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Posts Tagged ‘ministry’

Many days mark the starting point of something new. Yet, today marks the start of multiple new beginnings.

  • 2021 30-Day Prayer Challenge
  • Shawna Cook of Brown Girl Bible Study releases pre-orders of her new book
  • Jeremiah Journey Week 35 continues with Live @ Lunch Bible Study

2021 30-Day Prayer Challenge

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer

Romans 12:12 (ESV)

As we embark on this prayer challenge to pray more day by day, we must keep the latter portion of this verse in mind.

“. . . be constant in prayer.”

Let us stay constant in prayer and consistent in our prayer life. Let this challenge serve as a means for you to learn more about prayer and your own prayer life as well as deepening your relationship with God through prayer. Join the challenge today!

Orders Being Taken for Brown Girl Bible Study

View the broadcast recording

My recent guest on Coffee & Chat with Rev Bruce was Shawna Cook of Brown Girl Bible Study and she shared about her upcoming book which is a journal through the New Testament epistle of Philippians. Visit Brown Girl Bible Study to learn how to order your copy today.

The Jeremiah Journey Continues with Live @ Lunch Bible Study

We’ve been doing it chapter by chapter week by week. The plan is to continue doing it: chapter by chapter, week by week throughout 2021. It’s all 52 chapters of the Book of Jeremiah for all 52 weeks of the calendar year. It’s all about the weeping prophet and how he carried God’s message to God’s people despite their resistance and refusal to hear him openly. It’s all about getting a better understanding of what God’s Word says and what God’s Word has for you to learn and live out today.

Join us today!!
Word cloud of chapter 35

It all happens every Wednesday at 11 AM PST on our YouTube channel. Be sure to check it out today and visit our Bible Study & Beyond playlist to view past livestream episodes.

This week we look at chapter 35 and the rewards of obeying God’s commands. The chapter includes the Rechabites and their commitment to the commands of their forefather Jonadab. God uses this group of individuals and their collective dedication the commands of Jonadab to demonstrate a vital lesson to both Israel and Judah. Look further for more information on chapter 35 online beyond my own blog posts if that helps your Bible study and understanding of the text. There are other blogs with insights into the descendants of Jonadab and their obedience.

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I stated it plainly: I own some and have been gifted some Nike gear but I am not supporting a winged Greek goddess of victory

It wasn’t planned. It wasn’t scripted. It was just a little insight I was sharing based upon our discussion on what is a covenant.

I wasn’t trying to step on any toes. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. My intention was to inform. I’m not judging anyone. I’m not condemning them either.

I am just not going to support a winged Greek goddess bearing a swoosh with my hard-earned money or the money that a local church might share with me as a guest minister in the pulpit, even the faithful believers who support my ministry with occasional free will gifts.

I just cannot do it with Nike.

What’s that about?

When I Discovered Who Nike Really Is

I was attending community college in San Diego in the late 90s and spending a lot of time at the library with my nose in all sorts of books and publications. One of my main research topics was world religions. While browsing through a book on world belief systems for empowerment, confidence and motivation, I discovered who Nike really is.

Nike: Greek Winged Goddess of Victory

  • Greek mythological goddess, child of one of the Titans
  • Symbols: wings, golden sandals, wreath
  • Known as: “the Winged Goddess”
  • Famous stone statue depicting Nike erected in ancient city of Ephesus

What God Says about Other Gods

You shall have no other gods before Me.

exodus 20:3 (NKJV)

Let me break this verse down in its context. it will make plenty of sense to you when you consider that this verse follows God introducing Himself: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”

  • the Lord your God: He asserted Himself as their God, not as the God of their fathers as before with the burning bush to Moses on Mount Horeb and through Moses and Aaron in Egypt
  • who brought you out of the land of Egypt: He reminds them of His marvelous miracle at the Red Sea that allowed them to escape to freedom but also wiped out the mightiest army on the face of the earth at the time
  • out of the house of bondage: He is sure to stress that their outcries for relief from the burden of bondage that seemed to go unheard and unattended were taken care of in the deliverance that he provided them

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me

Exodus 20:5 (ESV)

God’s a jealous God. That says enough right there if we just stop where it says: “a jealous God.” Based upon this warning alone, it would seem only just to not try and play games with God in this regard.

for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God

Exodus 34:14 (NKJV)

The connection to covenants comes in Exodus 34 as God makes a covenant with the children of Israel prior to driving out the inhabitants of the Promised Land. That’s where it is right there. That’s how it fits. God, “whose name is Jealous,” wants you all to Himself and that covenant makes it binding. No other gods have any place in that equation.

