1 Corinthians 3:1-11
- Paul has a deep personal relationship with this Church
- Acts 18 – a watershed in Paul’s life when he met this people
- In Corinth they threw the Gospel back in his face so he moved into an area knowing why he had been called there and what God wanted him to do
- When the Gospel is preached, Churches are planted
- About 120 churches represented here today
Looking at being more effective by planting Churches
When I was 24, we planted a Church and poured everything we knew into this but I was burned out. I contacted Jim Larmont and i told him my story. I started walking with NCMI. They took us to a lead elders time and not one person asked us how big our church was. God said, “Your inheritance lies with these people”. Then they told us about the Bloem LTT. Dudley said, “The least of you will be 1000.” God spoke into my heart and put so much faith in me. He will give us the resources. God is for us in this endeavor.
1. Don’t make much of the personalities and the gifts that God uses as His servants
- We cannot ‘make things happen’
- We are different in function and we all sand the same
2. Each has an assigned task
- The work is more important than the worker
- No Christian is mature until they are effective
- When fruit is mature it is useful. Even if fruit looks good but is not mature, it is useless
- We have been given an assigned task
- Our job is to help people find what their assigned task is
- Spectators always become commentators
- When each is faithful, we come to a maturity and we see the life of God flowing
3. Understand planting and watering
- Two different skills
- Don’t spring up overnight – not rent a crowd
- Every church requires planting and watering
- Planters: A mental, emotional and spiritual toughness. Back breaking. Done in the heat of the day. Often doesn’t feel that productive. Often not much fruit to be seen. Helps to be well tested. Stickability. Not often a dreamer. He is a worker. It takes preparation. Planters of what? Planters of the Word as God opens doors to us.
- Waterers: Are essential for the survival and the health and the seed that will become fruit. They know where to get water. “From within you streams of living water will flow…” Our ministry should always be on the up. People should always feel refreshed around us. Majority are waterers. Planters need waterers to follow.
4. Only God is anything
- We must make much of God
- We relate to God, to each other, to creation
- When people want to find God, they must come to us, not to CNA or the New Age section in bookshops
- Life is a Person – Jesus
- We need to make much of God
5. Each will be rewarded according to his labour
- You’ve never seen a farmer looking for a harvest if he hasn’t planted seed
- What are we supposed to be labouring at? Missional and Relational. From our first meeting we must be relational and missional.
- It is to plant communities into communities to be the salt and the light
- It starts with a willingness that says, “Only God can do this.”
- A fresh exciting wave of church planting is coming over us
- I had all the skills: I didn’t know how, where, what it’s about and never read a book about church planting
- Great to talk about it until you do it
6. You are God’s field, God’s building
- Field: The people of Corinth could look down on their fields and know that the purpose is to produce fruit
- Growth is bearing fruit to become like Jesus by being with Jesus
- It was religious people who persecuted Jesus. It was the world who wanted to be with Him
- Minister to them from where they are at – the thought of coming to Church will freak them out
- Building: that houses His Spirit and His glory
- Ezekiel 47:5-12
- A place where those who are hungry can find food, and the godless find God
- House his presence (building) and feed the hungry (field)
7. By the grace God gave me
- God has equipped all of us for something, all of us.
- A divine enabling to work hard and resist ungodliness
- Some questions I can ask: What are my tasks? What are my parameters? What should my diary look like? How will I equip myself for what God has called me to? Who am I bringing through?
8. Jesus, the foundation already laid
- The foundation sets the tone for what the building is going to look like
- John 11 – John tells us of when Lazarus died. We need a foundation of the love for people who are spiritually dead
- Jesus was deeply moved. He was troubled. And Jesus wept.
- Deeply moved: To snort like a horse, anger, resentment of sin
- Troubled: Agitated, unsettling. We are not called to be ‘hip’. We need to own the burden of God
- Wept: Burst into tears, spontaneously, felt with them. We are there to show them the way out. We are there to rescue people
I feel God is planting seeds in us over these days. And the seed he has planted, He wants to water.
What is God saying to you and I?
You will never walk alone.
Personal Evangelism: Releasing a culture of evangelism in the Church
- If we don’t see people saved, then we’re dead and gone. Who will come after us?
