Monday, June 29, 2009

Inner~View #69: Mittelberg on the Prayer-Care-Share Adventure


Phil Miglioratti interviewed Mark Mittelberg, co-author (with Lee Strobel)
of The Unexpected Adventure
Click to see a larger image of The Unexpected Adventure by Lee Strobel, Mark Mittelberg

Phil ~ You've written several books on evangelism but The Unexpected Adventure is different ...

Mittelberg_Mark_01.tif

Mark ~ That’s true – this book is all about motivation! The other works I’ve done, especially the Becoming a Contagious Christian book and training course, have been more systematic in trying to prepare Christians to share their faith from A to Z – starting with how to build a relationship with a non-believer all the way through to how to lead him or her in a prayer of commitment to Christ.

I think there’s still a vital role for that kind of training, but Lee Strobel and I realized that nothing fires people up for outreach like real-life stories of ordinary Christians taking small, everyday risks to share their faith with others. Stories are the jet-fuel for evangelism! So in this new book we tell 42 of them, and lay them out in a 6-week devotional format, with short, practical, “doable” lessons drawn from each story to inspire our readers to get in on the adventure themselves. 


Phil ~ With all the books available on personal witnessing and cutting edge training on sharing our faith, research indicates the Church is not growing, even falling behind population growth. Has the culture we live in changed so much that we need a fundamentally different approach; a paradigm shift in how and even when we explain the gospel?

Mark ~ There’s a lot of debate on that. I think our culture has become more secular as well as more relativistic. The secular part means that many people don’t share our beliefs or assumptions, nor do they understand our language — so we need to explain ourselves more thoroughly, and be willing to back up and explain and defend our assumptions (yes, we believe the Bible is the Word of God – but why?), and put our answers in words that people can actually understand. As Colossians 4:5 says, it’s important to: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”

The relativistic aspect of our culture means that we often need to defend the notion of truth itself before presenting what we actually believe is true. I try to do this in my previous book, Choosing Your Faith, where I explain that things aren’t true just because we believe them – including Christianity. Rather, something is already true, and we need to discover what it is and then respond accordingly (and I lay out twenty reasons why we can trust that Christianity is true).

That said, I think people are more the same than they are different. And while I think we need to work to be clear and relevant in what we say, I mostly think we need to make sure we come out and say it – namely the Gospel message, which according to Romans 10:13 is still “the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes.” Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that many times our evangelistic efforts fall short not because we’re not trying something new, but because we fail to tell the message that is old but life-changing: that Jesus died for sinners – people like us, and like everyone we know! 


Phil ~ What does it mean to "enroll in the adventure?"

Mark ~ That’s a phrase I use in the first story I tell in The Unexpected Adventure. It means finally saying a full “yes” to God – expressing our willingness to follow him completely, including into the exhilarating unknown of talking with others about Him. I believe it’s God’s desire for every one of us as Christians to enroll in that thrilling adventure – and that our spiritual life will be at its richest only when we’re active in fulfilling the evangelistic purpose. 


Phil ~ Talk about the adventure of:

Mark ~
Prayer: praying for lost people –
There are many things we can and should pray for – but prayer for people who are far from God can be done with the greatest level of confidence because evangelism is God’s idea, and the Holy Spirit is the ultimate evangelist. So when we pray for lost friends and family we’re completely aligning ourselves with God’s purposes and the mission he’s given us — and our churches. So pray – and then get ready for some action! [Click here for a sample Prayer Adventure]

Care: blessing neighbors and neighborhoods –
This one has a double thrill: the immediate blessing of meeting the needs of others in ways that serve them and evoke their appreciation, and the longer-range spiritual blessing of seeing how our acts of service can begin to open up their hearts to the love and truth of the One we serve.
[Click here for a sample Care Adventure]

Share: helping seekers find and follow Christ –
This flows naturally from the first two. It’s ironic that this is the one that many Christians are afraid of, because it’s the most rewarding thing we can possibly do. When you Care for someone today, you might get a Thank You tomorrow. But when you Share and help lead someone to faith in Christ, you can be assured of their deep gratitude and thanks for all of eternity – and not just from them, but from all the people they in turn reach for Christ!
[Click here for a sample Share Adventure]


Phil ~ How should we rethink vocabulary? How do terms useful in discipleship become barriers in evangelism?

Mark ~ Paul said: “I become all things to all people so that by all means I might reach some” (1 Cor. 9:22). I think that included putting spiritual concepts into ordinary language that everyday folks could understand and respond to. This is vital to effective outreach. When we send a missionary oversees, one of the first and foremost things they study is the language of the people they want to reach. We need to do the same thing – because we’re all called to be missionaries to the person next door or down the hall at work or at school. What’s the best way to learn to do this? Hang out with non-Christians, and be a good student of how they talk and what words and phrases get through to them. 


Phil ~ How would you respond to a coworker or friend who asked "Mark, I'm confused. So many denominations and interpretations ... what is the gospel anyway?"

Mark ~ I think the differences between denominations are overplayed – at least among the ones that hold to the teaching and authority of the Bible. Generally wherever the authority of Scripture is intact there is also a consensus on the central teachings of the faith. Put another way, Biblical “denominations” share the common “denominators” of the one eternal triune God, Jesus as the Son of God in human flesh, the death of Jesus on the cross to pay for the sins of the world, the need to trust in Jesus for his salvation and new life, etc. These things are agreed upon, and most of our denominational differences are trivial by comparison. 


