Category Archives: Leadership Replication

God Loves You and Laid Out a Supernatural Path: Saved, Baptized, Filled… gotta see it!

Our message was John 3:1 – 21.
You have GOT TO READ IT. Oh, sure you know it. Well, you know the story about Nicodemus going to Jesus at night and getting told he needs to be born again. And you remember Jn3:16 That God so loves the world….that He gave his only begotten Son. Did you ever put them together,even?

This is what I noticed. Big revelation. Jesus said you can not SEE the Kingdom of Heaven unless you are born from above. Then he says you can not ENTER the Kingdom unless you are born of the Water and of the Spirit. Most people just lump these all together. Really, if pressed, they would have to say they just don’t know all that Jesus meant here. Some say that Baptism is part of being born again. Most are really strong that baptism doesn’t substitute for being born again, becoming a new creation; so, for this reason are really frightened by anything that sounds like “baptismal regeneration” like a ritual is enough without reality. However, We all agree that you SHOULD BE BAPTIZED. Most everyone thinks that “water” here means baptism and not “washing of water by the Word.” So?

Context for metoday is that Rodney Howard Brown told a story about a guy who answered the altar call/gave his life to the Lord/was saved, and was going to church, but just couldn’t understand stuff. Just struggling to be a Christian. Then he got baptized and everything became clear to him like an almost immediate revelation. Baptism made a huge huge huge difference. We all agree that we should be baptized, out of obedience. It is a symbol that we are dead with Christ. So we like to dunk people. Better symbolism. Count yourselves dead to sin, dead with Christ, and alive with him in His resurrection. Awesome.

Then, can’t enter into the Kingdom unless you are born of the Spirit? Oh gosh, I could teach a whole semester on various versions of explanations of Holy Spirit and when Holy Spirit enters into the life of the believer. Of course, you can’t be saved without the conviction and convincing of Holy Spirit. But, on the other hand, not everyone has been empowered. Not everyone moves in supernatural gifts– which are CLEARLY taught in the New Testament. (And given that something like 10 million people today do, it is pretty hard imagine that they ceased. LOL.) Oh, then, what about Jesus blowing on his disciples and saying “receive the Holy Spirit” versus the Holy Spirit apparently blowing in on the Day of Pentecost? I think I can pretty well explain “in, with,and on” another time but that is not nearly as important as the point here in John 3. You can not ENTER into the Kingdom unless you have been born ***of the Spirit.***

So we can all agree we want to be born from above, born of the water and born of the Spirit, right? Of course, we want to see and enter the Kingdom of God? Of course. Right. Sure. Yes. Amen.

We are definitely going to agree on being born again, as a heart work, of turning your heart to the Lord, of believing that Jesus rose from the dead, of accepting Him as savior. We believe in our heart and make public confession. Romans 10. Yes.

Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 
Then, we all agree that we should be baptized. Good. Rom_6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Col_2:12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Great.
And then we all must agree that we should be being filled with the Holy Spirit. Act 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

Eph_5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

So, we all agree that Christian life, walking IN the Kingdom would be one of being filled with the Holy Spirit. (And being filled will mean, we will see many places, speaking the Word boldly, being empowered to witness, and moving in supernatural manifestations otherwise called “gifts of the Spirit.”) Fine.

Now, one of the objections to the classical Pentecostal teaching of a second definite work is that charism (or gifting of the Holy Spirit) is supposed to come in baptism. So, imagine an Anglican or a Presbyterian arguing that a baby gets everything he or she needs in baby baptism. No matter how well ensconced in ancient theology that idea may be, modern personal reflection just reels. (I don’t think you can come up with a single example of anything working that way. For instance, Augustine, John Wesley, and Johnathan Edwards all had salvation experiences, even though they believed in baby baptism.) Now, however, here is a new way of putting that together. Why can’t a newly saved (justified) believer, who gets baptized, come out speaking in tongues? LOL. Why not go for the gusto and get it all at once? Why wait until you are sanctified, ossified, or backslidden? ROFL! That is not the way I was taught, but from recently pastoral experience, looks like maybe a good goal. While I surely understand why the Pentecostals formulated things they way they did — and actually think they have the best formulation overall — why wait? Why not bet saved, baptized and filled to overflowing with Holy Spirit all at once? Sound good to me.

And surely, this would spur growth. This is what we want. This is our focus.

And by the way, many congratulations to J.C. who got baptized today! HalleluJah! We rejoice with you.

