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An Effective Model for 21st Century Discipleship

An Effective Model for 21st Century Discipleship

Jesus showed us how to do church and small groups

Jesus modeled discipleship in a very personal and relational way without any sign of complexity. The Messiah called each disciple through a personal invitation. He only used simple words that opened the doors to a transformed life to everyone whom he invited.  

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him

 “Follow Me” are two simple words that are very clear and personal. Jesus did not say, “come to me and follow me only if you do this thing or if you know that doctrine.” He did not invite people to come and join his causes or the principles he believed in. Rather, Jesus said, “Follow ‘Me.’” Jesus called out his first disciples to a relationship with him. This simple invitation of Jesus should remain the same for all generations.  

21st Century Church

Discipleship in the 21st Century should follow the way Jesus modeled it. It must first and foremost begin with a clear and compelling invitation. Moreover, there is something more to discipleship than just the invitation. Phil Stevenson describes the invitation of Jesus as clear, consistent, and challenging.  

When Jesus invited Peter and Andrew, they left their nets at once and immediately followed Jesus. They had to let go of what they already had to discover what could be there in Jesus. In contrast, Jesus extended the same invitation to a wealthy man who had so many possessions to let go of, so he responded to the invitation by holding on to what he owns and knows at the expense of living the unknown with Jesus.

As it was in the 1st Century, so it is in the 21st Century; Jesus is inviting us to respond to the opportunity extended by Jesus to follow him. Those who respond set out on the path of discipleship, following the way Jesus modeled it to them.    

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Why Your Church Needs a Small Group Ministry?

Reasons for Establishing a Small Group Ministry

In his article, “10 Reasons Why Your Church Should Have Small Groups”, Daniel Threlfall identifies the importance of small groups. First on his list is that small groups foster close relationships and basic community. A small group atmosphere is good for establishing friendships since individuals tend to talk more in small groups.  

The second is that small groups provide a comfortable environment to welcome nonbelievers to the Christian faith.

A natural and understandable fear common among us is fear in forming relationships, especially if it involves sharing our faith and beliefs with other people.

However, inviting someone to a small group meeting provides a way to involve a nonbeliever in the church. A nonbeliever is more likely to ask questions, get answers, and form relationships with a small group of believers. Thus, small groups can be a powerful missional tool, allowing for the greater spread of the gospel among nonbelievers in the community.  

Third, small groups provide a good way to care for the needs of people within the church.

When a small group member is struggling, it is much easier for the other group members to notice. They can already provide assistance. The structure of a small group is essentially a community of friends of the same faith. As a result, friends are meant to help one another, especially if they are friends in Christ.  

Fourth, small groups allow Christians to live out their faith instead of becoming churchgoers and mere Gospel listeners.

Since members discuss the Sunday preaching, talk about their personal and spiritual battles, and/or pray for one another during meetings, small groups provide a setting for Christians to live out their faith.  

Fifth on Threlfall’s list is that small groups provide focused prayer for one another.

Threlfall noted that in a small group meeting, each of the present people took a few minutes to tell others about their particular challenges or concerns. Then, as soon as one is finished, the person next to him will take some time to pray for him. Small groups are a great place for prayer meetings.  

Sixth, small groups offer a comfortable atmosphere for openness.

One admirable thing about small groups is that members often meet in the comfort of their homes, where people can open up, listen, learn, and grow. Threlfall pointed out that this is the same with the first disciples of Jesus who are meeting in houses or being part of a household.  

Seventh, small groups allow for mutual edification among believers.

Believers tend to depend upon the leaders for spiritual food and nourishment easily. However, the Scripture states otherwise, for God also gives spiritual gifts to all believers, not just to the preachers and leaders. The whole church benefits from it.

Every Christian should minister to other Christians with their gifts, and this happens most naturally, effectively, and purposefully within small groups.   

Eight, small groups encourage better learning.

Listening to a Sunday preaching is a great way to learn the Word, but it is easy to become detached from the message, making us passive listeners. This is not the case within a small group. As a few people gather together, every individual is expected to be involved and to participate. Active involvement is an effective way to learn better.  

Ninth, small groups are a source of encouragement and accountability.

It is easy to go in and out of the church and not be noticed. This is common with megachurches, but it also happens in an average-sized church of 100 or 150 attendees.