Determined Not to Entangle Myself with Anything Like That

Man, I was floored. I think I had tennis for P.E. coming up and I had Nike all over me, including shoes, socks, shorts, and maybe even the shirt. I felt some kind of way about it, even tried to rationalize it. That was all up until I read a little deeper and understood a little bit more about Nike’s influence in historic cities like Ephesus, a city I was familiar with from reading and studying the Bible. Finally, I just made a decision after some consideration, prayer, and quiet time.

I just couldn’t just do it with Nike anymore.

Watch the discussion on other gods as I share about Nike in last week’s livestream

Sporting But Not Supporting

Like I said before, I might own some Nike items leftover from Father’s Day and birthday gifts, even stuff from the 90s when I didn’t know any better. I think it all might amount to 4 or 5 pairs of socks, a sweatsuit, a pair of sweatpants, and maybe 2 pairs of Nike shorts. No Nike shoes. No Jordans either.

You might catch me working out or playing basketball in the Nike shorts. Occasionally, you’ll see me in the sweatsuit or sweatpants. And those socks tend to make their rounds when I wear my steel-toe boots because of their thickness (You know those socks they get you for father’s Day like an afterthought while they’re shopping in Kohl’s or JC Penney.) At worst, you’ll spot me on the Nike Run app but once Strava or Garmin, even Samsung Health, get it together a little better then I am game to switch over whether I lose followers in the community or not.


Tune in this week and watch Live @ Lunch Bible Study as we continue with the Jeremiah Journey. We study the Book of Jeremiah week by week, chapter by chapter for 2021 every Wednesday at 11 AM PST.

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Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah – Jeremiah 31:31 (NKJV)

God Promises a New Future with His New Covenant

Judah and Israel were expected to rejoice with singing and dancing, according the Lord. He declared a bright and bountiful future for them along with a new covenant between both Judah and Israel with Him. This included prosperous crops planted “on the mountains of Samaria” (v. 5, NKJV). The entire future looked pleasant for “the remnant of Israel” who the Lord was bringing back to the land of their forefathers, the land of promise given over to the children of Israel.

The new future promised to Israel and Judah hinges upon a “new covenant” between God and them. “At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.” (v. 1, NASB). According to the Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: “A covenant was an agreement between two parties that laid down conditions and guaranteed benefits, depending upon a person’s keeping or breaking the covenant.” Additionally, it says: “Covenants between God and the people he created, however, differed from purely human covenants. They were not agreements between equals, because God was always the one who gave, and people were always the ones who received.”

Tune in for Live @ Lunch Bible Study Wednesday at 11 AM PST

Live @ Lunch Bible Study Continues with the Jeremiah Journey

This week we’ll continue with the #JeremiahJourney and explore the new future promised by God with the new covenant He made with Judah and Israel. Last week’s Bible study lesson on chapter 30 focused on the promise of a new covenant coming forth. What we did not get were the enumerated details that God included in this current chapters. This chapter is filled with promises of a hopeful and plenteous future of God with His people in a time of harmony and bliss.

This sounds like almost too much, huh? Is this really in the Bible like that?

Jeremiah is the type of biblical text that challenges the reader to keep an eye out for anything odd or out of place. This chapter is no different, especially as you encounter Jeremiah’s brief explanation of his “vision” in verse 26 and the usage of Ephraim as an address about the house of Jacob and an inclusion of the Northern Kingdom starting at verse 15.

