A Report on Last Night’s Evangelism Conference in Monroe

Here’s a report about last night’s first meeting of the Bethel School of Supernatural Evangelism at Redeemer Fellowship Church.

1. I estimate that somewhere between 300-400 people were there. Many of them were from outside of Michigan, coming from Florida, San Francisco, Texas, some college students from Penn State U, Wisconsin, illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Canada, Iceland, and elsewhere. There were also a lot of people from around Michigan outside of Monroe.

2. We began at 7 PM with worship. In my opinion, the worship was simply wonderful and filled with the presence of God as it seemed nearly everyone there was worshiping with all their hearts. We were a worship-ready group last night, and our Redeemer worship team did a great job. As worship began I was standing in the back of the sanctuary with Joe Laroy and Neil McLeod. We all agreed – “God is in the house tonight!”

3. Josh Bentley welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming. Josh then introduced Chris Overstreet. I was so glad to see Chris and meet his wife! I love Chris’s great heart for reaching the world with the good news of Jesus. He is pouring his entire life into doing that and training others to do that. Chris introduced us to  his assistants Seth and Anne, and the 8 Bethel Ministry school students who accompanied him.

4. Then Chris taught. These meetings are a bit different from last year, when Chris did ministry and had us pray for people ourselves. That happened last night, but this is a “school” and it also has a training environment. Chris presented, with excellence, humor, depth, and clarity, the 5 Core Values Bethel holds to, especially when it comes to evangelism. These 5 Core Values are to form a “Kingdom Foundation” for all that we do. They are:

1. LOVE

2. HONOR

3. THE PRESENCE OF GOD

4. POWER

5. JOY

I loved what Chris had to say about all of these. He told us that, while we can expect to miracles happen as we outreach to people, the point is not about seeing another miracle happen and being blown away by that. Rather, the point is: people. People are not “projects.”

Chris talked about the power of the love of God and the power of honoring other people before your own self. Then, he spoke about “hosting the presence of God.” Chris said: “There’s something about hosting the presence of God. When we’re hosting the presence of God we see opportunities all around us.” I really liked how Chris expressed this.

All of this forms a foundation for taking the Gospel outside the walls of the church building. That’s what God is using Chris to teach us to do.

Chris also said that, as we minster to one another and speak into one another’s hearts and lives, it’s all to be for: edification, exhortation (encouragement), and comfort.

5. Chris then called his ministry team up and many of them had “words of knowledge” and prophetic words for people who were there (see 1 Corinthians 12:7-11). As Josh and I said last Sunday morning, we believe these gifts are for the church today. God gives us them for: edification, encouragement, and comfort.

Then we prayed for people who came with physical problems. We were all invited to pray for these many people who stood asking for prayer.

6. Finally, with our worship team playing, Chris’s team, our prayer team, and our RMS students formed an “impartation” line where many walked through and received from God.

In this “school” environment Chris told us he’s going to give an in-depth teaching on words of knowledge – receiving them, discerning them, and so on. I’m especially interested in what he will have to say here.

Ever since I came to Christ I have had a heart for the “lost” people of this world. So this evangelism conference is dear, and important, to me.  

We meet again tonight at 7 PM. 

5305 Evergreen

Monroe

Bethel Redding Church Comes to Monroe This Week

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Bethel Redding Church in Redding, California (where Bill Johnson is pastor) brings its Bethel School of Supernatural Evangelism to Redeemer Fellowship Church this week, beginning Wednesday evening.

For details, schedule, speakers, go to Bethel’s website here.

 

