I spent time again in the stories of the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:18-2:12 and Luke 1:5-2:2It is a story of heaven and earth missionaly moving, going out. being sent to people and places to achieve and present the saving grace of God in Jesus the Christ. Angels going out to Marry, Joseph and Shepherds. Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem. Shepherds and wise men going to see the babe in the manger. God, through the power of the Holy Spirit going to earth and being incarnate in Mary and becoming God in flesh. Christmas was a missional movement. From its very inception, Christianity was meant to be a movement of God. We today are called and sent into this movement of God.
Danny and Karen are two members of ODC who understand Christianity and the church is a movement. For several months now, every Sunday, they have been faithfully going to the Limestone County Flea Market. They started simply prayer walking the market, seeking to see where the Holy Spirit is moving in the place and praying with those who run the booths. Over the months of them going to the Flea market, relationships and friendships began to be made. At times they were frustrated by a lack of response, but they cried out to God and asked him to move through this market. God saw their faithfulness, heard their prayers, and answered them.
I received this email from Danny and Karen two days ago.
“Today we went to the flea market and prayed with several people. The Lord moved in a couple of new ways today, it was all him. First, Aldeleta met us and said she wanted to begin a house church in her home. She has several friends she will invite. We plan to start the week after next. She lives in northwest Huntsville.
Secondly, we met Bill Edwards, the manager of the flea market. We had seen him walking around before, and the Lord told Karen that we should talk with him. We did and he is a believer and was very receptive to us. We prayed for him, his business there, and a prayer request he had. He invited us into his office and asked if we would like to have a service at 8am on Sundays for the vendors before they set up. Someone had done that in the past, but did not do it any longer. We hope to start next Sunday. He gave us his card, so we will contact him this week and confirm everything.
It was a great day there. However, business is slow and a lot of the people are discouraged and need the Lord's help. It is a fertile field for his spirit to work.”
Danny and Karen came over to my house yesterday and they shared their excitement with Nancy and me. We praised and prayed! This Sunday at 8:00am they are starting a new ODC gathering of worship and prayer. Next Thursday they are launching a new house church plant in Huntsville. I am so proud of them! My role in leadership at ODC has always been one more of a coach. The whole reason why we do not do church focused on one person with pews facing forward in a classroom setting, but do House Churches, Community Dinners, Bands, and Discipleship 101 trainings is to train, equip and encourage people to take the field, enter their community, and make disciples of Christ.
Danny and Karen were not dependent on their pastor, or ask where or how they can serve or be missional in their community. They prayed, looked for an un-reached people group in their community, and then exhibited Immediate Radical Costly Obedience, and as “sent ones” went out. I did prayer walk with them a couple times in the beginning, however this outreach is a result of their faithfulness. It did not depend on or only happen if the “pastor” was with them. They knew the Holy Spirit was with them, and that was all they needed. As a result, this Sunday morning at 8:00am I am going to attend and support a new missional church plant of ODC.
Read Matthew 1:18-2:12 and Luke 1:5-2:2. Reflect on the movement of God in the story and in Danny and Karen’s story. Church is not a facility or a location, it is a movement. Pray over where is the “manger” or “stable” you are called to hang out at, prayer walk, and be the incarnation of Christ in your community.
Please share your reflections or questions as a comment below.