What are to Make of Jeremiah Awaking from a Deep Sleep (v. 26)

Consider that Jeremiah awakens in somewhat of a stupor in the midst of God laying out His declaration of the future of the remnant of Israel. He says that his sleep was god to him, even referenced it as “sweet” in another translation. Commentaries widely vary on their interpretation of this verse, including one where the church is substituted for Israel in the latter days and the rejoicing is rooted in the prophecy of the incarnation of Christ. Somebody please tell me that I go that wrong. Otherwise, we’re back to addressing replacement theology and all that comes with it. I mean even covenant theology is scrutinized by Dr. Reluctant online. Bob on Books gives a thorough review of another book on Jeremiah and its theology presented by a book like The Theology of Jeremiah: The Book, the Man, the Message by John Goldingay

Ephraim: Son of Israel and Cameo Appearance in Jeremiah Chapter 31

God even includes a mention of Ephraim in a section of this chapter. To novice Bible readers, this might seem like a vast departure from the subject of Israel and Judah without some explanation. Ephraim was the second son of Joseph, son of Jacob AKA Israel. Oddly enough, the favoritism that plagued Jacob’s fatherhood with his own sons extended to how he dealt with Ephraim and Manasseh. This ends up with Ephraim receiving rights of the first born and bypassing Manasseh, all of which was against Joseph’s own wishes. Based on this switch of roles, Ephraim is referred to as Israel and symbolically represents the tribes of the Northern Kingdom. Read more about this odd relationship and role for this “son of Jacob” in our weekly Bible study discussion guide.

Pray and Don’t Lose Heart

Get your FREE copy of the August 2021 Prayer Calendar from Life Path Multimedia Ministries. Join us in an effort to pray more in these days as we see a drift from the things of God towards the ways of the world in our churches and among our family and friends. It’s not a new thing that we’re facing, but it also has an age old cure in the effectual fervent prayer of those who seek the Lord’s intervention on today’s matters of heaven and earth. Prayer is just one of our weapons of spiritual warfare available to help us and strengthen us.

Download the Prayer Calendar for FREE
In case you missed last week’s livestream: watch it here!!

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Do not listen to the false prophets who keep telling you, ‘The king of Babylon will not conquer you.’ They are liars. – Jeremiah 27:14 (NLT)

Then I spoke to the priests and the people and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not listen to your prophets who claim that soon the gold articles taken from my Temple will be returned from Babylon. It is all a lie!  – Jeremiah 27:16 (NLT)

False prophecy is not just a modern issue. The Bible breaks that down for us. It gives us an unabridged look at what God calls lies from liars, prophets whom God did not send with any such message at all.

Look at verses 14 & 16 of this chapter of Jeremiah. God is laying it out there. He is exposing them for what they are and what they are not. He calls them liars and He calls their prophecies lies. He warns the king, the priests and all other people to not listen to these “false prophets.”

So, why does God care? They have not been listening to Him or His messengers and servants, the prophets. Why go the extra mile and break down how these “false prophets” have led the people, even the priests, to the point where they are accepting false prophecy over God’s truth?

God’s PLan and Will Shed Light on Falsehood

Expect God’s Word to withstand every test imaginable. Then, in turn, expect any false teaching, prophecy or just straight lie to diminish once the truth has been revealed. The very substance of any falsehood is disintegrated by the power of the truth. As the truth comes forth and makes itself known, the false prophets hunker down and cower back for fear of the wrath of God for their outright lies.

That’s not exactly what you see today. The ones who seem to profess and peddle their wares of a somewhat sinless existence in a Utopian-type of earthly Christendom do not seem to get punished for their wayward words. Yet, we see some taken down a notch for the other things that their falsehood has allowed to play out in their lives. We see men and women stripped of their seat in the pulpit. We see them lose members left and right as scandal and corruption are revealed. We see their marriages slip into dark places as their professions of falsehood even take over their personal lives, including their vows. Sadly, it not simply a black eye for false prophets. It becomes a black eye for the faith in the eyes of the world.

We talk about this falsehood this week as we study Jeremiah chapter 27. Join us this Wednesday at 11 AM PST for Live @ Lunch Bible Study as we continue our study in the Book of Jeremiah on YouTube.

How Could God Allow Such a Thing?

Let’s not get lost with our holy hindsight here. What we saw play out with some pastors recently is merely cleansing of what needs to take place in all of our lives. That same cleansing humbles us from thinking too highly of ourselves and surpassing even the pride that Lucifer in trouble so long ago.

