Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Will we continue to pioneer? Ray Lowe | Fusion 2016

 This message was preached by RAY LOWE at the Fusion 2016 RegionsBeyond gathering in the UK.
For the audio /video link please click here

 This is a serious time. I have not been in a conference where there has been so much expectation and hope in the room. I have heard some say that the Charismatic think that because they sing it it’s done! But we know that is not true. The conference theme is Pioneers. Pioneers make us feel uncomfortable and it can be challenging!

Take C.T Stud; he gave everything away. C. T and his wife vowed that they would never hinder one another. In 16 years they saw each other for the total of one month!!! Why do people do such things?

1956 E. Elliot goes back to live with the people who murdered her husband. Why? Pioneers are fully focused and not impressed with what impresses others.

We are a part of the Restoration Movement. That is our history ( as Newfrontiers and Region Beyond) i.e to do the deeds of the New testament church. We built the churches and expected God to turn up and we did not want to miss the meetings. We had a steady growth, baptisms, and we planted churches. But pioneers are not impressed by that! They think dream and live bigger because that us what they believe God thinks like that. God wants us to move to another level, to another gear.

The question is why did we do all that we did?
Pioneers take risks but they are not reckless. They know the consequences of their actions. They knew they would die.
J. Elliot “Wherever you are, be all there. “He is no fool who gives up what he can’t keep to gain what he can’t lose”.  
Steve Jobs “The people who are crazy enough think they can change the world are the ones who do”.
Nelson Mandela “There is no greater risk in life than taking no risk at all”.
This is a serious time. We need to continue to believe that we can change the world and pioneer things.

ACTS 8:1-8
The passage troubles the non charismatic and the cessationists.
Why did Philip go to Samaria when there was persecution? It was not sensible to go there! The Jews and Samaritans were enemies. But Jesus actually said go to Samaria! So that ought to be enough. The Holy Spirit convinced him to go. That’s risky. Things get birthed in small actions and decisions that we take. God uses the unlikely cases to do stuff i.e you and I.

What stirred Philip up?  It was hanging out with the Apostles. If you hang out with good people something happens to you. Who do you spend time with? Proverbs says Bad company corrupts good character.

GO” is a controversial word. It was then and is now too. It took 100 years to scatter the church and for the people to actually “go”. People went around the Jews but no one went to Samaria or the gentiles.

God has been patient with us. For 20 years God has spoken to us about church planting. It takes time for God’s word to filter to us. If we won’t do something – persecution makes us move. We don’t want that.

The word witness can be translated as martyr. Stephen was martyred and people fled and they began to share the gospel. It was a grass roots movement. The Apostles were nowhere around. Ordinary people spread the gospel. It takes time.

 In this Conference God is saying, “It is time” We say that we are built on the Apostles foundations. What is that? We say the Word of God. That is good. But Apostolic also means sending, “going”, “releasing”. We must be a sending faith. Get out there and plant community.

What hinders us?
1.      Sometimes good leaders do it. We restored the church to release and not be an end in itself. Many restoration movements have died because they failed to do what they set out to do i. e plant churches. Newfrontiers has kept going because we have not given up on the WORD and the CHURCH. WE need to use the church to do what it’s supposed to do.

So we have grown good churches but we have failed to release church. Paul stayed on at Antioch and taught for a year. What did he teach? I’m sure it was mission because, Antioch was a releasing church. We have to release the people once they peak. When we give away you get more. We are here to change the world.

Don’t stop building well, but build with the intent of releasing. So ask the question, where are we going to do this or that?

What does a pioneer look like? They are frigidity, easily bored, easily mis judged; don’t fit in, always evangelistic, gatherers, not embarrassed by non believers. They ear relational, they loved the list.

They have lots of ideas, lots of projects. They drive pastors mad!!

So pastors don't hang onto people to build church. You build church by releasing people and then you build a whole load of others.
We need people because there are many places we need to plant church and we need pioneers to go with them.They are lousy church leaders but they have got to be released. We need these risk takers. Pastors need to get to know them and find out what would they do given the opportunity.

To reach the nation we need every gift whether its in a skirt or trousers. We have not changed our theology but we do need all the gifts. The world is so sophisticated today that we need sophisticated gifts to reach the world , the skill that Pastors don't have.

I asked Donna Bloomfield why does she go to Burundi? Why does she do what she does and go where she is going?

Here is response ( my paraphrase ) " I don't go to Burundi because I am brave. In fact I am not very brave.. there are many things I don't cope well with things like bugs and snakes. Only bugs and snakes like bugs and snakes!!... I'm as far removed from an adrenaline junkie as you can get... What motivates me to go to Burundi that is a country on the brink of civil war, in crises and is the poorest country in the world?... well on one level because God has called me and yet there is no place I'd rather be. I'm passionate about the Kingdom of God coming to the nations, to see lives changed.. only God can change a nation around and we get to partner in it.
We already have so many testimonies of lives changing, God's provision.. These remind me of what we can't but what God can.. right now the risks are high... is it safe for me to go back?.. Its not about what is safe but what God said. The call of God will sometimes take us to the most darkest and dangerous places. ... we are the light and darkness cannot penetrate the light. .. Darkness is being pushed back by light.." 

So if you feel you are a pioneer and you have felt held back or held back give us your names and we will see how your gift can be used and we you could possibly go. This is for everyone, age , sex ,no bar.

People are willing in the day of God's power and this is the day of God's power.

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