So it is all about getting showered with God’s love. No need to wait for each step. Let’s just receive it all. Maybe this will end up with a better result: more and quicker understanding. Less fooling around. Less offense over obviously true basic teachings. Like little child who has a tummy ache, and mommy says, “Honey, when you steal a bunch of green apples and eat them all at once, then your tummy will ache.” And Junior gets mad at mum. And says “You bad mommy.” And slams the door to his bedroom. Or, worse, teen, stuffs herself with …. some red dye sugary concoction full of chemicals and won’t eat food.” Then Dad says, “Daughter, you are showing signs of obesity and we are worried about diabetes for you.” Then youngster says, “Oh, you just don’t love me. I am running away from home.” Then she does. Only to meet worse fate. God wants good for you… just like good parents. Pastors often want a crowd and stable budget. Nevertheless, the Lord wants the best for you. That is why there is a laid out path. Not to mention it to the kids would be neglect.

Yes, of course,the youngsters have some duty to make decisions. Maybe the more we can get them showered in God’s love, having radical experience3d, then the more they will understand… and grow up quick.
(Just like you learn better if your tummy isn’t hurting or your brain is not foggy from too much red sugary chemically concoction? And if you realize you are in the best house in the country, you won’t want to run away?) Welcome to the family of God. Welcome to the Father of all. Welcome to our little group willing to read, hear, study, grow, and serve together.

*****Many congratulations to J.C. who got baptized today! HalleluJah! We rejoice with you. ****

We talked about Holy Spirit on Pentecost, but not so much the Baptism of the Holy Spirit because we have a different crowd than expected. But, please, do ask, if you are not already moving in supernatural gifts.

LEADERSHIP – The Way We Do Things Here

Good leaders feed the sheep, watch over their souls, and mature the saints for more ministry and for growth into being like Jesus.

Most pastors in regular churches strive to develop a stable sheep base, so they have money for their infrastructure. Sure, many hope to actually teach some Bible along the way. But this pattern makes ministry really about placating people’s flesh, so they don’t stop giving. This model wastes a lot of time, hoping to do ministry somewhere sometime hopefully.

By contrast, we hope to develop more shepherds. If one is developing leadership in others, then one must deliver loving correction some times. One must always watch to see if lessons are learned, if tests are passed. One must rigorously lead by doing the best, hearing the best, teaching the best one can. Without this, people are not maturing and not being made ready for leadership. If the people don’t want this, they are not ready to prepare for leadership. They are not really even walking the Christian walk.

Tests for leadership don’t always come in the same order, but here are some very basic ones.
1. Work. You get to lead, or even have a say, only if you are working for the group.
2. Fulfilling the commitments you made. If you can’t do this, you are not reliable. You are not a leader. This goes along with telling the truth.
3. Being coordinative rather than rebellious. There is a place for leadership, so there is a place for respect and working with others, especially in the agreement upon direction.
4. Being civil, respectful, honoring.
5. Learning. How much should a teacher lavish attention on a student who refuses to learn?
This includes just plain being lazy lazy lazy. You were not meant for decoration.
This includes the full cup syndrome, that is, thinking you a lot, but showing you don’t.
This is related to avoiding the demons of division and strife — who often manifest as religious spirits and often get all caught up in nonsensical details.

Everything is a lesson. Everything is a test. Just because no one says anything to you, doesn’t mean they don’t know what you did; it doesn’t mean you got away with it.
We have already seen an amazing amount of spiritual warfare for such a little group. Just because you are the one scandalized, doesn’t mean you are the most right, the most holy. Often it means you are the most demonized. Don’t be scandalized; instead, be delivered, be healed, and be taught.

We know that given our mission and design, we will attract those who want to be leaders, but haven’t been in the past. This can be a place that will heal the wounds, fill in the holes, and cast out the demons. I hope this will help. Only you can make the decisions.

Holy Week letter to Jesus Name Austin

It has been some time since I’ve had the warm fuzzies of having us all together. We are having connectivity challenges. So, I am taking this avenue, email, which uses less bandwidth. Please respond with increased spiritual bandwidth. Seek God; hear God; and share with us by reply all something God has blessed you with.

Tonight will start the Feast of the Lord called Passover. Once long ago, the Lord rescued the Israelites out of bondage. Most of us don’t put proper attention on how sin binds us. Most of us don’t even see how much in bondage we are in our society, with poor education, deceptive and detrimental medicine, fake & bleeding-is-leading news, a financial system of thievery, and corrupt government. Indeed, we have a substitute value system regnant, that loves sin and hates godliness. But God is working a great rescue operation.

