Life After ‘Church’?

Since stepping away from traditional church and pastoral ministry, my journey has taken me on a sweet adventure. God has led my family away, not to find membership at another institutional church, though we had visited many and were invited by many, but rather to take note of what God is up to.

He is doing a new thing…!

(Resource below…)

God is amazing. We are enjoying a rich time. My family and I are involved in a growing disciple-making movement it appears. I’ve got 4 discipleship groups right now I’m leading or co-leading. We are also enjoying street ministry (simply offering to pray for people) and feeding the homeless. We have seen people come to Christ and getting physically healed of various illnesses. My favourite was an older man healed of serious back pain in Jesus’ name. The look on his face! Or the conversation I had about Jesus’ view of women (using the story of the Samaritan woman at the well) after I was asked about being a female pastor. 😀

(Just had a thought… Being a woman sharing hope on the street is somehow a more acceptable thing in some circles than being a woman sharing hope on a stage behind a pulpit. Strange…? Yet, I’m having more fun on the street these days!)

For us, it has been life on life led by Holy Spirit. No pressure, no rush… I just wake up in the morning, ask God what He has planned, linger with Him in the Word and in prayer, and then go. (I work on the side as a Life Coach and Spiritual Director and have recently been invited to partner with another ministry.)

There are eleven people I only met this year just walking my dog, or going to a coffee shop, or brought to meet me with a friend. God is on the move, on the street, and in our homes. The running joke at home is that I take forever to get a few groceries. I keep having some incredible conversations with people. 😀

Below is another resource that helped me digest, reflect, and embrace this new chapter for ourselves of intentionally being the living church (which takes less energy then we were used to in the past. Although, when I look at the list above of what we are doing, it’s much bigger somehow! That’s totally God. Not us!)

We love the Church! And God uses institutional churches. But, if you’re struggling with confusion within an institutional church, church politics, meetings and meetings and a lack of fruit, and you’ve wandered from institutional church to institutional church, but you love Jesus perhaps more than ever, this help may be like a breath of fresh air…!

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Life After Church (Audio Download)
We are in one of the most dramatic reorganizations of the structure of THE Church ever in human history. That is because the King is on the move and there is a dramatic next chapter coming. This album is one perspective from researcher Arthur Burk on where the King is going and how we can live this transition season for fullest effect. You ARE in a transition. The question is whether you will transition well and be part of the new move of God, or will be caught short…?  ***Sneak peek:

5 basic reasons people leave the church:

  1. Abusive authority.
  2. Community is found outside church. Church then became just a ritual.
  3. Leadership was hired on credentials rather than anointing and gifting.
  4. Money going to consumer comforts and an old building rather than outreach. 
  5. No clue why you left?? You just did and don’t know why.

God is raising up a new army. We are seeing the merging of the Fathering Movement and Church in the Marketplace coming together, merging into one stream. As we head into multiple ticking time bombs, God is getting ready for it.

In the light of church history, we are getting ready for something really big.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A MOBILIZATION OF THIS MAGNITUDE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST EVER IN CHURCH HISTORY.

The Life ‘After Church’ signs are:

·         Decentralization- there is no human leader.

·         Design based, as each one of us dominates a small niche in our area of expertise.

·         People have learned to hear God directly for themselves (not relying on a pastor).

·         You don’t need structures, you can move NIMBLY, as Holy Spirit leads.

We are privileged to be in this season, to be a part of something so big it will rewrite human and church history. Each of us have been designed for this season, for such a time as this…  Learn more…

Unlearn in Order to Learn how to Disciple?

13 million people in 12 years through a disciple making movement?!!! (A few people in the Word started it all.)

This morning, I got to group Skype with a missionary on the other side of the world and hear how fast the Gospel is spreading. He had to unlearn things in order to learn how to truly make disciples.

I loved that he said some of his best leaders are women! 😀

What is a disciple making movement? Here’s one way to explain… 🙂 

The Contagious Bible-focused, Spirit-led Study Tool

discovery_bible_studyThere is a mind-blowing, powerful yet simple Bible Discovery practice/tool being used in house churches around the world where the Kingdom of God is spreading like wildfire.

It’s contagious! 

Bible-focused,
Spirit-led.
You learn to truly digest the Bible and hear God’s voice yourself.
You share what you’re learning with others.
In light of what you’re learning, you ask God for ways to apply it all.
A movement begins…

“When my word goes forth, it shall not return empty or void, but will accomplish the thing for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11

God’s Word does what He said it would do—if WE get out of the way.

Okay! What’s the contagious part… aside from having a Divine experience in the Word of God?

The contagious part that goes viral is when others want to join your group (because you are sharing how powerful it is and what you are learning),…

BUT you don’t add people to your group.

What?

Nope.

We aren’t trying to build a huge group.

That would prevent multiplication.

Plus, when a group gets larger than 5 people, it no longer holds tight relationships.

