Thursday, September 16, 2010

Interview with Amie Fox

Amie Fox has been a member at Jubilee Church for eight years and has been on staff for six. This Sunday is her final Sunday with us as she will be moving to Atlanta, GA to join Jubilee - Atlanta and marry Micheal Mowrey (my brother...pray for her). Here's a little interview I did earlier this week.

Amie Fox: Secretaire Extraordinaire from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Making a Minus a Plus

As a Christian, you're perspective on serving is totally different. Prior to your encounter with Jesus, serving was in the minus column among your weekly activities. Time with friends, vacations, TV, video games, hobbies, sports...these were all activities on the plus side. They added to your life and serving others was respected, but done sparingly.

But when you meet Jesus, His transforming love changed serving from a minus to a plus. Serving no longer takes from you, but actually it adds to your life. Jesus on earth told us that serving the pathway to greatness and modeled it perfectly.

This is very important to understand if you're a believer in Jesus so that you don't run away from serving opportunities and unknowingly runaway from Jesus. You won't find Jesus chasing after status, prestige or money. He came not to be served, but to serve. What about you? Is serving a plus or a minus to you?

I want to challenge you if you belong to Jubilee to pursue serving through Share the Love. Seek to give at two hours a week for 3 weeks. Serving opportunities are found on our website or on The City. Check out the impact when we do serve:

Dear Jubilee Community Members:
I want to say thank you for those of you that take great pride in helping people out and just being an overall warm and inviting group of people. Someone here, apart of jubilee, Helped my brother move a couple weeks ago with very little notice, but with large support. I know the work wasnt much but it was way more than I think my brother or myself were expecting. So, if I remember correctly, I want to thank Nathan for your help. My brother and I talked after your help and about the presence of God in the body of jubilee and its members. I am not in town to often but I want you all to know that a church that acts on such a giving manner is doing something right. I feel it allows believers and followers of Christ to feel more at ease to go out and share Gods word and to bring guests to their place of worship. Its easy to know that friends and strangers will feel welcome and invited and most importantly not judged. Thank you for all that you are doing as a church and I look forward to my next visit and time of worship with you all! Lucas Shelton

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Let's Serve Our City!

Opportunities to Share the Love begin this Saturday as we team up with the United Way. We will meet up at the Kingshighway bldg at 8:15 am to get our assignments and then go out together and serve until about noon. This is a great opportunity for the whole family so bring the kids. What a way train your children it's not about them!

For more information and to sign up for this event, please check out The City.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Membership at Jubilee

In the USA, joining a church is not much different than joining a local social club...there's a loose affiliation without much of a deep connection. In the Bible, we see something completely different. What we see is a group of men and women who have come together under the direction of Christ into a deep, deep covenant relationship. 1 Peter 2 & Ephesians 2 say that Christians who are a part of a local church community are meant to be built together stronger and stronger and tighter and tighter into a spiritual house for God's glory and a witness to the rest of the world.

This is why membership is a big deal at Jubilee. To be a member is to come to the understanding that God has called you to commit yourself and be accountable to a local group of believers and in turn have that group of believers commit themselves and be accountable to you. It's rich, rich community that is help together by the Holy Spirit and made possible by the blood of Jesus.

We are just about to finish our Why? series...a very foundational series that explains why we believe and practice what we believe and practice. After listening to this series, if you feel your heart joined to Jubilee, I would encourage you to become a member. To do so:
  1. Download our membership covenant on our website (look at step #2 under "how to become a member)
  2. Sign it and give it to an elder or mail to our offices
  3. Once we receive this covenant from you, an elder will call you to see if you have any questions about Jubilee or what it means to be a member
  4. If you have been baptized as a believer, we will then recognize you on a Sunday morning as a Jubilee member

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sharing the Love...How to Get Involved

Here's a a copy of recent post on The City from Seth Hein, Director of IT for Jubilee on how to get involved in Share the Love.

Jesus showed us great love by giving His life to serve. In the same fashion, we want to live our lives serving our city. So, this September we are going to log 1,000 hours of community service to show the St. Louis area the love of Christ. Service projects are already organized, all you have to do is sign up!

To see a list of projects, join the Share the Love group (just click the link, then click the join button). From there, if you click the Events tab at the top of the page, you’ll see a calendar with all the events available. Just select one that fits your schedule, and RSVP!


The first event is on Saturday, September 11th where we will serve in the 9/11 remembrance day with the United Way. We have 50 ppl signed up so far (42 on Sunday and 8 via The City).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday Recap, August 29, 2010

A few thoughts on another encouraging weekend for Jubilee Church in St. Louis.
  • Prophecy is very important
  • Prophecy encourages and builds up the church
  • Prophecy keeps us on mission
  • Love seeing our students trickle back in
  • Jubilee has a bright future
  • The people who served Acts 13 are AMAZING! A special thanks to those who served j-kids, put out food and especially those who stayed late Saturday night to clean.
  • The Q&A in the St. Louis City Location was fun and informative. You can download the audio online.
  • I'm encouraged by what's happening in our Washington location. We are moving our service time to Saturday night at 6 PM in a great new place.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Recap, August 22, 2010

A few thoughts from our Sunday services in the St. Louis Location.
  • I love the Holy Spirit!
  • It never ceases to amaze me how much God loves to meet with people. 40+ people came forward to be baptized in the Holy Spirit
  • I love being a part of a church that takes seriously world-mission.
  • I love being a part of a family of churches that is breaking ground in countries where there are no churches.
  • The Holy Spirit is inseparably linked to our ability to engage in effective world-wide mission.
  • It wouldn''t bother me to find out that some people don't like us or our message, but it would bother me to be ignored and in the record book of heaven, insignificant.
  • I am horrified that I made a generalization about Irish heritage. I regret those comments and deserve discipline. I tend to stray from my notes a little too far in the 11 am.
  • I feel like the Why Series has gone better than I anticipated.
  • I love what God is doing at Jubilee. He continues to astonish us.
  • If you miss the Acts 13 meetings this Friday & Saturday...you will be missing something amazing. Register Today!!! It's free, but we still need you to register.
  • Chase Whitmer's baptism testimony today was amazing!!
  • It's an honor to serve as an elder at Jubilee.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jubilee Church '09-'10 Annual Report

Check out what Jubilee Church is all about and what God in doing through us.