The deeply-buried secrets and lies that were exposed in the John Gray scandal disrupted so much good he has done in his ministry and with God’s Word. Yet, we all have read it and most probably have repeated it where it says: All have sinned and fallen short. . .

People see what occurred in the ministry of Hillsong and its exposed abuses of volunteers and mistreatment of women claiming to have been harassed by leadership. Yet, what we witness is the destruction of that ministry’s witness to the unchurched and unsaved due to its flaws. Like Sha’Carri Richardson recently tweeted: “I am human.” We all have our flaws and issues, sin buried deep within our members and even some oozing out of very flesh with the stench of evil and wickedness coming along with it.

God allows it to be present, to be seen and felt. He sheds light on it every now and then as a reminder of what our focus should be when we place our faith in anything besides Him and His glory. Shame on us in the ministry for not being more responsive to when a brother or sister falls due to losing their way. We should beat out the angels coming to rescue and providing them comfort to recover and regain their strength. We should be like a SEAL team making a clandestine rescue mission under the auspices of the Christian banner. If anything, we should hold to the truth while extending a hand of support and restoration for those misled by lies, even those that have passed across their own lips.

Heaven help us to be more forgiving as we forsake false prophecies and forgive false prophets.

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Growing More Confident Day by Day

Not long ago, I preached on Hebrews 4:16 where believers are implored to “come boldly unto the throne of grace.” I entitled the message “A Time to Get B.I.G.,” referencing the basketball adage of playing inside the paint by getting big but also establishing an acronym of Bold In Grace. It was in the early stages of COVID-19 so the sermon was via Zoom, but I was truly transparent that the sermon was more for me than any of the listeners.

Confidence comes with consistency and confirmation. I have struggled with the confidence to venture into a full faith plunge with some aspects of my ministry, especially on the multimedia side. COVID-19 brought me face to face with the reality that now was the time for me to get B.I.G., Bold In Grace.

God-Given Confidence by Grace

To be Bold In Grace simply means to step forward with a newfound boldness due you being covered by God’s grace. If I fall flat on my face in failure, I know that God will allow me to recover and learn the lesson because I was obedient and faithful. If I succeed, I count that as a blessing and continue to learn what works and what doesn’t work, what fits and what does not fit at all.

Being Bold In Grace, gave me a new sense of confidence.

Confirmation in Different Forms

Oftentimes, folks want to hear a confirming word from the pulpit that resonates and sets the pews on fire with inspiring anecdotes ad stirring words of pragmatic ways to be more of an empowered believer in Christ. They want that biblical confirmation from on high with the organist leaning on the chords as the preacher kicks up his leg and tunes and swoons the church into a frenzy to close our the Sunday sermon.

That did not happen for me.

I received a letter from an inmate that was somewhere around the end or the beginning of the year. I was coming out of the cloud of confusion with my mother passing on Christmas Eve and I was still unsettled on all of that was transpiring in my world. Like a friend told me, as much as you want to, you never fully recover from the loss but just learn to live with it to a degree.

The letter quote Psalm 16:11 and confirmed so much to me that my response probably took the recipient by surprise. You see, when you seek to bless somebody, don’t be surprised when God actually blesses them through your shared words or gestures and in turn they share with you how much it blessed them. That’s what I did, sharing how much the letter had confirmed the path that I was on and seeking to transition with a tiny tinge about I just didn’t know how it would emerge or evolve.

And the second piece of confirmation came not long after that as I had just preached in the brig for one of the last times prior to COVID-19. I struggled with my feelings regarding the infrequency of preaching as an itinerant preacher, helping a church without a pastor, preaching at the brig once per month, and posting random blog messages online.

Then one day I see a familiar face in the gym as I am awaiting to play the next game of five-on-five full court. He came my way, and I wondered how I knew and recognized him. I was stumped. When you’ve done a grip of bad things to all kinds of folks across decades on earth, that’s not a good feeling and your guard is up just in case.

He called me “Rev” and that put me at ease a bit then he mentioned having been located at the brig and hearing me preach every so often. He shared the simplest confirmation for me that set me on fire.

