christ-centered community, christ-less community

Thanks for reading our fall update!  A real quick word about us- we hope to be moving down the freeway to Sauk Centre this December and the first month of being bivocational church planters is in the bag!  Anna and I have been convicted to be in prayer on Wednesday nights 9pm-9:30pm, so if you’d like to pray with us for His Spirit to direct, lead and empower His mission please facebook me, Jeff Pankratz, or email me at cmcmovement@gmail.com.  The math teaching job at Sauk Centre High School is going marvelous, and the Lord is building some great relationships.  One of our teachers friends is now in my mens discipleship group on Monday mornings, and Anna has been invited into a womens fellowship group…all is good!

We have made some great initial contacts with friends from Osakis and Sauk Centre to gather to make disciples, and also groups in Fargo, Carlos/Miltona, and some new contacts in Brandon who are interested in gathering together to make followers of Jesus in their own cities.  Thursdays Jeff plans on traveling down to St Cloud to continue connections there, as there are some great friendships forming around the gospel there in the city, and beginning to merge into a network that would want to see simple gospel ministry and churches formed.  Pray for Jeff’s friend he will speak with this Thursday, that Jeff would just listen and love on this man with Jesus’ heart.

The title of this post eludes to an article and video on ABC.com I just watched titled “A Godless Service coming to a church near you” http://abcnews.go.com/US/sunday-assembly-godless-service-coming-church/story?id=20421596

I would encourage you to watch it, and learn from it.  Learn and listen from their story of why they do what they do.  What turned off this couple to typical church and Christianity as a system?  Why did they have a ‘crisis of faith’ and empathize with people like this.  Why?  When we listen to people’s stories, without judging things too quickly, we enter their own world as Jesus did, and meaningfully can love and address the core things of the heart.  The gospel begins with GO, so let’s go to all of our friends, neighbors, and co-workers, listening to their own stories before being too quick to share ours and Jesus’ story.

As we intentionally enter the lives of the people around us, as Jesus did, we are seeing so many opportunities to listen, pray, serve and even share the awesome Gospel message we have been entrusted with.  As we invite people into true community with us and our Jesus-centered gatherings, people see the true essence of what church is- Jesus-followers that actually care for one another and show the Gospel!

Thank you for praying that those living lives without Jesus Christ, would be won to Jesus by His grace and truth poured out through His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave.  It is the Fathers immense love for sinners like me, and His intense hatred for sin, that compelled Him to crush His only Son in our place.  Lets be filled by His Spirt with joy and amazement at How amazing our Father God is, and how awesome our coming King Jesus will be in the clouds one day soon!

 

Why do we think we can do counseling, without the True Counselor?

Could we gather together, and sharpen others who have a heart to truly care for people’s souls in biblical counseling?

Read the post and scroll to the bottom for course information this fall-

“Were going to counseling.”  Those words sometimes strike shame in peoples hearts, who admit they need help.  In our culture and age, those words are often seen as negative because of what ‘counseling’ is.  No one truly wants to ‘go to counseling’ but we all would admit we need help in this life to sort ourselves out…all of us would admit we need ‘counselors’.  The Scriptures called Jesus a ‘Wonderful Counselor’ (Isaiah 9:6).  We should not feel shame for wanting a Counselor, or His wonderful counseling…instead, dont we all need this kind of counseling every day? Every hour?  The early church was committed to the Way of Jesus in sherpherding, caring, and counseling people. They were committed to the way Jesus did things, and they didn’t need any other way.  They had the Holy Spirit as their ‘counselor’ or ‘comforter’ or ‘helper’ (John 14:26), and they ministered in His power as they waited on the Lord in prayer for themselves and others.  Counseling was done in the community of the churches, not by paid professionals, but people gifted to shepherd and care for people needing help through life’s challenges.

Pastor, author and speaker Paul David Tripp has a great little video on the topic, and the important of the centrality of the gospel in counseling others.  vimeo.com/24837839

Register here to Join us for a course offering this fall, hosted by Antioch School and Central MN Church Movement, called “Shepherding, Counseling and the Early Church”.  We will gather with other developing and current ministry leaders from various walks of life, Tue nights 7-8:45pm beginning September 24th and going through Dec 17th.  Registration deadline next Tuesday!