Posts categorized Ministry Development
MCA Church is a multi-ethnic, multi-generational, multi-socioeconomic worship community that loves one another deeply. We rarely talk about racism in our gatherings because we simply feel that crying racism actually strengthens and lengthens this terrible sin against the image of God.
A racist is a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
A bigot is a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.
A xenophobe is a person who is unduly fearful of what is foreign.
NONE of these three perspectives please God and all three are a great insult to being created in the image of God.
The racist, bigot, and xenophobe often struggle with unhealthy and sinful prejudice.
To be prejudiced is to hold a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
Most forms of prejudice are sin because they can not be true. People can not accurately be assessed by skin color, race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic standing, or height or weight.
Here at MCA Church we hold to a very simple and basic solution. Our highly effective plan won’t make headlines, may seem unsophisticated and kindergarten-ish.
We don’t mind. We are a simple folk. Our plan requires only three Jesus’ words to define.
Sorry. No long books to read. No degrees to be earned. No sensitivity training required.
Time for the great unveiling of MCA Church’s secret to our multi-ethnic success.
“Love your neighbor.”
Sometimes I wonder, “What would I have done if I were serving a local church as a pastor during the time of the holocaust?”
ISIS has created a new holocaust. It is my turn to pastor in the midst of extreme wickedness. No longer is it “What would I have done, but what am I doing?”
First, I am confronting my sense of helplessness. “This isn’t a problem I can solve. It is for others to deal with.”
Second, I am challenging my wishful thinking. “Surely, ISIS will stop the absurd attraction to horrific violence.”
Third, I am resisting a tendency to profile. “He looks like he could be a Muslim extremist.”
Fourth, I am seeking to trust God at a deeper level. “God, you and your world don’t make sense to me right now.”
Fifth, I refuse to be paralyzed by what I can’t do, so I am doing what I can do.
I am the furthest thing from an End Times, Last Days, or eschatological scholar. I never can figure out what the imagery really means. Making things worse, I am never sure the scholars have it right because they never seem to agree with each other. This leaves me with the personal responsibility to do what I can.
I can look to the Bible for time tested and Holy Spirit inspired insight.
I can seek God’s intervention through prayer.
I can lift up my voice against the great darkness and proclaim the Light.
I can become informed.
I can grow in love.
Maybe you noticed in this blog post the large number of times I have used the personal pronoun, I. This is intentional. From my perspective, God will hold me accountable not for what nations could do but for what I can do. I have personal responsibility to fight my part of the fight.
The voice is the most powerful resource a human being has been given by God. Part of my calling is to help you find your voice, craft your message, and speak it clearly to the world. Your voice matters!
Yes, I have taken some heat because of my support of my Christian black brothers and sisters who last Sunday, in prayer, asked God to help Americans see that black lives matter. I again want to commend the Church of God in Christ for using their voices to bring a deep wound to the forefront of the national Assemblies of God consciousness.
Today, if I understand the story correctly, a man greatly sinned against God, the people of our nation, the entire family of police officers in our country, the by-standers, his girlfriend, two police officers, and all of their friends and families.
Murder is among the worst of all sins. Murdering a person properly placed by God’s shared authority for the protection of the population is among the worst of the worst sins. In no uncertain terms the intentional, pre-meditated, surprise attack against peace officers, today and always, is not acceptable for any reason, ever.
To say “all lives matter” isn’t adequate. Officer Rafael Ramos and Officer Wenjian Liu’s lives matter. These officers have been robbed of their breath, joys, future and their lives. No more Christmases, birthday parties, weddings, or sunsets on the beach for them. They have experienced Cain’s sin against Abel.
Allegedly the accused, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, then committed the cowardly sin of suicide. If this is accurate, Ismaaiyl Brinsley completed sin in 360 degrees- he was wicked, in ways that defy reason, to the entire world and in every dimension.
It is clear. The human heart is capable of EXTREME evil. Morality, decency, respect, and honor can quickly be replaced by hatred, vile violence, immorality, indecency, disrespect, and dishonor. In a flash, a human being can become, as it were, a demon of hell.