“They let you out to figure it out on your own,” he said. “They don’t tell you how to adjust to this life out here. You either figure it out or go back in again.”

That statement clarified how I needed to extend my purpose and plan to include both multimedia and mobile ministry focuses as well as training for individuals and institutions to develop the capacity to live changed lives, especially for re-entry and recovery.

Continuing to Go Forward in Faith

I don’t recall how long it had been since those two encounters of confirmation, but I began to work on some things on the side differently, putting my skills to use with blogging, creating infographics and visuals, and putting together presentations for training and professional development opportunities. I was gaining knowledge into a lot new areas such as SEO keywords and social media marketing.

Then COVID-19 hit. It was a gamechanger.


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Discovering More Clarity with My Calling

In business, you set up and maintain a business identity.

It speaks to who you are and what you do. It becomes your brand. And it is how others come to know your business.

Ministry is similar, but there is a subtle difference between the two.

Firstly, the ministry calling is based on God giving you your marching orders. He usually pricks the heart of the believer for a cause or concern that invokes compassion or conviction, causing the believer to follow the leading of the Lord and His Spirit in that given direction.

Secondly, the ministry calling evolves over time. After one’s initial calling, God reveals more along the way. Greater clarity on the big picture is provided along the way during the journey.

My journey started around 2005 with an idea that would eventually take the form of Life Path Ministries & Services in 2008. It include Bible Stories & Beyond (Bible lessons and activities), All Men Edified Now (A.M.E.N.) (a monthly small group Bible study), and Operation Reach Out (evangelism and outreach). I added a weekly newsletter, self-published books of poetry and ministry guidance, and Bible study activities for A.M.E.N. over the course of several years.

I was content with what I was doing for God. I was confident that I was in the right place and on the right track.

Comfort Zones Cloud Clarity

Comfort zones can become dangerous places for anyone with a calling from God. That’s a particular place where business and ministry are truly similar. The amount of overlap is difficult to determine by degrees, but they at the least run parallel to one another once you get into the danger of comfort zones.

I knew what was doing in both ministry and business. I was struggling with completing my degree between Organizational Leadership at Chapman and Business Administration at Azusa Pacific. I knew how to do the work. I knew that the work was both important and critical. I even knew that the Lord had more in store for both myself and the ministry.

I was in a strange place. I was in an unknown zone. People applauded my work and what I was doing in the name of the Lord, but I felt an uneasy tension or frustration of the unknown lying ahead. I was engaged in what Keith Haney points out as motivating others like Jesus, but I had no name for it.

The evidence of the work was visible with tangible results, but I struggled with pinpointing what exactly it was that I was doing. Let me clarify that to say I struggled with what to call it. I was stumped with how to categorize it. I didn’t know what box to check when describing it.

Was it a ministry like Prison Fellowship, Salvation Army or YMCA? Was it a para-church ministry like Focus on the Family or 700 Club? What was this thing that I was doing?

I could not articulate it with clarity or with confidence if asked.

It took me over 12 years to realize . . .

I am in the inspiration business.

I am a preacher, rooted in a steep biblical basis of study and interpretation. I am a teacher and facilitator, focused on making tangible life connections for those with whom I study and lead. I am an evangelist, fired up with a passion for both those who the Lord calls “the least of these” and “sheep without a shepherd” similar to other street ministry efforts across the country.

I am in the inspiration business.

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Fruitful pic

Photo by Lukas from Pexels

 

Earlier this with week, I started a YouTube Influence Challenge through Think Media#GrowWithVideo.  Sean Cannell  kicked the 7-day challenge off in Day 1 Session #1 by driving home some hard points that call for self reflection, but he was careful to state that making videos for YouTube also requires a formula. Heather Torres led Day 3 into a challenge to develop our own introductory videos using the “secret formula.” The point of this is real simple: even developing and posting videos to YouTube requires a formula.

Oftentimes, I hear the cake baking analogy to the point of exhaustion when it comes to the right ingredients or mix of items. Whether it be a Sunday sermon or a professional development Zoom meeting with PowerPoint slides shared, cake baking seems to be the way many explain what is needed to reach a point of success.