Phil ~ Agree or disagree ... Many excellent resources that are designed to train believers in sharing their faith, mistakenly bypass the pastors and leaders of the church. We must also equip pastors and leaders in how to create an adventure-culture that leads to a praying-caring-sharing lifestyle ...

Mark ~ I agree; unless we help pastors and church leaders first own and model evangelistic values, then their churches will never reflect them to a great degree, either – which is a pretty good description of many churches today. It’s “Speed of the leader; speed of the team.” That’s why, for instance, I wrote and recently updated my book, Becoming a Contagious Church – to help leaders LIVE evangelistic values (that’s Stage 1 of the book’s central message: the 6-Stage Process for helping your church become highly effective in evangelism), as well as know how to instill those values throughout the churches they lead. 


Phil ~ What are key action steps you'd recommend to pastors who want to develop adventurous disciples who live and speak about their faith?

Mark ~ Set the example yourself. Don’t pretend you have the gift of evangelism if you don’t (most pastors do not). Just admit that this area is a challenge for you – and then show the folks you lead the ways you’re facing that challenge! Tell them your success stories and your stories of failure and embarrassment (as Lee and I do in The Unexpected Adventure!). The successes will inspire your people; the failures will endear them to you and make them more willing to try and fail and try again – all the while learning, growing in confidence, and increasingly being used by God to reach others.

On a very practical note, consider doing what many churches are already starting: have your entire congregation read through The Unexpected Adventure at the same time. That way they’ll all be getting the same input and encouragement, and they can compare notes in groups and classes concerning how they’re applying what they learn. If you act fast, the summer is a great time to have people do the readings – while they’re traveling and dispersed on vacation. Or the Fall is a good time, leading up to the evangelistic opportunities afforded by Thanksgiving and Christmas, or in the Spring leading up to Easter. Thankfully, our publisher (Zondervan) has gotten behind this vision, and is offering cases of books for half price (see ordering info at
www.theunexpectedadventure.com ), making it affordable for your members (and if you recoup that discounted amount from them it won’t take anything out of your church budgets – and everybody wins!). 


Phil ~ Mark, please write a prayer each reader can pray with you; for their own life and for their congregation ... 


Mark ~ LORD, please help us as leaders and the churches we serve remember why we’re here – to reach as many people as possible for Christ. It seems like a daunting task in a world that often doesn’t want to hear it – but thank you that you assure us of your presence, help, and power as we bring the Gospel to people you love and of whom you assure us you don’t want “anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Help us to remember this, and to live like it. Give us the courage and the tenacity to set the example, and then help us inspire the rest of our churches to get on board with the mission Christ gave all of us – going into our worlds and reaching people for Him. Make us fruitful, LORD, and we’ll celebrate and thank you throughout eternity. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

===>Click here to access The Unexpected Adventure

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

SHARE ~ Does Our Explanation of the Gospel Confront M.T.D.?

>>>Note: [These are my comments]

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism…MTD…

(what American kids believe regardless of their professed belief system…or non-belief)

· God created & watches over the world (from a distance) [How much emphasis do we place on an indwelling Holy Spirit?]

· God wants people to be good [Are we more upset at, motivated by, non-believers immorality than their Christless immortality?]

· God wants us to be happy [Are contemporary sermons, sorry, messages, more psychological than biblical?}

· God is needed mostly to solve our problems [What does our prayer request list look like?]

· Good people go to heaven [ Do we understand the difference between forgiven for sin and forgiveness for sins?]

While there are some differences by ethnicity in this study, it remains to be seen if these are normative or simply a result of the first round of interviews.


Soul Searching by Christian Smith

National Study of Youth and Religion, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

(919) 918-5294 / website: http://www.youthandreligion.org/ email: youthandreligion@unc.edu


>>>Note: With thanks to Forrest Turpin of the Christian Educators Association International, an important ministry to students and schools. ===>Click the healdine to access information on how this ninistry can impact your community . . .

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Coaching Resources


>>>Note: Dr. Gary Collins has a very helpful article on coaching:
  • What is coaching?
  • Why would anyone (or a Lead Team) want a coach?
  • How does coaching differ from counseling?
  • What do coaches do to help others?
  • What happens in coaching? ===>Click headline to access this article ...


COACH SHARES LESSONS LEARNED
Hats off to Gary Collins for sharing lots of key principles so unselfishly at...
http://www.garyrcollins.com

You can read newsletters on "Building Better Teams," "Getting ThroughTransitions," "Improving Communication," and many many more. In fact, you can even subscribe so you get these via email roughly once a week. We also appreciate Team Expansion's new full-time Business as Missions specialist ("Allan") for this tip!

Comment on this item at ... http://www.brigada.org/2009/05/03_1774

"For a free subscription to Brigada's weekly missions publication, write brigada-today-subscribe@googlegroups.com and/or visit Brigada on the web at www.brigada.org"


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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

PRAYER ~ The Best Resource We’re Not Using


outreachmagazine.com

Prayer: The Best Resource We’re Not Using


A pastor shares how his church did away with programs and got back on their knees to tap the ultimate resource–the enabling power of God.

