Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The "L" in LC2C: Rational or Relational?



The most basic and tragic mistake that Christians make, it seems to me, is to forget that love alone has the real power to change people and build churches and ministries. So long as we seek rational explanations for mysteries we will fail to love. Ask yourself: Why is God called love (1 John 4:8, 16)? What makes God’s essence love? And how do we rightly conceive of a God who is truly God if he is a God who is love? Is there any correlation between God’s being love and your love, your happiness and your holiness? I think so.

If relationships are what life is really all about, then life is finally about God’s love. Every story is about love. Either your life is a great story about how love is restoring you day-by-day in the image of God, and thus in God’s love, or it is about how the lack of love has torn away more and more of God’s image from your life and broken you down.

When Christians speak of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ this is what we mean. This is the really great and important relationship. This relationship begins the restoration process. But this relationship is never meant to put you all alone with God. It is meant to bring you into many other developing and loving relationships with those also made in God’s image. God’s story is about his divine longing for you and me and of his deep desire to bring home captives who lost their way and ended up in relational bondage. God’s love breaks these bonds and frees the prisoner to love and be loved. This is why there is nothing greater than love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

===>Click headline to access complete article on John Armstrong's website . . .

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Friday, March 24, 2006

SHARE - New "Comprehensive" Resource

NEW BOOK OFFERS COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO MODERN EVANGELISM

By Jeremy Reynalds
Special Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (ANS) -- When evangelism expert Scott Dawson surveyed more than six thousand Christians about why people have a hard time sharing their faith, the results were revealing. The three responses most frequently given were: ignorance, fear, and a fear that they would lose their friends.

The Complete Evangelism Guidebook With that in mind, aiming to equip Christians with confidence in sharing their faith, Dawson compiled “The Complete Evangelism Guidebook: Expert Advice on Reaching Others for Christ” (Baker Books, 2006), described by its publishers in a news release as “the most comprehensive manual on evangelism to date.”

“I cannot imagine anything that helps people more than introducing them to Jesus Christ,” Dawson said in a news release. “Evangelism saves people not only from dying without Christ, but also from living without Him. And as they live with Him and for Him, they become salt and light in a world lost in darkness, sorrow, conflict, violence, and fear.”

The book features 70 articles written by about 60 evangelism experts, including Rick Warren, Luis Palau, Josh McDowell, George Barna, and Ted Haggard. “The Complete Evangelism Guidebook” deals with multiple aspects of evangelism, from defining faith to demonstrating faith and declaring faith to defending faith.

In addition to providing material on how and why Christians should share their faith, it also deals with how to effectively evangelize specific “people groups.” These groups, the news release states, include relationships with family, friends, and co-workers, but are also specifically broken down by age, vocation, religion, race, life situations, and gender or sexual orientation.

Commenting in the news release, John Corts, former president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said, “These insights form a complete toolbox of ideas that are fresh, novel, experienced, and useful in building gospel presentations for a diverse audience. Scott Dawson and his friends have masterfully crafted a comprehensive guide that is sure to be a practical tool in the workshop of the mind, to be consulted often for evangelistic excellence. I loved its thoroughness, variety, simple practicality, and confidence-building sense of contemporary understanding that is reality for today's seekers.”

Scott Dawson is founder of the Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association in Birmingham, Alabama. The Complete Evangelism Guidebook will be available in bookstores April 1, 2006. ===>Click headline for more information about Dawson’s ministry.

ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA
Visit our web site at: www.assistnews.net -- E-mail: danjuma1@aol.com
** You may republish this story with proper attribution.


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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

RESOURCE - Churches That Make A Difference


>>>Note: Phil Olsen, one of the co-authors, is a core participant in the CIty Impact Roudntable movement . . .

Churches That Make a Difference: Reaching Your Community with Good News and Good Works
By Ron Sider

Drawing on extensive experience with church ministries, bestselling author Sider and his coauthors give those involved in community outreach a comprehensive resource for developing holistic ministry, a balance of evangelism and social outreach

---} Become part of the Mission America Coaliton ~ Visit: http://www.missionamerica.org

CARE: The "One Neighborhood" Birmingham Strategy


Featured Cities' Conference Call -- Birmingham, AL

Next Tuesday, March 28, our call will feature what God has been and is doing in Birmingham, Alabama. The Church in Birmingham has focused their resources to serve one neighborhood in a holistic manner. Together they are serving the community known as the West End in many ways, including: spiritual revitalization, healthcare, economic empowerment, crime prevention, and technology training. Join us next Tuesday to hear more!

Join us on March 28, at 9:00am (Pacific time). The number to dial is 563-843-7429 (access code: 643706#).

Dennis Fuqua (host) & Phil Miglioratti (co-host)
International Renewal Ministries
5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97215
503.517.1975
===>Click headline to access website . . .

---} Become part of the Mission America Coaliton ~ Visit: http://www.missionamerica.org

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The 2nd "C' in LC2C


True Revival
Francis Frangipane

People often ask me, "When true revival comes, what will it look like?" To me, a revival is not legitimized merely by the increasing numbers of signs and wonders. Moses, Elijah and Elisha all had great signs accompanying their lives, but signs do not equate to revival. Israel was often awed by manifestations, yet supernatural wonders never brought the nation to repentance.

