Tag Archive: C&MA


“The distance between the cradle and the cross is slight”
Reverend Terry Lee

 

Over the Advent season at church we have been looking at the words of Isaiah and reminded that even though we celebrate the birth and resurrection at different times in the year they are not that far a part. Together they are the fulfilled of God’s plan to rescue the lost. Over the last few months I have not really blogged, I left part way through a series I was putting together on the two kingdoms of the already and not yet. The last few months have been some of the most stressful I have ever experienced and through this time have had many
already but not yet moments. This series has reminded me that many parts of this world remain broken and that there is something more, something eternal that needs fixing.

nativity

Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
Isaiah 9:6-7
 

 

Part of the sermon today Pastor Terry looked at how Christ fulfilled the promise of being the prince of peace when the world seems to be so broken. The world is broken, we see that all over the news, in our homes, at our jobs, but the peace Isaiah is looking at is something more, something eternal. The world is not our enemy, God is. Our relationship was broken when man bit into the forbidden fruit in the garden. The peace that Christ brings now is peace with God. Through Christ we are reconciled to Him (Colossians 1:19-22).

This Christmas don’t forget that the baby that came from God also went to the cross for our sins.

1 John 4:16 says that “God is Love,” that is, the very essence, or substance (the ousia), of God is love. Extending through all eternity, the Father has a relationship of superabundant love with the Son, and the Son with the Spirit, and the Spirit with the Father: Father, Son, and Spirit, sharing a perfect love…The love is the substance. God is not merely a God who loves, he is the God who is love, whose very being consists of the eternal love between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Accreditation Helps by Ben Elliott – page 10

Available through Amazon.ca

 

Okotoks Alliance’s current summer sermon series

After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.
Judges 2:10

What are we showing our kids today? If we, as parents, are not willing to share our relationship with God with our children what then will they see as important in our lives, work, works, looking just so, sports, watching TV?

 
“If you are regularly prioritizing sport over the worship of God [our children] will get the message loud and clear concerning what is really important.”

~ Pastor Terry Lee – Experiencing God in the Mountains – The Showdown on Mt. Carmel

Watch the quote in the context of the point below or watch the entire sermon here on 1 Kings 18.

After turning the spotlight on my brothers and sisters in the SBC a couple posts ago, Where did it first go wrong?, I think it is only fair to delve into a hot issue in the Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA) in Canada. This last week was the General Assembly in Winnipeg and one topic was should women be ordained? Here is a short 8 minute video that explains the C&MA view of ordination and women and where the stood heading into the General Assembly:

Ordination 5 from C&MA in Canada on Vimeo.

What do I think and how does this affect you?

Looking at scripture there are many places women take on leadership, both in the old testament and the new testament. However, I do think there are also clear examples of males being the senior leadership of the body as well as created differences in our roles as males and females. This is not to say all males should be leaders and all females should be followers or that one is superior to the other. I know many women with strong gifts of leadership. Is it right for a person with a gift from God to let it go to waste? Does God give gifts that are not meant to be used? The answer is no, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1.17). I must admit that I do not have a fully developed point of view on this, but it will probably be coming up on the radar more often in the near future. One fear and reservation I have in saying yes is the same one raised about the SBC, are we attempting to submit to culture versus the Word? So…

What do you think, is the C&MA on a slippery slope and trying to meet cultural pressure?

As I started out on this discipleship journey of posts I thought it would be quick. God had a different idea and led me down a path that took a little more time. I have had the chance to listen to several great podcasts, read a couple of books on discipleship, and spent time with seasoned friends learning more about the importance of being a disciple. Several of my posts over the last few months touched on this topic, but this post is a continuation of True Discipleship – Part 1 .

How do we get from a church full of infants to having a church filled with people digging deep into the Word and discovering who Christ is and who they are? How do we become true disciples, someone becoming more like Christ? What does true discipleship even look like?

Three Options for Discipleship

In Larry Olson’s book Sticky Church he states that there are 3 kinds of discipleship models. There is a mentoring model, an education model, and an apprenticeship model. Mentoring is one on one and relational. It is best over time and is not effective in a fast paced changing environment. Education is long-term and requires a large commitment. It works best with linear goal-orientated personalities and is highly structured. Apprenticeship lets people do a task and be the leader is there to help them pick up the pieces. The nature and dynamics of life demands that we really need to use a combination of the three as they all have strong advantages but fall short in other areas. For example, I love going to school and loved learning about the history, traditions, and methods of the church. Yet when I started applying the things I learned they always needed tweaking to fit the ministry of where I was at. At this point the apprenticeship model kicked in and a seasoned leader was able to help guide me through the issues in a way that stayed true to biblical principles and was able to respond to the human factor of the situation. The mentoring model is also part of my life and it keeps me in check with my motives and my own issues. These three discipleship models when in sync with each other can propel us to grow deep and stretch us in growing wide.