People come for each Sunday service but do not get themselves involved. These individuals need accountability in their lives, encouragement in their walk with God, and/or help in some way in which small groups can provide.  

Lastly, small groups cultivate leadership within the church.

Someone is necessary to lead a small group meeting or at least facilitate the discussion. Thus, there is a need for leaders other than the pastor. Small groups provide opportunities for leadership development among members within the church.

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Highlight: Beware of the Birds

Highlight: Beware of the Birds

God is the Sower. Ultimately, nothing grows if He did not plant it. He uses people to establish His purposes. Most of the time, He can use you to share the Gospel with your friend. However, it’s also only God who can make things grow. 

Sometimes, we are the field by which God sows things. Unfortunately, there are times when we become the birds who snatch away the good that God has planted in the hearts of others.

Who are the Birds?

The church can attract different sets of people. Sometimes, the people are like the birds in the parable of Jesus.

Jesus uses these parables to warn us. There would be members of the church who can steal or kill or destroy what God has been doing. The enemy is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Every Christian must be vigilant. In fact, even Christians can be stirred in the wrong direction and become birds at one point in their lives.

Some people may also take advantage of the church community. They become members not because of their faith but because they want to be served. They want to benefit from belonging to the church. However, since there is no genuine repentance and Lordship in their lives, it ends up in chaos. Church leaders must be vigilant that “birds” do not steal the seed that has been planted for the church to grow. Birds snatch up the seed. They steal the seed so they cannot take root and bloom.

As true believers, we can take comfort in the fact that we can ask for wisdom from God. We must be careful to weed out such people so that they don’t steal away the fruits that have the potential to grow in our lives. God can sow a prophetic word in your heart, but birds (fear or doubt) can snatch them away. Nevertheless, birds have a purpose in the story.

Jesus still allowed the presence of Judas Iscariot as one of his chosen twelve even when he knew that Judas was bound to betray him (Jn. 6:70). This shows us that Jesus, in fact, allows or permits evil to coexist with good under his sovereignty and use it for his purposes. 

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

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Highlight: The Mustard Seed

Seed: In the last post, we talked about how it is crucial to plant good soil for the seed to grow.  Sometimes, we are the farmer who can sow seeds of the Gospel in the hearts of others when we interact with them. In other times, we are the field by which God Himself sow greatness. In both cases, if the soil of the field is hard, nothing will grow.

The Mustard Seed

Scholars note that it is odd to call a mustard a tree. The fact is it’s only grown to be a shrub. Jesus certainly did not make a mistake in his word choice. The people who were listening to him understood that mustard seeds don’t really grow into trees.

This metaphor implies that a mustard seed growing into a tree is unnatural and could not happen if agricultural laws apply.  

If you notice this, you’ll see Jesus’ warnings. There will be many churches and Christians that seem to grow unnaturally. While we can chalk this up to the supernatural grace of God, this can also mean that there are perversions in the way Christians and churches are produced.  Jesus wants to warn Christians about this unnatural way of being.

Shrub vs. Tree Potential

A shrub differs from a tree.  In the same way, the Holy Spirit develops a true Christian. This individual will differ from one who has a superficial faith. The Christian can live and make decisions by the grace of God. Conversely, the other who claims to be Christian is only borne out of good works and trivial human effort. Somehow, a part of us shrivels in discomfort when we enter a church or encounter a Christian that may appear God-honoring on the outside but is truly self-gratifying on the inside. Even the least discerning of us get uncomfortable around certain people because we know that the way they present themselves is fake and unnatural.  

The Lack of Authenticity in the Church

When watermelons grow naturally, they are oval in shape, full of seeds, and are covered by a green, striped outer skin. Yet these days, we will find watermelons that are square, seedless, and monochromic. These are unnatural, produced by the interference of human hands. While we enjoy eating a seedless watermelon for its convenience, watermelons were never really designed or created to be this way.

In the same way, some churches have become perverted when it comes to their doctrines, values, and objectives; thus, they take on a new nature – one that is not of God. They may identify as a church of Christ in the same way that the mustard tree is identified as something that stemmed from the mustard seed, but the way they present themselves and what makes them up differ. They grow because they placed their own hands in the process.  As a result, we will encounter churches with resounding accusations of secularism, manipulation, abuse, purposeful connection with authoritative figures to acquire power, and unnecessary extensive expenses on marketing and advertising.