- Two types of people who get nervous when it comes to evangelism; believers and un-believers
- Every day is a day of grace to speak of Jesus’ love
- The most effective tool for winning lost people is a trained, empowered, excited and enthusiastic priesthood
- The church often reflects a rugby game: 30 guys on the field desperately needing a rest, and 30,000 people in the stands desperately needing exercise
- “Do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5)
- Within 8 years, most believers have no real connection and relationship with the lost
- If we want to get involved in the community, get involved in the community! Don’t start a Christian photography club, “The happy snappers”. Get involved in a photography club
- We have to keep our people so busy, that they don’t have time to sin!
- More than 90% of Christians will NEVER lead someone to Christ
- Two things that shape us: Our theology and language
A Theology for Sustained Evangelism
1. Must understand what the word of God days about the lost
The word ‘lost’ in scripture relates to dying, not just that they don’t know where they’re going.
Strong’s Definition: those living under the sentence of death; declaring that one must be out to death
- This is not just the next best thing, or gimmick. This is how God describes the lost
- The Bible denies “I am waiting
- We wait for a stirring then we go. The Bible says, “Go and I will stir you!”
- We have to see their lives, see their struggles, their battles
- You have to say, “I am going to involved myself with sinners”
- 2. Must know what the word of God says about death
- Physical (Heb 9:27)
- Eternal death (finalization of spiritual death)
If you come to your physical death while you are spiritually dead, you remain separated from Christ.
God has continued to raise up deliver leaders and He is still looking for them today.
Story of Terry and his friend Grant who were rescued from the sea by a stranger, who went through great effort.
It is going to take great effort!
Why did you do it? Lenny said, “I could not bear to hear the screams of the wounded and dying.”
3. Must know what the word says about the resurrection.
- Christ is the pattern and the proof of the resurrection
- Our bodies, physically will be before God
- Those who don’t know Christ are thrown into the lake of fire, in their physical bodies
- I had religious education at school, grew up in South Africa where most people have at least heard of Jesus but it was only when I went to India, that God really gripped my heart for the lost
- We need to teach our people about the lost, then we don’t have to motivate them to bring their lost friends to Church. They will do it on their own
1. God is a story teller.
- If you or I wrote the Bible, it would be a book of lists. Do this and don’t do that. We are in danger of reducing God to a formula. There are no “7 steps to a happy marriage”.
- God is not a God of lists or formulas. He is relational. He wants His story to be told through our story. In our struggles, the Lord has been with us and people need to hear this.
- The lost need to hear our testimonies. I have even used my boy’s name which is Blue to reach the lost. God will use anything we give to Him! God wants our story out.
- Our story is not the Gospel, but my story can build a bridge, open a door to a place where I can share the Gospel with somebody. The Good News is still good news!
2. A quick Gospel presentation
- God: an individual has value because God has given it to him. It is in every single man, even though it’s distorted. He still has a father in Heaven even though he may be ‘eating with the pigs’ like the prodigal son.
- Man: all men have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.
- Jesus: Went to the cross for our imperfection. God took our sin and threw it as far as the East is from the West. North to South is measurable. East to West is immeasurable. I want my sin an immeasurable distance from me. And he chooses to remember it no more. God has got a divine ‘forgettery’. He CHOOSES to remember it no more. This is Good News! It is covenantal language, not contractual. “Father forgive them!” Covenant is “if you never, I will”.
- Response: God calls men everywhere to respond, to acknowledge the sacrifice of Jesus and their Lord and Saviour
Greek word in Luke 19:10
for salvation, same word as the issue of the woman with blood, he proclaims over her, “Your faith has made you WHOLE”. Saved and whole is the same word. Greek: Sozo
: which means saved, healed, delivered.
Historians have rated Paul as one of the top 10 minds in history. If anyone could come with wise and persuasive words it would have been Paul. If you can talk them into it, they can be talked out of it. When someone gets saved, we can trust for healing, deliverance, salvation. All three!
“Preach the gospel, by the Holy Spirit sent down from Heaven.”
Introductory points: (Ashley Bell)
- Asking God, “What does our future look like?”
- We are going somewhere. The promises of God define our future
- Let’s remind ourselves of what God has been saying over the years, and the last few days
- By His grace and mercy God has chosen to partner with imperfect people
- We cannot assume that everyone knows our history, our values. These need to be massaged and re-taught
Ashley Bell, Mike Hanchett & Tyrone Daniel:
QUESTION & ANSWERS:
- Go beyond the normal, moderation
- What we are part of will not become an institution
How important is it that we don’t become an institution?