Jubilee Church '09-'10 Annual Report

Friday, August 20, 2010

Spontaneous Baptisms

Last Sunday 19 baptisms was a lot of fun. Can't wait to do this again! Here's some video clips.

Spontaneous Baptisms (August 15, 2010) from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What to Expect at Acts 13 by Sam Poe

If you haven't registered for Acts 13, sign up today! These are amazing times of prophecy and hearing the voice of God.

Sam Poe on Acts 13 from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Recap

A few thoughts on an outstanding day at Jubilee Church (9am & 11am in the STL City Location).
  • I was excited and nervous about doing spontaneous baptisms (wasn't sure anyone would take up our offer).
  • 19 people were baptized this morning! 16 of them didn't plan on it when they woke up this morning, but God spoke to them and they went for it.
  • What I thought was going to be a somewhat "clinical" talk on baptism, ended up stirring passion in me about God's salvation. You'll be able to download that message by Tuesday morning.
  • Baptism gets its importance and meaning from the death, burial and resurrection that canceled our debt of sin and made a new life in Him possible.
  • Baptism is a command of Jesus.
  • How someone is baptize and when you are baptized speaks volumes about what you believe about salvation and membership in God's new covenant people.
  • I really enjoyed preaching in swim trunks, a t-shirt and flip flops.
  • I'm very, very proud of ALL the people who serve at Jubilee and make it happen. Truly a team effort.
  • I'm very, very proud of our staff who made preparations last week.
  • Wish I could do it all over tomorrow!
  • Excited to preach on the baptism of the Holy Spirit next week.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Best Illustration of Worship

In a recent message "Why Worship", I left out the best illustration of worship in the Bible because it deserves it's own message instead of a brief mention. However, since I don't see the opportunity to preach it in the near future, let me give you 5 things we learn about worship through this illustration.

The illustration is found in Luke 7:36-50. 36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” 41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among [8] themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Three Key Lessons About Worship:
  1. Worship is to be aware that I am forgiven. Jesus says very clear, "...her sins, which are man, are forgiven-for she loved (worshiped) much. But he who is forgiven little (or you could say is unaware that He is or can be forgiven), loves (worships) little. If your worship of Jesus is lackluster, it is because His forgiveness of your sins hasn't hit home! Do as David did in Psalm 103 and speak to your soul, "Soul, wake up! He's forgiven your sin!"
  2. Worship is not superficial, but extravagant. This lady didn't give mental accept to her state of forgiveness, nor did she simply give to Jesus what "she didn't need." But rather, she poured out a year's wages to anoint Jesus because in her mind, she was worth it. What is Jesus worth to you? Does your worship of Him match the value you have attached to Him in your mind?
  3. Worship is not about being respectable. In order to anoint the feet of Jesus, she would have needed to upbraid her hair, which would not have been a respectable thing to do, but worshiping Jesus has nothing to do with being respectable. It’s about seeing Jesus and the wonder of His glory and grabbing a hold of his nailed scarred hands and looking into his deep, deep eyes of love and its letting go of yourself and realizing something about Him and you just get lost and you have an uncalculated response that at times is outwardly expressive
May we grow in our understanding of our forgiven sin and then express that gratitude in extravagant, inwardly and outwardly expressive way, which includes our how we spend our days and out dollars.

Monday, July 26, 2010

You're Coming, Right?

The three best weeks of the year for Jubilee happen during the Week of Prayer....If you belong to Jubilee, DO NOT MISS!

Need some inspiration?

My 6-minute sermonette on Prayer:

Tope Koleoso (NF pastor in London) 1 minute nugget on Prayer:

Terry Virgo (NF Founder) sermon on prayer at Brighton Leadership 2010 Conference:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tope Koleoso on "Why Corporate Prayer"

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Brighton, UK at a Newfrontiers International Leaders Conference called Together On A Mission (TOAM). During my time there, I caught up with some old friends and made some new ones as well...a few of which, I interviewed on camera.

On the Sunday prior to the conference, I met up Tope Koleoso in London Bridge Train Station and got his thoughts on several subjects including the topic of "Corporate Prayer". Tope leads Jubilee Church, a church of 1,000 in northern London. Tope has also developed a conference called "300" that has had contributors such as John Piper and Matt Chandler. Tope will also be our Mobilise USA 2011 main speaker.

Why Gather to Prayer? Tope Koleoso from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Interviews at Brighton: Mbonisi Malaba

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Brighton, UK at a Newfrontiers International Leaders Conference called Together On A Mission (TOAM). During my time there, I caught up with some old friends and made some new ones as well...a few of which, I interviewed on camera.

This one was with my friend Mbonisi Malaba from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. As you'll see in the video, I need help with pronunciation. My video editor thought he would have a little fun with me and so it's with a sense of humor, I'll pass it on to you.

Interview with Mbonisi Malaba from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Let God, But Don't Let Go

"Let go and let God" is one of those well-intended Christian statements that sounds nice, but doesn't hold up biblically. Of course, we must put our trust in God. We are absolutely dependent upon Him. However, I don't see in the Bible where we are suppose to let go. Paul, who was absolutely clear about God's sovereignty and his dependence upon Him, didn't seem to "Let go and let God."

Consider these two passages:

1 Corinthians 9:24-27, "24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control,..."

Philippines 3:13-14, "...But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

I believe we are to live with a holy discontent about where things are at right now. We should not be the type of people who settle. Who settle in their relationships people, who settle in their relationship with God, who settle for their friends being eternally separated from Christ, who settle for mediocre ministry within the church, and the list goes on.

I think we should be obsessed with being better not in spite of God being at work, but because He is at work. We have an imperishable wreath we're pursuing!

In my mind, if I’m not getting better, I’m getting worse. If I’m not progressing, I’m regressing. There is no middle ground. There is a holy discontentment inside of me to constantly be improving.

There is a potential danger with this mindset. We can become so busy constantly obsessing over being better that we do not take the time to adequately celebrate and appreciate where we are and how far we’ve come. This danger is real. We must continually be thankful for what God has done in and through us.

Yet the bigger danger is standing still and settling for less than the future progress He still has for us. At every moment I must be performing at the maximum level of my capacity while at the same time be increasing my capacity for the moment that follows.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Have You Ever Wondered Why?

