Leadership School – Day Two

Day Two of our Leadership School in Moscow. We have over 135+ in attendance and some are visitors who were invited by one of the local pastors and who are not saved. This is interesting because the topic is evangelism – supernatural style. I was asked to address three things:
1> How to switch to new ways to effectively evangelize?
2> How to shape a new vision regarding the lost!
3> The work of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in evangelism!

Yesterday we worked on what is the real gospel and how do you share it with those who do not speak christianese. We presented a number of alternative gospels that you will hear from people who have their own opinions about heaven and hell and life after death…arguments and ideas that you have to work with as you earn the right to be heard when presenting the truth. And, I taught on the seven evangelism styles as seen in the pages of the New Testament and how they must all work together. It was a great day.

Today we are moving on to discussing the real Jesus and the real Holy Spirit as many versions of the gospel presented by believers actually give a false understanding of Jesus and the work of the Spirit. Once this is understood – along with the many false gospels looked at yesterday – we can move on to the need to believe – belong – become and the call to discipleship today. Here we will be having them work with defining terms they use in secular and not religious language and learning to define basics such as “what is a Christian?” and “What is the Church?”

Tomorrow we will move on to the role and place of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in evangelizing and begin to chop away at that whole aspect of the current form of effective evangelism. It is an exciting week to say the least. Much of what I am teaching is new material and some of it is even being written as I go along (late into the night) as I respond to what is happening, what is not known, and what is being asked in the sessions.

Your prayers for all of the students would be greatly appreciated and every prayer matters – we are in need of much prayer covering for protection as well as for insight and wisdom. As well, for the prophetic team I have assembled who are working at each and every session and often between sessions during meals and breaks telling others what is on the Lord’s heart about them. Thanks for joining us in this ministry in this powerful way.

Six Critical Ideas

The marks of the early church and most renewal movements up until the early 1900’s integrate six critical ideas. These ideas can be found in the life of the early church as set out in the book of Acts. Let me list them and comment on them very briefly. (A fuller discussion of these six critical issues will be issued in December as a resource article on the main web site).

1> Christ as Lord. It is regretful that we have majored on Christ as Savior from sins and if you say a “sinner’s prayer” you are saved and everything is fine between you and God. That has never been the case. Jesus wants to be much more than a “get out of jail free” card (Savior). He demands to be Lord. And, in my understanding of Scripture, you cannot have Him as Savior unless He is also Lord. We have work to do in this area – teaching on Lordship and what it means to be redeemed – which means we have been purchased and that He owns us; He is Lord.

2> Disciple making. Everywhere I go I quote that we are to “go into all the world and…” leaving it for those in attendance to fill in the rest. They almost all say “and preach the Gospel.” In reality it states “…and make disciples.” This is not known because disciple-making has not been our focus over the last few decades. Disciples are needed today in the Church and we need to have a way of bringing new believers into discipleship and training them up. In most churches this is either none existent or is a simply “new members” class which does nothing to make a person a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and a soul-winner.

3> Apostolic environment. This means the church is working with a clear understanding of the role and ministry of apostles and has created an apostolic environment where their ministry is both welcomed and followed. The apostolic environment will include power as well as miracles, signs and wonders and involve the church members in the supernatural gifts of the Spirit so that the Gospel can be fully proclaimed. The basic format of an apostolic environment can be found in Acts 2:42 and is seen in the releasing of God’s people to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-15).

4> Missional-Incarnational impulse. This is an understanding that we as disciples are called to impact our community be reaching out (missional) and doing so by living the gospel and Bible truths in our communities and cities (incarnational). This should be the impulse or heart-beat of the local church and all of its members. Living out the truth in the local community and viewing the neighborhood as your mission field and thus impacting people with the power of the Gospel of salvation.

5> Organic systems. The church was not seen as nor did it function as an organization as it does today. The early church in the book of Acts was organic and was built relationally and not structurally. This is the way the true Church of Jesus Christ will be built today by those who understand what He is saying and calling them to accomplish in His Name.

6> (Communitas) Outward-focused community. This means that the church will be designed to impact the community and that the transformation of the community will be a goal of the local church. The community of the church will be focused on the lost and dying in the community; the forgotten and rejected; the poor and the homeless. The Gospel will be lived and preached by the people of God in the world as they are led out of their four walls by an apostolic leader working prophetically to see the lost saved and set free.

These six historical and biblical ideas have always formed the basis of the life and witness of the Church that Jesus is building. Think through your local church and see how many of these six vital and dynamic items are actually visible and seen in the life of your church.

The Sea

We are being called out of or little puddle and into the sea. But what is the sea? What is it we are heading towards and will find ourselves immersed in? Good question. I believe I have a little insight into that simply because I have spent a fair amount of time thinking, praying, and discussing this who current call upon the Church. Let me make an incomplete and maybe slightly inadequate attempt at shedding some light on the subject of the “sea.” Read more

You Can Do It!

Undecided whether you want to leave your puddle and begin to swim toward the sea? Not sure you can do it? Not sure you want to risk it? Not sure that you have what it takes? Well, call me crazy, but I seriously believe YOU CAN DO IT! I am absolutely convinced that true disciples of the Lord Jesus sense their divine destiny in the Lord and really want to live out their God-given dream reaching their full potential in Him. Read more

Swim With Those Who Swim With You

There is an old saying that a prophet friend of mine says constantly to me when, as a leader, I am a little discouraged because not everyone is on board and moving forward into the future that God has planned. Every time I see people unwilling to leave their little puddle and head out to sea with the rest of us and so feel somewhat disappointed and down… He always manages to call or write and say, “Remember, run with those who run with you.” Or, we could say it this way, when you leave your puddle – swim with those who are still swimming and are moving in the same direction you are.

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Go With the Flow

As we are swimming out of our puddles into the wide-open, deep, and sometimes dangerous sea – into unchartered waters – remember one truth: Go with the Flow. There is always a current or an undertow and we simply need to find it and then move with it into the things the Lord is asking us to become and to do for Him. Go with the Flow … discover where the Holy Spirit is moving, flowing and taking us and then slide into that current and go with the flow. Read more

Swimming Out of Your Puddle

I feel like the Lord is speaking to me prophetically and that He is speaking to me personally but also to you as well. Here is what I hear the Lord saying. “It is time to start swimming out of your puddle into the sea.” Now that may sound like a funny think to hear – but what makes it even stranger is that I am 36,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean in a jet with hundreds of other people and no quiet or privacy. I am writing this blog on my laptop while many of them sleep and the majority of the rest consume the free alcoholic drinks being supplied while watching in-flight movies. Read more

Problems or Presence

Most churches think that their assignment is to alleviate problems. In reality their task is to welcome the presence of God even though there are problems. Sometimes we seem to be more interested in the absence of problems than we are in the presence of God.
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The Harvest Is Ripe

Jesus prayed for more labourers in the harvest field – more disciples who would take seriously the call on each disciple’s life to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). The reason for this is that the harvest will not and never can self-reap. But, it will self-destruct if not reaped. Read more

Committed to Which Church?

If you are looking for a church there are a number of things you need to see and experience in that church before committing yourself to be a part of that local Body of Christ. Each could be a blog on their own but I have chosen to simply list each point with a one sentence comment… Read more