Building a Church Culture of Discipleship

Discipleship requires commitment from both the disciple and from the mentor. This means we must be intentional and open about how we disciple. The C&MA has put together a few examples of different discipleship plans by its member churches called Discipleship Pathways. If we want to get out of the pastor-do culture that is prevalent in the North American church today we must present and implement an alternative culture. A culture that raises Christian adults, mature followers of Christ, true disciples. As Paul says in Hebrews 5.14 “Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” If we desire to grow deep we must allow ourselves to be held accountable and learn the difference between what is right and what is wrong.

Held Accountable

My wife and I love giving our kids gifts, but we also love watching them grow as they become caring, compassionate, and God centered. This is not developed by simple showering them with gifts, but also, when needed, to give correction and discipline. Too often in the church today we resist giving and receiving discipline. The Father loves giving good gifts (Matthew 7), but He also disciplines out of love so that we can grow and share in His holiness (Hebrews 12). In a blog post by Jared Wilson, he says “In discipling relationships, we are always disciplining one another, not chiefly or only in the fight against sin but largely in our encouragement of each other, edifying one another, teaching one another, and sharing one another’s burdens. In short, disciples know each other. And so Matthew 18:15 might be happening all the time, perhaps weekly within loving relationships where there is no imminent danger of somebody being kicked out of the church but rather a constant iron sharpening of iron” (5 Ways to Keep Church Discipline from Seeming Weird). To be discipled we must allow others to call us on our sin so we are held accountable for what we do, otherwise we will stay as infants and our paths will remain crooked and broken.

Why?

Discipleship gives us the tools and skills to take the Gospel out into the world. As we go we will be able to share His great name. Faith in Christ is not meant to be kept to ourselves, but shared with fellow believers and shared with non-believers as a testimony of God’s glory. Why do we attend church? Why do we go to small groups? Why do we serve the poor? Evangelism and discipleship are not the same thing however they do work intertwined with each other. “If you think your heart is growing in love for God, but your heart is not growing in love for lost people, you  are deceived.” (Chip Ingram- High Impact Church Law 8).

Are you being discipled?

Here are a few resources I found:

 How to Build a High Impact Church – Chip Ingram

 & the post 5 Ways to Keep Church Discipline from Seeming Weird

 C&MA Discipleship Pathways & Southview Alliance’s Aspen Strategy

I recently posted about a booklet called Why be Missionary? and found this video by the author, Dr. Arnold Cook, interesting.

The Global Vault

Dr. Arnold Cook – What Burns in My Heart Today

“I find myself still concerned about what I was concerned about most of my leadership days…” Find out what those concerns are in watching this video.

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I recently read  a small booklet called Why Be Missionary? written by Dr. Arnold Cook, retired president of the Christian & Missionary Alliance, Canada. It was a great 20 page read and was a reminder of why missions is in the name of the denomination I am a part of. Here are a few excerpts:

Why Be Missionary?

At our origin in North America we were known as “The Christian and Missionary Alliance.” As autonomous churches were established around the world, each assumed its distinctive name. Many have not adopted the equivalent to “The Christian and Missionary Alliance,” and even in North America the name is frequently shortened to “the Alliance Church.”
Although we may lament the loss of these terms which depict our historical distinctives, our energies must be directed toward the core values of being “Christian” first and “missionary” second. I will first enunciate ten reasons for being missionary, then five ways “missions” dies and finally three ways God restores missions in our churches.

Missions is at the centre of our faith. Our God is a God that does not wait around for people to seek him, but He actively goes out to seek the lost (Luke 19.10). God wants to use his people in blessing all people,  “…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12.3). Dr. Cook goes on to list 10 reasons for being Missionary. I believe that the below point speaks directly to our typical mentality today within the church. It examines the plank in our own eye (Matthew 7.1-6) and calls us out to exam what it means to pick up our crosses daily (Luke 9.23).

 7. Only Missions Saves the Church from Self-Destruction

Who is enemy number one of the Church? Islam? Buddhism? Secular humanism? Communism? It is true that historically these have been enemies from without. 
But our greatest enemy always has been within-“self.” The unconquered “self” destroys more Christians and churches than Communism ever did.

Click for a history of the C&MA

Much of the giving in a “non-missionary” church is self-motivated. We give to build our churches which serve our families. We give toward the pastor’s support, which is biblical, but he also is serving our family. Only giving to the cause of missions to reach the powerless and lost people of the world becomes “true giving.”

The destructive nature of “self” really grasps the idea of what Christ meant with “…‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12.31). If we, Christians in the Church, conquer “self” and give our time, money, and abilities to spreading the gift of grace we have been given what difference will we see in this world? The Gospel would reach every corner of the globe.Click here for a history of the C&MA

We would see the fulfillment of the great commission (Matthew 28) and the Glory of God will shine brighter than the sun (Revelations 21.23)!

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