Have you ever wondered why the Church believes and practices what they believe and practice? 'Why?' is a seven week Jubilee sermon series to explain seven key aspects of the Christian Faith that are central to who we are as a church.


Why? from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Internships at Jubilee

Leadership Development is one of the most important and vital areas of ministry at Jubilee Church. We believe God has called us to develop and invest in future leaders, so we have created an internship program that allows us to do just that. We have interns that participate as volunteer staff in a number of areas of ministry. Interns are equipped to be leaders in the local church and receive practical ministry experience leading and serving in various ministries at Jubilee Church. They are mentored as they serve in the church, while they process (with the elder’s help) where God has specifically called them to serve. We do not simply desire to “use” interns to get ministry done, but to use ministry to the intern done. Jubilee Church defines a successful internship as one that a) deepens character, b) discovers gifting and c) develops ministry at Jubilee Church.


Internship Options

Leadership: For those seeking to explore their call to lead in the church and to gain a deeper understanding both of how the local church works and how their specific gifts and skills could be of service.

Worship and Production: For those seeking to explore their call and develop their technical skill and craft, either in worship leadership, audio production, video production, graphic design, communication or web development by serving in the local church.

Administrative: For those seeking to use and develop their administrative, clerical, or organizational design skills by serving the church.


Full-time, Part-time and Summer Internships

Jubilee’s Internship Program offers flexibility to enable those who work part-time and/or go to school to participate. We do offer full-time internships, but many choose to do part-time (10-20 hours per week). Depending on the type of internship you choose, the internship can last for one year, one semester or for the summer.


Application Process

1. Complete an Internship Application
2. Submit a one-page summary of your “conversation experience” and “call to ministry”
3. Interview


For more information about Jubilee Church, log onto www.jubileestl.org

Monday, July 5, 2010

Brighton 2010, Part One

For more information about the Brighton Leadership Conference or Newfrontiers, go to www.newfrontierstogther.org

Brighton 2010 Part 1 from bryanmowrey@gmail.com on Vimeo.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Why Join "The City"

The City is here! What does this mean for you? Consider the following scenarios.

It's Saturday afternoon and you're feeling hospitable. You log onto the city and invite your Action Track over for a bbq and quickly and easily make requests for people to bring what you weren't able to go to the store and get.

You just bought some new furniture and would like to give your old furniture away to someone in the church who could really use it. You post this on the marketplace at The City and are able to meet a need in the community.

It's been a rough Thursday. You need someone to be praying for you. You post a prayer request on The City that only your Action Track and elders can see.

It's been a few weeks since you have had work, but today you finally got that job that so many at Jubilee had been praying for you about. You post your good news on The City so that everyone at Jubilee can rejoice with you.

It’s your first time walking into a Jubilee service. You were warmly welcomed and had your kids checked into our jkids program (which they loved). Moreover, you loved the worship and the teaching, and just as you’re thinking to yourself, “How do I get connected?”, a Jubilee member starts a conversation with you on The City about where you want to get plugged in and you do.


All of these are real situations that we run into as we go through life together. One of the great things about Jubilee is that we are a community seeking to serve and connect people. However, the challenge we often run into, is how to stay connected when we leave our actions tracks serving teams, or weekend services. That is one of the many reasons why we’re really excited about The City, our community tool that allows our members, attenders and leaders to stay in contact with each other, share prayer requests and needs, organize events and continue discussions throughout the week that started when they were together last.

The City is not just a social network, like Facebook or Twitter that is aimed solely at developing virtual community; rather, The City gives REAL communities of people a way to stay connected with each other even when they’re not in the same living room or in the lobby of one of our locations. Community doesn’t live on The City, The City just broadens its reach.

So how can you jump on The City and start connecting? If you're in the St. Louis City location, stop by the Information Table and type your email address in to one of the computers there. If you are in Washington or Wentzville, simply use your communication card. It’s that easy. Once you’re on, you can start interacting with the people in your Action Track, on your serving team, and at your location. We want to see all sorts of connection happening on The City.

If you’re having trouble getting connected or would like some extra help, please stop by your locations information table or contact us at grouplife@jubileestl.org We would be happy to help you get up and going on The City.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Faith Part 3: Parents, Don't Squash Your Child's Faith

Did you know that all the "Heroes of the Faith" (listed in Hebrews 11) had parents? Seems like an obvious statement, but maybe what hasn't occurred to us yet is how those parents responded to God's call on their life?

Noah's father had high expectations of his son. Lamech said of his son Noah, "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands." (Genesis 5:29) Lamech had hoped that Noah would grow up to be successful and bring comfort and pride back to the family. Lamech wanted Noah to make his life easier, but God wanted Noah to build an ark. I wonder how Lamech responded when he found out that Noah was going to give his attention and money to building an ark versus relieving their comfort? I wonder how Lamech responded when all the neighbors made fun of Noah?

What are your plans for you children? Do want them to have an easy life? Do you hope they are well-educated and well resourced? What if God calls them to do something different? What if God calls them to pass up on an education to pursue further spiritual/leadership training? What if they choose to go to a different school than the one you want them to? Are you prepared to allow the plans that God has for them crush your plans? That maybe necessary for them to walk in the life of faith God has for them.

Hold the plans for your children loosely, because as good as they may be, our desires for our children can actually squash their faith.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Faith Originates, Never Imitates

You got to hand it to Noah for building an ark...that was an original. Not only had nothing like that been done before, but he had no architects to consult or weathermen to double check God's prediction (if you can call anything God says is a prediction).

Joshua received a battle plan that was pretty original as well. Who would EVER think up something like that? "OK, for this battle, let's not use swords. I think trumpets would be a much better weapon."

Abraham, who came from a non-religious family, followed God away from safety, security and wealth into obscurity and the unknown.

I think God sets it up this way so that there's no doubt where the credit goes. When faith is involved there is rarely a clear path or a proven method to go along with what God has called you to do. This is one of the many reasons why I am glad to be a part of a movement (Newfrontiers) whose founder (Terry Virgo) has gone down "No Well Worn Paths". It's easy to trust a man who trusting God.

