Mission

2328879637_c0d2e376ff What if we live our lives from now to the moment we leave this earth, in such a way that our lives, and live message was so impacting on the culture.  That it actual changes the culture of you neighborhood, your city. That you lived a life that was so unique, so compelling, that it actual changed the culture. Not is a worldly way, not for worldly agendas’ like the Republican or Democratic party, or a church domination, your own agenda, but for the sake of the gospel, for the Kingdom of God agenda.

And what if it even went beyond that, impacted the nation, and even expanded across the world to every nation. Even still effected people long after you had died. God did that though the people of the first century church, with people far less equipped and educated than you. With out the internet, cell phones, twitter or even the US Mail. With cars and jets to get across the globe hours.

Just think what He could do though you, if Him and His kingdom where you priority in life. If you chose to live a God centered, Jesus soaked life of mission.

Just something to think about.

charity_water baby bottle I read for the first time yesterday about Scott Harrison founder of Charity Water, I was both elated and jealous (in a good Godly way) of his life and ministry. Scott after doing a 2 year tour with Mercy Ships (when I was in YWAM I got to go on their ship Anastasis it was part of YWAM then) he was the ship photojournalist, photo documenting their work during his time with the ministry. The things he saw changed his perspective on life, what was important, so he traded the life he once had in NY. Life in the fast lane, hanging out with the rich and famous, drinking $16 cocktails, driving a BMW to doing something about the water crisis, so he started raising money from those he knew in NY and founded Mercy Water.

As he put it "I fell in love with Liberia – a country with no public electricity, running water or sewage – Spending time in a leper colony and many remote villages, I put a face to the world’s 1.2 billion living in poverty." So when he left Mercy Ships he set out to spend his life for more then living for himself and his selfish pleasures, he could not get out of his mind people, children walking for miles everyday to get a few gallons of dirty water, that any American would not let their dog drink. People living in extreme poverty, so he decided to do something more with his life. Spend it for God and those closest to God’s heart, the poor.

So he founded Mercy Water, and in 3 years his group has raised $10 million (most of that last year alone) and has helped bring water to thousands of people.

I want his life as they say, my life to be spent for such a cause, purpose, I too would rather live poor serving God and help end the suffering and plight of the poor that clime the corporate latter, drive a Lexus and live in a 5000 sq ft home in Malibu on the beach. Would love for God to have that kind of calling and gifting on me.

Read about Scott and see Charity Waters website

Watch his video presentation at The Idea Camp

My website on world poverty Isaiah Challenge

time 

Take this quick quiz . . .

How much time did you spend this past week:

  • Watching  TV shows and movies?
  • Playing video games?
  • Watching sports on TV or at a game?
  • Surfing the Internet, or hanging out on Facebook?
  • Have conversations about meaningless worldly things?

Add all those hours up______:

Now how much time did you spend:

  • Reading, studying and meditating on the word of God?
  • Praying?
  • Worshiping God?
  • In community and fellowship with other believers? (and I do not mean just setting in same pew)
  • Going into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Mat 16:15
  • Going and making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that Jesus has commanded you. Mat 28:19-20
  • Fulfilling Matthew 25:31-46………
  • Feeding the hungry?
  • Giving drink to the thirsty?
  • Taking in a stranger?
  • Clothing the naked?
  • Visiting the sick?
  • Visiting those in prison?
  • Visiting orphans and widows in their affliction? James 1:27
  • Delivering the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him? Job 29:12 

Add all those hours up______:

If our total hours is larger on the first than the second, then our lives are out of sync with Jesus, with His calling for every follower of Him, and things must change. All the things on the second list are the things Jesus said if you love Him you will be found doing, daily. All those things are what the life of a true follower of Christ should looks like, what it means to truly imitate the life of Christ. The difference between confessing who Christ is and truly being a follower of Christ.

It is time to reevaluate our lives and what we spend our time doing. Is it following Christ, obeying His commands, living for Christ or our selves and our own pleasures, just like the rest of the world? Is our life being spent to reach the lost, spread the gospel, make disciples, heal the sick, take care of the needy, orphans & widows, or it to obtain and maintain the American dream, be rich, happy and comfortable?

the-shepherdIs there a Public Speaker claiming to be a Pastor in your pulpit? God showed me this yesterday, that most of those in the pulpit today are not Pastors, not fulfilling the role of a pastor, but simply are speakers. Look at the chart below showing some clips from dictionary definitions of the two.

 

 

Public Speaker

Pastor / Shepherd

A public speaker is a person who makes speaks in a public setting.