By Joshua Choonmin Kang translated by Joseph Byoungchul Jun

Every morning, just as the sun is rising, I kneel in prayer with thousands of my church members. During this time of daybreak prayer, the Holy Spirit imbues my faith and spirit with joy and allows me to receive and experience the love of God. Prayer is essential to me as I discern God’s plan for my ministry. As the senior pastor of 4,100-member Oriental Mission Church (OMC; omc.org) in Los Angeles, I rely daily on the wellspring of God’s power that comes through prayer. Through our prayer ministries, I believe we are using the most powerful instrument for soul-saving evangelism, because what this generation needs most is not programs or strategies for successful evangelism, but the prayers of a righteous Church.===>Click headline t access complete article . . .



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Friday, June 19, 2009

SHARE ~ Lee Strobel: "We have to adapt"

Top StoryThe Changing Face of Apologetics
Lee Strobel doesn't think the traditional methods work anymore.
Interview by Stan Guthrie

How have evangelism and apologetics changed?

They have become more relational, more story-driven. Josh McDowell would go on college campuses and describe why to trust the Bible. And people would come to faith in droves. Then they stopped coming to faith in so many numbers, and he didn't know why. And now he takes a story approach. "You know," he says, "I was the son of the town drunk. This is how it affected my life and my relationship with [my dad]. This is what prompted me to seek spiritually. This is the evidence I found. This is how my life was changed. This is how I reconciled with my father." So it becomes a story.

That's what my ministry is about. I tell my story: I was an atheist. I scoffed. My wife became a Christian. It prompted me to investigate. Here's the evidence I found, how I received Christ, the difference it's made. It's a story. And I found that in postmodern America, people often are willing to engage on the level of story.

I'm excited about the huge trend of believers starting small groups and inviting nonbelievers to join them. The Alpha Course is taking this approach. A ministry on the East Coast, Neighborhood Bible Studies, was just kind of floundering. They have a new leader, Mary Schaller. Her vision is 25,000 groups, which have a new name, Q Place, in the next six years. We started these kinds of groups at Willow Creek. At one point, we had 1,100 nonbelievers in these groups. We found that if nonbelievers join one of these groups and stay with it, 80 percent come to faith.===>Click headline to access complete article . . .



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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Live Interview with Phil Miglioratti on Community Transformation

Austin Arise! Radio. Transforming Revival Radio with Benjamin & Barbara
Austin Arise! Radio Interviews Phil Miglioratti this Sunday @ 8PM CST (9 eastern, 7 mountain, 6 pacific) on FM 99.3 & 98.5


Tune in this Sunday, June 21 at 8:00PM as we interview Phil Miglioratti, pastor, city-reacher, and prayer facilitator, on Austin Arise! Transforming Revival Radio with Benjamin Anyacho & Barbara Bucklin, The Word, FM 99.3 and 98.5, Teaching and Talk for Austin and central Texas.

Theme: So there was great joy in that city.
Is "joy" the secret to city impact and community transformation? Acts 8:8

Listen on line: www.kixl.com or www.Austinarise.org
Time: Sundays at 8:00PM CST (9 eastern, 7 mountain, 6 pacific)
Call in: 512-637-WORD (9673)

What is Austin Arise! Transforming Revival Radio & TV? We hear a sound of abundance of rain! Austin Arise! is chronicling signs of spiritual awakening and transforming revival in Austin area. Blessing the city through the media gate. Sharing stories of genuine kingdom collaborations and strategic partnerships in Austin area. Attending to prayer requests, raising awareness of prayer needs in our communities since July 1, 2007.

Watch out for upcoming interviews in the coming weeks with Dr. J. Doug Stringer, Francis Frangipane, and others .

Simply put: We are at a tipping point of a transforming revival in Austin area!

Best regards,
Big Ben
Benjamin Anyacho & Barbara Bucklin (co-hosts)
512-538-4544
512-261-3091
Sunday June 21: Austin Arise Radio! Special guest: Phil Miglioratti
Phil
Phil serves nationally as a National Facilitator with the Cities and Communities ministry of the Mission America Coalition, coordinates the 17 Loving Our Communities to Christ partner cities and has been national convener for the City Impact Roundtable (http://www.cityreaching.com). In his hometown, he networks community transformation ministries at One Great City)
Sunday June 28: Austin Arise Radio! Special guest: Dr. J. Doug Stinger.
Doug Stringer Dr. J. Doug Stringer is founder and president of Turning Point Ministries International, which birthed an international movement known as Somebody Cares, a network of organizations impacting their communities through unified grassroots efforts. Doug began identifying community needs through his work in the inner-city of Houston, Texas in 1981. The collaborative network has grown rapidly and now impacts cities around the world.
Sunday July: Austin Arise Radio! Special guest: Francis Frangipane.
Francis Frangipane Pastor Francis Frangipane is one of my all-time favorite Christian writers. He rightly divides the Word and his wisdom abounds; his humble spirit is found in the essence of his writings. Terrific author of 16 books
"I know of few prophetic voices to the body of Christ that match the consistency of wisdom and balance of truth that Francis Frangipane represents. His pastor's heart and biblical solidity flavor his writing and nourish souls unto health while calling us all to God's purposes in this present hour. " Jack W. Hayford, President, International Foursquare Church, Chancellor, The King's College and Seminary
Pastor Francis' new book: Francis Frangipane-new bookWhen the Many are One




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CARE ~ Serving Christ By Enriching the Campus

ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA
Visit our web site at: www.assistnews.net -- E-mail: assistnews@aol.com


Organization of the Year @ Campus of the Year
Their vision statement is "Serving Christ by Enriching the Campus"

By Gordon Govier, Special to ASSIST News Service

MADISON, WI (ANS) -- Scott Yeager wasn't trying to win any awards. He was trying to engage Roanoke College students with the gospel by showing them examples of unconditional love.

