Thursday, November 5, 2015

2015 Thriving Frequency Conference | Restoring the Breaches by Knowing Life in the City and Praying for Spiritual Formation

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Kingdom Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities

Thriving Frequency 2015 | Restoring the Breaches

Pastor Curtis Dunlap and Rev. Charlie Dates

I have loved every Thriving event I've had the privilege to attend. Posts from the 2013 Thriving Summit and the 2014 Thriving Frequency conference can be found on this website. And here are the previous posts from the 2015 Thriving Conference: 

2015 Thriving Frequency Conference | Worship Sets Song Lyrics

2015 Thriving Frequency Conference | Restoring the Breaches by Focusing on Jesus and Connecting with God

2015 Thriving Frequency Conference | Restoring the Breaches by Being Rescued from Ourselves and Giving Ministry Away 

The following posts will feature notes from some of the sessions I was able to attend. For an overall video review of this conference, check out the video Thriving Frequency 2015 Recap. I have a small cameo at the 3:36 mark.

Restoring the Breaches | Knowing Life in the City

Pastor Curtis Dunlap

Epiphany Fellowship Church

Philadelphia, PA

Nehemiah 1-4

When we care enough to ask what is broken in our community and why, we also need to remember that we aren't going to change anything just because we care. When was the last time you got on your knees and fasted and prayed for your city? Do you ask God for:

A spiritual and emotional burden for the people that moves you to speak and act?

A growing hunger to have regular and disciplined times of prayer and fasting on behalf of the people?

An understanding that your ministry with Jesus to the city is not just for the city, but also for your growth in the Gospel?

Nehemiah 1:6-7 | See yourself in the city as we/us, not them/they. Identify if you contribute to any of the negative ideologies that exist.

Nehemiah 2:2-5 | We need to get out of our comfort zones and prayerfully risk some things. Let your burdens be known to the people who have the power to help change the conditions of the city. Ask for resources to help them do this even if they may be the people who have contributed to the plight.

Nehemiah 2:10; 5:1-13 | Minimize both internal and external distractions. There will be people who will oppose the work you have come to do. There will be issues that arise internally that have the potential to compromise the mission. We need to clarify and keep priorities with a clear mission and effective strategy.

Nehemiah 4:10-12 | Identify where the breaches exist. We need to get out and walk our neighborhoods with Jesus, praying and seeing:

What is the climate of my city? Of my communities? Of my neighborhood?
What are the issues being talked about the most?
Who is being impacted by the biggest issues in the city?

We need to ask our questions with the people who live in the city. What are the issues with the Church? Is there understanding of the Gospel? Where are the areas of tension? We need to identity the issues from those who have lived in the city for a long time. We need both outsider and indigenous perspectives.

When you're among the people of the city, you'll hear the complaints and the needs. Be astute. Be authentic. Be available. 
Be affirming of where you see God at work.

People are never connected to the Church until they start to serve the Church. People are never connected to the Missio Dei until they join the Missio Dei. Are you fishing with a pole or with a net? Are you willing to catch all that God brings in?

Restoring the Breaches | Praying for Spiritual Formation

Life, ministry, and wherever we are and whatever we're doing needs to be handled with prayer. In any moment in life, we can pray. Our problem is we try to live life standing up instead of on our knees before the Creator and King.

Believers in Jesus, when we pray, we never pray alone. The Spirit of God makes it possible that our words are heard and interpreted for God not only to receive, but renew, and answer with all the love and power He provides.

Creation groans for our redemption. 
The Spirit groans for our rescue.

Even when we don't know what to pray for or how to pray, when we step out in faith to pray, the Holy Spirit aids us in our uncertainty. We have reason to hope because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in us. Suffering is a fact of living. But we do not lose hope. The scale of suffering does not have the weight of glory.

"God does not have any adult children. In our weakness, we understand the strength of God" (W.T. Glenn). 

But we can be strengthened. Even though there is certainty in our insufficiency, there is certainty in the Spirit's sufficiency. The answer to our weakness is God Himself. God sent His Word and His Spirit to work out communication with us Himself. 

The Spirit searches our hearts and Jesus intercedes for us in accordance with the will of Father.

– Sully

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