Despite the various sophistications, models and technology, Our phones have become one of the most dearest things to us. Today you can forget to carry many things but not your phone, we feel somewhat incomplete without our phones. Mobile phones today have a way to create a sense of Connectedness. Phones can make us feel secure, significant and even accepted. Your phone represents who you carry with you, who matters to you, who you organize your life around. . But here is something to Imagine- Imagine a day or week without your phone- a sense of lost Businesses, opportunities lost, communication lost, Relationships lost, feeling of outdated and not connected.
We are all in need to be connected. Our phones give us the feeling that though we may not have money, or though we may be alone, we are Connected because have carried all the community with us. Because we were made to be relational, we cannot do without that sense of Connection.
But more importantly is our sense of Connection with our Maker. Imagine loosing this vital connection, it’s worse than losing your phone, or loosing network on your phone or losing the phone book on your phone.
Scripture in the book of Judges Speaks of such a tragedy-in chapter 2- After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who Knew neither the Lord, nor what He had done for Israel. They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors who had led them from Egypt…and they aroused the Lord’s anger.
Another generation arose that had lost their vital connection with their God and what he had done for them. This was worse than just losing their heritage- This was losing their purpose and who they essentially were. They roused the Lord’s anger.
If you look a little back, The book of Joshua ends with the Nation of Israel taking a stand for God, ready to experience all the blessings of the Promised Land. After settling in Canaan, however, the Israelites lost their spiritual connection, commitment and motivation. When the elders and Joshua died there was a vacuum of spiritual guidance, vision nor leadership. They had inherited a phone without connection- No photos, No mem card, no network, no Phone book, what Good is a phone without these?
But how did they get here? How is it that a new generation came up, without knowing this vital connection? This is the same question we need to ask ourselves today? Is it possible that a generation is rising that do not know the Lord nor what He has done for us, Is it possible that we are losing this Connection? Or as a church, what will be said of us by the next generation?
At Lifespring Chapel we seek to be relevant to our purpose. We believe God has called us to be a Community Transformed by Christ and Transforming our world with Christ. Our Connection with God as as believers is core to our existence, history and purpose. As our founding pastor puts it “To be at Lifespring, meant you were a LIFE-Transmitter and a hope-bringer because you were connected to Jesus- the ultimate Life and Hope-giver.
Our environment is also unique, we believe God is intentional about our placement in this environment. To keep this Connection, We therefore must be relevant in our approach to ministry. We must constantly seek to see things as God does, adapt where appropriate, innovate to remain relevant in the world to which we have been called. This is not at the expense of the stability we find from that which remains the same; Yesterday today and for eternity.
But how are we passing this vital connection to the emerging Church? The population in the locality we are in is largely comprised of youth (those aged 24 years and below). 7 years ago I was just a young man trying to find my way in life until someone helped me to CONNECT to my Purpose.
What can we lay now as a foundation for future senior pastors and kingdom influencers? What happens to a young man inheriting a phone, without CONNECTION?
Back to the Children of Israel- This is what happened- They forgot the Lord, they Lost the Connection
Let’s see what God had warned them, before they even entered the Promised Land?
Read Deuteronomy 6
Moses gave them these commands so that they would not forget the Lord and instead they and their heritages would be blessed.
First he reminds them that the Lord is one. This was a distinctive feature of the Israelite God. Many ancient religions believed in many gods, but they were to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who is God of the Universe, the only true God. Just as it was then, the next generation is continuously confronted with a pantheon of gods that are false. Science, media, cartoons, magazines and super heroes, religions and society is daily creating new gods that are superficial but stealing our hearts and worse still the hearts of our youth and children. How are we doing in this Connection?
Secondly the Love of God expressed in quality community and family time in God’s word. There is an emphasis to teach, practice and pass on the word to the children. God emphasized the importance of parents teaching the word to their children. Eternal truths are most effectively learnt in the environment of a God fearing home- That responsibility was not to be delegated to schools or the churches. How are we doing in this connection?
Thirdly- The Israelites were extremely successful at making religion part of their life. There was no dichotomy of life, being a Jew meant a Jew in the synagogue, a Jew at work, a Jew everywhere. Their religious education was not information oriented but life oriented. They used the context of daily life to teach about God, not just in church.
Lastly God reminded them that they should not forget the Lord, when they step in the land of prosperity and become prosperous. Prosperity can dull our connection to God, because it tends to make us feel self-sufficient and less sensitive to our need for God. Have we fallen into this trap? The same thing can happen to us as a church, we can grow and but God warns us that we must not forget Him at the Core?
Allow me to share how some of these vital lessons apply to us today as believers but as Lifespring Chapel Syokimau.
After a season of prayer and seeking God, We have sensed God calling us to take on a portion of His Kingdom Plan, in A vision we call “Emerge 2022”. This is a picture of Lifespring Chapel in the Next 7 years. This vision is about people and God- ordinary people, building influential communities that will bring Nations into Gods Kingdom through God’s LIFE in their lives. We therefore want to intentionally target the next generation – youth and the children now. We must begin to set the pace now for the future of the Emerging church and God’s Kingdom. In this vision, We believe
It’s time for God’s people to Emerge: People who have God’s LIFE in them, People who are convinced that God is who He says He is and we are who He says we are. People who are convinced of their identity in Christ and interacting with that conviction. People who are CONNECTED to LIFE. The people who know their God. Which will be the focus for today.