The objectives of a public speaker’s presentation can range from simply transmitting information, to motivating people to act, to simply telling a story.

A public speaker is one who is paid for his appearances do to his expertize in his field and subject knowledge and/or simply do to his speaking ability, charisma or persuasive abilities as a speaker.

A Public speaker’s focus is on building large crowds of followers and to promote his program, material’s, organization, services and self to generate sales of his material’s (books. CD’s) and developing even larger audiences to hear him speak.

   

The actual word in the text translated pastor is Shepherd, the role and tasks of a pastor are the same as of a shepherd over sheep, only his duties are over the body of Christ.

He is someone who has a passion for the Church, body of Christ and a passion for seeing the gospel impact every area of their lives.

One who herds, guards, and tends the needs of the people, One who cares for and guides a group of people.

A pastor is one who takes personal responsibility for the life and welfare of the people put in his care. He is willing lay down his life for the lives of his people. The pastor is in the trenches with the people, living life with them, among them to care for, instruct them and protect them. He keeps the wolves (the enemy, false teaching) from coming in and carrying off or leading his sheep astray. He is to feed the flock the Word of God.

He imitates the life of the good Shepherd Jesus, exemplifies Jesus’ description of Himself as a shepherd in John 10:1-16.

A pastor is intimately connected to his flock. The true pastor will follow the perfect example of the Chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ. He knows his flock therefore he knows their needs and can tend to them. He protects them, even at the cost of his own life. He not only feeds, instructs the people with the Word of God. He lives among them, eats with them, washes their feet, heals their wounds, prays with and for them, he knows them by name. If one wonders from the flock, is lost, he goes after them, seeks out his lost sheep to bring them back into the flock, he leaves the 99 to find the one lost sheep. He rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. And this can not be done from the pulpit, like Jesus he must live among, do life with his flock, and a true pastors heart wants to, must do so.

I heard a well known pastor of a large church a while back advise some new young pastors to never make friends with his people, never get personal with them. To hire a staff of people to keep everyone at bay. Never give out your phone number or email address. Never go among your church people, give your sermon and leave. ~ That is not a pastor according to God or the examples in the first church and scripture. It is impossible for a true pastor to be a private man, for he has the burden for his people.

So lets start calling people who, what they really are, lets stop calling a public speaker a pastor. and put them on the speaking circuit and lets get a true biblical Pastor/Shepherd in the pulpits. Someone who will do the job as defied by God, displayed by Jesus.

I feel this might be what is at the core of so much of what is wrong with many churches today, the one in the pulpit is not personally caring for the flock, pastoring. In other words he is NOT doing the job of a Pastor/Shepherd, he is simply a speaker delivering a message to a group of people who he has no real personal connection to.

I think John 10:13 reviles a lot when Jesus says “The hireling (public speaker) flees, because he is a hireling and does not care for the sheep.

hole in our gospelThe Hole In Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision published by Thomas Nelson, is a compelling call to Christ-followers to know and understand the whole gospel, and our obligation to take it to the world. This book is amazing; it is one of best books I have read in a long time. In this book we learn of Richard’s personal story, his rise to not only CEO of World Vision but God’s working in him to know and embrace the whole Gospel. We learn of Richard’s ventures into the world, the world of poverty and need. As he states “Poverty, disease, and squalor had eyes and faces that stared back, I had to see and smell and touch the pain of the poor. We learn “The mission of God is now our mission, and the whole gospel is the good news”. That the Kingdom which Christ spoke of was one in which the poor, sick, grieving, cripples, slaves, widows, orphans, lepers and aliens – the lest of these, were to be lifted up.

This subject is one of my passions, world hunger and ending it, so this was preaching to the Choir for me, but helped fuel my passion for the need and for the church to get, know, embrace the whole gospel and do something with it. This book should be a must read for every Christian, in the pew of every church. A required reading for every pastor. Stearns tells a powerful and compelling story of how God transformed him from one who like most Christians believes the American dream is the gospel, Christianity lived out. To one who was changed by the whole gospel, humbled and broken, giving it all up for Christ and to take the gospel to the world.

What does it look like to live out the gospel, the would gospel. This is what it looks like in this story shared by Richared Stearns in his new book The Hole in our Gospel.

Richared met a pastor of a house church of 83 people while in Cambodia and he asked him his story, how did he come to Christ, and his story is summed up was.

His encounter with Christ began with Christians with World Vision who came to serve the poor, nursing the sick, educating the children and helping increase the food fro the hungry. So compelling was this service that it provoked questions in the mind of the curious man: Why are you here? Why are you helping us? The answer to these questions was the gospel, the good news. And they took me to a pastor who told me all about Jesus. He opened his bible and told me all about Jesus, explained salvation in Christ. And I committed my life to Jesus that day.

