are an „International“ Church.
Each person is important to us
a „Followers“ - church.
We live true discipleship and emphasize it
are a „Sending“ church.
People are being equipped and sent
are a „Resources“- church.
Whatever God gives us, we make available to others
are a „Helping“ church.
We lead people into freedom (independence) –
Some may think that this is a point that goes without saying. But experience tells me that people like to spend their time at places where they meet people of equal culture, age or social background. Experts in church-growth are strictly against churches with such differences because statistically, churches of one culture grow faster.
From the beginning I knew, what was pleasing to God in heaven was also pleasing to him down here on earth. That is a church consisting of people from every tribe and nation. It is very clear to me, that this is only possible through the Spirit of God!
When we walk „in the flesh“ or without God's love, we are separated by things that differentiate us. However, if we walk „in the Spirit“ or in love, we benefit from these differentiations, we experience completion and diversity.
This completion and diversity we find in every service. It is a place where people from different cultures and languages meet on a regular basis, each one honoring God in an individual way and yet as unity.
There are many different kinds of cultures, but not all have to do with race or nationality. For example, there is a culture of young people, a culture of bikers, a culture of senior citizens or a culture of hip hop dancers. But being the family of God, we demonstrate that our church has a common consent which is Jesus Christ. We all meet at the cross, we are all his beloved chosen children, we are all equal, because He paid the highest possible prize for all of us, for every single one of us: His very own blood.
On this planet, there are many Christian churches. Some are literally stuffed with believers. Believers aren’t hard to find. They have bumper stickers in form of a fish, they attend Christian events, listen to Christian music and many times they even go to church meetings. There are churches with hundreds and thousands of believers. It used to really fascinate me. But in the first place Jesus didn't entrust us with piling up believers or just administrating them.
„Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
- Matthew 28,19-20
God instructed us to show people how to become „followers of Jesus“. Many people are prepared to go to church and join in Christian activities.
But when Jesus called his disciples he said:
„And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I
will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets,
and followed him.“
- Matthew 4,19-20
The first disciples left everything behind and followed Jesus. And don't you think it's any different today! Discipleship today has no different character than back then. Even today in the same way as back then, Jesus wants us to give up EVERYTHING for him. Each one of us needs to find out for himself/herself what that means.
We won't just count how many people attend our services or how many names there are on the phone lists. We also want to know how many of these people are true followers of Jesus.
If you want to follow Jesus then this is the right place for you to be!
To me, this seems to be the most neglected aspect in working in the church. A lot of energy, many prayers and thoughts are used to have a church grow. Most of the time, people want just their local church to become very big. It is important for the local church to take in people, but equally important is to send peope.
A true disciple of Jesus sees himself as being sent by God. The time of discipleship prepares Christians to go into all the world. In Matthew 28:19-20 God gives his Great Commission: “Therefore go“. In the same way we are sent by Jesus when he prayed in John17,18:
“As you sent me into the world, I have sent
them into the world.“
- John 17,18
God sent Jesus – his son – and Jesus sent his first apostles. Apostle means „ the one who is sent“. In this sense, we are an apostolic church. We equip in order to send.
In his letter to the Romans Paul explains why it is important that people are being sent.
„For whosoever shall call upon the name of
the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom
they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not
heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall
they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet
of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good
- Romans 10,13-15
Don't think that he is only talking about preachers who are in the fulltime ministry. Every Christian has a calling to proclaim Jesus. Some are sent as missionaries to Africa, others to their neighbors across the street. But all of us Christians should be aware of the fact that we are sent by Christ.
In our church we foster this awareness and we prepare people to be salt and light to the world. We lay hands on Christians and confirm God's calling on their life. We support and strengthen those we have sent, keep fellowship with them, no matter how many years will pass by or how many miles there are between us.
God is the one who calls and appoints the time, but it is the church that equips and sends.
I used to work for a company and my job was to deliver tools. I had to provide different factories with our products.
It was interesting for me to see that there were very strong security standards. First you had to register at the gate. There you got permission to enter the production halls of the factory. No cameras were allowed, you shouldn't take any parts or pieces, so that other companies wouldn't learn anything about the secrets of this company.
This may make sense in the business world, not to give away your work, inventions and achievements to others. Therefore, there are patents for some things.
But in the kingdom of God we love to share, for we don't consider other Christians and churches as competition, but as equal members of the company!
Our resources are:
- Staff and members – people with talents and gifts
- Material – things we have, that we can lend or give away
but above all
- Know-how – everything we have learned
There is a spiritual principle: “Whoever gives, will receive!“
This is why we want to become more and more a church, where all of these three things are passed on. This is the reason why we pay attention to quality in all areas. We don't want to offer anything bad. God always gives his best and this is what we want to do as well.
It is a lot of joy to be able to give!
There are needs everywhere. But to meet these needs in all the world is not the reason for the church of God to exist.
In the time of Jesus there have been people in need everywhere. Jesus didn't try to help them all. He spent his time with his father. He did only those things that his father told him to do. God wants us people to live in true freedom.
„If the Son therefore shall make you free,
ye shall be free indeed.”
- John 8,36
Our church wants to help people to live in this freedom. Certain kinds of help lead people into addictions. This is why it is so important that the goal of any kind of help is „help to help yourself“! An old saying says: „It is better to teach someone how to catch fish than to provide him with fish.“ This way, he can catch his own fish at any time, if you are there or not.
We want to help people to develop confidence. They should be able to realize that God stands behind them and provides them with answers for their lives. We do this by proclaiming the truth. Truth destroys the lies of life which try to hold people back.
„And ye shall know the truth, and the truth
shall make you free.”
- John 8,32
God wants to be our source. He is the source of life. He teaches us to live from him and to lead other people to him, the true source. Everyone needs support in order to find this source and to be able to draw from it.
Yours, Rande L. Loucks