Jesus used a differed methodology during a different time. He used what people understood to teach a life lesson.  He shared allegorical stories called parables to capture attention and drive home a point. He mastered the teachable moment and made the most of the opportunity to teach a life-changing message on a miniature scale.

The parable of the sower offers a word picture of sowing seeds and the potential outcomes. The parable occurs in Matthew 13:1-9. Jesus shares it and ends it with “Whoever has ears, let them hear” in verse 9 according to the NIV.

LifePath_hoody

The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”              – Matthew 13:10 (NIV)

At some point His disciples want to know what’s behind the parables.  That is when Jesus opens the spiritual floodgates. He unleashes the formula for fruitful ministry through His explanation of the parable to His disciples in verses 18-23.

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. – Luke 8:11 (KJV)

Jesus broke down the faulty and failing, even fertile, hearts as the soil. The seed is identified as the word of God. The results vary based upon the conditions, the season. Rocky and thorny soil doesn’t allow the seed to take root. Thorny soil leaves folks in a condition where they “bring no fruit to perfection” (Luke 8:14, KJV). The seeds on the pathway are snatched up by the birds quickly, not even reaching the soil. It is the see that finds the “good ground” that is fruitful, “which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15, KJV).

bible

So, what’s the formula for fruitful ministry?

You need to sow the RIGHT SEED in the RIGHT SOIL in the RIGHT SEASON.

You can sow tirelessly under the wrong conditions and find no fruit. You can sow time and time again with no results due to it being the wrong kind of soil or the wrong season. You cannot force the fruit. Jesus said the right mix will “bring forth fruit with patience, according to the King James Version.

  • RIGHT SEED: Your ministry work must be rooted in the Bible, God’s Word. If your message is about anything else, it won’t take root in the soil of the heart.
  • RIGHT SOIL: You minister to the heart and soul of people. You do not win souls via debate and logic. You win souls based on the Spirit and the Word working on the heart of an unbeliever. Heartache and pain might have prepared the way. Disaster or disease might have readied the person to receive the message. Unemployment or a new normal via COVID-19 might have opened the heart to hear the message, but the soil has to be right and receptive.
  • RIGHT SEASON: You cannot force the fruit. Fruit emerges in its season. Psalm 1 speaks of a believer when it says: “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season” (verse 3, KJV). You do not determine when it’s fruit-bearing season. That’s God’s work. Like Paul one shared to the brothers and sisters of Corinth, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:6, ESV). God gives the increase and He does so in the season in which He determines for it. Bringing forth fruit requires that patience Jesus mentioned.

Take this formula into consideration while you are ministering to others. It might not be the right season. Just remain patient. God can turn things around in His own timing. It might not be the right soil. If you do not feel like you are breaking ground and getting anywhere, you can continue to support and allow someone else the opportunity to be used by God in the situation. Imagine if God wanted you praying for the person (like Paul planted) and another was to step in and usher the person into the faith (like Apollos watered) , and then God would give the growth.

Finally, check yourself. You must keep the Word as the message. That is the right seed. Without the right seed, your ministry and its work will fall flat all of the time.  You might see some growth spurts but nothing will remain sustainable.

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown (Matthew 13:23, NIV).

F.I.T. Friday Focus Freebie Link

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time-for-change-sign-with-led-light-2277784

Photo by Alexas Fotos from Pexels

 

 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

– Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)

 

Today’s church is in a peculiar position.  It can be remembered as a masterful center of activity.  Or, it can be seen a near-dead dormant place of apathy with little to no action or activity.

For the church to harness the power of being interactive, its leadership has to see  the church as a beacon within the congregation and community that offers: CONNECTIVITY, COMMITMENT, & CONSISTENCY.

CONNECTIVITY

The experience on the customer end is all about ease of usage.  How simple is it to get connected with your church online? Is it just a Facebook LIve post at 11 AM EST every week? If so, then as a member who follows your church on Facebook, I should see it pop up on my Facebook alerts when you go live.  If I have to log into an online portal with username and password or jump through some other technological hoop, you got me doing way too much.