When God presents to you His call for your life, do not expect to imitate what has been done before, but prepare yourself for something new.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Faith: It's All About Him

What makes faith, faith is that it is rooted and ground in God's promise to us. Moreover, it's EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to know that God's promise to us is UNCONDITIONAL. Consider God's promise to Abraham.

Genesis 12:1
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Notice that God did not say, if you will do this, then I will do this. Rather, God said, You WILL do this and I WILL do this! "Go from your country...and I will make of you a great nation." It was not a conditional proposition, but rather simultaneously a command and a promise. Why? Because God does not affirm us on the basis of what we do; He affirms us because of what He does. "...I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Romans 9:15)

Know that you are affirmed based upon His performance and not yours.


Monday, May 31, 2010

Gospel vs. Religion

Religion is a slippery slope that is easy to slip into...much easier than you think. The reason why is because your external actions are probably the same. If you are living out the gospel, you are probably attending church faithfully, giving, serving, seeking to share your faith, etc. If you have slipped into religion, you probably are doing all those things...perhaps begrudgingly and without joy, but you're doing them.

So on the surface, living out the gospel and being religious look very similar. However, underneath the surface, there is HUGE difference.

There is no one better that I now of that explains better the internal difference between the gospel and religion than Tim Keller and he shows us in his new publication, Gospel in Life Study Guide (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010), p. 16.

Acceptance

  • Religion: “I obey; therefore, I’m accepted.”
  • Gospel: “I’m accepted; therefore, I obey.”

Motivation

  • Religion: Motivation is based on fear and insecurity.
  • Gospel: Motivation is based on grateful joy.

Obedience

  • Religion: I obey God in order to get things from God.
  • Gospel: I obey God to get God – to delight in an resemble him.

Circumstances

  • Religion: When circumstances in my life go wrong, I am angry at God or myself, since I believe that anyone who is good deserves a comfortable life.
  • Gospel: When circumstances in my life go wrong, I struggle, but I know my punishment fell on Jesus and that while God may allow this for my training, he will exercise his Fatherly love within my trial.

Criticism

  • Religion: When I am criticized, I am furious or devastated because it is critical that I think of myself as a “good person.” Threats to self-image must be destroyed at all costs.
  • Gospel: When I am criticized, I struggle, but it is not essential for me to think of myself as a “good person.” My identity is not built on my record or my performance but on God’s love for me in Christ.

Prayer

  • Religion: My prayer life consists largely of petition, and it only heats up when I am in a time of need. My main purpose in prayer is control of the environment.
  • Gospel: My prayer life consists of generous stretches of praise and adoration. My main purpose is fellowship with God.

Confidence

  • Religion: My self-view swings things between to poles. If and when I am living up to my standards, I feel confident, but then I am prone to be proud and unsympathetic to failing people. If and when I am not living up to standards, I feel humble but not confident – I feel like a failure.
  • Gospel: My self-view is not based on my moral achievement. In Christ I am simul lustus et peccator – simultaneously sinful and lost, yet accepted in Christ. I am so bad that he had to die for me, and I am so loved that he was glad to die for me. This leads me to deep humility and confidence at the same time.

Identity

  • Religion: My identity and self-worth are based mainly on how hard I work, or how moral I am – and so I must look down on those I perceive as lazy or immoral.
  • Gospel: My identity and self worth are centered on the one who died for me. I am saved by sheer grace and I can’t look down on those who believe or practices something different from me. Only by grace am I what I am.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jubilee Church in Zimbabwe, Part 2


From Ginger Price:

As expected when traveling with Sam and Marlene Poe we hit the ground running here in Zimbabwe. Warm up your google page because it will be helpful for you to search on a map the ground we are covering. As a team our first stop after landing in Bulawayo was to join the leaders of the Newfrontiers Churches in Zimbabwe for 24 hours of prayer and fasting in Antelope Park. There could not have been a better way for us to be introduced to the advancing work of the Kingdom that is going on in Zimbabwe. During that time we also learned of the passion of this leadership team to believe God for doors to open for the work to extend into Mozambique and other countries surrounding. Our time with the leaders in two words was powerful and impacting as it gave us a very clearer view of what God is doing here and the faces of those that are leading it. In the coming months and years it will be exciting to see that work unfold. For me one treasure I’ve seen while here is the realization of how much we are all apart of something much bigger than us and that God’s message of grace and Kingdom advancement is universal across our family. It’s one thing to know that in your heart, it’s another thing to experience it. I left our meeting feeling like we have much that we can learn from our family in Zimbabwe. There is amazing perseverance and faith here that will blow your socks off. From Antelope park we returned to Bulawayo for an evening before heading out to the Kezi region to join Crossroads Church a rural church that meets in the same area where the Ebenezer Agricultural Training Center for Farming God’s Way training is taking place. And its really rural in a way that we don’t define rural, meaning no power...it’s a little like camping, but totally doable. During the meeting we were able to experience worship through music with our Zimbabwean friends where it was fun to gather and experience God together. This church is a place where the chronological bible storying is taking place with both the adults and children messages and so being a part of that part of the service was great to experience. Today we will be returning to the Ebenezer Center joining the apprentices during a normal day of training with an added farm tour. This promises to be a highlight of our trip as it is the heartbeat of one of the major apostolic initiatives here in the Southern part of Zimbabwe. From Kezi we will be traveling to Harare to participate in a Chronological Bible Storying seminar that is going to take place in the Northern part of Zim in Mashona Land. We will be there Wednesday through Sunday rounding out our stay joining Westgate Church for their Sunday service. Overall I think all of us would tell you that if there is something in your heart that is nudging you to do something like this follow that nudge, you will be a much better Kingdom citizen for the experience. Of course we’ve been well taken care of by world-class hospitality of Marlene that so many of you have experienced as well as the loving generosity of others along the way during our travels.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jubilee Church in Zimbabwe

I find it to be a huge privilege to be a part of the Newfrontiers family of churches. I love the values, I love the relationships, I love the sense of community, I love the passion, but most of all I love that we are on world mission together to reach our neighborhoods, our cities, our nation and our world.

There are many opportunities for training and exposure to the mission God has for us (check out the FYT and Transformation Teams)...one of those opportunities is a Life Change Team to Zimbabwe that two Jubileeites took advantage of. I have asked one of those participants Ginger Price to keep us informed on their travels.

