Monday, March 03, 2008

Christ Centered Community

As we move into covenant community I was reminded of a church on Vancouver Island that recently had done the same: "This past year has been an interesting year in the life of our church. We are a covenant church and have learned how to put the covenant into practice in our daily lives. This covenant has been the backbone that drew us together when times became very difficult during battles with the spirits of religiosity, legalism, and bullying. It is also the backbone of the new creation God is leading us to. Together we were able to take a stand and walk out our difficulties while pressing into God's will for our church. We are excited to experience the new creation that God is designing for us as we start over with a clean slate."

Our community with one another consists solely in what Christ has done to both of us. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Ephesians 4:1
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Philippians 1:13
As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.

2 Timothy 1:8; 3:11
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God…persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.

Philemon 1:1; 1:9
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—

Paul teaches us about the transformed self. He uses that wonderful phrase, "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."

Let's nail our signed covenants to the cross in celebration of community. We'll share in the sand ceremony by mixing different colored sand together and trusting that Jesus Christ will make it beautiful.

“In God’s sight there are no little people and no little places. Only one thing is important: to be consecrated persons in God's place for us, at each moment. Those who think of themselves as little people in little places, if committed to Christ and living under His Lordship in the whole of life, may, by God's grace, change the flow of our generation." Francis Schaeffer

E-nen-neh-moon Circle (Cree for “How your feelings from your heart”); learn how talking from your heart is key to moving past the abuses of the past. A safe place for people to share their pain, and begin to dream what it would be like to trust again & begin the healing journey with Christ.

Ken Blanchard writes that, “the term leader is mentioned only 6 times in the King James Version of the Bible, while the term servant is mentioned more than 900 times.”

So we are to cultivate The Heart of a Servant. This leads to two questions to:

Am I a servant leader?

Or am I a self-serving leader?

Our new elders are committed to being servants first, and to always seek God's agenda, laying personal agendas at the foot of the cross.

Galatians 6:14-16
For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can't you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them!

Matthew 16:25
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.


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