Make it simple for people.  One click access.  Embed your videos on your website’s home page.  Simplify access for people to connect with your church.

COMMITMENT

Any ministry effort requires dedicated folks.  Yet, during this season of uncertainty, commitment does not look different but it certainly feels different.  No matter if you have a full team of folks helping to create and coordinate the distribution`of your online content or something far more simplified than that.

Who’s managing the chat? Who is checking the mobile watcher experience?

A handful of committed folks from right within your congregation or community.  Your best sermons will never reach their potential.  The commitment of your tech and sound crew makes a huge difference in your broadcast.

CONSISTENCY

No one will watch if there is no schedule or announcement.  It helps your team with planning and preparing, but it helps your audience to know what to expect and when to expect it.

When you fail to be consistent, we k=leave room for all sorts of assumptions.  In times like these, it seems risky to assume that people will tune in without directives or any announcement.

Push out your schedule of broadcasts and meetings ASAP.  Give viewers and others some lead time.  Think days, not hours.  Announce what you plan to cover and when, then re-share it via social media or email.

To harness the power of the interactive church, you must keep these 3 in mind.  These are the cornerstones of an effective church interacting online.

 

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Active Faith Sports

“The dream starts us on the success journey.” – John C. Maxwell

The success journey, as Maxwell calls it, is a daily thing to do.  Place it on your daily agenda.  Jot it down in your daily journal.  Put it your weekly planner.  Write it on your whiteboard in your office or cubicle.  Add success steps to your to-do list.  Scribble it out on a post-it that you place on your dashboard.  Make each and every single day count by seeking out success, endeavoring to make dreams turn into reality.

“Know where you are going.” – Norman Vincent Peale

If you are starting out on the journey, you need to have some idea of where you are heading on it.  Unless you have been endowed with a divine conversation like Father Abraham while he was still Abram of Ur, you cannot just simply take a walk of faith without any direction or destination.  You need to know where you are going and remain certain of that continually along the way.

“An idiot with a plan can beat a genius without a plan.” – Warren Buffet


The road to success is paved with execution of a well-designed plan.  Whether it is losing weight or dropping the burden and baggage of addiction for recovery, you need to have a plan.  Success requires a plan.

“Ministry is a marathon.” – Rick Warren

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To become successful, you need to develop your plan and stick to your plan.  What I want you to truly understand is that all of your planning will require some adaptation along the way, but you will need to remain dedicated to your destination.  Your success will depend on your stamina and stability for staying the course. If you cannot endure the hardship and heartaches that come along with making moves to make your life better or the lives of others better, then you will not have enough fuel to finish the race to the end.

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We cannot finish the journey and reach success unless we get started.  We get started by thinking through the opportunities and the obstacles, weighing out the pros and the cons.

Active Faith Sports

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And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
– Mark 6:31-32

Sometimes you have to get away.  At times, you would be better off to simply leave your current location and get some time away from everyone and everything else.  You just might need some alone time with God in a different venue.

It doesn’t mean that you cannot come back.  You just need to get away to get better and go forward.

Look at the disciples.  They had just done some miraculous work in the name of the Lord.  Earlier in that chapter, the Twelve were sent out to remove unclean spirits and share the Good News (see verses 7-9).  Upon their return, Jesus listened as they gave firsthand accounts of their work done in His name.  Yet, after hearing this, Jesus instructs them to Go away and get some rest in a “deserted place.”

We need to see how the Lord wants us working but not worn out by the work.  Burning out may be biblical because we can see it at different instances in the Bible but so is blasphemy and idolatry.  Yet, there are things that we should just do to get better such as resting from our labor.

Do you recall the biblical incident when the disciples could not help the desperate father and his demon-possessed son? Jesus shared that this kind required prayer and fasting for it to come out of the person.  We cannot fast on an empty stomach nor could we pray effectively for others with hunger growling in our bellies.  Our human frailty remind us of our own limits.  We need a rest to revive ourselves for further work.  We need to appreciate the time away as more than a vacation.  We need to see it as a means of recharging ourselves.

As we go further in ministry, we will come to recognize the importance of rest in our work.  At some point, we just have to get away.

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