Brothers and Sisters, this is why it is VITAL that we learn to find our voice and allow the other to find their’s too. As followers of Jesus we fight injustice with our words not weapons, language not Lugers, sentences not swords, grammar not guns, prayer not pistols, and verbally not with violence.
In my world of wishes, Ismaaiyl Brinsley would have been walking down a Brooklyn street last Sunday and heard some amazing music wafting out of a local Christian church, maybe one like the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Interested in the terrific sound and feel of the music, he decides to walk in and check out what’s going on.
He can hardly fathom what he sees. People of all ethnicities are harmoniously and energetically worshiping with song and dance. The love flowing in the racially diverse crowd is so different from the feelings he has inside; feelings of oppression, white aggression, hate, anger, and murder.
The next thing he sees rocks his emotional world. The pastor walks to the center of the stage and says, “Folks, today we will be in prayer for our nation. Today we are honoring Black Lives Matter Sunday. If you are here today and your heart is hurting, you can’t make sense of Grand Jury decisions, it seems to you that the world is intentionally stacked against those among us who are black, and your heart is full of rage, please know that you and your pain matters to us and to Jesus. The best way to deal with life’s injustices is to use your voice to cry out. The Bible is full of people crying out against injustice. Please come and talk with us. We won’t argue against you and your position, we won’t demean you, in fact we will honor you and your voice.”
Maybe Wenjian and Ramos would be alive today.
The news out of St. Louis County regarding the tensions there are further signs of how much the individual and collective human heart needs a complete transformation by the work of Jesus. As buildings burned, people ransacked and looted, and many were arrested, I watched a Caucasian women say, “I don’t know what all the noise is about. There are no racial tensions here in Ferguson.”
Clearly, not everyone sees the world the way she does.
When different perspectives intersect different deeply held beliefs difficulty abounds. Interestingly, every position claims that God is on their side.
Two definitions come to mind – race and ethnicity.
Race is genetic. In our DNA. God given. Unchangeable. With Darrell and Clairena as my parents, my race would be the same if I was born in China, Israel, or Burkina Faso.
Ethnicity is learned. It is about traditions, culture, and behaviors. Ethnicity is changeable.
MCA Church is moving forward in “keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3)” by learning what I call “race and ethnicity humility.” Following the Biblical command to “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than your selves,” (Philippians 2:3) includes race and ethnicity! In humility I am to count other races as more significant than mine. Humbling myself before other ethnicities is a must.
Personally, my race is Caucasian and much of my ethnicity is Inupiat.
For me it isn’t real difficult to consider other races as more significant than mine, but it is a HUGE challenge to honor other ethnicities above my own. For example, my Inupiat ethnicity is steeped in the power of feasting as worship. After a successful hunting season in which God has provided whales, moose, caribou, fish, seals, walrus, and ducks, EVERYTHING stops for the feast. Naluqatak, the Barrow, Alaska Whaling Festival, is among the yearly highlights of celebration to God for His bountiful provisions.
With joy, I brought Naluqatak to MCA Church on Thanksgiving Day. I was so excited to have an MCA Church wide feast celebrating the goodness and bounty of the Lord. To my total surprise, the people of my own race thought it to be the dumbest and most family unfriendly idea they had ever heard. “What? You want us to leave our suburban homes where we gather on Thanksgiving with our family? You are crazy! Thanksgiving is a day to stay home with family.”
At that moment I realized that I am, by birth, a white guy. I am by upbringing, an Inupiat.
Deep in my soul I felt that those who disagreed with me about Thanksgiving being a church-wide feast unto the Lord were anti-ministry, anti-church family, and anti-love one another. Now I know that there are more than just one way to celebrate God’s bounty. I must admit, because ethnicity runs so deep in my soul, I still think the church-wide feast unto the Lord is better and more spiritual than “cloistering” in our middle and upper class homes.
This is clearly an opportunity for me to practice ethnicity humility.
MCA Church continues to become a collection of people from many races and even more ethnicities. By God’s grace we are learning to consider other’s race and ethnicity as better than our own. You, your race, and your ethnicity are deeply loved, valued, and appreciated in our Church family.
