People Of God Ministries

People Of God Ministries


I reminded of a story in the bible and it brings to mind the subject of "Choosing and Confused"! Jeroboam was the son of Nebat, a member of the Tribe of Ephraim of Zereda. His mother, named Zeruah (צרוע "leprous") was a widow. (1 Kings 11:26) He had at least two sons, Abijah and Nadab, who succeeded him on the throne. While still a young man, King Solomon made him superintendent over his tribesmen in the building of the fortress Millo in Jerusalem and of other public works, and he naturally became conversant with the widespread discontent caused by the extravagances which marked the reign of Solomon. Influenced by the words of the prophet Ahijah (1 Kings 11:29–39), he began to form conspiracies with the view of becoming king of the ten northern tribes; but these were discovered, and he fled to Egypt, where he remained under the protection of Pharaoh Shishak until the death of Solomon. After this event, he returned and participated in a delegation sent to ask the new king Rehoboam to reduce taxes. After Rehoboam rejected their petition, ten of the tribes withdrew their allegiance to the house of David and proclaimed Jeroboam their king, forming the northern kingdom of Israel (Samaria). Initially, only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained to form the new kingdom of Judah, loyal to Rehoboam. Jeroboam rebuilt and fortified Shechem as the capital of the northern kingdom, and fearing that pilgrimages to the temple in Jerusalem prescribed by the Law might be an occasion for his people to go back to their old allegiance, he built two state temples with golden calves, one in Bethel and the other in Dan. Although criticized for his cultic activities in 1 Kings 12:25–33, calf worship was not new in Israelite ritual, but a reintroduction of earlier ritual. Bethel and Dan were already established cultic sites. According to 1 Kings 13:1–6, while Jeroboam was engaged in offering incense at Bethel, a "man of God" warned him that "a son named Josiah will be born to the house of David", who would destroy the altar (referring to King Josiah of Judah who would rule approximately three hundred years later). Attempting to arrest the prophet for his bold words of defiance, Jeroboam's hand was "dried up", and the altar before which he stood was rent asunder. At the entreaty of the man of God, his hand was restored to him again, but the miracle made no abiding impression on him. Jeroboam offered hospitality to the man of God but this was declined, not out of contempt but in obedience to the command of God. The prophecy is fulfilled in 2 Kings 23:15–16. This "man of God" who warned Jeroboam has been equated with a seer named Iddo. The wife of Jeroboam is a character in the Hebrew Bible. She is unnamed in the Masoretic Text, but according to the Septuagint, she was an Egyptian princess called Ano: And Sousakim gave to Jeroboam Ano the eldest sister of Thekemina his wife, to him as wife; she was great among the king's daughters... In 1 Kings 14, Jeroboam's son Abijah gets sick, and he sends his wife to the prophet Ahijah. Ahijah's message, however, is that Abijah will die, which he does. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia the good that Abijah did for which he would be laid in the grave: "Rabbinical Literature: The passage, I Kings, xiv. 13, in which there is a reference to "some good thing [found in him] toward the Lord God of Israel," is interpreted as an allusion to Abijah's courageous and pious act in removing the sentinels placed by his father on the frontier between Israel and Judah to prevent pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Some assert that he himself undertook a pilgrimage."
"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope." -Maya Angelou
Loving people who have wronged you, in spite of ourselves! This is how you truly show your love for God!
Just to give clarification to a question I was asked on yesterday in regards to why Christians should stand on what they believe. Yes, there are man's laws to protect you if you chose not to work on Saturday's or Sunday's. We must never forget this country, yes! the good ole USA. was designed and developed on the right to "practice our religious freedoms". Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. It was not by coincidence this is the first amendment! But to the response: Question: "Why did God rest on the seventh day of creation (Genesis 2:2)?" Answer: In Genesis 2:2 we read, “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” If God is omnipotent—if He has all power—it doesn’t make much sense that He would need to “rest.” After we’ve had a busy week, we take a nap—but God? First, we should quote the verse correctly. It doesn’t say God “needed” to rest; it simply says that He did rest. Also, it is clear from Scripture that God did not rest because He was tired. Genesis 17:1 calls God the “Almighty God.” Psalm 147:5 says, “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” God is all-powerful; He never tires and never needs to rest. As Isaiah 40:28 says, “The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.” God is the sum of perfection; He is never diminished in any way, and that includes being diminished in power. When God said, “Let there be light,” the light appeared. He simply spoke creation into existence (Genesis 1:1-3). Later, we read that Jesus Christ “is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). Forget the image of Atlas straining under the weight of the world on his shoulders. It’s not like that. The entire