 

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Breaking Down the Parable of the Mustard Seed

What does the mustard seed teach us?

Countless churches and Christians today look to the parable of the mustard seed. We must take cues from the values that Jesus was presenting to the early believers when he spoke of it.

Still, the parable has important facets that we can only understand if we have the same context and knowledge as the ones who initially heard it.

While most had come to understand and appreciate how the mustard seed was the smallest seed known when this parable was given, there are elements that we do not inherently know due to cultural differences.

Agriculture was an important topic for the listeners of Jesus. The listeners knew the specific traits and functions of the different kinds of seeds.

For instance, apart from the fact that the mustard seed was known for its size, its quality was also something that was to be noted. Apparently, it is also famous for being an irritant.

Should it touch a person’s skin, it can cause contact dermatitis. The place of contact will turn red and feel as if it is burning. In modern times, we mix it with vinegar, oils, wine. People need to mix other spices with it before the public can commercially consume the seed.

Small in size but with great potential

Legend tells us that when Darius, the king of Persia, invaded Europe with his army, he sent a bag of sesame seeds to Alexander the Great to symbolize that there are as many soldiers in his army as there are seeds in the bag. Stepping up to the plate, Alexander sent back a bag of mustard seeds to Darius as a way of saying that while their army may be many, his army is biting and fiery. Such was the case for the mustard seed – small in size but large in potential. 

 

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The Church Caters to the People

The Diverse Church 

Megachurch leaders designed today’s church ministries to cater to the needs of the particular context they are in.  As a result, they have a variety of congregations. The preaching style and the genre of worship music already vary within churches in a city.  For example, if we flesh out the details of their congregation, we will find stark differences in every church. However, megachurches have an advantage over other churches. They can cater to a wide array of needs due to their very nature.  

Social observers have time and again likened the megachurch to a shopping mall. The consumer-driven ministries are viewed as seasonal offerings. Consequently, you can liken them to specialized boutiques. People come in and out of the mall depending on what they need. 

On the other hand, people can think of the core ministries as anchor stores. Their existence continues to draw people to enter the church even if the need for seasonal offerings falls. This structure provides members a continuous supply of activities to suit their needs and tastes. Meanwhile, it also gives active volunteers the option to choose which particular ministry they want to serve. Therefore, in the megachurch, there is something for everyone. 

Ministries in the Traditional Church

The traditional church has a limited number of ministries, and perhaps the only art-based ministry they have is the choir. However, in the megachurch, people are given more opportunities to use their natural talents in the arts.

Aside from the music team, most megachurches also have dance troupes, video presentations, and interpretative dancing. Those gifted in making visual arts can use their talent to create posters for the weekly sermon and special events, and the painters create backdrops for the stage. Several churches are even known to do elaborate stage plays and musical performances during special events and holidays, involving the children doing Sunday school as they do. 

The weekly worship services held by the megachurch further prove the variety. While local churches only commonly hold a weekly Sunday service, megachurches conduct various services throughout the week to cater to different people and leanings. For instance, there will be Wednesday services for working young professionals, Friday evening services catered to the youth, Saturday prayer meetings, and Sunday services are separated by language for multi-racial congregations.

Worship styles can also differ as the worship team adjusts this based on the crowd they are serving. Overall gives people the option to choose a particular service and time that works best for them.  

Targetting Specific Groups

This also helps the megachurch narrow down their statistics and connect with their target groups of audience.

The youth attending Friday services will find it easier to know their crowd and make friends. In contrast, the internationals attending language-specific Sunday services will immediately feel a sense of belonging, thus making it easier for the leaders to reach out to them.

The singles ministry won’t have too much difficulty gathering people for relationship-themed training and events as most people are already together in one service.

In contrast, those who joined the dance troupe have an automatic set of acquaintances they have something in common with. 

Family-centered events such as Mothers’ Day Outs and game nights provide both parents and children the avenue to build relationships with their own age groups and life stages. Since the megachurch is large, the narrowed audiences per service and ministry provide the avenue not to make people feel as if the large overall congregation swallows them up. 