"People have their own presuppositions about what Christianity is," he said. "We're trying to dispel bad notions but also be true to what Christ is calling us to do. So I tell students to be involved in the Bible, be involved in our chapter, be involved in discipleship relationships, and be active in another organization as well. Be the face and voice of Christ and the InterVarsity chapter in that group."

The chapter's vision statement is "Serving Christ by Enriching the Campus." So when Scott is asked to be the caller for the highly popular bingo games in the campus gym, he gladly says yes. "If we're being asked to do something, we go do it," he said. "It's a great way to meet people. InterVarsity has a reputation for being available to help out when help is needed."

A number of chapter members work in the admissions office, help out in the campus center, and give campus tours. When the Sigma Chi fraternity had its letters stolen, InterVarsity helped replace them. When the sororities had their bid night (to decide on new members), InterVarsity offered to feed their leaders a spaghetti dinner.

But on bid night, the chapter ended up feeding not just sorority leaders but sorority members too, in what Scott described as a real feeding-of-the-5,000 moment. Instead of dinner for 80, it turned into dinner for 300. "And yet, we had a huge pan of spaghetti left over. I don't know how this worked out, but it worked out. Thank you God."

"He has tirelessly and enthusiastically initiated relationships with people from every conceivable part of Roanoke College," said Joe Ho, InterVarsity's Shenandoah area director and Scott's supervisor. "Those relationships, combined with Scott's spontaneous desire to be of service, have been the cornerstone of InterVarsity becoming a ministry that enriches the campus."

The Rev. Paul Henrickson, Roanoke's Dean of the Chapel, also supervises Scott and calls him a valuable colleague. "We strive to have a coherent campus ministry presence on this campus - as the second oldest Lutheran College in the U.S.," he said. "Scott brings high energy, creativity, and a deep personal faith to the ministry here."

The Roanoke campus, in the Shenandoah mountains of Virginia, has a lot going on. The school has an unusually robust calendar of social and academic activities for its 2,000 students, which is why the readers of Campus Activities Magazine voted Roanoke the 2009 Campus of the Year, beating out Ohio State, Boston University, and a lot of other larger schools.

It takes a unique organization to stand out on a busy campus. And this year InterVarsity did stand out, winning the Roanoke students' vote for Organization of the Year (in a tie-vote with another organization).

One of the pay-offs for being a high profile organization came near the end of the school year one year ago. A student, writing a sociology paper on how groups are organized, made an appointment to talk with Scott about InterVarsity's organizational structure.

"She interviewed me, and I answered all of her questions," he recalled. "And then I said, ' I've got a few questions for you.' I talked to her about Jesus a little bit and she became interested. Two weeks later she came to Rockbridge, our chapter camp, and accepted Jesus as her savior." This spring there was a one-year spiritual birthday celebration at Rockbridge for that student.

Scott said that he enjoys working on campus. "Winning the award reminded me that Jesus is still at work," he said. "It's not about me, I'm here to be used by him."

Several other InterVarsity chapters have also won recent recognition:

Organization of the Year at Rutgers University

Organization of the Year at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences


Gordon Govier is a veteran journalist currently working as a web editor for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, at www.intervarsity.org. You can contact him at ggovier@intervarsity.org.

** You may republish this story with proper attribution. Send this story to a friend.


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LC2C Prayer Connections

Dear LC2C Prayer Leaders....please forward to your teams for their prayers ... appreciate your efforts on behalf of LC2C ... God Bless ... Pat Allen

LC2C Prayer Connections
June 2009



El Paso,Las Cruces and Juarez, Glenn Weber:

El Paso, Texas (Barney Field, Lori Huffman) Juarez, Mexico (Pedro Hernandez), Las Cruces, New Mexico (Maria Silva Sutton and Pat Shannon)

Glenn Weber (LC2C Region Prayer Leader):

1. Thank the Lord for the El Paso 24/7 Prayer Vision He has given Barney Field (El Paso for Jesus). El Paso 24/7 Prayer was launched on June 1st. 28 Churches and 168 intercessors are participating

24 hours a day/7 days a week prayers (1 hour time slots for each intercessor) are going up from/ and for our communities to our Loving Father in Heaven. Intercessors can pray in their homes, or wherever they want.

God is blessing this Prayer Surge, and so far it is going great. Please ask the Holy Spirit to keep on giving long-term perseverance in prayer and success.

2. Pray for God's direction and confirmation for Pedro & Rachel Hernandez and their family as the Lord transitions them in moving from Juarez, Mexico to another mission place. They need the Lord's specific confirmation in their family lives, and children's schools and jobs.

