Sunday, August 5, 2007

5 stones I believe has a great future unfolding in front of it. These are the reasons I am excited:

  1. The level of spiritual warfare and oppression is thick! Our enemy [Satan] doesn't waste his time with dead churches or churches that have no destiny. Every week I have been here I have felt the need to press through a wall of pressure. Some weeks [2 weeks ago] go great and I can feel things cracking and the sunlight coming in. Other weeks [today] I can feel the pressure mount and the rain we had today acted as a metaphor for our inability to see the sunlight.

  2. People are stepping up to leadership roles! Some people who have needed a break, and others who have never been in leadership are starting to come out from survival-mode and push back against the tide. This is normal and natural for revival, new leaders must face the first waves of attack and fresh vision and step up to the plate.

  3. A new emphasis on intercessory prayer! Every great revival in American history has started with prayer. When people get serious before God and fill themselves with His power fresh energy and enthusiasm follows in their wake. 5 stones may never know these people because what they do is unseen; but what they are leveraging is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT component to our awakening to mission.

  4. The word of God is following us and leading us step by step. At first I was confused by this a bit. Nehemiah faces so many obstacles, and preaching from his journals has been very hard on me. But today I realized that this is EXACTLY what is supposed to happen. 5 stones is learning about handling leadership and opposition because this core-group will be the leaders of 5 stones future.'s hard, but's real. For 5 stones to step up to the next level it must learn how to take the licks and stay on target. Starting with me, and trickling down to everyone else.

  5. Big needs are being met in big ways! we needed a laptop and somebody stepped up with obedience...same with visitor God is beginning to show what needs there are and releasing gods people to meet those needs.

  6. People who have core agendas that are not centered on the mission [the gospel] are leaving. This may sound harsh but it is a core part of Jesus ministry. Jesus builds up crowds and then asks them to do hard things and sees who is left and invests himself strongly in them. The 12 and the 200 or so who were his main support. Almost every church that has a turn-around / re-start story tells that story in the context of simplifying, focusing, and downsizing. Gideon was led by God to do this and we are seeing our ranks thinned out a bit in a similar fashion.

  7. There is a growing concern for the lost! As I have dinner with people they seem more and more aware and concerned about people who don't yet know Jesus. The Holy Spirit is slowly bringing that ultimatum of concern into their hearts. When the concern becomes a mandate and a passion we will be ready to make the next step forward.

  8. We are starting to protect one another with our words. We are starting to really encourage each other in our gifts and passions. This is called edification...literally to build one another back up. This is part of the wall building in Nehemiah...building a physical and spiritual edifice to God. As we speak wisely and with encouragement the healing of hearts is happening and our hearts are even beginning to become more tender [not hard] to the tough spiritual lessons God is showing us in Nehemiah.

  9. The momentum of obedience is slowly replacing the momentum of "feeling." As 5 stones matures it is starting to understand that emotion is not the fuel of the soul and heart. When someone asks God how to love him his response is "keep my commandments." And 5 stones is already ahead of the curve in knowing that, that is impossible without the Spirit of God that must be tapped into moment by moment.

  10. God is in us; with us; and for us. So long as we stay on page with His priorities we will increasingly see His sovereignty and providence open doors for us and light the path before us. Churches that are desperate for His voice and who seek him through earnest prayer and a deep searching of the scriptures will always be close to Him. As our hunger for Him and His will increases, our dependence on "emotional encounters and experiences" will decrease. These are fine for the young while their faith is still wavering, but God desires a companionship that is deeper than that. And I sense 5 stones has been growing deeper roots of faith over the last 18 months as they have faced a time of confusion and dryness at times.


amy s said...



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