Where Is God Leading Us?
I would like to offer a few thoughts for us to consider.
We are part of the connected family:
Pueblo Light and Life is part of the Free Methodist Church USA (fmcusa.org):
Mission and Vision: Love God. Love People. Make Disciples.
To bring wholeness to the world through healthy biblical communities of holy people multiplying disciples, leaders, groups and churches.
Pueblo Light and Life is part of The River Conference (theriverconference.org):
[states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, western Oregon, Texas, Utah, western Washington, Wyoming]
Values: Love God and Love our neighbors as ourselves
Vision: to bring hope of God’s Kingdom to earth by being the hands of Jesus. Our Vision encompasses 5 intentional means: Spiritual, Educational, Medical, Ecological /Agricultural, Economic Development
Mission: To be convergence of God’s graced cascading to: Make Disciples, Mobilize Leaders, Meet Human Needs, and Multiple Churches (locally, nationally, globally)
Pueblo Light and Life Free Methodist Church (pueblolightandlife.com):
Mission: Go make disciples through relational discipleship-making.
Vision: Reach this generation of people through real, relevant, relational, respectful relationships. (Built around intentional small groups of disciples who multiple and make disciples)
Real = authentic without facades (life is not always “perfect”)
Relevant = we understand the post-christian context we are living in
Relational = connected to each other
Respectful = we recognize that the Holy Spirit demands us to love not only one another but the stranger
Relationships = just as we are in relationship with Jesus, Jesus asks, even demands us to be in relationship with not only other sojourners in the Kingdom but those not yet in relationship with Jesus.
How do we do it?
Discipleship though TRIADs-
- They are gender specific (men Triads, women Triads)
- They covenant to a specific process and timeframe (If someone does not want to commit, they share it and step away. No one looks at them negatively. And the others time is not wasted reviewing what was already reviewed / discussed / learned.)
- The process includes:
- Meeting weekly at a predetermined time and location for at least 1 hour.
- Praying for each other in the TRIAD, their families, the community of faith, the leadershp of the community of faith during the week and during the TRIAD gathering.
- Pray for three people who do not know Jesus, that the members sense the Holy Spirit is leading them to invite into a TRIAD.
- Read one (1) or two (2) chapter/s of a specific book of the Bible daily for the week.
- Review and discuss what the chapter/s says to the TRIAD.
- Review and discuss what the Holy Spirit is saying to each member.
- Ask the question, “How are you doing Spiritually this week?”
- Ask the question, “How is your family / relationship life doing?”
- The TRIAD is shared leadership. Each week a difference member leads the process. This is intentionally developing leadership
- After a period of nine (9) to twelve (12) months the TRIAD will multiple into three TRIADS. One original TRIAD member adds two (2) new TRIAD members.
- This is the heart of multiplication – disciples making disciples who make disciples
- TRIAD members participate in four (4) community of faith TRIAD events in which we celebrate a life of discipleship together and learn what it means to walk in faith in a broader connected way.
Discipleship through SMALL GROUPs-
(currently we have groups that meet weekly or monthly. The functions vary depending on the gathering)
- Adult Sunday School (weekly)
- JOY – women’s group (monthly – 9 months)
Discipleship through prayer and PRAYER TEAM/s-
(Currently we have one (1) prayer team that meets)
- Weekly gathering that meets for an hour to pray
- Specifically pray for Lord’s leading
- Specific pray for those items prayer list
Discipleship through meaningful cultural relevant WORSHIP-
(Currently we meet for 1 hour each Sunday Morning)
- Worship Through Fellowship
- Worship Through Tithes and Offerings
- Worship in Song
- Worship In Prayer
- Worship In Song and Video
- Worship In Scripture
- Worship in Word
- Sharing The Lord’s Supper (not every Sunday)
- Worship in Song
- Being Sent
THE BODY OF CHRIST
A person in pastoral leadership recognizes the importance of the Body of Christ. For far too long, the pastors and people have seen the role of pastor as a “hired gun” who does the work of the church. I would challenge us to see the pastor as a leader who equips the “saints” for works of service.
God gifts leaders differently for different seasons. Looking Biblically, leaders (both clergy and lay) are gifted as Apostle, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers.
To borrow from Alan Hirsch’s work on the APEST here are his descriptions:
- APOSTLES extend the gospel. As the “sent ones,” they ensure that the faith is transmitted from one context to another and from one generation to the next. They are always thinking about the future, bridging barriers, establishing the church in new contexts, developing leaders, networking trans-locally. Yes, if you focus solely on initiating new ideas and rapid expansion, you can leave people and organizations wounded. The shepherding and teaching functions are needed to ensure people are cared for rather than simply used.
- PROPHETS know God’s will. They are particularly attuned to God and his truth for today. They bring correction and challenge the dominant assumptions we inherit from the culture. They insist that the community obey what God has commanded. They question the status quo. Without the other types of leaders in place, prophets can become belligerent activists or, paradoxically, disengage from the imperfection of reality and become other-worldly.
- EVANGELISTS recruit. These infectious communicators of the gospel message recruit others to the cause. They call for a personal response to God’s redemption in Christ, and also draw believers to engage the wider mission, growing the church. Evangelists can be so focused on reaching those outside the church that maturing and strengthening those inside is neglected.
- SHEPHERDS nurture and protect. Caregivers of the community, they focus on the protection and spiritual maturity of God’s flock, cultivating a loving and spiritually mature network of relationships, making and developing disciples. Shepherds can value stability to the detriment of the mission. They may also foster an unhealthy dependence between the church and themselves.
- TEACHERS understand and explain. Communicators of God’s truth and wisdom, they help others remain biblically grounded to better discern God’s will, guiding others toward wisdom, helping the community remain faithful to Christ’s word, and constructing a transferable doctrine. Without the input of the other functions, teachers can fall into dogmatism or dry intellectualism. They may fail to see the personal or missional aspects of the church’s ministry.
For Pastor Mark W Douglas : : the Spirit has gifted him as Apostle and Teacher with a bit of Prophet thrown in for good measure. That is why it is important for him to surround himself with people who have primary gifting in the areas of Prophet, Evangelist, and Shepherds.