universe is held together by Jesus’ word. The creation and maintenance of the universe is not difficult for God. A mere word will suffice. As Psalm 33:9 declares, “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.” The Hebrew word translated “rested” in Genesis 2:2 includes other ideas than that of being tired. In fact, one of the main definitions of the Hebrew word shabat is “to cease or stop.” In Genesis 2:2 the understanding is that God “stopped” His work; He “ceased” creating on the seventh day. All that He had created was good, and His work was finished. The context of Genesis 1–2 strongly affirms the idea of God’s “rest” being a cessation of work, not a reinvigoration after work. The narrative tells us which things God created in each of the first six days. His power is displayed through the creation of light, mountains, seas, the sun, moon and stars, plant and animal life, and, finally, humanity. There are many parallels between the first three days of creation and the second three days. However, the seventh day is a sharp contrast. Instead of more creating, there is shabat. Instead of God “doing” more, He “ceased” from doing. God did not merely “rest” on the seventh day; He “stopped creating.” It was a purposeful stop. Everything He desired to create had been made. He looked at His creation, declared it “very good” (Genesis 1:31), and ceased from His activity. In the Jewish tradition, the concept of shabat has been carried over as the “Sabbath.” The Law of Moses taught there was to be no work at all on the seventh day (Saturday). Because God ceased from work that day, the Israelites were to cease from their work on the Sabbath. Thus, the days of creation are the basis of our universal observance of a seven-day week. Simply put, God’s “rest” was not due to His being tired but to His being completely finished with His creative work.
Good Friday – What Happened on Good Friday? Although the term “Good Friday” is not mentioned in the Bible, we can study the events that took place on the day Jesus was crucified. After Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was taken through several trials before the chief priests, Pontius Pilate, and Herod (Luke 22:54–23:25). Three of the trials were by Jewish leaders and three by the Romans (John 18:12-14, Mark 14:53-65, Mark 15:1-5, Luke 23:6-12, Mark 15:6-15). These events led up to Good Friday. Pilate tried to compromise with the religious leaders by having Jesus beaten, but this act didn't satisfy them, so Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified (Mark 15:6-15). Jesus was mocked by the soldiers as they dressed Him in a purple robe and a crown of thorns (John 19:1-3). The sentence was written “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” Jesus, assisted by Simon of Cyrene, was then forced to carry His cross to the place of His death. It was at Golgotha that Jesus was crucified along with two criminals (John 19:17-22). Later in the day, the Bible tells us that Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for Jesus’ body and was granted permission. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb. He then rolled a big stone in front of the entrance. Good Friday – Was it Friday? The Bible does not tell us exactly the day of the week Jesus was crucified. Most scholars believe it was either Friday or Wednesday. There are others who compromise and say it was a Thursday.1 In Matthew 12:40, Jesus said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Friday – We know that Jesus was in the grave for three days. If Jesus was crucified on a Friday, how can there be three days before Sunday? Proponents of a Friday crucifixion say that in a Jewish mindset, a part of a day was still considered to be a full day. So, if Jesus was in the grave for part of Friday, all day Saturday, and then part of Sunday, that would be considered three days. Mark 15:42-43 says that Jesus was crucified on the day before the Sabbath. If the Sabbath mentioned was the weekly Sabbath, then that lends toward a Friday crucifixion. Thursday – Proponents of a Thursday crucifixion think there are too many events occurring for a Friday crucifixion to be possible. By adding an extra day, this alleviates the problem. Wednesday – This view is based on there being two Sabbaths that week. The first is the one at the end of the crucifixion (Mark 15:42), which would have been the Passover. Then the second Sabbath was the weekly Sabbath. The women would have waited until after the Thursday Sabbath to purchase their spices on Friday, then rested on Saturday (Sabbath), and brought their spices to the tomb on Sunday morning. This takes a literal interpretation of the three days and three nights mentioned in Matthew 12:40. No matter what day Jesus was crucified, we know that He died and rose from the grave! Since the day is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, we can assume that it is not all that important. Good Friday – Why is it “Good”? Is good Friday really “good”? It may seem odd that people celebrate the day Jesus’ was crucified as “good.” Obviously, the suffering Jesus went through on Good Friday was not good. He was whipped, beaten, mocked, and killed in a very violent way. How can that be good? The results of Jesus’ death are very good! This is explained in Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Then in 1 Peter 3:18, it is reiterated again: “For Christ died "for sins once for all", the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.” In closing, we honeslty ARE "all" sinners that where save by Jesus life and death!

