A New Year – A Renewed Focus

I grew up spiritually in a coffeehouse. We didn’t have the recourses of the typical local church, nor were we focused on duplicating what hundreds of other churches in our city did on a daily basis. We lived close to the inner city neighborhood in which we opened our doors, and as a result our ministry was directly shaped by the needs of those who wandered in the door on any given weekend.

When I left for college, I found another coffee house drop in ministry, and made it my part time home. Spending time in the Para church organization didn’t replace my home church membership. Each Sunday and many Wednesday’s I attended traditional service and bible study. But again, spending time in the evangelism-focused outlet of a coffee house ministry shaped my personal born again views. AT the heart of my new life in Christ, I was called to find unique gifts Christ had put in my heart and use them to build the Kingdom in what ever way God brought before me.

Last year, I did a series of articles on Trinity Church in Lansing, Mi. If you check their website (www.trinitywired.com) you will find this perspective distilled into 3 words. Discover – Develop – Deploy.

I love the graphics Trinity has used to illustrate this kingdom principle. A seek planted in the ground discovers its purpose as it spouts roots and pushes a tender leaf into the sky. As the plant develops, it finds both strength and resources to become that for which God created it. Finally, the plant drops its own seed, fruit, or flower as it deploys that which it has collected, duplicating itself for the blessing of others.

These three words capture the heart of this blog. We are new creatures in Christ, and in that new creation we have a new purpose to discover.

God calls each member of the body to contribute from the gifts God has given them, and in doing so we mature from spiritual seedlings into a vineyard from which God expects a harvest.

God has given us the ministry of reconciliation, to carry his redemptive message and revolutionary lifestyle to a dying world.

In this simple description are these quiet questions –

Have you discovered God’s new life?

What are you proactively, intentionally pursuing to develop his life and gifts within yourself?

Where are you called to deploy? Are you following, and obeying his call on your life?

Jesus said in John 17.3: Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

This is our gift as we receive new life in Christ Jesus. This is our call to bring the knowledge of Christ to the world.

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2 Responses

  1. Tim, as you know my husband and I left our conventional church ministry jobs a little over a year ago to pursue a coffee house ministry (http://www.javajourney.org) because we saw the venue’s value in reaching people who would not normally enter a church. It’s great to hear your experience as well.

    As of this writing we are still trying to launch the coffee shop part. The current economic down turn has shut the lid on start up business lending, but the ministry aspect (we are meeting in our home) seems to be picking up. God appears to be drawing people together who have a heart for the hurting.

    Through out this whole ordeal, the main lesson we have learned is that it’s not so much the outcome as the process that matters to God. He merely wants our obedience. Each day we ask, “what are you telling us to do for you?” It keeps life interesting and is growing our faith by leaps and bounds.

  2. Absolutely. AS we are faithful to sow, plant, work the ground and be stewards over the little part of the world that God put us into, God is the one who brings the increase.

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