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 ( 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.