And we’re leaving on a jet plane...TO ZIMBABWE!!!

On May 17th Newfrontiers USA will be sending a team of four people to join Sam and Marlene Poe in Bulowayo, Zimbabwe for a Life Change Team opportunity. This first trip is one of three that will be going to Zimbabwe for a cross-cultural emersion opportunity in the next year and a half.

Jubilee is sending two people to participate, myself Ginger Price and Greg Virkler from our new Washington location were for this adventure. Everyone has the chance to come along with us as we are a small representation of the larger Jubilee Church community. Your prayers for our trip and those trips that are coming will be much appreciated!

The purpose of our trip is unique to other Mission type trips. We will be on the ground covering some serious territory for two weeks traveling with Sam and Marlene to experience firsthand from the local church leaders in Zimbabwe how they facilitate cross-cultural ministry in their churches. While we are there we will be hosted by local families in both rural and urban areas of Zimbabwe. One thing on our agenda is to participate in a chronological bible storying seminar which is a method used to teach people biblical truth in a oral literature or narrative format to make these truths easier to understand and remember. This is a primary form for sharing the gospel truth with people in Zimbabwe and other oral learning cultures. I’m very excited to see this in action and learn more.

I’ve thought of a few prayer needs during our journey:

1. That our eyes and hearts will be opened to see a broader view of the Church and God’s Kingdom expression in Zimbabwe. Personally I’d like to know how we can support what is happening there in a way that is most helpful.

2. That each of us would hear very clearly what God would have for us to learn during our time together. I would like for God to show me the things in my heart that need to be changed to be a better participator in the Kingdom. Personally I haven’t put any expectations on what I might get out of this trip because I want to be open to what the Holy Spirit has for me to learn.

3. That we would be positive ambassadors for Jesus and that how we speak, the things we share and the impressions we make would really demonstrate His love and grace to our brothers and sisters that are being generous to open their lives and hearts to us. And that our presence would be an encouragement.

4. During our travels that we would be safe and remain healthy. International travel can make us vulnerable to things. We’d like to remain healthy and clear to serve during our short time there.

5. Finally this is more of a funny one, but is needed. I’m a little bug squeamish so I am asking for help to not be skittering around because of some obscenely large bugs!

I’ll try to update Bryan with entries during our travels for posting and hopefully some pictures. We will have limited access to E-mail and the internet, but as we are able we will send word along. The team will return on June 1st, I will be staying on to visit Martha Lee in South Africa, another Jubileeite that is on the other side of the world for the moment.

Thank you very much for your prayers. On the inside I’m jumping up and down excited to share the treasure that is imparted to us while we are with these wonderful people in Zimbabwe. I have a feeling that on the other end of this trip the Life Change will be taking place in us more than we can possibly think or imagine and to that I say bring it on Lord!

Gotta go...Ginger Price

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Serving the Community

Jubilee is passionate about serving our community because it is the way of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ "who came not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45)." For us, serving is not a ploy to convert others (that's God's job), but we do so because we have been converted. In other words, because God freely loved us, it should be natural for us to freely love others.

I was so proud to hear that our new location in Washington, MO (that launched weekly services on May 9th) has quickly adopted that value. Check them out in action as recorded by the emissourian.com...you might recognize a few.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Life by Death

Like most people, I am inspired when others make sacrifices for others. Recently, 23-year-old Megan Moss caught the attention of the St. Louis area with her deteriorating heart condition. However, on April 18, she received a miracle heart transplant that saved her life. What a story! But let's not forget, she got to live because someone else died.

This story for me communicates a Kingdom reality that I want to encourage you to pursue. Consider John 12:24, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

You have a choice to make in your life. You can hold on to your life (these 80-90 years) and your life is all you have. However, you can invest your life (die to yourself) and it will bear much fruit...30, 60 or even a 100-fold.

If you belong to Jubilee Church in St. Louis, you have an opportunity in front of us with Celebration Midwest to make an investment that will require personal sacrifice, but if we make it, will produce life in others. Here's how:

1) Sign up for Celebration Midwest.

2) Give money so that others can go. I would suggest paying the amount it would cost you to go and someone else. Cost varies (see brochure), but a single adult would pay $110 and a family of four would pay $330. Even if you can't make it to Celebration yourself, I would encourage you to give as an expression that we are all in this together. If you would like to give to this cause, you can do so on Sunday morning or online. Be sure to write "Celebration MW" in the memo.

In order to do both 1 & 2, it requires a desire in you to die to yourself. There are perhaps other things you would rather do the weekend of June 4-6. You will have to die to your own preferences, to join a community vision. Or maybe, you have other ideas of how you want to use your money and to give to this would require real sacrifice. I do not want to minimize the sacrifice. It is real and if it's producing fruit, it's usually significant. So I don't want to minimize the sacrifice, but I do want to highlight the benefit. Dying to yourself WILL breed life in others. It's a kingdom principle that will never go void.

If you want your life to be about more than just your life, I want to encourage you in this principle and to practice it today!

Check out the latest Celebration MW promo video
.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why We Are Paying For Every Jubileeite to go to Celebration Midwest

There are two reasons why the elders decided that we are going to pay for all members and regular attendees to go to Celebration Midwest

Reason 1: We value the mission of Jesus.
We exist individually and corporately for one reason: to fulfill the mission of Jesus. Everything else must take a back seat. Moreover, to stay in tune with this mission, we need consistent envisioning or we begin to forget the mission we've been called to (the vision dies - Proverbs 29:18). With this in mind, the elders put a high value on Jubilee Church being exposed to "envisioning opportunities" like Celebration Midwest. It's possible to exist as a church, but not really be alive with the vision called has called us to be. We don't want to be that church.

Reason 2: We value community.
Community is not just a buzz word for Jubilee, but it's something we are absolutely committed to. At the very least, this means we strive to "have the same mind" (working together toward a common goal), and we are committed to one other's well-being spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, etc. One of the ways that we can practice community is to all come together as one to be envisioned about this mission we are on together (see reason 1) and two we can contribute financially to help those who can't afford to go so they can participate in this opportunity as well. I don't want our church to be divided up between the people who can afford to go and the people who can't. Our decision to pay for everyone through a special offering is a way for us to practice community as well as generosity. We will be receiving this offering on April 25 and May 2. For those who can afford it (only you know), a suggestion maybe to give the amount of your registration and then consider giving an amount to send another individual or family. However, whether you give a lot, a little or nothing at all, our hope is that you still go.