The the purpose of this page is to uplift and encourage you. Not only believers of the word of God but also non-believers. "Non-denominational"

"The Scriptures" We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us, and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried. "The True God" We believe the Scriptures teach that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. "The Fall of Man" We believe the Scriptures teach that Man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgressions fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse. "The Way of Salvation" We believe that the Scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead, he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior. "Justification" We believe the Scriptures teach that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in him is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood; by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity. " The Freeness of Salvation" We believe that the Scriptures teach that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth, but his own determined depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation. " Regeneration " We believe that the Scriptures teach that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith, and newness of life. " Repentance and Faith" We believe the Scriptures teach that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our prophet, priest and king, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior. "God's Purpose of Grace" We believe the Scriptures teach that election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the Gospel; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence. " Sanctification" We believe the Scriptures teach that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means especially the word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. "Perseverance of the Saints" We believe the Scriptures teach that such only are real believers as endure to the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. "The Law and Gospel" We believe the Scriptures teach that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government; that it is holy, just and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts, arise entirely from their love of sin; to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the Means of Grace connected with the establishment of the visible church. "A Gospel Church" We believe the Scriptures teach that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by his laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its only scriptural officers are Bishops or Pastors, and Deacons whose Qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. " Baptism and the Lord's Supper" We believe the Scriptures teach that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect, in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation; and to the Lord's Supper, in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination. "The Christian Sabbath" We believe the Scriptures teach that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day, or Christian Sabbath, and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations, by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public, and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God.

Mission: It is the mission of "People of God" is to be a worshiping, witnessing and welcoming people. Teaching and living what Jesus taught us "LOVE" Committed to a spirit of excellence in the praise of the Almighty God through Jesus Christ; To encourage the Christian Education of children, youth and adults for the maturation in the faith of Christ Jesus; and a ministry for the promotion of love, peace and justice in every aspect of life. To this end, all people will be touched and transformed by the liberating power of God’s Holy Spirit. One God, One Word! believes that religious liberty is a gift from God. We support the freedom of the individual conscience to choose to worship God according to the dictates of one’s heart. And while we celebrate our own liberty to embrace biblical truth without compromise, we also support the first amendment to the Constitution which guarantees freedom of religion for all Americans. In this light, as Americans, we join with other faith communities in supporting the right of Islamic and other religious bodies to worship according to the dictates and mandates of their faith expressions !

Operating as usual

[01/22/21]   We welcome into 2021 This is a year that is a year of making over, fixing , remodeling, making a new. seeking direction, following direction. Finding your connection one on one with the God of all. But first you must understand this can only be accomplished through our comforter. Jesus has done the task he was charged with! Often we get mislead and yes misinformed about how we are too communicated with God. Yes pray and Praise God and God alone!

[12/26/20]   So Jesus was born somewhere around February or March... Now that we know they truth lets teach the real truth!

Luke 1:26
King James Version
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

[12/26/20]   Jeremiah 10
King James Version
10 Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:

2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.

7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.

8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.

9 Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.

10 But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.

12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.

14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

16 The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The Lord of hosts is his name.

17 Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress.

18 For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once, and will distress them, that they may find it so.

19 Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous; but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it.

20 My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.

21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.

22 Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons.

23 O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

24 O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.

25 Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.

[11/27/20]   Jesus never once spoke of Wine!
John 2:1-10 1
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine." 4"Woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My hour has not yet come." 5His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." 6Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. 8Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so, 9and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."

The spirituality of Africa Though larger religions have made big inroads, African spirituality, a belief system based in openness and adaptation, endures, says Harvard religion professor Jacob Olupona.

Uhop band We shall wear a Crown

the United House of Prayer musicians
"We Shall Wear A Crown" Send her home in glory

Every time there is a change in history, there’s potential to gain and potential to lose.

I believe the potential to gain is greater than the potential to lose. Why?

