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We’ve come to our third core value – fishing the world – which helps us be and become God’s Beloved Child(ren). To fully appreciate the meaning of this third value we need to re-look at Jesus and his essential message and mission: The Kingdom of God.
Jesus and the Kingdom of God (read Mark 1:14-20)
Mark’s text summarizes Jesus’ ministry: Wherever he went he proclaimed and inaugurated “The Kingdom of God.” What did it mean? It was the dramatic end-time (“eschatalogical”) socio-political announcement of The End & New Beginning: The climax of Israel’s destiny and world history has come – both judgment and salvation – God is now becoming King in fulfillment of the prophets. It meant confrontation: The kingdom (rule and works) of evil is being judged and people are being saved into God’s Rule & Reign of Love. The promised future age of God’s Kingdom was breaking into this present evil age, changing everything!
How do we escape judgment and enter God’s Kingdom? “Repent and believe.” To repent is to turn from sin to God, changing your mindset. Believe means opening yourself to God’s great works of salvation, entrusting yourself to his Rule & Reign in Messiah Jesus. “Repent and believe” in practice meant “Come, and follow me.” Jesus embodied God’s Kingship, his presence and power. To follow him was to be delivered from Satan’s rule and enter and experience God’s Kingdom of Heaven here on earth… in Jesus of Nazareth. Continue reading Fishing the World for God!
The text: John 21:15-23 (continue from previous sermon). The audio is available to listen online or download with notes.
This is Peter’s story: the emotional drama of how Jesus tenderly restores him, renewing his calling to follow… to minister… and to lead. How does Jesus do this?
Firstly, by the miracle of the large catch of fish (John 21:1-14), re-enacting Peter’s first encounter with Jesus, thus renewing his call to follow, form and fish (Luke 5:1-11).
Secondly, by making a fire of burning coals, re-enacting and reversing Peter’s threefold denial, which took place around a fire (read John 13:36-38 cf. John 18:15-18, 25-27).
Reflection: Jesus takes us back to unresolved pain and failure, to relive and resolve it in light of his intervening and healing presence. When & where has this happened for you?
Meditation on John 21:15-23: become silent before God; live into the scene by imagining you’re Peter around the fire, now warm and fed. Jesus probes your depths… the key issue is: Jesus wants to know if you truly love him – love for him to be THE motivation for your life, your following of him, your ministry, and leadership (if you’re a leader)
John 21:15 Why did Jesus use his full formal name, Simon son of John (after he had changed his name to Peter – ‘rock’, strong & stable, John 1:40-42)? Does God ever do this to you? Continue reading Post Resurrection Encounters – Peter’s Call Renewed (Part 2)
SESSION 6: COMMITTING TO MEMBERSHIP WITH FOLLOWING JESUS
Listen to the audio of the Sermon for Session 6
We have looked at:
- Jesus and his first community – to follow Jesus was to join his local group;
- The Early Church – initiation into Christian faith (in baptism) meant belonging in the local church;
- Three Sociological models of ‘doing church’ and their underlying values – we do ‘centered set’ church;
- Our Ministry Framework – our mission, vision, values, priorities and practices (the circled triangle); and its structured implementation via HELP (Holistic Equipping Life Process) and the People’s Flow chart. Continue reading Exploring Membership with Following Jesus Session 6
SESSION 5: MINISTRY FRAMEWORK – HOW WE DO CHURCH AND MEMBERSHIP (continued)
Listen to the audio of the Sermon for Session 5
FROM Session 4: Priorities and practices are what we actually do… what we do first, of most importance, before we do other things. They answer the question of What? we do, and How? we do them… i.e. our basic disciplines and skills that we learn to do and practice on a regular basis – in order to live out our core values, in pursuit of our vision, to fulfill our mission under God. Continue reading Exploring Membership with Following Jesus Session 5
SESSION 4: MINISTRY FRAMEWORK – HOW WE DO CHURCH AND MEMBERSHIP
The Sociological Framework contrasted three models of ‘doing church’ and membership – we embrace the centered set with its values. We now examine the Ministry Framework through which we do church – key information for a responsible commitment to Following Jesus. We lay out our mission and vision; values, priorities and practices; leadership, structure and programs; and the specific expectations of belonging and membership (the content of the remaining 3 sessions). Much of this key information, including our Vineyard history, is on our website http://followingjesus.org.za
Continue reading Exploring Membership with Following Jesus Session 4