What about powerful and exciting church services? Personally, I do not believe church services every night, even if they last until midnight, are themselves a sign of revival. Increased services and manifestations may accompany revival, but they are not, in themselves, evidence of revival.

What, then, should revival look like? On an individual, person-by-person level, a true revival looks like people being empowered to become like Jesus.

I do not mean that they have merely become emotional or happy or animated about Jesus - as important as these things are. I am saying they actually received power to become like Him. Deep in their spirit an awakening occurs and they see Christ not only as the payment for their sins, but as the pattern for their lives.

This is what happened at Pentecost. Fearful, prideful disciples were transformed into humble, powerful replicas of Jesus. They spoke the Word of God with boldness - just like Jesus. They healed people, just like Jesus; and they were willing to suffer for Christ, just as He willingly suffered for them.

Today, we do not have the fire of the Holy Ghost, we have Casper, the friendly ghost. With Casper, everyone goes to heaven. Casper cuddles, but never convicts. He never calls people into conformity with Christ.

You see, true revival is a hot lava-flow of courage being poured into the backbone of a once defeated people. It is radiant faces, purified souls and holy lips. It is people becoming like Jesus.

A service of Frangipane Ministries, Inc.
Copyright (c) 2006, All rights reserved.
===>Click headline to access webiste . . .

---} Become part of the Mission America Coaliton ~ Visit: http://www.missionamerica.org

Pilot City: Corvalis ~ CitiChurch Guiding Principles


CitiChurch of Corvallis

“one church, many congregations”

Worshiping the Lord

Uniting the Church

Serving our Community

•Origins
In February, 1992, the “Church of the Valley” was birthed, a unique expression of the Body of Christ in Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. Leaders of congregations and organizations from six cities and three counties began meeting annually for a Pastors Prayer Summit, and occasional Sunday night gatherings to worship and pray. In 1998, the COV movement de-centralized, encouraging each city to establish its own leadership and pursue its own vision. At this time, an initial group of leaders was selected to steward a vision for the CitiChurch of Corvallis. The historic high-point of our journey together was “E2K,” 10-12,000 gathering in Gill Coliseum to celebrate together the joy of Jesus’ resurrection.

•Guiding Principles
Our chief desire is to discern what God is doing in our city, and join Him! We value the bonding of hearts in Jesus’ love, sharing the life of His Spirit and working together to more effectively fulfill His Great Commission. We want participants to bless Corvallis with their distinctive gifts and resources, and mutually encourage and release blessing to one another. We are a “coalition of the willing” convinced of the Ephesians 4:1-3 revelation of the unity of Christ’s Body, and consumed with a passion to see the kingdom of God bring sustainable, measurable impact in our city.

•Priorities
CitiPrayer, leaders interceding for Corvallis every Thursday, 11 AM to noon
Love, INC, meeting the needs of the underprivileged & disenfranchised
Unity of OSU campus workers and local High School youth pastors
Global Day of Prayer, with 10 Days of Prayer & 90 Days of Blessing
Women in Leadership, women encouraging & edifying one another
Southside Outreach to children & families in South Corvallis
Sowing seed in other cities & nations, serving as a “sending city”

•Leadership
The CitiChurch of Corvallis leadership team is a mix of pastors and leaders of organizations, men and women of existing and emerging generations who are selected every February at the COV Prayer Summit. Leaders may also be added at any time. Typically, 2-3 rotate off each year, opening a door for fresh participation and ideas. CoC leadership is servant-oriented, not hierarchical. The team is committed to walk in relational love and mutual accountability, and exercise spiritual influence that centers on the question, “What must we do together in Corvallis that we cannot accomplish through our own ministries?”

•Challenge
If not already a participant, we invite you to join us asking this question, “What must we do together…?” There are numerous entry points. Drop in for “CitiPrayer” Thursdays @ 11 AM. Pursue God’s presence with other COV leaders at the annual Prayer Summit @ Cannon Beach in early February. Sign on with Love, INC. as a participating church. Plan now to be involved in next year’s Global Day of Prayer.

Believing God to transform our community by His power requires the participation of a diverse expression of His covenant people, and multi-faceted strategies involving prayer, compassion, outreach, community impact, etc. If Corvallis’ redemptive destiny is to be fulfilled, we need increased participation and faith in obeying Jesus’ commands to love one another, walk in holiness, serve the least among us and work collaboratively to see the lost people of our city saved, shepherded and discipled.

---} Become part of the Mission America Coaliton ~ Visit: http://www.missionamerica.org

Emerging Leaders Exhibt Paradox


The Paradox of Emerging Leadership

How do we organize a church without becoming “organized religion”? Dan Kimball, author of The Emerging Church and pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, wrestles with this paradox in the upcoming Spring issue of Leadership. Here is a preview.

Leadership in the emerging church is a paradox. I am someone who fully sees the need and value of mission statements, organizational charts, and a strategic approach to leading. I read everything John Maxwell, Bill Hybels and Jim Collins write, and they really do fuel my heart and passion for leadership. The irony however, is that most growing up in our emerging culture are fairly critical of anything that looks like “organized religion.” So when it comes to developing a leadership culture, there is great suspicion of anything that seems to be “business” oriented or too structured, since that feels like a reinforcement of the exact thing they are critical of.

===>Click headline for remainder of the article . . .

---} Become part of the Mission America Coaliton ~ Visit: http://www.missionamerica.org