When Ordinary People Lead…

This past Sunday a few UT students who went through Student CPx back in August hosted a “joint simple church gathering”. They wanted to bring the other simple churches from their relational networks together for a time of sharing what God has been doing in Austin through these various lay-led churches, as well as hear from some students who had taken trips overseas during the winter break.

What you see represented in the pictures above and the videos below is the fruit & result of the obedience of students living out the Gospel being the Church. Yes, this entire gathering was student organized & led. Most of the SC’s displayed here represent the actual local churches these students belong to. They are seeing much fruit through the individual communities as they step out in faith to obey God. The coolest part is that there were NEW BELIEVERS at this gathering who have recently made decisions to follow Christ! One of them will be Baptized by another student this Friday!

It is so important to recognize what happens when the works of scripture are lived out by ordinary people. (lay-people, students, new believers, unpaid, non-professional, etc.) The growth of the kingdom and spread of the Gospel is no longer dependent upon how much money exists, where we “meet”, who will “lead”, how “big” are the projects, etc. When a 20 year old college student realizes they have “permission” from Jesus to go make disciples, Baptize them, and watch as a new community of faith (church) is birthed it sparks something very powerful. When several students come to this realization it marks the beginning of a movement…

I captured some little bits of the evening with my phone – let us imagine together this scenario multiplied in homes & cities across our nation!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

At Intentional Gatherings we seek to equip, & release ordinary believers to live out their full potential in the kingdom of God. We do that in many ways. Whether it be a Student CPx Training, involvement in a new simple church community, or just walking through real life with someone from our team, the desire is not to build or grow a church or organization. Success in our organization is based upon spiritual transformation in the lives of individuals whom God places in our lives. Spiritual transformation is measured by those individuals ability to hear God’s voice, and be obedient to that voice (No matter what that looks like-yes, even if it means they don’t “join” our org., or one of our churches). Essentially, we want to disciple in such a way that leads to the empowerment of those disciples to go make more disciples. It’s been a long journey thus far, but we’re excited about what God has done, and will do in the days to come.

Lord, may you continue to release your children into the harvest to fulfill the Great Commission! We are available to You, and earnestly desire Your Spirit to sweep across our city and nation!

Advertisements

Dearest Mommy…

IMG_1604I wrote a letter to Morgan, and a letter to Eliza a few weeks before the birth. After Eliza was born Morgan and I spent some time alone together with the baby. It was a beautiful time of worship as I prayed over, and read these letters to my wife & new baby girl.

7.12.2009

“Dearest mommy,

You did it baby. You made it through this pregnancy, and brought this little baby girl into the world. You didn’t just make it through, but you insisted on making this a worshipful experience that brought glory to God. You set a wonderful example by disciplining yourself, and being determined to acquire as much knowledge about this process as possible. You ate well, exercised, and took care of yourself for the sake of our baby girl.

You have sought the Lord, and prayed countless hours for this baby. You have spent even more time in thought about this baby. You have a deep desire to raise her as a lover of Jesus. I want to declare the same victory we experienced in this birth over you as a mommy right now in Jesus’ name. You will have the same determination to raise this baby girl up as you did to care for her while she was in your womb. You will make your job as her mommy a worshipful experience that brings glory to God. You will set an example for many women of what parenting, and being a mommy can & should be like. From this point on this will be a new part of your purpose and life in Christ; this will be your biggest kingdom pursuit yet-to be a mommy to our children. You will continue to discipline yourself, and acquire as much knowledge about this process as possible. You will continue to be in deep thought, and prayer for this little girl. I know these things to be true based upon who Christ is to you, and your obedience to Him.

It is these things that cause me to fall more and more in love with you each and every day. I am lucky to be the husband and father of two of the most wonderful women on the planet. As your husband I commit to being right beside you every step of the way. I commit to leading the two of you, and providing for you in every way necessary. I have a responsibility to hold the below “family values” as priority throughout the rest of our lives as a family…

To family:
…This is a commitment to one another, as a family, that we are entering into by the grace of God, through Christ Jesus, made possible by His activity in our lives. We make this commitment as parents, and have invited you, as our children into this commitment in Jesus’ name. May this commitment, and purpose become real to you as you grow in maturity of faith by the grace of Jesus. (Using this statement as a filter by which all of our life decisions as a family are run through)

“Family Values”
→ To be giving of ourselves in every aspect of life. (Spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc.) To be sacrificial in that. Phil. 2:4 putting others before ourselves. This applies not only to one another, but friends, family, and strangers.
→ We will have open hands & open hearts, a loose grip on our stuff/possessions.
→ We will make decisions as a family as we seek the Lord.
→ We commit to being open and honest with one another about everything. (How we feel, etc.) We will clearly communicate our feelings to one another in a timely manner, refusing to allow a lack of communication to produce bitterness and resentment in our hearts towards one another.
→ We will have a time or rest/Sabbath as a family on a weekly basis. Family time will be a priority in our lives, and not just something we do once per week.
→ We will look to scripture for guidance, and have a solid foundation of Biblical Truth in which our family is built upon.
→ We will pursue our individual callings in the Lord, and help one another discover those callings/gifts. As we discover them we will encourage one another to walk them out through the power of the Holy Spirit.
→ We will teach one another to love deeply.

Morgan, I love you and am so proud of you. I can’t wait to begin walking these commitments out with you on a daily basis. I know it will get tough, and at times feel impossible, but I want you to rest in the fact that we are being led by the Holy Spirit. He will sanctify us through this entire process, and we will welcome it in Jesus’ name. I love you more now then I ever have before, and can’t wait to continue this journey with you.”

-Aaron-

Stay tuned for the “Dearest Eliza” letter in a couple days…