It’s time for LIFE Communities to Emerge: Increasing our sphere of influence within Syokimau, 5 Km radius of influence through community relevant ministries (Stewardship and Relationships). We want to be the church next door. All that we are and have has been given to us for the extension of the kingdom and therein find our enjoyment. The church that is always open to the next man or woman or child?
It’s time for God’s Nation to Emerge: We must be active about the great commission that calls All peoples of all Nations and All tribes into the Kingdom. We want to Reproduce our LIFE DNA in 2 new church plants in 2 other counties. Colonizing earth with the culture of Heaven/LIFE. We desire to see our ministries have the face of all Nations- Chinese, Europeans, Indians and all others.
Emerge CONNECT – By the year 2022, Lifespring Syokimau will be ministering to 1000 people on a weekly basis through its ministries within the Syokimau Community. Some of these ministries/strategies will include:
- 2 weekly worship services of at least 400 people in every seating. Each of these services will include its complete set of service personnel. The services can be both on Sunday or one on midweek another on Sunday. With 2/3rd of them being 24 and below.
- To this end, Starting 2016, we will be launching our Youth worship Service and Expression Ministry.
- We will also be launching our Full -fledged Children worship Service- LIFE Kids Syokimau church and LIFE Kids Outreach Ministry (Bible clubs)
- 1 mid- week prayer service of about 150 people with a termly Kesha
- Host a bible study service/ministry of about 300 people
- We pray to disciple at least 80% of our members. We are adopting and reviewing our methods and tools in order to be effective including evangelism training, interactive and accessible teaching material for our LIFE groups as well as transformational experiences and baptisms.
These are important for us to remain CONNECTED and pass them on to our children. But what will it take?
Like the Israelites: We must not lose but endeavor to enrich our CONNECTEDESS to GOD. We must cultivate our love for the Lord with all our hearts, minds and our souls. CONNECTED people are people who’s Identity is anchored in Christ- They find their security, significance and Acceptance in Christ. Let me share from these scriptures
The Word of God is central to this Love
There is enough literature that is filling up living and work spaces that daily compete for attention with the word of God. We must recognize that man shall not leave on bread alone but by the word that comes from God. We must prioritize God’s word.
Fathers acquaint yourselves with those hero stories again for your sons. Men we must find time for God’s word- Not just the newspaper, journals and sports pages. Ladies- There is tones of Christian material that can best accompany us to the salons. How will our daughters learn these virtues- if we are not reading of the virtues of Godly women in scripture?
We must be unapologetic, splash the words of scripture around us, on our walls and shirts and doors, screen savers and others. Encourage ourselves to memorize scripture and use it in everyday language.
Men learn how to pray for your sake and that of your children? These priestly roles begin at home? Family and business life should be intertwined with prayer and sharing of God’s word.
Help counsel your kids, by challenging them in scripture?
The Practice of Faith in Simple and Daily living-
What will this Connection take? Our faith must move from our heads to our hearts. As we said last time Real faith is lived out in Community. If for Sunday only you are saved, then you are to be pitied of all men.
Our Relationship with Jesus must be the active LIFE line of all that we do? We engage in business, and work as mission. There is no dichotomy of sacred and secular. All work is ministry. How can you live out your love for the Lord in your work and academics?
We are not asking that you stop working and go to church, but make your work the church- You indeed will be more effective preacher there than if you sent me.
Here is a Challenge- Your Phone book contacts- is a reflection of relationships that matter to you? Some you feel are a life line, but how have you showed them the one important Connection that matters to you most?
So next time you come to church- the empty chair- is for the one on your phone book? Imagine – If everyone was to take challenge to touch 10 people on our phone books with their love for Jesus?
Look through your phone book are there people you are afraid to share your Love for the Lord with? Ask yourself Why?
We don’t want to grow the church with 1000 attendees, that will take a poster and good publicity. God is calling us to raise Disciples, 1000 worshipers- We will grow to that by being disciples- seeing that our relationship with Jesus actively touches others.
Look out for God citing and share them in fellowships at home e.t.c.
Lastly Re-tell your stories of redemption- As the children of Israel were commanded to tell of how the Lord rescued them from Egypt and Slavery, we are to Re-tell how you met the Lord, what have you become since you knew the Lord? Learn to include the Lord in your Climaxes- How it began and ended with the Lord- Don’t steal God’s thunder.
This is the Connection we want to enrich and not lose. Imagine such a community? Those who are connected to LIFE. Imagine a Community of People who know their God. Scriptures teaches us that the People who know their God will be strong and do mighty exploits.
So how are you CONNECTED? Is your Connection with the Lord Strong enough to Influence the next man, the next woman on your Contacts, Community or your family? Or will it be said that another generation grew up that neither knew the Lord nor what He had done?
These avenues to grow are available to us- Lets not expect other to participate if we are not ourselves participating. Let’s come together for prayer, Bible Study and Sign up for discipleship experiences?
See video to listen to Snr. Pastor Speak on EMERGE