Passover is called Passover because the death angel passed over the houses of the Israelites – who *were told to stay in their homes,* and to *mark those homes with the blood of the lamb*, and *were told to eat the lamb together as a family.* And then to be prepared to move out. How prophetic of our day. Believe God will keep you. Feel protected as you celebrate communion with me, with the Chavdas, with the Enlows or wherever. (See links on www.JesusNameAustin.org for distance communion.)

On the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey, the liturgy and the words on people’s lips on the street was “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord. Save now.” That was the day that the Jewish families were supposed to be looking for a spotless lamb and taking it into their houses. On the day that Jesus took break and the cup in His celebration of the Passover, he was celebrating on the right day, but one day before the Sandhedrin – because over the years they had lost count. On the day that He was crucified, it was the day that families were slaying their lambs. Blood was running.

Then…it looked like the hopes of a the Kingdom were lost. One wondered if the guards or the Romans would come for more of us. The disciples and the women were huddled together. While they didn’t quite get it right in casting lots for the new 12th, it was an act of faith. There would be a tomorrow. Jesus’ mission would go on… somehow. Maybe?

But then, the women, the ones who had gone early to the tomb, came back with strange and awesome news.

We remember this. Let’s remember together.

HOSANNA, BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.

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A New and More Biblical Prosperity Gospel — A Call to Commitment to Assignment

Studying Haggai. There we are in endtime prophecy. The Lord calls the church to repentance, because it has been building its own house and not his.
This is a new and clearly Biblical prosperity teaching. God would like to bless your house, but can’t if you aren’t building His.
There are a lot of people God has called to leadership. But there are leadership tests that need to be passed. Without a commitment to learn, it is pretty hard to be a Christian. Without commitment to work, you are not a leader. Without a commitment to pull together, you can’t be on a team of leaders.
And yes, sure, there are wounds of previous top leaders who didn’t deploy you, but there needs to be a commitment to healing, too. Come to the Lord.
It is a call to commitment, my friends.

The Weakening of the Church

One of our leading members brought this pamphlet to our attention: “Is Your Church Going Purpose Driven?” https://www.swrc.com/media/pdfs/Going%20PDC.pdf

He has a book out on the topic of the pamphlet too, entitled *The Dark Side of the Purpose Driven Church.* I can not verify the details contained therein such as whether Rick Warren is against the fundamentals of the faith (including virgin birth, atoning death of cross, literal resurrection, and inerrancy of the Bible) and whether Warren explicitly teaches pastors to disenfranchise lay leaders and isolate/vilify resistors. We hope we have misunderstood the claims that Warren’s organization has put pressure on ministries and book sellers to suppress this discussion. We understand  that Hybels has repented of his teaching on “seeker-sensitive.”  However, we certainly and clearly do see a general blandness and sleepiness in churches and  we are concerned.

We know things are not good. We were amused a few years ago when we saw a church choosing to add a statement of denial (what they don’t believe) to their statement of faith. Of course, we have long been aware of a blockage in churches for any kind of application to the civic arena.  We have observed with discomfort that expertise is often not wanted, but instead yes-men without expertise. We have very sadly observed that discipleship and Bible study have become a thing of the past in amazingly many places. We were shocked to discover formerly strongly pentecostal or leading charismatic churches are now both hiding and suppressing any sort of charismata.

Hutchings was a conservative Baptist broadcaster.  Of course, I do realize that Noah Hutchings is mistaken in his claims about the Masoretic text versus the Textus Receptus. Overall, however, Brother Hutchings had a long, faithful and fruitful life and ministry. We do not have to agree on everything to take someone’s point.

Hutchings is making a good point, especially if taken in general: modern fashions in the church growth movement are enervating, weakening the church.  Let us not be so concerned with numbers that we fail to actually be (let alone convert) Christians. Let us not be so seeker-sensitive that there is no reason for anyone to be seeking for God near us. Let’s don’t be snookered out of faith.

At Jesus Name, our model of how to do church is much less concerned with money and show and much more concerned about growth in God and reaching out in real community for others. We hope a model that sacrifices the niceties of space and art can grow more quickly. We hope that leadership that is more concerned with replication than return customers can evangelize and fission more quickly. We hope a model that adheres to the Bible more faithfully can be more fruitful in the eyes of our Lord.

And surely a church with Jesus Name as its name will not forget a relationship with the One who has shared His Name with us.