GO – The Importance of Reaching Out

At Freedom House, our mission is to lead people to freedom in Jesus Christ.

Our church vision is to gather, grow, give and go. In this fourth blog entry on our vision, I want to write about the GO.

In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus commissioned His followers to GO into all the world to make disciples, to baptize, and to teach.

At Freedom House, when we GO, we go locally, nationally, and internationally. When we go, we are doing something practical to tangibly demonstrate the love of God. To help activate the church to GO, we provide opportunities for people to serve in local outreaches and go on mission trips.

Last year a team was sent from Freedom House to Juarez, Mexico, to serve with Pastor Buck Zengerle of Children’s Cup. Some went, and some sent through their giving. Together, the church made an impact of eternal proportion.

Throughout the year, we organize a way to plug people into local outreaches that take us outside of our walls. Some of our outreach is done on our own. Other outreach has been done by linking arms with other churches and ministries. Some examples of outreach we’ve done include hosting events for single moms, thrown neighborhood block parties, given away baskets of goodies, fed meals to firefighters, done Easter egg hunts, given gift cards to school teachers, helped give away Thanksgiving meals, and sponsored a booth for a back-to-school outreach.

Jesus said to “go,” so let’s GO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GIVE: The Importance of Sharing With Others

At Freedom House, our mission is to lead people to freedom in Jesus Christ.

Our vision is to gather, grow, give and go. In this blog entry I want to communicate the GIVE part of the vision.

Freedom House intentionally gives a minimum of ten percent of our income into missions, outreach, church planting, and benevolence. The Bible doesn’t require churches to give away a certain percentage of the church income, but the Bible is clear that part of our function as a church is to give to the poor, reach out to the lost and hurting, and to make disciples of the nations.

God has shared the responsibility of His kingdom with the Church. He partners with us, working together to win the world. We get to co-labor with God – what an amazing opportunity! Because we have experienced God’s love, we love Him; because we love Him, we give. Whatever the size of a church, we can do our part.

There is a freedom in knowing God. Generosity stems from liberty. We don’t have to be rich to be generous, but we do work at being good stewards of God’s money so we can be a generous church.

When you give to Freedom House, a portion of what you give will be combined with the giving of others to invest in accomplishing kingdom business. You are part of something bigger than yourself.  Thank you for giving!

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Grow: The Importance of Coming Up a Level

At Freedom House, we have a vision to gather, grow, give and go. Today I want to share about the “grow” part of the vision in our mission to lead people to freedom in Jesus Christ.

GROW
I am a firm believer that Jesus accepts us right where we’re at. He died for us while we were still in an unforgiven and fallen condition. When we were in darkness, He came and found us.[1] We accept people where they are at when we connect through Freedom House. We often say, “Come as you are.”

I also believe that Jesus wants people to experience victory in life, in His freedom, which involves going through transformation and growth. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Growth happens a step at a time. We also often say, “We accept people where they are at, then ask them to come up a level.”

WEEKENDS
At a weekend service, we usually have a wide span of people gathering together, and our teaching is scriptural and foundational.

FH STEPS GROWTH TRACK
We also encourage everyone to go through the FH STEPS Growth Track, our 3-part discipleship course. For new and young believers, they benefit by learning basic truth from God’s Word. Those who are mature in the Lord will benefit by the assurance of what the church embraces as foundational doctrine.

FH GROUPS
FH Groups are our small groups. To go deeper into teaching, we recommend a Growth Group, preferably one that is part of the Emerge School of Ministry curriculum. In a small group, the believers also have the benefit of others who will pray with them, support them, care for them, and do life together with them.

EMERGE INTERNSHIP
We also have an internship program to help prepare anyone who wants to go farther in their ministry or who senses a call to leadership in the church or their own ministry. We also work to train church planters and church teams, and try to place them into a church plant or activate them in ministry positions.

SUMMARY
As a pastor, God holds me responsible for oversight of the church, which includes providing solid truth for growth and also protection from false doctrine and error. I encourage the people who Freedom House their home to hear the message on the weekends, to listen to podcasts on our website, to go through FH STEPS, and to join FH GROUPS. If you sense a call to leadership, please consider going through the Emerge School of Ministry curriculum or go through the Emerge Internship.