3. Ask our Father in Heaven to draw each lost person in our communities to Jesus as Savior, Lord and Best Friend.

Jesus says, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws them to Me, and at the last day I will raise them up." John 6:44

4. Ask Jesus to give each of His followers and all churches in our communites His compassion, urgency and vision for lost individuals.

Jesus says, "The Son of Man came to seek and save those who ae lost." Luke 19:10

5. Ask the Holy Spirit to help us fulfill the Lord's Heavenly Vision for our earthly mission - to seek and to save the lost.


Fox Valley IL. Tony Danhelka:

1. A Mini-Pastors & Intercessors Prayer Summit in Elgin on July 7th.
2. Celebrate the Children in Aurora on August 15th
3. Celebrate Jesus Together in Aurora on August 16th.
4. Various Alpha initiatives all summer.
5. Please pray a special grace and peace as Tony's wife Donna has doctor's appointments to check out possible lumps. Since she is a breast cancer survivor they are concerned. Please pray these amount to nothing and she continues to recover as she still has nausea and side effects from treatments. And at the same time Tony's cousin and his wife arrived on June 15th from the Czech Republic to visit for 11 days. "He knows 5% English and I know 1/10 of 1% Czech. I have interpreters arranged to help me. One of Donna's best friends and fellow intercessor, Jan Rideout, has volunteered to go with Donna to Mayo in Minnesota in my place for the week. But I feel terrible that I can not be there with Donna this time. I am certain that my cousins tickets are non-refundable and this is a trip of a life-time for he and his wife."

Coachella Valley California:
  • --PRAISE GOD for the remarkable participation we had for the “Launching Luncheon” for the Festival of Faith. We were praying for 120 pastors and Christian leaders to attend. The Lord graciously provided nearly 240. It was a moving and powerful time as we shared the vision for the Festival and as pastor/evangelist Mike MacIntosh spoke to us.
  • --PRAISE GOD for the growing number of pastors, para-church leaders and marketplace leaders who are participating in the LOV Movement.
  • --PLEASE PRAY for the preparations for the Festival of Life scheduled for April of 2010. Pray also for the number of even and outreaches that will be taking place in the months leading up to and following the large public meetings.
  • --PLEASE PRAY the LOV Facilitation Team along with the Festival of Life regional teams, fund raising committee and the prayer, care and share ministry teams as we prayerfully prepare for the Festival.

Charlotte, NC, Karla Lowman:

Praise the Lord for several NDP events in Charlotte and many of our churches open for prayer!

2009 Global Day of Prayer Event – OVERWHELMING SUCCESS!

Thanks to all who helped to support this major prayer movement across the world on Sunday, May 31, 2009 at ZHOP-Charlotte.

GOD WAS REALLY IN THE HOUSE!

Special thanks to –
· Kirk, Greg and the ZHOP worship team – you really ushered in the presence of God and made this event awesome. The participation level by the guests was astounding, as well! From the attendees dancing in front during worship to the “rapid fire” segment, it was amazing.

· Bishop Jackson and the Bethel Outreach Choir – you really gave the event a “heavenly fragrance” through the anointed songs.

· All the pastors and leaders that took part in the World Prayer segment – that was the icing on the cake and to experience the prayer unity as we prayed for the world was powerful!

· The many regional clergy leaders that helped us promote this event through their churches and attended the event with their congregations, and other ministries that promoted the event through their support groups.

· Annette Williams and Susan Ramirez for their exceptional support to pull this event off.

Let’s see what God would have us do for Pentecost Sunday 2010!
Brenda Jackson, Director, Regional Operations, Charlotte Awake


Praise the Lord for beginning meetings with Champions who will herald the call of the prayer, care, share lifestyle in the Charlotte area churches!

Pray that as they continue to meet each 1st Tuesday of the month (next meeting July 7th)- the Lord will anoint and empower these Champions from our churches to move forward with lifestlye, friendship evangelism! For the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and for the salvation of the lost in our communities and families! Pray for Mary Lance Sisk and Jill Milligan as they facilitate these meetings.

Pray for healing and strength for Bob Sisk as he continues to undergo chemo treatments.

Pray for Rev. Barabara Peacock and Debbye Graafsma as they lead our city wide prayer time Friday June 12th at 2nd Fridays' for Praying Women as we connect with ZHOP - Charlotte in raising 1000 intercessors to content for the Glory of the Lord in our city. "Do it Lord - we are praying. Do it that Your glory may be seen."


Santa Rosa,CA, Harry Skandera:

Praise the Lord:

A 10 day fast was called to start on May 28, 2009

May – 30, more churches are involved, broader scope generationally, more married couples,

Art has been helped / Atmosphere in the room changed as there is much more expectation and faith in the people.

There are more spirit-charged “moments” / much prayer targeted into unbelief; and there is spontaneous repentance

We then sense a vision for that which is greater than ourselves / Less “them” more “us” as we continue to pray

On the faith issue, repentance has been around ‘Priorities’ – putting aside “lesser things”(More kingdom minded, less individual minded)

We are maturing in our ability to bless and release…

On Wednesday night – wooing of the older generation, revelation of a major stronghold in the church;

“by not eating, I’m breaking idolatry in my life, ‘ personal comfort’,

1. Generations represented every night, 2 or 3 generations, usually three.

2. “Hearing from the floor” People resonating with revelational thoughts, words,

3. Arts released as a “editorial cartoon” of what was transacting between heaven and earth.

4. Written confessions, either on a white board or piece of paper helped people express their “innermost parts.”

5. “Release” is a key word to us as more understanding is received, more is able to be received in particular areas such as:

a) Generational faith for families and in the church; i.e. family callings renewed in fresh ways.

b) Release for the gathering of men in the fall.