When asked, now what about the 83 people who worship with at your house church, how did they come to follow Jesus.

“I was so excited to learn about Jesus, that I had to share this good new with everyone I knew.

Wow there it is, the gospel in action, the great commission fulfilled.

A group of Christians taking the whole gospel va the great commission into the world. They saw Jesus was hungry so they gave Him food; that He was thirsty so they gave Him drink; that He was a stranger so they took Him in; that He was naked so they clothed Him; that He was sick so they visited Him.

Then giving an answer as to why they where doing it, Jesus. And as a result one person comes to faith in Christ, then he immediately goes and shares the gospel with other in the shadow of what the others where doing for them, they also come to faith and then he starts making disciples and a church is born and he is their pastor. That’s the gospel in action.

So let it be said of each Christians life, like Jesus said as you have seen, read, go and do like wise.

How to plant a church for Free. Zero dollars down to start a church. And No building required, yes that is right, no building even.

Despite popular belief it takes lots of money, it actual does not cost money to plant/start a church, well let me qualify that, it depends on the motives of the planter. If he has visions of grander, wants a 5000 seat sanctuary with a Starbucks in the lobby and a support staff of 50 to serve him, well then it does take lots of money. But to plant a church God’s way and for His purposes it takes not even take one dime.

I read blogs and listen to would be planters talk all the time about how do I raise $500,000 or a million dollars and some even more to plant a church? And how do I find a massive building big enough, and all this before they even have one person they are discipling. Let me give you three stories to explain how to plant without a dime, for free, money wise that is.

Greg Laurie, at age 19 he had a vision to reach people for Christ and start a bible study in his apartment to disciple them. He began sharing Christ with everyone around him; his bible study grew at a steady rate. Thirty three years later he has a church of 15,000. That was not his vision or plan when he began that first study, but it was God’s. His passion was to reach the lost. Cost in dollars to plant his church. Zero

Skip Heitzig, moved to Albuquerque with his new job as a salesmen, he decided to begin a home Bible study to reach his neighbors. Today a church of 15,000, his vision was simply reach his new neighborhood with Christ and disciple them. Cost to plant, Zero dollars.

Fred Herron, (I was part of this story). Fred felt the call of God to plant a church. Fred moved to the neighborhood he wanted to be in then he went door to door introducing himself saying he was starting a bible study and invited people to come as he shared the gospel with them. His bible study soon out grew his apartment, so he moved it to the clubhouse of his apartment complex, all the time still going door to door sharing the gospel and inviting people. Years after that first bible study in his one bedroom apt and Fred knocking on over 3000 doors, and many coming to Christ, the church today has 3000+ members. Fred’s vision when he started, reach the lost and have a body of believer to pastor. Cost to plant the church, Zero dollars.

You see God never told us to build the church, Jesus said He would build His church. We are told to proclaim the gospel, make disciples and Be the church. So if you go and plant the gospel, disciple the ones God ushers into the kingdom and pastor them well no matter how small your flock. God will add to the numbers according to His will. It cost no money, but it will cost your life to do it. Hours of prayer, door knocking, gospel planting, discipling, foot washing and teaching. Cost you your nights and weekends as you still work a day job to make a paycheck. But not one dime of money to plant one. You see the guys above will tell you anyone who really is about the kingdom, reaching the lost, expanding the kingdom, all of that with the power of the Holy Spirit is all you need, not money.

There are thousands of stories like the three above that prove my point (including the scriptures). You start with planting the gospel, be a “gospel planter” first and God will do the rest, no money required.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” Zechariah 4:10

New Post about church:  Church God’s Way

Some simple but effective Ways to Share the Gospel on the Internet.

1. Answer a Question at Yahoo! Answers
2. Blog your testimony in plan English
3. Podcast your your testimony
4. Post your video testimony on YouTube
5. Blog what you learned in church
6. Blog what you learned in your daily bible study
7. Blog about your daily walk with God, what He is doing
8. Even when blogging about secular things interject a God/Biblical world view and solutions on the issue or how biblical prophecy fits in.
9. Edit for Wikipedia .org
10. Link you Bog and personal site to good Christian websites
11. Link other pastors Podcast’s and Blogs to yours
12. Post your testimony on other blogs and sites
13. Post on other blogs regularly in a Evangelical way
14. Share your beliefs in a Facebook Note
15. Put personal Christian book reviews on your blog & Facebook
16. Put a link to live service feeds for your or another churches
17. Put a link on your blog/webpage/myspace/facebook to where you can download a free MP3 of the Bible
18. Put a link on your blog/webpage/myspace/facebook to the online version of the bible
19. Comment on news stories and interject a God/Biblical world view and solutions on the issue or how biblical prophecy fits in.

