered verse references. All it has is the stories of Jesus found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts. In its unobstructed simplicity, the stories come to the surface. Beyond that, it is a nice water-resistant cover and serves as a valuable gift to everyone the Lord has brought into your ministry circle. The cost is only $3.99, so you can afford to order them from this website by the case. Interestingly, the American Bible Society has also helped us create an insert titled: A Guide To Telling Jesus Stories that you can download from their website. This is a step-by-step training tool for your people to use at their table conversations or when asked to preach. Would you consider downloading this for each of your team members and talking it through with them line-by-line?
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.