We anticipate more times of corporate prayer and fasting in the near future for the city !


Phil Miglioratti -

  • Cedar Rapids - Pray for all who heard the gospel at the citywide weekend Healing the Heartland Festival
  • Newton - Pray for an ongoing unity among pastors as a fruit of their Prayer Summit
  • Fox Valley - Ask for new connections with pastors through a day of prayer and a citywide celebration
  • Coaches meet in July to design a framework for implementing prayer-care-share in local churches
  • For funding to continue our work in 17 (and more!) cities

Pat Allen:

Please pray for the LC2C Coaches who work along side the city reaching teams for protection, provision and the presence of the Lord in their lives...increased wisdom and discernment as they minister.....all the resources they need be given them in order that they are able to fulfill the ministry they have been called to!
  • Bill Berry
  • Copi Valdiviez
  • Dennis Fuqua
  • Howard Boyd
  • Jarvis Ward
  • Jim Overholt
  • John Quam
  • Larry DeWitt
  • Paul Cedar
  • Phil Miglioratti
  • Tom White


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Friday, June 12, 2009

Macro Prayer-Care-Share Festival in Cedar Rapids

6:00pm - Ten neighborhood BBQs are to be open for business across the city of Cedar Rapids to begin a weekend prayer-care-share festival

5:59pm - Overcast-throughout-the-day clouds begin drizzling, then, raining. Really raining.

6:01pm - Dallas Anderson and Charles Daugherty and Phil (along with others in the prayer tent) pray up a storm (sorry for the pun), asking, of course, for God to stop the rain because if it keeps raining NO ONE will come to the BBQs! We have enough sense to pray, nevertheless, "we give thanks in all circumstances" (but not happily).

9:00pm - BBQs are scheduled to close

Not all the reports are in but:
  • One was completely "rained out" ... only 300 were served ...
  • 650 at another
  • A third was "packed out" with "people standing and talking the rain"
  • The one held in a tree nursery building (because all that town's public spaces were destroyed in last year's flood) was filled
  • A homeless woman was ministered to at another ...
  • Conservative estimate: 3,000
Maybe God SENT the rain so we wouldn't run out of food!

Tomorrow's schedule for your prayers?
Cedar Rapids is loving their communities to Christ!

Phil


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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Video Clip for Prayer-Care-Share

YouTube
Bishop Larry Jackson shares his excitement on how Prayer-Care-Share has ignited his church.
©



Click headline for a 3:20 video clip ...



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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Agree or Disagree?


If you want to put yourself in a position where legions of angels stand ready to bless what you are trying to do, then get in step with the unity of God.

The primary catalyst for revival. We often have the mistaken concept that unity is the result of revival. I propose to you that unity is the cause of revival. When we pursue unity, we create the framework necessary for God to send revival. I am concerned when many of the crusades have thousands of conversions, but we never see the new converts enter a church again. This would not take place if there were true unity in the body of Christ.

Tommy Tenny===>Click headline for access to complete article . . . 


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Monday, June 08, 2009

Culture Change ~ Spiritual Makeover: USA Edition


A spiritual makeover is already taking place in America.

alt
George Barna revealed that about 7% of adults attend a house church in a typical month, which is a seven-fold increase in the past decade. In addition, about half as many people now rely upon marketplace ministries for spiritual experiences as attend a conventional church service during a given month, and millions of adults are becoming increasingly reliant upon faith-based media – such as television, radio, and the Internet – for religious experience and expression. Put together, this represents a massive realignment of religious behavior over the past decade. ===>Click headline to access the complete article . . .

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Culture Change ~ Begin with a Right Definition of "Church"

What is the Church?

Surprisingly, not many Christians seem to be able to offer a straight answer.

With new tools and technology opening up so many new expressions of church, such as video venues and church on the Internet, the question seems to have gotten lost and fewer people are left with a clear answer.

"It dawned on me," said Mark Driscoll, a well-known and controversial pastor, during a conference on the local church Thursday. "We live in an age when in some ways ecclesiology is being redefined."

From a sacred building in historic times to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in the modern era and now to "some sort of authentic community" in the postmodern era, the definition of Church has hardly been clear.

Even among pastors he came across recently, Driscoll, who is preaching pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, said he has not heard a "clear, functional, working, biblical, historical, rooted, theological definition of the Church."

A lot of times, some ministers are caught up in "looking for a new trick, a new tactic, a new angle" to being the church, Driscoll noted during the Advance conference in Durham, N.C.

But, what is the Church?

To answer the question, Driscoll offered first looking at Jesus, who is the head of the Church.

"If you start by looking at the Church you'll be very confused. If you start by looking at Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the Church that comes in the wake of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I think the Church will make a lot more sense."

Jesus, he explained, was clearly a man on a mission. Sent by the Father, Jesus came humbly, went to the cross, rose, and reconciled people back to God.

"Church is Jesus' people by the power of the Holy Spirit," Driscoll said.

