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Monday, March 27, 2006

In everything give thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says "in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." and that is what I choose to do right now. It's now past 4:30 in the morning and I have been working for more than 15 hours straight. I'm not kidding. Look at the post time :)

That's odd, you might say. What is even more odd (well, odd really isn't the right word for it) is the incredible sense of peace and contentment that the Lord has given me during this time. It's very "normal" for me to feel grumpy and upset, yet the Lord has given me a peace and contentment during this entire emergency at work.

God is truly an awesome God! Praise His holy name!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Second Ministry Class

These are my notes from the second ministry leadership class.

Kyle recommended getting The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I've gotten it and have begun reading it. It's very good. (more on this later)

Be open for God to change what you are doing. Be willing to say "I will go where you want me to go." to God because people have seasons of ministry and spiritual assessments can change.

Also, know that you don't get to choose the gifts if the Spirit. The Holy Spirit can remove or add gifts as He sees fit. Where God places you and can move you where your gifts are needed.

Realize that God has gifted you and that you are responsible to exercise that gift - now!

The roll of the staff
The roll of the staff is to equip you, to help you understand and to help you plug in to ministry.

Ephesians 4:11-13 says, "11And He gave some {as} apostles, and some {as} prophets, and some {as} evangelists, and some {as} pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

As you grow, you serve more. Remember, "te more you serve, the more you grow. The more you grow, the more you serve."

As you get closer to becoming a pastor, the Holy Spirit will raise the gifts of leadership, prophecy and shepherding.

Just-in-time leadership
The Lord gives us knowledge to share it with others. What you learn needs to be passed on. Find some one in your circle of influence and impart what you are learning here. Pray and ask God who YOU need to be investing in.

Weaknesses in ministry
A question came up about taking on all of the responsibilities for all of the areas, especially areas that you are not gifted in. The answer to that is to find someone to come along side of you who is gifted in that "weak" area. You may still have to perform some of the tasks, but let others keep the details. We need to concentrate on building our strengths.

The next class is going to be looking at gifts, experiences, etc. using the acrostic of S.H.A.P.E.

For this week, we looked at the"S" which is Spiritual gifts. If you haven't already, you need to take a Spiritual Gifts Test or Assessment, so you'll know what your Spiritual gifts are. Think of these gifts are the boundries or edges of a puzzle. They frame what we'll be'll be blogging. The details, which fill in the middle portion come from our passions, personalities, gifts and experiences. These will be covered in more detail in my next post.

First Ministry Class

The first class was an incredible experience in seeing the "behind the scenes" stuff of ministry. This class actually took place on January 29, 2006, but I'm posting it it here to help others who may be studying for ministry as well.

Today Kyle talked about the need for this class in equipping the saints. He said that it's been about a year and a half in the making. If all goes according to plan, it'll be a 12 week class.

Some of the notes/highlights are as follows:

You don't need to know where you are going. God doesn;t reveal the whole path at once.
As a leader, you have to set the expectations

There are 5 expectations. (These are between you and God)

1. Be involved in worship. This is the vertical connection. Come worship, grow and bring someone. Sunday mornings are more for visitors, while Wednesday evenings are more for feeding the flock.

2. Be involved in a small group or Sunday school class. This is the horizontal connection

3. Be involved in service. "The more you serve, the more you grow. The more you grow, the more you serve."

Every believer has two aspects of service:

    - Ministry - All believers have a ministry in which they serve the body.
    - Mission - All believers should be involved in reaching out to the unsaved.

4. Investing in an unbeliever.

5. Actively tithe. Matthew 6:19-20 says that where your treasure is, your heart will be also.

Personal testimony
As Christians, we should be prepared to give our testimony anytime, anyplace, within a 2 minute time period. The reason for the time constraint is that 2 minutes is usually the amount of time that you have to talk to someone when your in line at the grocery store, etc. You can always share deeper details of your conversion later.

Your testimony should include:

1. What your life was like pefore Christ
2. How you came to know that you needed Him
3. What led to your submission to Him
4. What your life is like after you accepted Christ

As you share, the Holy Spirit will minister to the person that you are speaking to.

Types of call
There are two types of call:

1. General call - This is a "whosover will" call when you come to know Jesus.
2. Specific call - This is a call to ministry. If the Holy Spirit called you, he called you before you were born.

The farther that you run, the more difficult it will be to resist the will and call of God.

The call to ministry is irrevocable. This is an awesome thought. Kyle said that sometimes all you have to go back to when things are falling apart is your calling so, be able to talk about your specific calling.

Romans 11:29 says that "for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." be in the middle of His call no matter what.

Final thoughts
God has called you into ministry. Start serving Him now. You are not in ministry when you have a paid position in a church. You are in ministry now.

Acts 16:10 says that "When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them." (emphasis mine)

Read Ephesians 4, especially verses 11-13 and think about what you feel that God has called you to do.

It's time for a post

Wow... has it really been that long since I've posted here? Well, I guess I need to be more diligent at writing something.

I've also decided to put some of the notes/things that I've learning while going through ministry leadership class. "What's that?," you ask. Good question. It's a class that FBC is offering for people who feel called to vocational ministry. It's led by the associate pastor, Kyle Goen. It's really awesome in that we are learning practical things that one wonders about ministry.

Well, that's about all for now.