Isaiah 54:2 (nasb) --- Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; Lengthen your cordsAnd strengthen your pegs.
Since our back2school outreach event I have been so excited about the things God is doing, the vision that God is giving and the conversations that have been taking place. I can honestly say that next year's outreach will be huge, yet the thing that has to happen is partnership between churches and organizations in our area that are on board to see God work and help many, many more kids.
Thinking about expanding ministry means that we have to think outside the box. That means that we have to think differently and examine how we do what we do. God has called us to love people without strings attached. That is, to let people see Jesus in what we do and along the way have conversations about Jesus. I believe that the more we think outside the box and move outside the walls of the church the more God is about to blow our minds with our ability and the opportunity to minister to people and see lives change.
No longer are we consumers or takers. We have got to be givers and motivators of other people who can give. We must build leaders who are thinking, dreaming and using their talents to change the world one person at a time.
One of the things we will see happen as we share with each other is God birthing much of the same vision in other people we meet. We have to learn. Learning from the outside. Go to those people who are hurting and make a difference by listening, hearing their story and being there when they have a need. It is time to not only ask people to join us but to go beyond the walls of the church and the walls that we humans build to meet people where they are and as they are. Jesus did that first.
So let me give you my "outside the box" thought that is driving this devotion ... for us to have as much impact as possible we have to get others on board. Serving Jesus is not about just your church or mine. We need each other. The big "C" church must partner to make a greater and sustainable impact on more and more people. After you think about that for a while, you will see how outside the box it is.
It is all about Jesus. Don't let theological differences stand in the way of you partnering with others. Don't let geographical challenges stand in the way of your accomplishing big stuff for God. Don't let economical woes and issues of wealth or class keep you from serving those God has called you to serve.
One of the things that I am excited about at The Community is that we are beginning to have conversations with people we would not normally think of partnering with. Why is this happening? It is because God wants to touch more people for His kingdom. Therefore, we must think outside the box!
My prayer is that our vision and our dreams will help those we meet find real hope. The more we think outside the box, the more people we will see enter God's kingdom.
Proverbs 13:12 (nlt) --- Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.