As despairing or as cynical as some might be (sometimes understandably) over the church’s future, we have to remind ourselves that the church was Jesus’ idea, not ours.

It will survive our missteps and whatever cultural trends happen around us. We certainly don’t always get things right, but Christ has an incredible history of pulling together Christians in every generation to share his love for a broken world.

As a result, the reports of the church’s death are greatly exaggerated.

The reports of the church's death are greatly exaggerated.CLICK TO TWEET
That said, many individual congregations and some entire denominations won’t make it. The difference will be between those who cling to the mission and those who cling to the model.

When the car was invented, it quick took over from the horse and buggy. Horse and buggy manufacturers were relegated to boutique status and many went under, but human transportation actually exploded. Suddenly average people could travel at a level they never could before.

The mission is travel. The model is a buggy, or car, or motorcycle, or jet.

Look at the changes in the publishing, music and even photography industry in the last few years.

See a trend? The mission is reading. It’s music. It’s photography. The model always shifts….moving from things like 8 tracks, cassettes and CDs to MP3s and now streaming audio and video.

Companies that show innovation around the mission (Apple, Samsung) will always beat companies that remain devoted to the method (Kodak).

Churches need to stay focused on the mission (leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus) and be exceptionally innovative in our model.

In the future, churches that love their model more than their mission will die.CLICK TO TWEET
Read the comments on this blog or any other church leader blog and you would think that some Christians believe the best thing to do is to give up on Christian gatherings of any kind.

This is naive.

While some will leave, it does not change the fact that the church has always gathered because the church is inherently communal. Additionally, what we can do gathered together far surpasses what we can do alone. Which is why there will always be an organized church of some form.

So while our gatherings might shift and look different than they do today, Christians will always gather together to do more than we ever could on our own.

The church will always gather. What Christians can do together far surpasses what we can do alone.CLICK TO TWEET
Consumer Christianity asks What can I get from God? It asks, What’s in it for me?

That leads us to evaluate our church, our faith, our experience and each other according to our preferences and whims. In many respects, even many critics of the church who have left have done so under the pull of consumer Christianity because ‘nothing’ meets their needs.

All of this is antithetical to the Gospel, which calls us to die to ourselves—to lose ourselves for the sake of Christ.

As the church reformats and repents, a more authentic, more selfless church will emerge. Sure, we will still have to make decisions about music, gathering times and even some distinctions about what we believe, but the tone will be different. When you’re no longer focused on yourself and your viewpoint, a new tone emerges.

As the church reformats and repents, a more authentic, more selfless church will emerge.CLICK TO TWEET
The death of consumer Christianity will change our gatherings.

Our gatherings will become less about us and more about Jesus and the world he loves. Rather than a gathering of the already-convinced, the churches that remain will be decidedly outsider-focused. And word will be supplemented with deeds.

In the future church, being right will be less important than doing right. Sure, that involves social justice and meeting physical needs, but it also involves treating people with kindness, compassion in every day life and attending to their spiritual well being.

This is the kind of outward focus that drove the rapid expansion of the first century church.

That’s why I’m very excited to be part of a group of churches that has, at its heart, the desire to create churches unchurched people love to attend. While the expression of what that looks like may change, the intent will not.

In the future church, being right will be less important than doing right.CLICK TO TWEET
Currently, many churches try to get people to attend, hoping it drives engagement.

In the future, that will flip. The engaged will attend, in large measure because only the engaged will remain.

If you really think about this…engagement driving attendance is exactly what has fuelled the church at its best moments throughout history. It’s an exciting shift.

In the future church, attendance won't drive engagement; engagement will drive attendance.
For years, the assumption has been that the more a church grew, the more activity it would offer.

The challenge, of course, is that church can easily end up burning people out. In some cases, people end up with no life except church life. Some churches offer so many programs for families that families don’t even have a chance to be families.

Some churches offer so many programs for families that families don’t have a chance to be families.

The church at its best has always equipped people to live out their faith in the world. But you have to be in the world to influence the world.

Churches that focus their energies on the few things the church can uniquely do best will emerge as the most effective churches moving forward. Simplified churches will complement people’s witness, not compete with people’s witness.

Simplified churches will complement people's witness, not compete with people's witness.CLICK TO TWEET
There’s a big discussion right now around online church. I think in certain niches online church might become the church for some who simply have no other access to church.