Offering a more complete answer from the pages of his latest book, Vintage Church, Driscoll defined the local church as "a community of regenerated believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord. In obedience to Scripture they organize under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship, observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and communion, and are unified by the spirit, are disciplined for holiness, and scattered to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries to the world for God's glory and their joy."

The long definition contains eight elements to being the Church.===>Click headline for complete article...



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Macro Prayer ~ Festival Prayer Tent





Healing the Heartland Prayer Vigil Guide

Ephesians 6:18 “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all of God’s holy people.”

Thank you for serving the city! Three people must pray in the tent at all times. Group leaders will arrive 20 minutes early and stay 10 minutes after for smooth transition. A Prayer Tent Supervisor will be available at all times to serve you. Your focus is intercessory prayer---praying for the festival at the Spirit’s leading and for emerging issues shared by other Festival leaders. We will be receiving prayer requests from the general public in boxes outside the tent and at the Festival Information Booth. The Prayer Tent supervisor will share these requests with your leader. Though our focus is not praying with persons, it is possible the Spirit may lead a person to come for a caring prayer. No person will be turned away so the Supervisor may ask one of you to stand with them outside the tent as the Supervisor prays briefly for that person-- who may fill out a response card if they want a church to follow up on their need.

The following prayer outline is only suggestive. Your group is free to pray as your leader sees fit. Copies of Pray for the City and Global Day of Prayer booklets are also available as an aid. In this outline, the hours are divided into 20 minute segments. The group leader begins by reading the passage aloud. Most of these passages are called apostolic prayers(prayers by New Testament leaders)and are all printed on the back page. We also suggest each group read aloud and “pray through” a particular chapter from the Gospel of John that corresponds to your groups slot number posted at the front of the tent. There are 21 group slots in the 69 hour prayer vigil and 21 chapters in John! (For example, Group #1 will pray for the truths in John 1. Note that this chapter reading come in Hour 2.) Let everyone pray as led by the Spirit for anything in each Scripture as it applies to the Festival. Feel free to use music or use no music. Feel free to rest in the Lord in silent prayer. As time permits pray for other items the Lord puts on your hearts.

Thank you so much!

Pastor Dick Speight Lead Supervisor 319-213-5683

Patricia Daugherty Supervisor ?

Pastor Will Jackson Supervisor 319-270-0304

Pastor Caleb Plumb Supervisor 319-431-5964

      Come Holy Spirit, heal the Heartland!

Hour 1 Themes

Jude vs.24-25 Praise Him! Enter in to free prayers of praise.

1 Timothy 2:1-6 For all people, rulers, many to be saved, many to know His truth.

Philippians 1:9-11 Thanks for each other, overflowing love, and being Christ-like.

          Hour 2 Themes

John Chapter/Slot # Pray aloud for the truths of your particular chapter to fill the Festival.

Ephesians 1:15-20 The Spirit of wisdom and revelation to move in all hearts.

Acts 4:29-30 Bold preaching of the Gospel, healing, and signs and wonders.

          Hour 3 Themes

Ephesians 3:14-21 For power to experience, and grow, in the love of Christ

Colossians 1:9-13 For wisdom, fruitfulness, patient endurance, and joy.

Philemon vs. 6-7 For generosity and refreshing kindness to spread beyond the Festival!

        Hour 1 Scriptures

Jude vs.24-25 “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.

1 Timothy 2;1-6 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

Phil. 1:9-11 “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

        Hour 2 Scriptures

John Chapter # corresponding to your Group Slot # posted at the tent.

Ephesians 1:15-20 “Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,”

Acts 4:29-30 “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”

Hour 3 Scriptures

Ephesians 3:14-21“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Colossians 1:9-13 “ For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;1 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,”

Philemon vs. 6-7 “And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.”



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PRAYER ~ 14,276 and counting ...





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Culture Change: A Denominational Issue

Can Marketing Save Denominations?

We often highlight churches or ministries relying on creative marketing tactics to generate community buzz, garner media attention or attract new faces. Now leaders of entire denominations are looking to marketing to solve some ever-growing problems.

After seeing a 25 percent decline in an already aging membership, the United Methodist Church recently launched a $20 million marketing initiative to stop the bleeding—and promote a "24-7 experience" of church life. Over the next four years, the "Rethink Church" campaign will attempt to attract younger members by advertising various ways Methodist churches can play a part of everyday community life, from developing youth sports leagues to helping out with inner-city ministry.

"The under-35 generation thinks church is a judgmental, hypocritical, insular place," says Jamie Dunham, chief planning officer for the marketing firm that designed the United Methodist campaign. "So our question is: What if church can change the world with a journey?" For younger generations, that journey is all about learning how to daily apply personal faith in a community context, says pastor Larry Hollon, who also serves as chief communications executive for the United Methodist Church. "The megachurch folks learned that they have to address people where they are in their daily lives, and that's not in the sanctuary," Hollon says. "The Methodist Church is beginning to recall that that is who we are as well."

Other denominations are realizing this too—and responding in similar fashion. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America spent more than $1.2 million in the last two years on a branding campaign called "God's Work, Our Hands," which focuses on ways its churches can help empower a younger generation of potential members to "change the world" with everyday faith in action. Meanwhile, the Episcopal Church recently launched an online campaign with a Web site (iamepiscopalian.org) inviting believers to upload videos of their testimonies and explain their faith.