Against the backdrop of a failing economy and increasing individualism, this is an opportunity for the Church to shine!

To learn more about Celebration Midwest and why it's important, check out promo video #1 & promo video #2. Click here to register. If you are a Jubilee member or regular attendee, contact the office (office@jubileestl.org) for the Jubilee Church discount code.

Video 1

Celebration 2010 from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.




Video 2

Celebration Midwest 2010 Invitation from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ladies: Get Dressed Up

Guest Blogger: Rachel Mowrey

The Annual Jubilee Women's Gathering is a time I look forward to. It's a time of really enjoying friendships with women I am joined in heart with as well as a time to meet and become more familiar with women I may see in the church but have not had a chance to connect with. It is a time of togetherness and celebration as we relax, chat, enjoy great coffee and food, but most importantly, as we worship God and fix our eyes on Him. It has helped many of us refocus where we may have gotten off course. I would describe the Women's Gathering as luxurious since we can all fully participate...there are no families to look after or serving responsibilities to attend to. I love the opportunity to simply languish in God's presence alongside my sisters in Christ.

There is a real sense of safety and sincerity in our times of worship and teaching and I believe the teaching has always ministered to specific women along the way. God has been very faithful to reveal what it is He wants to say to us as a body as we have gotten together to plan these events and I have been encouraged to hear afterward how the teaching specifically spoke to various women and met them exactly where they are at. The times of prayer are powerful as we take time to minister to those who have specific needs and many women have received words and encouragements from the Holy Spirit that stay with them forever.

This time around, I expect God to meet us once again and renew our passion for Him. I sense that God has plans to release women from things that may keep them from experiencing freedom and joy as well as healing women in mind and body. I look forward to hearing testimonies of how God spoke to individuals and how women stepped out to use their gifts so that other women may be built up and spurred on in their walk with Christ. Each of us has a part to play and is vital to keeping our collective body healthy and alive...I pray that if there are any Jubilee ladies hesitant about attending for any reason, whether insecurity, financial difficulty, lack of time or just plain disinterest, that their hearts would be stirred to see just what God can do. He may change you, or use you to administer God-honoring change in another woman's life. Come with expectation to meet your Father...he won't disappoint!

Register today!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coming Home Resources


One of my preaching influences is Dr. Timothy J. Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC. His book, The Prodigal God, has been huge resource for me in our most recent series, Coming Home.

Both Dr. Keller and myself have been influenced by Dr. Edmund Clowney's thoughts on the parable of the prodigal son. You can read his sermon here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Re-Cap


Easter at Jubilee Church was an historic day. 501 people attended our services. What made the day particularly eventful was that we launched our 3rd location in Washington. There was a total of 76 people there with 12 first time guests. Thank you for continuing to pray for Washington.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Launching Our Third Location: Washington

Easter is a big day no matter how you look at it. Firstly, and most importantly, it is the anniversary of our Lord's resurrection from the dead. Secondly, it is the Sunday when we typically have the most guests, which means it's our biggest opportunity to share the gospel.

But this year, there is a third reason why Easter will be a big day for Jubilee Church in St. Louis...we will be launching our third location. We will be meeting at 20 E 5th St. in Washington, MO at 4 pm. I want to encourage you to be praying with me for all of our locations, but in particular Washington. Here's a short video with a few prayer pointers:

If you can't see this video, click the above title of this blog, "Launching Our Third Location: Washington."

Washington Update from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Baptism Video: Jessica McNeal

Jessica McNeal is one of the two people we will be baptizing tomorrow at our Jubilee City Location. Check out the video of her testimony.

If you can't see the video, click the title of this blog, "Baptism Video: Jessica McNeal"

Jessica McNeal - Baptism from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

Baptism Video: David Renner

David Renner is one of the two people we will be baptizing tomorrow at our Jubilee City Location. Check out the video of his testimony.

If you can't see the video, click the title of this blog, "Baptism Video: David Renner"

Dave Renner: Baptism Testimony from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Interview with Adrian Warnock, Part 4

In this 4th and final part of my interview with Adrian, we discuss his new book, Raised with Christ available at Amazon.com.

To watch this video, click on the above title, "Interview with Adrian Warnock, Part 4"

Interview with Adrian Warnock, Part 4 from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Free Postage for Coming Home Invites

Do not forget to bring in the addresses of the friends you want to invite to Easter (April 4th), where will begin our Coming Home series. Jubilee will pay the your postage and mail any postcard you address.


What is the Coming Home series all about?

This series is designed for those who find themselves estranged from God because of past hurt and disappointment. If that's you, we believe God is calling you to come home. Are you ready to reunite with His love and grace?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Interview with Adrian Warnock, Part 3

In part three of my interview with Adrian Warnock, we discuss the reasons behind the growth of his church, Jubilee Church in London. To go directly to this interview, click the title above "Interview with Adrian Warnock, Part 3".

Tomorrow, I will post the 4th and final part of my interview with Adrian Warnock where we discuss his new book, Raised With Christ.

Interview with Adrian Warnock, Part 3 from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Let's Fast Together

Three times a year, Jubilee Church gathers together for a week of prayer that ends with a night of worship and celebration. This year, our Friday night celebration falls on Good Friday so it will be extra special. If you belong to Jubilee, MAKE PLANS TO BE THERE!!

Typically during these weeks, we encourage people to fast, but to be honest, we have not made a very big deal about it. However, this year I want to make fasting a bigger deal. God has been very good to us this past couple of years and we've seen a lot of addition and increase (150 to more than 400 in 3 years). It would be easy to take that for granted. I think it is important for us now more than ever to humble ourselves and remind ourselves who God really is and to continue to cry out to God on behalf of our city, our nation, our world.

What is fasting?

Biblical Fasting is willingly abstaining from food or drink or both for a period of time in order to pray.

