“may the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering”
It Is Finished.
a three word gospel-bomb I’m playing at World Changers North Pole this week.
The gospel in four words… Jesus in my place.
a new song I’m playing this week at PowerPlant Minneapolis
Last night we had a special worship service called “The Concert of Prayer.” It’s a quiet, guided time of prayer and singing that we put on once a week at PowerPlant and World Changers. 8 years ago the Concert of Prayer changed my life forever. Last night the same was true for 2 participants.
When I was 13 I went to a World Changers with my church. During the Concert of Prayer I put my faith in the gospel and started following Jesus. At the end of the service they played this new song called “How Great is Our God.”
I’ve been on staff with World Changers and PowerPlant for 3 years now, and every Concert of Prayer I’ve tried to include “How Great is Our God” because of what the song means to me.
Last night 2 participants decided after the Concert of Prayer that they wanted to start following Jesus for the first time. I got to talk to one for a little bit and he reminded me so much of myself.
Being the worship leader for my team this summer I knew that my job had a purpose. And I’ve always heard the phrase “worship matters.” But last night I realized that worship matters, a lot.
During the service the gospel was never preached, but it was sung. There was no 3 point sermon, but there were 3 verse songs laying out the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Worship matters a lot because true worship points people to the life-changing gospel.
I said, “Hey PowerPlanters! Why don’t you point that sign toward the church and I’ll take a picture?”
“Well Colby, we are the church. So we’re gonna point it at each other.”
They get it. Yeah, they’re in middle school but they get it. They get that the church isn’t a place, or a program, or a point of gathering. The church is a people.
This is essential for church planting. Church planting isn’t the establishment of a new religious building in a city. It’s the planting of a people. A people who speak the gospel for the spiritual well-being of the city. A people who live out the truths of the gospel for the physical well-being of the city.
When we get this too we’ll see a movement of gospel-centered, missional church plants that bear fruit for the sake of Jesus’ name in the cities.
I just finished reading Jonathan Dodson’s “Gospel-Centered Discipleship” and it was the best book I’ve read so far this year. In it he proposes a model of discipleship called “Fight Clubs”. These are groups of 2-3 men or women who gather weekly to fight for faith in the gospel and put idols to death.
Dodson gives a few examples of how we can remind each other of the superiority of the gospel’s promises to sin’s promises.
Lust says: Long for what you cannot have and you will be happy.
The gospel says: Rejoice in what you do have, in Jesus, and you will be truly happy.
Vanity says: Perform beautifully and you will have worth.
The gospel says: Jesus performed beautifully for you; therefore, you have never-ending worth.
Pride says: Find and cherish compliments and then you will be confident.
The gospel says: Your confidence comes, not from your sufficiency, but from God who has made you sufficient in Jesus.
Anger says: If I control my circumstances (and I have a right to) then I will get the best outcome. If I can’t control my circumstances, then I have the right to get mad.
The gospel says: Because Jesus is Lord, he has the right to control my circumstances. Therefore, I will get the best outcome by trusting him. Put your trust in the Lord, not in controlling your circumstances.
The English word “gospel” derives from the Old English word “godspell” which was a combination of good and spell. Apparently in the old days you knew you’d heard a good story because it put you into a spell that had been cast upon you by the storyteller. The gospel story certainly does that to its hearers because the ultimate storyteller is God.
The gospel is the most beautiful story in the history of the world. In fact, the reason that we love many other stories is because they are an echo of THE story. All good stories follow the same basic plotline of the gospel: the struggle between good and evil before an eventual triumph of good over evil. Tension, then harmony. Redemption. Sacrifice. Betrayal. Love. Suffering. Victory.
The story of the gospel captures the human heart, inviting and challenging us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. C.S. Lewis was converted out of atheism as he was enraptured by the beautiful story of the gospel, calling it a “true myth.”
Though grounded solidly in historical events, the gospel story, like the whole of Scripture, is living and active, penetrating down into our very bones.
-Taken from “Church Planter” by Darrin Patrick