I can’t bring much change to the situation in Ferguson but I can humbly consider the races and ethnicities with whom I interact as better than my own.
Race and ethnic humility is my starfish. I can’t change the whole beach but I can make a difference for this one.
God’s strong hand of blessing has been upon MCA Church Island Revival Congregation. Following is Pastor Moe’s Annual Report. Read and rejoice!
MCA CHURCH ISLAND REVIVAL
MCA CHURCH Island Revival, where you don’t have to be from the islands, to be part of the family. We bring an Island flavor of the worship of God to the MCA CHURCH NETWORK. Our desire is to glorify God in all that we do.
2012 was a growing year for the ministry in every facet. Our Resurrection Sunday Outreach brought 150 people, 25 of them accepted JESUS as their Lord and Savior. Mother’s Day & Father’s Day outreaches was a blessing, our Youth Explosion was a big hit for the youths, and we had our very first White Sunday celebration in October. We witnessed 32 young men give their lives to Jesus in our ministry into McLaughlin Youth Center, which is every 3rd Sunday of each month. We also hosted our 1st annual Missions Luau in March and all the proceeds went to the Boaz Operations.
We have added 3 NEW families to the congregation, 27 newborn Christians, 18 Water Baptism, 5 received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and 15 became members of MCA CHURCH. We have come a long way financially but have accomplished what we wanted for 2012.
Our goal is to reach our immediate community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to see 50 people come to Christ, than see them through Water Baptism and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and on to serving HIM with everything they have. We pray for at least 5 new families, help them to grow to their full potential in Christ in Worship, Serving and Giving.
We will be more involved in our MCA CHURCH Global Outreaches, including mission trips, but not to forsake our ministry here at home. Our weekly events are, Bible studies on Tuesday nights, Worship and Arts on Thursday nights both at 6 pm, and our Saturday morning prayer at 6 am. Our service starts a 1:30 pm every Sunday at the MCA CHURCH North Campus.
Our big events for the year are, Beginning of the year Revival in January, Valentine’s Sunday in February, Missions Luau in March, Mother’s Day and Youth Explosion in May, Father’s Day in June, Men’s Revival in August. Our women’s ministry “Daughter’s of the King” will host a women’s fellowship called Lunch with the King, every 3rd Saturday every other month starting in September.
Our prayer is that we would build a body of believers to worship God, to lead others to Jesus, equip them for the work of the ministry, and with the anointing of the Holy Spirit, make an impact for the Lord both here at home and abroad. And again let everything we do glorify our Lord Jesus.
For His glory,
Matauaina Tali “Moe”
I am delighted to serve alongside of Pastor Mark Burgess and his bride, Valerie. They are a blessing to me, our family, and the MCA Church family. Following is Pastor Mark’s Annual Report. God is good!
Ministry Mobilization Summary of The Ministry Year – Mark Burgess
Looking briefly at the ministry year in review and celebrating what God has done! Please consider how you can live Local through a variety of MCA Church Ministry opportunities.
Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames Drama. In July we hosted the HGHF Evangelistic Outreach Drama and rejoiced with people responding to make Jesus Christ their Savior.
EXCELr8 Men’s Ministry – Special Events included the Men’s Super Bowl Outreach, the Alaska Men’s Network Retreat, and the Father’s Day Celebration. MCA Men’s Ministry sponsored a weekly Monday Night Football Life Group, a Courageous and a Band of Brother’s Men’s Special Interest Life Groups, and a Monthly Pit Stop Breakfast.
Water Baptisms – 37 people were water baptized this year.
Church Members – 48 people became MCA church members this ministry year.
Life Community Venue –9:15 and 11:15 worship services were offered each Sunday.
Adult Sunday School – This weekend teaching ministry was offered each Sunday.
Mobile Food Pantry – Each Wednesday morning at MCA supplemental food was distributed to an average of 90 families expressing need.
Transportation – Each Sunday this faithful team provided church van transportation to our Sunday daytime services. This team also provided transportation to special church events.
3rd Wednesday Meal – A monthly dinner meal was provided to MCA members and guests through September 2012.