Why Fast?
  1. God expects it to be a part of our lives. Jesus says in Matt 6:16 ‘when you fast…’ not IF you fast.
  2. In obedience to Gods word. Joel 2:12, 2 Cor6:4-6, Matt 9:15.
  3. To humble ourselves before God. Jas 4:10.
  4. To overcome temptations. Matt 6.
  5. To be purified from sin. Dan 9:3-5
  6. So we become weak and God is made strong. Ps 109:24
  7. To obtain Gods support to accomplish His will. Acts 13:3-4
  8. In times of crisis. Esther 4:15-16, 2 Chron 20
  9. When seeking Gods direction. Ezra 8:21
  10. For understanding and divine revelation. Jer 36:6
  11. You learn to recognize God. Luke 2:37
What kinds of fasts are there?
  • The complete fast – no food or water. Max is 3 days.
  • The normal fast – liquids only, no food
  • The partial fast – missing out some things. For Daniel he missed out meat and just ate veggies and water.
  • Activity Fast: If you must eat food (pregnant, breast feeding, have a very physically demanding job, etc) you might consider a fast from activities such as social media, television, internet, etc.
What are the rules?

There are no ‘rules’ as such. Nowhere in the bible does it tell us we HAVE to fast or for how long and what from. Its something that is individual. If you want to fast for just one meal, 2 meals, one day, 3 days, a week, it doesn’t matter. You follow what you feel happy with or if you hear God leading you to a specific time. Some people fast from other things like TV, or chocolate, or coffee. There seems just to be one provision of fasting and that it in Matt6:18 where Jesus tells the people that WHEN they fast, not to do it so it is seen by others. It is something that matters to God and not to others.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Daylight Savings


A friendly reminder that Daylight Savings is this Saturday/Sunday. Don't forget to set your clock FORWARD one hour...especially those who attend jubilee city 9 am!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Leftover XXXposed Q&A

I recorded a few extra answers to the Q&A questions from XXXposed. Here is one about understanding John 8:1-11.

Follow this link.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Must See T.V.

Anytime Terry Virgo is in town, he is a must see and this past Sunday he did not disappoint. If you were not able to be there you MUST download the audio titled "Overcoming Setbacks." It was superb even for Terry.

Not only did he come with a great preach, he came with faith for physical healing as well. I have received 6 confirmed reports of physical healing! God is a God who loves to heal...body, soul and mind. I so much appreciate Terry's example to us to believe God.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cow Tipping...What is That?

Preaching the Gospel is the Goal
My goal for the pulpit every Sunday is to preach the gospel...it's that simple. Now, I hope to apply it in a 100 different ways, which is why the subject changes from week to week. I also hope what I say is interesting, relevant and presented well; therefore, extra time is spent on the message and series presentation.

It Will Be Fun and Confrontational
We titled our next series, "Cow Tipping" because we thought it would be fun and interesting to knock over some sacred cows in culture and in the church. The content of these messages will be very meaty and at times, challenging. In fact, I expect it to confront issues in our lives that we do not normally confront.

Confusing Titles
There has been a little confusion over the titles of the messages, which are:
  1. God Wants Me to be Happy
  2. God is a Republican
  3. Tolerance is a Virtue
  4. If it is to Be, It is Up to Me
I have received several comments/concerns that the above titles reflect what Jubilee believes to be true. Actually, it's the opposite. We believe these statements are sacred cows (2 from religious circles, 2 from culture) that we plan to confront and question.

Invite a Skeptic
I think this will be a great series to invite your skeptical friends. In the first two weeks, we'll deconstruct some commonly held ideas in the church world, and in the later two weeks, we'll deconstruct commonly held ideas in culture.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Terry Virgo This Sunday!


An annual highlight for Jubilee Church is having Terry Virgo as our guest speaker. The way he explains message of grace has been life-changing for many and foundational for our church life together.

Terry Virgo is the founder of Newfroniters, a successful author and a sought after speaker. You do not want to miss this Sunday at Jubilee, city location.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Single & Rocking!

This Sunday we will conclude our XXXposed series with a Q&A session with myself and Licensed Professional Counselor Christi Brandenstein (of Crossroads Counseling). I believe it will be extremely helpful and encouraging as we seek for a Path to Purity.

In this series, we have talk a lot about being married or the process prior to marriage. I think it has been applicable for everyone because a) 93% of singles will be married so this is excellent stuff to help you in your pre-married years and b) even if you plan not to be married, as a member of a church you have both the responsibility and privilege to support and encourage other members of the body. This series can be instructional for you to know how to counsel, pray for and encourage those who are married or plan to be married.

However, I don't want to underestimate or ignore the vital role and importance that unmarried people play in the church and want to encourage you in your current status as single.

I have provided a link to PJ Smyth's outstanding essay on Single and Rocking. You may also check out my message on Being Single through our audio archive from 5/31/2009.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What Season is Your Dating Relationship In?

Song of Solomon 2:10-14
10 My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, 11 for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. 12 The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing [4] has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. 13 The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.

If you're in a dating relationship, I think a good question to ask yourself is, "what kind of season is my relationship in?" Is it spring? Are flowers appearing? Is your relationship producing fruit? Is it good fruit? Does your relationship have the life of Christ all around it? Are you encouraging one another into the things of God? The relationship we see here between Solomon and his bride had life. Spring was in the air!

However, what if there isn't life in your relationship? It is life-draining vs. life-giving. What if you are not encouraging each other in Christ? Your relationship could be in a season of winter and it could be time to re-access or at least slow down until the time is right. It could be dangerous to move forward in a relationship whose season has not yet come.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Getting Your Questions Answered

Don't forget to ask your questions for the XXXposed series. I, along with a male counselor and a female counselor, will answer the most popular questions you submit surrounding the issue of sex, sexual sin, abuse, relationships, marriage, being single, etc, on Sunday, February 21 at all Jubilee locations and services. So far, we've got some great questions so it looks to be very a very interesting and helpful time together.

You can text 314-827-4334 or email xxxposed@jubileestl.org. You could also submit your questions on Sunday morning. All questions will remain anonymous.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Why I Give Online

One of the best kept secrets around jubilee for the past few months is that you can now give online (see the main page of either the City or Wentzville). For many, this is long-awaited and good news because everything else you do is online and perhaps the only reason you even write a check is to buy girl scout cookies and give to jubilee. OK, I will admit it, we were slow adapters on this one.