Interestingly enough, even with the apparent segregation of different cultures and life-stages to make people feel more like they belong, megachurches also excel in integrating these people and blending different social statuses, races, and life groups. As such, a megachurch experiences higher involvement and participation rates from its members than other churches.

There is the value given to volunteerism and social activity. Because the structure itself needs hundreds if not thousands of workers to function, even the non-committed members find themselves helping out. And eventually, it is through their volunteering that they become planted in the church even more. 

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

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RECEIVING THE PROPHETIC MANTLE

THE RESPONSE FOR THE CONTRIBUTIONS (EXODUS 35:21–29)

THE RESPONSE FOR THE CONTRIBUTIONS (EXODUS 35:21–29):

The response was excellent. The people immediately began bringing their contributions to Moses. Exodus 35 shows us that their hearts were stirred up, they were willing-hearted (Exo. 35:21-22, 26, 29). There were no gimmicks required. The instructions of God moved their hearts.

Târumah is given from nothing. God already provides what we are to give.

Like the Israelites, we are to give as we are enabled. Târumah is not given anything. God already provides what we are to give. God gives us the ability to give. You do not need to give anything that you do not already possess.

23-26  They came, both men and women, all the willing spirits among them, offering brooches, earrings, rings, necklaces—anything made of gold—offering up their gold jewelry to God.

Anyone who had blue, purple, and scarlet fabrics; fine linen; goats’ hair; tanned leather; and dolphin skins brought them.

Everyone who wanted to offer up silver or bronze as a gift to God brought it. Everyone who had acacia wood that could be used in the work brought it. All the women skilled at weaving brought their weavings of blue and purple and scarlet fabrics and they’re fine linens. And all the women who were gifted in spinning spun the goats’ hair. (Exodus 35: 23-26)

They already have these objects in their possession. God prepared them for the act of giving.

If you notice the verse above, they already had what they offered. They did not take the time to gather or save up for it first and did not have to go on an expedition to get these things. They already have these objects in their possession. God prepared them for the act of giving. They offered what God supplied.

 

Your weekly dose of prophetic wisdom and anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

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GROWING YOUR PROPHETIC GIFT

In every area of life, feedback from others is fundamentally needed to help us grow and develop our gifts and skills. There is a saying that goes, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions!” This is also true concerning our spiritual gifts of prophecy and discernment. At the end of the day, if we don’t know how to improve and sharpen our spiritual gifts — and the manner in which we use them — we will not reach our truest potential. It’s not that we are the source of these gifts, but it is that we’re the stewards of these gifts that we seek to grow them.

It’s not that we are the source of these gifts, but it is that we’re the stewards of these gifts that we seek to grow them.

Feedback is important because when we recognize and acknowledge our blind spots, we are able to address them. We can never identify our own blind spots. Moreover, we also learn from the wisdom of others who are already ahead of us on the journey. Our ability to communicate clearly to others what God has spoken to us is sharpened when we receive feedback from elder prophets. Moreover, Godly feedback provides confirmation of our prophetic insight, which benefits us and those to whom we are ministering.

Through feedback, we can assess the degree to which the ministry is helpful. You can also ensure that there is no gap — or misunderstanding — between what you have heard from God (regarding His heart and purposes for a person or for a situation), and what the person has actually received and understood through your prophetic word.

Ministry feedback can come from the following people:

  • A person you share a prophetic insight with;
  • A leader, pastor, or spiritual overseer in the situation you are ministering in;
  • A mentor or fellow team member.

What are the benefits of ministry feedback you’ve personally experienced and how did it help you grow?

Do you have fears or anxieties with regards to receiving feedback or constructive criticism from prophetic leaders, senior pastors, or fellow prophets? What are they?

 

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Understanding Tithing

The premise of tithing as an expression of grace is three-fold:

First, tithing acknowledges God as the source and owner of all that we possess. Tithing performs a role separate from that of unsystematic giving, which suggests that we believe we own all that we possess. Through tithing we acknowledge that God created our increase.

Second, tithing is a voluntary act of worship. At Bethel Jacob said:

If God will help and protect me on this journey and give me food and clothes, and will bring me back safely to my father, then I will choose Jehovah as my God! And this memorial pillar shall become a place for worship; and I will give you back a tenth of
everything you give me!

