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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Church Planting

Today, our pastor, Scott Golike, preached about church planting.

The vision was both radical and Biblical. It was about building THE Church rather than A church. It was about being in authentic community rather than attending a program or an event. It was about going out into our world with the gospel message of love, rather than waiting for our world to come to our church. It was about humbly equipping and empowering our brothers and sisters in Christ rather than competing with them in advancing the kingdom of God. It was about taking the risk of doing life together with authenticity, humility, and enduring commitment rather than merely hiding within the safe and comfortable confines of our autonomous, individualistic, and private existence. It was about re-ordering our life in such a way so that we no longer live for idols such as comfort, worldly accolades, pride, selfishness, and greed, but rather that we can truly say "to live is Christ and to die is gain".

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for our pastors who have such a heart for your people and your kingdom! Thank you that this vision is from you and is all about you and your kingdom. Thank you for their perseverance in serving us sacrificially and lovingly. Bless them abundantly. Encourage them. Help us to know how to bless and encourage them. Guide them by your Spirit and your Word. Keep them on the path of truth. Enable them to speak your truth with all boldness. Give your people a heart for your heart. Give us a burden to share with others what you have given to us--unfathomable love and grace, inexpressible joy, and abundant hope. Help us to see you more clearly and to love you more and more. Pour your Spirit into us and may it overflow out of us in the form of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. May we live in a radical way within the Body so that those outside of the Body would see you in us, so that they would want you, and so that they would know this same love, grace, joy and hope. Show us how to live in radical ways as your Body--loving each other, sacrificing for one another, taking care of one another, pursuing one another, and not giving up on one another. Raise up leaders in your church so that churches would multiply into other churches. Give us hearts that are sensitive to every prompting of your Spirit, that we may act in all things through and in obedience to your Spirit. May Jesus be exalted in us and through us for your glory, our Great Father. In Jesus' Mighty Name, Amen.

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