Now for some of you, you may not like the idea of giving online because for you, the moment you drop the check or the cash in the basket is the moment when when giving becomes worship for you. I have to say, that is a great moment. Especially, on Gift Day and the band is playing an update, God-centered song...it's a great moment. However, to be clear and to guard from false thinking, the real moment of worship is when you (and your spouse if you are married) are sitting at the dinning room table with all your bills and account statements in front of you, and you first make the decision in faith to give a certain amount/percentage to God. It's God-honoring worship when it is pre-determined and is amount that represents sacrificial and generous giving. What is not worship, is last minute giving that is more of an after thought after you paid the rest of your bills. That, perhaps (emphasize perhaps) is giving done more out of compulsion rather than worship. Of course, spontaneous giving is great and is also God-honoring, but should not represent the bulk of our giving. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 that our giving should be off the top, regular and generous.

You can accomplish this kind of giving whether you give by check or whether you give electronically. Now my wife and I give online (auto debit from checking account...do not recommend using your credit card) because it helps us stick to our predetermined amount and keeps it regular (it's automated) because to be honest with all that I do on Sunday morning, I can forget.

The point of this post (if you're beginning to wonder) is to say that whether you give by check or online is not the determining factor in whether you are worshipping God in your giving. The determining factor is 1) the first spending decision you make? 2) is it sacrificial and generous? and 3) Is it regular? After those questions are answer, quite frankly it is just a matter of preference.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Donate your Facebook status and Twitter tweets to Jubilee!

So as you likely already know, Jubilee Church is launching a new series this Sunday (Jan 31) that has already produced quite a buzz. We’re advertising on billboards, bus stops, passing out postcards out all over our college campuses (recycle please!) and we’ve relaunched a website with a great new video we produced.

As great as all of the promotional stuff is, chances are you know people in St. Louis that we may not reach… but you can! So we’re asking you to help us out by donating your Facebook status and Twitter tweets to Jubilee for one day between now and Sunday to help us ramp up to the XXXposed series starting this weekend. We want as many people as possible to post one of the following:

So that’s it! Easy! If you’re up for it, post that for 24 hours and then you can get back to using your status to tell the world that you ‘have a lot to do today’ (don’t we all?) or that you ‘can’t wait till Friday’ (everyone loves Friday! That isn’t news!).

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thank You

I think my family and I are on the road to recovery after an intensely crazy week. January is by far my busiest month for a few different reasons: 1) Taking care of end of the year and beginning of the year church business, 2) Gearing up for a new trimester of Action Tracks (if you go to Jubilee, sign up today!!), 3) Gearing up for our February sermon series (this year: it's www.XXXPOSEDchurch.com), and Mobilise USA (a conference for 400 students and twenties).

This year, God added a twist to our month: the birth of a precious little girl named Josephine Rose Mowrey. We had expected her to come around February 8th, but she came a month early. This put us in a bit of a tail spin, but we have been so blessed by all the prayers, good wishes, gifts, meals and much more. The outpouring of support for our family has been overwhelming and humbling. I want to thank all of you and say how blessed I feel to be a part of such a great community. Love you guys!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Life Change


In my recent blog series, Looking Back at a Decade, I recounted all the life change that has occurred because of Jubilee's ministry. Here is an example from a wonderful family that used to attend Jubilee, but has since moved to North Carolina.

Bryan,
I saw your post and felt inspired to write something. Jubilee Church will always hold a special place in my heart. I will always consider you guys family, even the new ones that I don't know. I look back at the past ten years and remember where I was emotionally and spiritually. Drugs, Insomnia, Rage, Anger, Pain. We had just lost my dad to suicide and had uprooted ourselves from "home." (Franklin NC 1999) My mother was falling apart and could not maintain employment. I was LOST! After many months of searching, God placed her with Pat Donjon, She will forever, in my eyes, be a "proverbs 31 woman". I remember meeting her family and going to Alpha at there home which consisted of the Poe's(senior) and Abbie, Dusty, Susan. I remember thinking I have never met people who really love like this. I want what they have. The way they interacted together, to their families, was something I had never experienced before. It truly drew me in. Steven was pretty much on the same path, the wide one. Even though the first few years of being saved we continued to mess up, but we were always welcomed. I remember being blessed at our wedding and having total support. I appreciate the leadership and elders who counseled us, it took us a while but we eventually got it. Many of those voices are the words of wisdom we still hear today. I know for a fact if it were not for Jubilee and prevalent truth that is preached on how to love some one, Steven and I would not be where we are today. We now have four children, I am able to home school them and we are both still desperately seeking the Lord. Our oldest Cora-8, was baptised this year and our second daughter, Lilly-6, was saved at VBS over the summer. Thank You Jubilee for your obedience in Christ, and your persuit of the Lost, because I know with out a doubt we were Found.
Much Love, Erin Willis

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Strategic Giving vs. Spontaneous Giving


The recent crisis in Haiti has got me thinking a lot about giving. Specifically, how Christians should give and for what reasons. There are really two different approaches that people have toward giving and I think both should be implemented in the life of the believer:
  1. Spontaneous giving: In Acts 11:27-30, a need arose (a famine) and the church quickly gathered funds to help.
  2. Strategic giving: 2 Corinthians 9:5 records Paul instructing the believers to regularly set aside money in advance to take care of the needs of the church in Jerusalem.
I think Americans are good at spontaneous giving. A need arises, a few movie stars are gathered and whamo!...millions of dollars are raised. However, the needs in a place like Haiti were there before the disaster (80% of the country lives on $2 per day) and the needs will continue long after the disaster has subsided. That is why strategic giving is so important.

While it is monumentally IMPORTANT that Christians are spontaneous givers to needs that arise unexpectedly, I believe that church ministry an the needs of the poor are meant to be primarily funded by strategic giving. Strategic giving is giving according to one's means (a percentage) and is given regularly.

At Jubilee, we employ this principle to both funding church planting as well as giving to the poor. Jubilee sets aside money strategically for church planting as well giving to the needs of the poor. Therefore, when a need does arise, we have it available. There are also, of course, other times when we also give spontaneously to a specific church plant or an unplanned need.

I want to encourage you that if your giving is only spontaneous, to consider praying about being a strategic giver.