But there is something about human relationship that requires presence. Because the church at its fullest will always gather, online church will supplement the journey. I believe that online relationships are real relationships, but they are not the greatest relationships people can have.

Think of it like meeting someone online. You can have a fantastic relationship. But if you fall in love, you ultimately want to meet and spend your life together.

So it is with Jesus, people and the church.

There’s no question that today online church has become a back door for Christians who are done with attending church.

While online church is an amazing supplement for people who can’t get to a service, it’s still an off ramp for Christian whose commitment to faith is perhaps less than it might have been at an earlier point.

Within a few years, the dust will settle and a new role for online church and online ministry will emerge. Online church has the potential to become a massive front door for the curious, the unconvinced and for those who want to know what Christianity is all about.

In the same way you purchase almost nothing without reading online reviews or rarely visit a restaurant without checking it out online first, a church’s online presence will be a first home for people which for many, will lead to a personal connection with Christ and ultimately the gathered church.

Online church has the potential to become a massive front door for the curious and the unconvinced.CLICK TO TWEET
While many might think the mega-church is dead, it’s not. And while others think mega-churches are awful, there’s nothing inherently bad about them. Size is somewhat irrelevant to a church’s effectiveness.

There are bad mega-churches and bad small churches. And there are wonderfully effective mega-churches and wonderfully effective small churches.

We will likely see large churches get larger. Multisite will continue to explode, as churches that are effective expand their mission.

At the same time, churches will also establish smaller, more intimate gatherings as millennials and others seek tighter connections and groups. Paradoxically, future large churches will likely become large not because they necessarily gather thousands in one space, but because they gather thousands through dozens of smaller gatherings under some form of shared leadership. Some of those gatherings might be as simple as at a coffee shop or even home venues under a simple structure.

We will see the emergence of bigger churches and smaller churches at the same time as the gathered church continues to change.

[07/22/20]   Our worship services traditionally start with a time of singing as people entered the morning service, followed by a devotional period. This short time before Sunday school or 11AM services it serves as an appetizer and whets our appetite to the things of God again. It is therefore important that the devotional leader spend time preparing thoughts that will inspire us and cause us to hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Webster’s gives this definition for devotional: “a short worship service.” Devotions at church should be just that—a mini worship service inside of the complete worship service. It should be a brief time focusing on Bible reading and inspiration.

Devotions is a time of worship. Worship is the feeling of love and respect that we have toward God. It renews our desire to rise above the trials and temptations of this world and continue to feed our spiritual man.

The psalmist calls us to worship in Psalm 95:6-7. “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” This scripture also tells us why we should worship. God is our sole provider. When we realize how utterly dependent on God we are, our natural response will be one of worship.

We also worship God because he is holy. “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psa 29:2).

The task of a devotional leader is a simple one. It is to call us to worship. It is his job to inspire us; to take us from the cares of this life and point us to God. He needs to help us forget the bills that need to be paid or clothes that need to be mended, and cause us instead to begin thinking about our mighty God.

The devotional is a wonderful opportunity for the laity to take part in leading the congregation in worship. It is a way for us brethren to assist in our ministry’s responsibilities. The devotional is also a great time to get some of the younger and older brethren involved. It is a blessing to see young men rise to the challenge of preparing a devotional for the first time. And it is always special, of course, to hear from the wise and experienced among us.

As a devotional leader, prepare by reading your Bible and meditating. Many times something that has inspired you in your personal devotions will make an excellent springboard for a devotional. A story or poem may be acceptable to help you develop your topic, but it should not be the main focus. It is acceptable to use a topic that relates to the Sunday school lesson, but be especially careful not to cover any ground that the Sunday school teacher may want to cover in class.

Be original. It is more inspiring to hear about what blessed you from the Bible than what your Life application Bible says about the verses you read. Also remember that to lead the congregation in worship they will need to be able to hear you. Speak up. Make sure that you speak to your audience and not to the floor or podium.
Keep it brief. You are not serving the main course, just the appetizer.

Hopefully, when we come to church it is because we already have an appetite. We are hungry. We are thirsty. We have come to find food. In the devotions, we begin partaking of the divine Bread and drinking the Living Water that can satisfy the hunger pangs in our souls. If, however, we come to church with no strong appetite for God’s food, the devotions should awaken our senses and help us to anticipate the feast that God has prepared for us.

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