As we embark on this new year, we take encouragement for the great year that we had as a Church in 2011 and we’re believing for an incredible 2012. It is in these times, that we need to take inventory of where we are and once again re-align ourselves to our God-given Vision. A couple of years ago we had cast our 10 year goal called: “2020 Vision” of growing to 2,020 members by the year 2020.
It is somewhat an ambitious goal but we are driven by our desire to reach as many souls for Christ as we can and we are trusting the Lord for his provision and empowerment to see this fulfilled. Already in the last 2 years we have seen a significant increase in membership and attendance and with our imminent renovations, creating more room, we are believing for greater exponential growth.
What is also important is our Mission Statement. These are the guiding principles by which we function as a Church and it also reflects our process for Discipleship and multiplication. They are encapsulated in 3 simple words that are commonly used in preparation for a race; Ready, Set, Go.
READY: means to get souls READY for heaven-going.
SET: means to SET and equip souls in God’s Word and discipleship.
GO: means to RELEASE them for service and evangelism.
These are our guardrails to direct us to our overall vision which is “To be a Community of Apostolic Believers who are reaching the world through the love, message and power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Our theme for this year is ‘Catalyst’. Catalyst can be defined as someone or something that causes something to happen or change. This year, our emphasis is that we will determine to take personal responsibility to bring change in ourselves, our families, our church, our community and our world. In other words, the Catalyst is me/you/we. We are not going to rely on others or just the leaders or the more spiritual ones who have always done it but every child of God is called to be a ‘Catalyst’ for revival in their world.
Just a short disclaimer: God is actually the initial catalyst, He began the work. If we had any desire for good or the will to do great things it’s only because of His redemptive work on Calvary and the prompting of His Holy Spirit in us. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Phil 2:13
What is often overlooked however, is that God has already given us everything that we need to fulfill the great commission and, like the first Church in the book of Acts, I believe we can turn our world upside down. God felt so strongly about his Church fulfilling the great commission, bringing the Gospel to the world and making disciples of ALL nations (Matt 28:18-20) that he even brought persecution to the Jerusalem Church when evangelism stalled and they remained only within the city limits. Furthermore, they only converted Jews and neglected the Gentiles.
However, when persecution came to the Church (Acts 8:1), including the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 11:19-20), instead of the Church decreasing and dismantling, persecution became the catalyst for the gospel being spread to the Gentile nations. The Antioch church in Acts 11 & 17 would not make the same mistake as the Jerusalem Church. They reached out to everybody including commissioning the greatest New Testament evangelist and writer; the Apostle Paul.
So to conclude, God either used persecution or substitution to be the catalyst for His Church to reach the world. He will either rebuke or replace us in order that his greatest burden be undertaken. I am determined I don’t want persecution or for someone else to take my place but there is a third alternative; Volition. You can choose to respond to His Word and be a Catalyst for revival in your world.
This year, 2012, you can be a Catalyst for God!
This is a blog post from Stanley Harvey, the Senior Pastor of the Pentecostals of Sydney.