- Tyrone: We have fought many battles not to become an denomination or institution. We’ve been called one. We don’t fight them but God has not called us to be one. NCMI is simply a Church. There are no NCMI churches. Have to stay true to what God has called us to. Churches relate to the TEAM not to NCMI. Relational.
How important is it to you, that we be a people mindful and need the Holy Spirit?
- Mike: If Jesus needed the presence of the HS, how much more do we need Him? Look at Jesus’ relationship to the HS in Luke 3-4. What has begun in the HS, don’t let it end in the flesh. Jesus moved through the power of the Holy Spirit. Look at Paul: His encounter was by the HS. Talks about the 3rd heaven, paradise. God speaking to him inexplicable things; speaking in tongues. We are just scratching the surface. We need His Spirit to fulfill the task.
How do we Equip people to disciple?
- Mike: Jesus’ ministry was very prophetic. Many times He was called a Prophet. He is the head, we are His body. We are called to be prophetic. We need the prophetic mantle to accomplish all that God wants us to. What made Abraham a prophet? He heard God and he did what God called Him to do. Just obey the Father.
How do you see challenge and sacrifice impacting us?
- Tyrone: The great commission is what Jesus left us to do. If we see this, we will be willing to go wherever! I believe some may die for the Gospel. What about the regions nobody has gone to? Fear. Mission will not get us there. Jesus will. We must not forget about the King of this great commission. God said that we will send people to regions where they’ll never come back from. God needs to send you, not us, not NCMI. God. The great commission is not our brand. We are gripped by Jesus, the King of the great commission. Stop inventing the Church. God invented the Church. We’ve messed it up, not Him. We need intervention, not invention. We cannot reach the new regions in old ways.
How do you see the office of the Prophet working in our future?
- Mike: They put on their pants one leg at a time just like you. Ephesians 2:20. Paul declared that the prophets are the scum of the Earth. People have elevated the prophet. We need to lead and display the fullness of all God has for His people. We will see prophetic people going together breaking open nations.
The role of the Apostle?
- Tyrone: Many of us are trying to be someone God hasn’t called us to be. It was Jesus who gave SOME to be Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. NCMI are not an apostolic prophetic team. We have an apostolic prophetic heart. An Ephesians 4 type heart. We want humility in the Church. (Ephesians 4:11-13) Foundation is Jesus and the Kingdom. Every office centered around the King. God calls the foolish, the unwise. He calls those who will not take the glory, pointing people to Jesus. They are Christ centered gifts. Christ exalting gifts.
- Mike: We have to be anchored and grounded in Jesus. We have not seen the magnitude of what God wants to do. We cannot be caught up by the flash of these things. Jesus must be our focus.
Where does or should Jesus ‘fit in’ our desire to be a conquering Church?
- Tyrone: Jesus has to be the central theme and focus to EVERYTHING we do! Releasing leaders, church planting, all centered around Jesus. Angels right now are worshipping Jesus. The elders are worshipping Jesus. Worship centered around Jesus. The Father exalted Him and so should we. Matthew 16 – Who do people say that I am? First we see who Jesus is, then we see who we are. Don’t tag Jesus on in your meetings. Everything. Focus on Jesus in your worship.
There is a tendency today to borrow someone else’s revelation. How does the Church look at revealed knowledge of God?
- Mike: He wants to do it ALL the time. There is such a lack of preparation. We sit at His feet and He reveals His heart, His mind to us. God either speaks or reveals before people can respond. In God’s presence He heals, refreshes, heals, binds up the broken… Moses said he wouldn’t go anywhere if God didn’t go with him. God is everywhere but when we come together, we ask, “God, manifest your presence here!” If we see God working, then go there.
How different today should we be doing things today?
- Tyrone: Difference between ancient truths and ancient ways. God wants to take the old truths and make them new. Old truths and bring them into our future. At times we’ve let go of ancient truths and have nothing left to hold onto. South Africans cannot embrace and American culture. We have to embrace a Kingdom culture. I will not tell you how to do things where you are in different places. Take ancient truths and apply them to your context. We stick to the Word of God and not to some manual. God is not done with older people. Don’t step back, step aside for the newer generation. We have to in God learnt to celebrate the skinny jeans, mohawk generation… Embrace how God has made them. Be who God has called you to be. Business people are plan A in God’s plan. Church planting is taking a whole new role in the Kingdom.