All three sects are part of a steady, decades-long trend among mainline Protestant churches that has seen congregational numbers dip almost 6 percent in the last 18 years. That—combined with the rise of nondenominational churches from fewer than 200,000 to 8 million—has church observers questioning whether denominations can have the same impact in today's à la carte spiritual climate.

"Mainline Protestantism can offer to people who are skeptical of tradition ... something more progressive," said Clemson University professor Laura Olson, who specializes in religion. "By and large, mainline Protestantism is progressive politically and theologically. They have really strong, powerful roots in social justice issues. That's their strongest card they have to play. It's got that going for it, but its worship style has always been pretty conventional. People who grew up in mainline Protestantism, who maybe aren't aware of the progressivism there, may be turned off by the worship style." [usnews.com, 6/3/09; AP, 6/2/09]



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Great Joy In Our Cities

.
So there was great joy in that city. Acts 8:8

I receive a daily Bible reading e-note from the American Bible Society and as I read this today, it struck me that the city had great joy because of the people-ministry the Apostle Philip was doing. Yes, as an evangelist he could not help but preach and proclaim the eternal message of the Gospel ... but ... he also served the practical needs of the listeners.

More will respond the the eternal dimension of the gospel when we pay more attention to the personal-practical-financial-relational dimensions of their ;ives.

Acts 8:
4The believers who were scattered went everywhere, preaching the message.5Philip went to the principal city in Samaria and preached the Messiah to the people there.6The crowds paid close attention to what Philip said, as they listened to him and saw the miracles that he performed.7Evil spirits came out from many people with a loud cry, and many paralyzed and lame people were healed.8So there was great joy in that city.


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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

College Students' Strategy to Saturate Their Campus

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Organization of the Year @ Campus of the Year
Their vision statement is "Serving Christ by Enriching the Campus"

By Gordon Govier, Special to ASSIST News Service

MADISON, WI (ANS) -- Scott Yeager wasn't trying to win any awards. He was trying to engage Roanoke College students with the gospel by showing them examples of unconditional love.

"People have their own presuppositions about what Christianity is," he said. "We're trying to dispel bad notions but also be true to what Christ is calling us to do. So I tell students to be involved in the Bible, be involved in our chapter, be involved in discipleship relationships, and be active in another organization as well. Be the face and voice of Christ and the InterVarsity chapter in that group."

The chapter's vision statement is "Serving Christ by Enriching the Campus." So when Scott is asked to be the caller for the highly popular bingo games in the campus gym, he gladly says yes. "If we're being asked to do something, we go do it," he said. "It's a great way to meet people. InterVarsity has a reputation for being available to help out when help is needed."

A number of chapter members work in the admissions office, help out in the campus center, and give campus tours. When the Sigma Chi fraternity had its letters stolen, InterVarsity helped replace them. When the sororities had their bid night (to decide on new members), InterVarsity offered to feed their leaders a spaghetti dinner.

But on bid night, the chapter ended up feeding not just sorority leaders but sorority members too, in what Scott described as a real feeding-of-the-5,000 moment. Instead of dinner for 80, it turned into dinner for 300. "And yet, we had a huge pan of spaghetti left over. I don't know how this worked out, but it worked out. Thank you God."

"He has tirelessly and enthusiastically initiated relationships with people from every conceivable part of Roanoke College," said Joe Ho, InterVarsity's Shenandoah area director and Scott's supervisor. "Those relationships, combined with Scott's spontaneous desire to be of service, have been the cornerstone of InterVarsity becoming a ministry that enriches the campus."

The Rev. Paul Henrickson, Roanoke's Dean of the Chapel, also supervises Scott and calls him a valuable colleague. "We strive to have a coherent campus ministry presence on this campus - as the second oldest Lutheran College in the U.S.," he said. "Scott brings high energy, creativity, and a deep personal faith to the ministry here."

The Roanoke campus, in the Shenandoah mountains of Virginia, has a lot going on. The school has an unusually robust calendar of social and academic activities for its 2,000 students, which is why the readers of Campus Activities Magazine voted Roanoke the 2009 Campus of the Year, beating out Ohio State, Boston University, and a lot of other larger schools.

It takes a unique organization to stand out on a busy campus. And this year InterVarsity did stand out, winning the Roanoke students' vote for Organization of the Year (in a tie-vote with another organization).

One of the pay-offs for being a high profile organization came near the end of the school year one year ago. A student, writing a sociology paper on how groups are organized, made an appointment to talk with Scott about InterVarsity's organizational structure.

"She interviewed me, and I answered all of her questions," he recalled. "And then I said, ' I've got a few questions for you.' I talked to her about Jesus a little bit and she became interested. Two weeks later she came to Rockbridge, our chapter camp, and accepted Jesus as her savior." This spring there was a one-year spiritual birthday celebration at Rockbridge for that student.

Scott said that he enjoys working on campus. "Winning the award reminded me that Jesus is still at work," he said. "It's not about me, I'm here to be used by him."

Several other InterVarsity chapters have also won recent recognition:

Organization of the Year at Rutgers University

Organization of the Year at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences


Gordon Govier is a veteran journalist currently working as a web editor for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, at www.intervarsity.org. You can contact him at ggovier@intervarsity.org.


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