If you don’t already, you too should consider tithing — or giving more — as an act of worship. Through this act, you keep your focus on the heavenly Father and testify to His kindness and generosity toward you.

Third, tithing teaches us to put God first. Moses said, “The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives.” Tithing as a systematic, purposeful plan for consistent giving enables you to circumvent the emotions and circumstances that would hinder you from being a faithful steward and, thus, from putting God first in your life. This prioritizing releases you from the tyranny of materialism and clears the channel for God’s additional and abundant blessings.

Start gaining more knowledge about God’s Kingdom and understand His design in your life. When you get your written prophecy you will be capable of living a life of abundance. Finally get your to know God’s Kingdom is truly by speaking to Master Prophet E. Bernard.

Obedience is Key

Obedience to His commands in every facet of our lives is the key to experiencing the presence of Christ and the joy of heaven. Jesus says, “The one who obeys me is the one who loves me…I will only reveal myself to those who love me and obey me. The Father will love them too, and we will come to them and live with them.

Are you experiencing the presence of Christ in your life? Do you know His joy, His love, His peace, the sense of His direction? If not, could it be that you are not obeying His commands? When you withhold the resources that God has entrusted to you for His work, He has little with which to bless you, and your life becomes unfruitful and unhappy.

I personally know of no greater joy than that of being an instrument of God to communicate the good news of the gospel to others. And that takes money. We are not our own anymore; we have been bought with a price, the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our time, talents and treasure are our way of expressing gratitude to our great and glorious God and Father for all that He has done to fill us with His presence.

If you want to know more about Biblical Prophecies, talk to Master Prophet Bishop Bernard Jordan and get your Free Written Prophecies and know God’s will for you.

HOW TO DEAL TEMPTATION

Temptation comes in many forms. You think being tempted as being enticed to do things like stealing, murdering or committing adultery. Most often we were to be impatient, stingy, jealous, greedy or any number of other things that you consider lesser sins. Satan strikes at your points of weakness.

Temptation or giving in to temptation has been a serious problem since the beginning of time and it is still a very real part of our life until now. Whether we like it or not we all have to deal with it. Most of us may not really understand temptation and its purpose.

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

Everyone are facing temptation. But the truth is very of us deal with it effectively. It should not be the case and it does not have to be the case for believers. There is some ways of dealing with temptation that we should know and if we put them intpractice. It is also important to understand that all temptation is rooted in selfishness is really Satan’s beachhead. To develop spiritual strength, you must pass all kinds of test of temptation both large and small.

You find that Satan also tempted Christ, hoping to find an area of weakness to invade. But Christ stood strong and defeated the enemy. We believe He knew ahead of time that Christ would pass the test ans we believe that God has confidence on us that we will pass many of our test too.

Master Prophet believes that we cannot be tempted unless we have first thought about it. All temptation are link to what we think on. Control our thoughts and we will control temptation. This is simple but profound truth. It is the reason most of us fall into temptation.

FIND A GOOD LIFE

Only a relationship with Christ can give us the good life that He has designed us to crave. Placing our hope in anything less even if it is something good that He has created, turns into idolatry that interferes with our relationship with Christ and actually leads us away from the good life that God wants us to enjoy.

Idolatry happens whenever we look to something that does not have His power to give us what only He has the power and authority to give us. Reflect on our life right now and honestly consider whether or not we were hoping to derive fulfillment from things like material possessions, a successful career, an exciting romantic relationship, or close relationship with family and friends. Ask Him to show us if we have wandered away from Christ and towards idols and what type of idols is God biggest rival in our life right now. Clues what we spend time thinking about, and what we invest the most energy and money into pursuing. Anything that we are devoting ourself to more that we are to Christ is an idol in our life.

Bishop Jordan believe that we may struggle with financial idolatry if we look to money to give us security, peace, or happiness or if we were often anxious about getting more money or holding onto the money we already have rather than being content and generous as He want to be. Christ said that we can not serve both God and money because trying to do so will divide our mind, and we need to devote ourself to Him with single minded focus so we can become the person that God has design us to become. Choose to trust Him completely with our finances, following biblical principle to manage our money as a tool to accomplish His purpose for our
life.

If you want to know how to live a good life through God’s will, talk to Master Prophet. And get your Free Prophecy.

“For i know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”(Jeremiah 29:11)