The key to multiplying is to keep it small. (Yes, this flies in the face of ‘bigger is better’.) Why? Because, when you become a large group, you no longer have everyone engaged and participating, using their gifts. Instead, we are wanting to truly do life together and empower each other to discover and use their gifts.

You start with the interested person in a new group but on their turf. You go into their home or wherever they choose and have them invite anyone else and facilitate the process over 2-4 weeks time and then pull out and allow them to take the lead. The beauty is in empowering others, and preventing them from expecting you to feed them. They can learn to feed themselves and then empower others to do the same. (Sure, you check back with them from time to time offering help and mentoring, but don’t take the lead of their group and their sub-culture. Let Holy Spirit transform them!)

There’s an incredible joy in watching people’s lightbulbs come on above their heads simply by reading the Word and asking a few simple questions. God’s Word is alive.

It’s contagious! 🙂

You have a few options…

1. Are you not in a church of any kind? 
Perfect. Start a house church/discovery group! 🙂 Join with family and friends. 5 people or less is ideal. Use the help guides below allowing God’s Word to teach you.

Here are some quick links…
Get started and see how powerful it is!

What is it? (Simple and Powerful – Discovery Bible Study in a nutshell)

Quick and Handy Guide

List of Scriptures you can start with.

Extensive List of Scriptures based on desired focus.

2. Are you in an institutional church wanting to learn how to add this powerful strategy? (Disciple-Making Movements Hybrid Strategy)
If so, read… Spent Matches by Roy Moran (Book Summary highlights)

 

Disciple making Movements?

Disciple-Images-2
Image: www.exponential.org

If what you’re doing isn’t working, why keep doing it? (…Or at least add an additional track like one mega church in Texas did after doing the math.)

This past weekend, I enjoyed sitting in on a session with a gentleman serving overseas (cannot name country due to security).

My friend and I were blown away by the stories of how fast the Gospel is spreading through the disciple making movement. 100,000 disciples on track to double in the next 14 months. I quickly saw why – the level of community in a small group along with the hunger to multiply and share the Word with others in a way that allows the Word to teach a small group rather than a guru or highly educated pastor (which actually has been shown to stump the growth of the Gospel he said because most NA pastors have been trained to talk rather than listen).

The missionary explained that small groups allow people to engage and participate and hear from Holy Spirit directly from the Word, rather than another person’s interpretation of the Word.

Picture this…

Starting with a group of 5 people or so meeting in a living room perhaps.
Sharing things to be thankful for, challenges, etc. Listening to each other.
Reading aloud passage of Scripture together.
Asking themselves a few simple Qs from the passage.
Reflecting together. Going back to the Word.
Praying together and for each other.
Committing to share what God reveals with someone in their week and helping each other and neighbours in their community in practical need.
Together.
Little to no money.
Leaders/facilitators developed and multiplied as new groups form.
Entire families and communities transformed!! (like in the book of Acts).

God’s Word and Love spreading rapidly because of the…
Word /
life together /
prayer …focus.

No Master’s Degree required (because it actually hinders the multiplication putting emphasis on a human teaching rather than the Word.)

The stories were amazing.
Numbers unreal.
Blows any North American mindset.
Yikes.

Does this work in North America?

It is reportedly happening like wildfire as traditional churches dwindle and home churches rapidly multiply. People are hungry for spiritual relationship with God, and life together with people committed to each other.

For more info on how you can be apart of a disciple making movement:

https://www.contagiousdisciplemaking.com/blogs/news/dna-of-discovery-groups

https://www.contagiousdisciplemaking.com/pages/everybody-should-be-part-of-a-movement-that-is-bigger-than-themselves

How one megachurch in Texas has heard the call to adopt a new strategy after doing the math: https://youtu.be/jJhlfRPbpC0 Even in Texas!

Best Truth of the Year!

heartLast night of 2017, I reflected on the highlights and got excited for what’s ahead for 2018. Below I share with you the key theme that God has given to me and through me over and over. I’ve had the joy of sharing this so many young women and watching them be set free. Find a quiet spot and digest this love letter from God…

(You can also read, listen, or watch downloadable formats here.)

Entering a new year deeply knowing that you are loved by your Heavenly Father will transform you.

Even when those who say they love God speak to you words that are not in love, you know they are not aware themselves truly of God’s love. Those who dishonour you, know not of God’s love, but live in fear and see themselves as orphans who think they have to fight for His love and favour. You however, may you choose to bless those who curse you.. because you truly know God’s loving heart for you! 🙂

Happy New Year!

 

My Radical Family is a Threat to Society

This morning I was reminded that I come from a history of people who were a threat to society… 🙂 Radicals.

“The Anabaptists’ reform efforts were a threat to their society, because they claimed Christianity was to be lived out in small communities in accordance with the explicit teaching of Scripture. Similarly, the first-century Christians were a threat to their society because they claimed that there was a more important kingdom than that of the Roman Empire: the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Both Christian movements spread because of the way people maintained their faith in Christ and love for others, even in the face of persecution.”