You can be as settle or as bold as you want in sharing.

Helpful tips on blogging for outreach to the blogging world

Top 10 Social Networking Sites (World)

1. Facebook (http://www.facebook.com)
2. Myspace (http://www.myspace.com)
3. Hi5 (http://www.hi5.com)
4. Flickr (http://www.flickr.com)
5. Friendster (http://www.friendster.com)
6. Skyrock (http://www.skyrock.com)
7. Tagged (http://www.tagged.com)
8. LiveJournal (http://www.livejournal.com)
9. Orkut (http://www.orkut.com)
10. Fotolog (http://fotolog.net)

I am Looking in 2009 for a Unstoppable church to be part of, the church seen in the book of Acts. I am looking for a church filled with passionate people, a people who are passionate about God. Passionately in love with Jesus, who’s love can not be contained.

A people, a church that says and lives like you can reticule me, imprison me, stone me, torture me, kill me, nail me to a cross, do what ever you want, I will hot stop. Even in the mist of doing these things to me I will praise and worship the Lord, I will still proclaim His word to you, announcing the Kingdom of God, we will not be stopped. Because we found a love greater than life its self and we will not be stopped, for us to live is to live for Christ alone.

I want to be part of a people who are striving side by side to proclaim the gospel. Nothing can cause them to shut up, keep them from talking about Jesus, they do not care if they get beat up, thrown in prison, fired, or killed. Like Paul they are unstoppable, like the first church they are a unstoppable force. A people who are striving together for the gospel, for the kingdom of God, for Jesus. A people that says I would rather be tortured and put to death for the cause of Christ, spreading the gospel than retire at an old age with a fat 401K.

A people who says I must be like, live like Jesus. I must be in a church like the one in the book of Acts, have church like they did, live like they did, turn the world upside down like they did.

A people who believe Jesus when He said unless you are willing to pick up a cross and be crucified together, if you can do that then you can follow me. If you are not willing to do that you are not worthy to be my disciples.( Mat 10:38, Mat 16:24, Luke 14:27 )

I burn to be part of a unstoppable church like the first century church, the underground china church today. I want to be part of something like that, a people like that.

A church that knows what Paul said is true that it has been granted, given to us that we are to suffer just as Jesus did, live with the same conflict Paul did. (Php 1:29-30)

Frances Chan has the same passion for this kind of church, life, he explains it very well, listen to his message, download it here .

I so desire to find such a church this year, be part of a people like that.

God had a talk with me about re evaluating my position in life, as to wealth and income. Reminding me that that being poor or wealth is relative, all a matter of perspective, ours vs God’s. Did you know that if you work at McDonald’s here in the US that your income is higher that 85% of the population of the world. That is right, the average income for of the world is $2,182, total average person income per person for the world is $5,000. so if you work at McDonald’s ($16,640 min yearly income) you are rich by world income standards. And that 2.7 billion people live on less than $2 a day and that More than 923 million people go to bed hungry; 300 million of them children.

We are so much richer than we think ourselves to be, we think a job is beneath us, pay to low, but yet we are so rich, so blessed compared to most of the world.

Do you have a job, making more than $2,182 a year, you are richer than 85% of the world, make more than $5,000 you are richer than the average person in the world. Praise God for it, be thankful.

Do you have a home to live in, a roof over your head, 1 billion do not have suitable housing (live in cardboard box’s, shacks, tents, est.) and estimated 100 million are totally homeless, sleep in the streets. Praise God that you have a home, a roof over your head, be thankful it doe’s not have to be $500,000 house to be blessed, even a $5,000 is a blessing.

Did you go to bed full, did you eat 3 meals even one today, even if it was off the Windy’s dollar menu. Praise God you ate, be thankful for your daily bread.

Do you own a car, only 1 out of 9 people in the world have a car. So if you have a car, any kind of car, in any kind of shape its in, how old, how much it worth, Praise God 89% of people do not have one, you are in the 11% or the people of the world who have a car. Praise God for it, be thankful for it, and it doe’s not have to be a Lexus to be blessed, having any car puts you in the top 10% in the world, that is a huge blessing.

Do you see how rich you are compared to the world, from where God set looking at the whole pitcher, form His view off life. Remember that the next time you are praying, complaining to God you are not blessed, rich enough, and just maybe you need to change it to praise and thankfulness for what you have.