NEXT TEN PURSUITS
Disciples entered her tenth year in fall 2019 and we sensed a clear and clarion call from God to continue to press into our little part of God’s big plans in this critical time in the history of our city and world. We continue to nudge toward Christlikeness in Kingdom family. This is a prophetic, aspirational statement of who we are and who we are becoming.
“The main thing that you bring the church is the person that you become, and that’s what everybody will see; that’s what will get reproduced; that’s what people will believe. Arrange your life so that you are experiencing deep contentment, joy and confidence in your everyday life with God.”
― Dallas Willard, Living in Christ’s Presence: Final Words on Heaven and the Kingdom of God
What God is stirring might end up “looking” very similar to other seasons of emphasis for Disciples, but subterranean it is a continued evolution in our journey away from “doing great things FOR God,” and now “Doing great things WITH God.” We are seeking to put the creative, apostolic, entrepreneurial Kingdom-mission back in the hands of God’s people and we as the leadership seek to support that within the four atmospheres we have discerned that God has been working in us and continues to do so. There is something changing in the world, many things in fact, and we see it as our privilege to respond to a changing world with a timeless way of living, the way of Jesus.
25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” -Matthew 20:25-28 (NLT)
FOUR ‘PURSUITS’ UNIQUE TO OUR DISCIPLE MAKING
Pursuit of Worship
- Diversity of Expression
- Deepening Theological understanding
- Posture of Expectation
- Communal and Personal Engagement with God
Pursuit of Global Partnerships
- Meaningful projects
- Spiritual pilgrimage
- Full church participation
Pursuit of Local Compassion
- Equipping US for mission
- Meeting community needs
- Gospel inspired outreach
Pursuit of Church Planting
- Tangible care of planters & their families
- Long Term relationships
- Planting churches that multiply
FURTHER EXPLANATION OF THE PURSUITS
Spiritual breakthrough in Worship
We sense God calling Disciples to go deeper as a worshipping community. We want to develop greater intimacy in hearing the voice of God, encountering his presence, unleashing his healing, and continue teaching those far from God how to encounter God’s saving goodness. The first three likely hinge off our collective willingness to enter into this fourth area. When Isaiah was sent out by God (Isaiah 6), it was on the heels of an encounter and repentance. When the woman at the Well turned her whole village upside down for the Kingdom (John 4) it was after meeting with Jesus. When Barnabas and Saul were sent out (Acts 13) it was after communal fasting and prayer. Worship on a Sunday through song continues to deepen and develop. In the last year, for the first time ever, we also have been experimenting with silent reflection in services, communion done more intimately, prayer stations on Good Friday, staff going on silent retreats. These will become less anomalous and more commonplace among the people of God who are released for mission globally, locally, and in church planting. And frankly, we long for outpouring of the Holy Spirit like we’ve never experienced. People prophesying, gifts breaking out, revival.
Global Church Partnerships
We see God’s hand moving in power in Guatemala every time we send a team to serve in the schools, deliver clean water to those in need, or partner with the various church planting efforts we are involved in. There may be some work in the east that God invites us to continue deepening our learning of how he is at work in the world, especially in post-Christian cultures where the Gospel is exploding. Lives have been forever altered for Kingdom causes as a result of five days in Guatemala – this is not to be ignored, instead leveraged and explored for greater Kingdom transformation in the lives of those who accept God’s invitation to go.
Local Compassion Care
We are convinced God wants to use us to announce his Kingdom in our region with a ministry of presence and compassionate care. Something has stirred in us through hosting the homeless shelter, there is atmospheric shift every time we open up sign-ups for this effort, it’s been a tiny little taste of the missional creativity that wells up in the people of Disciples when unleashed with the church’s resources to do good in our world – we’ve gotten a taste, we want the whole meal!
We believe God wants us to continue partnerships in multiplying the church. Disciples was recently named one of America’s top 100 Multiplying Churches by Outreach Magazine because of the work we have done in helping plant new churches — Disciples has helped plant ten churches since we started, we dream of what it would look like to help plant 100 more in our next ten years. We believe God is calling us to leverage this to make an even bigger impact on Gospel Advancement through church planting.