At what cost do we follow Jesus even when our ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ persecute us?

Read the full article here with an interesting video discussion…

From Religion to Relationship :)

From religion to relationship. Yes, yes, yes…

This was the journey of Saul of Tarsus to become the Apostle Paul. It took a paradigm shift, a transformation of mind to heart. Jesus got his attention, blinded him for days and then gave him new eyes to see! Jesus showed him that it wasn’t about rules, but about relationship!

I read this recently…

“If you believe the wrong thing, it will take away the power of the right thing. For example, if you’re legalistic and think that you have to earn your way to God, the importance of grace diminishes. I think of how before Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saul the persecutor operated in pure legalism. When the scales fell off his eyes, his religious mindset was not just broken, but God created a new nature in him. In this new nature, Saul turned Paul was not only freed from the religious pressure nagging him in his inner thoughts, but also his mind was renewed.” (Shawn Bolz, God Secrets.)

Legalism prevents us from intimately knowing the Father in the greatest relationship we could ever have.

Legalism also keeps us from loving others, and stuck in just knowing about others and easily slipping into judgement.

Does learning the truth about others always set one free? Maybe not. I can think of learning a few things that did not bring me peace.

BUT, seeing God’s Truth about others is another thing…

Seeing how God loves someone stuck in legalism/religion, whatever… (and instead seeing HIS Truth available to them), helps to set me free to love them as God loves them, and pray for them.

I’m still learning this.

Yes… there IS the call to wipe the dust off our feet when our gift of peace is not received… When peaceful relationship is not welcomed, keep walking… Freedom is elsewhere. Submitting to religion (or someone’s legalism) is not freedom. I don’t want to be Saul of Tarsus or friends with that guy! I want to journey with Paul and see God do mighty things!! God’s kingdom is about freedom!

Ask God:

Where am I trapped in my thinking?

What do you want to set me free from?

Who do you want to set me free from?

(Friendship is related to the word ‘freedom’. If you are trapped, constantly torn apart, that is not a friendship, that is abusive. One of the hardest things to do is walk away from someone you love who has continued to abuse you, manipulate you, control you… Tough love is no longer enabling someone’s pattern of abuse, legalism, religion, etc. Loving them is showing them that behaviour is not okay.)

God, what promise do you have for me?

What gift do you have for me?

Enjoy a 2-way relationship with Father God who made a way through His son Jesus.

Read and Meditate on His Word.
Ask Him questions.
Listen and Write.
Pray it all back to Him!

Christianity is not a religion (earning our way to God’s love), it’s a relationship (He is love and extends His love to us through His son Jesus who opened the doorway).

 

31 Days of Prayer for the Church in Canada

Hey, Canada! 🙂

Are you ready for God to move in and through you to share His love in your family, your city, your country of Canada?

Join your fellow Canadians in a hunger and thirst for God to move across our land.

Help yourself below to the… 31 Days of Prayer Guide for the Church in Canada

Recognize God’s Power in the Church:
We, the church, are called and equipped to be the fullness of Christ
who fills everything in every way! (Ephesians 1:18-25)

31 Days of Prayer for the Church in Canada

 

How do we approach truth?

truth vs lieJust read this today and my heart leapt…!

Jesus calls himself “the truth” (John 14:6), and the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:7; 16:13). Any time we are not living from Jesus’ perspective, the foundation of truth, we are in some way connected to the father of lies, the devil. When we experience negative or painful consequences as a result of choosing to talk in truth, we may be tempted to quit. This is exactly the point where our faith in God’s truth gets tested. To choose to speak the truth in love, even when there is great cost to us, confirms our trust in God’s ways, rather than our own ways.

Are you willing to risk being truthful in love above anything that you fear or anything that you desire? God is truth. Are you willing to put God, His truth and His ways above anything that you fear or want? Are you willing to go beyond your fears and desires and expose whatever needs to be exposed for you to be truly known?

Remember: Truth without love is harsh and destructive; love without truth lacks substance. It must be truth with love.

I say… Yes, yes, yes, yes! Avoiding the truth only leads to bondage. Jesus, who is the Truth, invites us into freedom when we walk in His Spirit who is Love.

Source and learn more from…

Barry and Lori Byrne
Nothing Hidden Ministries
http://nothinghidden.com

Do you live in fear or in expectation?

nathan-dumlao-287713I recently was blessed by these words sent to me in an email story…

Expectation positions us to see miracles, big and small. It sharpens our vision and focuses our attention towards God. It liberates us from apprehension that blinds us to the majesty before us.

Instead of being shackled by fearing the worst, we’re free to recognize and receive what God is delighted to give.

What are your current expectations of God?

And how does He want to expand them? 😀 

Graham Cooke, Shawn Bolz and Jonathan and Melissa Helser are doing an entire 3 day event this coming weekend on how to create a lifestyle of EXPECTATION in God! The event is sold out but you can click here to join the Livestream!

And beyond the event? Enjoy some brilliant perspectives…