Wed – 7 PM

Thurs – 7 PM

Fri – 1-5 PM; 7 PM

Sat – 1-5 PM;  7 PM

Sun morning – 10:30 – Chris Overstreet preaches

Sun. evening – 6 PM – Chris Overstreet preaches

Reputation Increases; Ability Decreases

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(Sterling Stste Park)
In my church family I have many friends whom I know very well. We’ve talked and shared about life’s deepest joys and struggles. When one of them experiences healing, or victory, or moves into greater freedom, I get a feeling that’s so good I think, “This is what life is all about.” When one of them suffers loss, I feel loss. Personal empathy seems to be increasing. I just turned 60 and think I am experiencing more compassion towards others than ever before.
And more powerlessness. The days of living under the illusion of personal power and innate ability are fading fast. I’ve long felt that I can’t change anybody. I can’t even change my own self, if “change” means a Romans 12:2 kind of metamorphe. I’m surprised people change, in this deep sense. I don’t expect it. I know I’m not the causal agent of such change. I see this as a very good place for me to be. Being-used by God as a vessel through whom God’s power flows happens through powerless people who know that’s who they are. I am unable; God is able.
I just entered the decade of my 60s. I want this to be an experiential time of the reality of personal powerlessness and increasing trust in God. This is hard to grasp by 20-somethings. Most of them are incapable of heart-knowing this. It’s not that older people get this by simply being older. I meet old people who are trying to recapture their youthful powers. That quest is vain. The truth is, as Dag Hammarskjold once wrote, “Reputation increases; ability decreases.” I’ll revise that to: Ability decreases; God increases. As John the Baptist confessed, “I must decrease, so that God will increase.” The alternative viewpoint is false and dangerous.
I must learn a greater humility and dependency. “Dependency” is making plans to knock on my door. Spiritually this is good, because spiritual usefulness is in inverse proportion to physical and mental pride.
Today some of my friends are hurting. I feel with them. I want them to be better. I am not their answer. Because I want to help, I want God to move through me to bring healing to these ones I love. The only answer I know and trust in is this: human abilities are limited; a move of God is needed. Now, more than ever, when healing, release, and growth happen, it’s easier to give God the credit.

RELAY FOR LIFE SPAGHETTI BAR THIS SATURDAY NIGHT IN MONROE

RELAY FOR LIFE SPAGHETTI BAR

Proceeds Go To

American Cancer Society

This is a family friendly event, set up like an open house. Please come out and enjoy good food and great company. There will be door prizes and different raffles to participate in. This event will be helping our Relay for Life team raise money towards cancer research.

Date: May 9th, 2009

 

Time: 5pm – 8pm

Location:

 

 

 

Redeemer Fellowship

5305 Evergreen Dr. Monroe, MI 48161

For more info call 734-242-2131 and ask for Wendy or Tara

Fear, & Swine Flu

Fear is a lie. Most fear, that is. By far, most of the fears I’ve experienced in my life have never materialized. I’ve laid awake at night listening to it storm, fearful that a tornado would strike. It never has. I knew a few people who were afraid to check their mailboxes because they might have envelopes containing anthrax. Those envelopes never came. Y2K inserted the fear of global, chaotic breakdown into the hearts of many people. Their fear was real, while Y2K was a non-event.

Fear is the emotion we feel when facing an uncontrollable harmful event. That event can be either known or unknown. When confronted with the known, fear is reality-based. That is, one not only fears, but the fear corresponds to an actual threat that is either impending or now actualized. Most fears are fears of the unknown. Fears about, not the actual, but the possible. These events mostly never happen. The fear is real but irrational.

Today’s fear is about getting swine flu. It’s about one’s own possible demise, as well as the demise of family and friends. Possible scenarios are of an “outbreak,” an “epidemic,” and a “pandemic.” Now insert “global” before each of these terms. Add “unseeable,” since we’re talking about a virus. Mix in some “unstoppable” and legitimate concern morphs into panic.

Some people are just flat-out more fearful than others. Their hearts and minds are fertile soil for anxiety and worry, and they pass these things on to others. For some, maybe many, maybe most, the swine flu will come and go. But the fearful heart that so debilitates remains unless it is cured. Which is worse, getting the swine flu and most likely surviving, or living constantly with irrational fears that never materialize? While I pray we won’t have a flu pandemic, every week I see a “fear pandemic” in the souls of people, and on occasion I’ve caught this virus myself. Fear breeds more fear like a virus. I think that, if we could cure the globally fearful hearts of people, we’d deal with the physical virus better. Panic shuts people down, distracting and hindering them from being proactively precautionary.

The cure for fear is trust. People who trust don’t fear. Fear and trust are like oil and water: unmixable. Trust is a relationship. One trusts in someone or in something. One leans on someone or something. A trusting heart has a foundation; a fearful heart is adrift. I’ve met trusting people. They are not naive or gullible. If a tornado warning is given they take shelter. But they do not live filled with fears that never materialize, and in that sense they experience a freedom fearful people do not have. They don’t put their trust in Twitter, but in God. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him. And He will make your paths straight.” Psalm 62:6 says, “He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”

God doesn’t want you to live in fear today. Wash your hands. Fold them and pray. Open them to heaven. Let God heal your fearful heart.