[1] Romans 5:8, Acts 17:27, Acts 26:18

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Gather: The Importance of Being There

As a pastor, part of my responsibilities is to impart vision. Our mission is what we believe we are called to do, the what. Our vision is how we accomplish our mission. Our mission is leading people to freedom in Jesus Christ. Our vision is to gather, grow, give and go.

GATHER:

The gather part of the vision is mostly about our weekend services where we come together to worship, to hear the word, to minister the anointing, and to connect with each other.

As a pastor, I encourage people to gather because I know the importance of a church service. In order for any of us to be restored or to connect or to grow, we need to come together. One part of the importance is the ministry we receive, another part of it is the ministry God receives and gives, and another part of it is the ministry we give to others.

WORSHIP
In a church service, we worship. We encounter God’s presence. When we encounter God, His Spirit moves and we receive what we need from God. We can do this at home, but personal worship does not replace God’s plan for our group worship. We can’t neglect it. In the Old Testament the people came together on a regular, weekly basis and honored God in worship. It’s not a rule, it’s a relationship – a relationship that needs to be nurtured.

WORD
Part of being a pastor is making sure that I am hearing from God and receiving an anointing from God to share a message from God for our church, in our season. There are times when I bring in other teachers, evangelists, missionaries and other gifts because their message is for your good and the benefit of the church vision. That word could be something for you personally, but it could also be for us as a group. We should not think only of ourselves. Our church family is also our consideration and our responsibility. What God is saying to us as a group should be a message we want to hear and take care to listen to and apply.

MINISTRY
We pursue the Holy Spirit in our services. Where the Holy Spirit is manifested, the anointing is there to minister. The anointing transforms our lives. We struggle to try to change ourselves, but we overcome when we position ourselves to receive God’s grace. As we come together in unity, that anointing can increase. We need to pursue the anointing for ourselves as well as for those in our church.

CONNECTION
Worship services are a good place to connect, but we encourage you to grow in friendships through small groups and the step classes, where you can get to know a more close knit group on a deeper level. However, most of the church and our visitors will come for a weekend service. If you don’t come to services on a regular basis, you don’t have the opportunity to encourage someone else or welcome a new guest. We also share information and testimonies about the church that you miss if you aren’t there. Connection is important for you, and it is important to provide connection for others.

SUMMARY
So when your pastor talks about coming to church, the vision to GATHER, please understand it is for your benefit and the benefit of those you could encourage – the worship, the word, the ministry, and the connection. I care about you and I look forward to gathering with you.

 

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Getting on the Same Page

It’s important for any christian to embrace the vision of the church God has drawn them to commit to. Part of embracing vision is getting on the same page through a church growth track. Part of a good growth track is a discipleship class that everyone should go through, whether that person is newly saved, a mature believer, or somewhere in between.

At Freedom House Church, we have a discipleship course we call FH Steps. In this course people will not only learn about the church vision and beliefs, but it’s also a great first step in getting to know other people and leaders in the church.

The course has three classes:

Step 1
Step 1 is a four-week class where we ENCOUNTER what the church is about. We can’t embrace a vision if we don’t know the vision. This class are includes information on how the church is set up, shares who we are as pastors and leaders, and how we make ourselves accountable to keep ourselves on track.

Step 2
Step 2 is a 10-week class where we EQUIP others with a foundation of basic teaching. There is unity when we are confident we agree on the major points of our faith.

Step 3
Step 3 is a 10-week class where we are EMPOWERED to serve with a deeper knowledge of God’s Word.

As pastors, we want everyone who calls Freedom House to be on the same page. We put the expectation out there for everyone to go through all three Steps if they want to serve in a leadership position. To serve on a FH Ministry Team, Step 1 is a necessary step.

Starting February 12th, Rick Becker will be teaching the Step 1 class after church. A light lunch will be provided. If Sundays don’t work for you, then Melanie and I will be teaching the class on Tuesdays from 7 to 8 pm. We ask that the classes be attended so connections can be made. If you have to miss a class, a recording will be made available.

Step 2 will be available during the spring term of small groups that start in March.

Thank you for getting on the same page! TOGETHER we can see God do great things!

 

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