Ministry Mobilization – Partnering with our Communications Sphere, our Annual Ministry Catalog was distributed and made available on our church web site in August 2011.
Greeting Card Ministry – Each month this ministry honored Birthdays and Anniversaries of MCA church members.
Deacon’s Assistance Ministry – The Ministry Mobilization Director partnered with this ministry for individuals expressing sustenance, material, or other need.
Emergency Cold Weather Shelter – A once a week Emergency Shelter for homeless families needing shelter is planned to begin in October. It will operate from October through April.
Pastor’s 2012 Annual Report
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. Acts 20:28
As the Apostle Paul said his final farewell to the Christians in Ephesus, he gave guidance that perfectly aligns with this season of MCA Church’s ministry. It seems Paul was looking through the binoculars of time with unparalleled understanding and revelation for our MCA Church Network of ministries.
The Apostle’s directives to us are:
Keep Watch Over Yourselves
Being holy before God, fully activated in mission, and relationally healthy is of utmost importance. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
MCA Church ministries are designed to assist your personal life with God. Since we are each responsible for our own Christian lives, MCA Church provides an array of options from which you may make your choices.
Every MCA Church participant is encouraged to fully engage in one weekend worship and one LIFE group gathering each week. Add to your weekly schedule a monthly place of serving in ministry and one conference a year and you have the basic full package of the MCA Church ministry plan.
We must keep watch over our own personal spiritual well being and health
Keep Watch Over All the Flock
MCA Church is a large and growing collection of individuals who are organized into congregations. Each person and each congregation are part of the flock for which we must keep watch.
We are privileged to keep watch over a growing collection of people and ministries. Let’s continually increase our “Flock watching” skills.
Following are collections of people for whom we keep watch locally:
• MCA Church Greatest Hits
• MCA Church Video Café at 9:15 AM
• MCA Church Video Café at 11:15 AM
• MCA Church Multi-language Congregation
• MCA Church LIFE Community at 9:15
• MCA Church LIFE Community at 11:15
• MCA Church LIVE at 9:15
• MCA Church LIVE at 11:15
• MCA Church Sunday Nite Live
• MCA Church Island Revival Congregation
• MCA Church Strong Tower Congregation
• MCA Church Children’s Services
• MCA Church Youth Services
Following are collections of people with whom we keep watch globally:
• The More Congregation at Zone One Church in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
• The French Congregation at Zone One Church in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
• Twenty annex Congregations at Zone One Church in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
• Yemtenga Elementary School
• Muldoon Evangelique School
• Doudou Elementary School
• Living Waters Assembly in Kununurra, Western Australia
• Thousand Hills Church in Hilversum, The Netherlands
Be Shepherds of the Church of God, Which He Bought With His Own Blood
Along with the “keep watch” skills we are developing, we must also learn “shepherd” skills.
Seeking to fulfill the Biblical ministry of the pastoral shepherd, we must be careful to be and do all that God intends because the Church of God was purchased at an incredible price. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Understanding that the shepherd idea is often associated with one person, MCA Church seeks to learn how we can morph so that our entire congregation participates in blessing and assisting the people and congregations with whom we relate.
Increasing the MCA Church “keeping watch” and “shepherd the flock of God” skill set, we have determined four urgent priorities that all depend upon the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28):
• Develop, both personally and corporately, a growing cultural literacy
• Develop, both personally and corporately, cultural humility and the corresponding servant attitude
• Increase our capacity for proactive sharing
• Commit to MCA Church essentials and extend grace on non-essentials
MCA Church LIFE Groups
Connecting with One Another
1. Did you make any 2013 New Year’s resolutions?
2. If so, how are you progressing on those resolutions?
Digging Deeper into the Weekend Message
1. The author of Proverbs places high value on gaining wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 3:13, 21). What is the difference between wisdom and understanding?
2. Are wisdom and understanding helpful for “keeping watch over yourselves?”
3. Isaiah 11:2-3 reveals some of the results of the Spirit’s ministry in our lives.
a. Is this kind of wisdom based in human thinking?
b. The Spirit of the Lord was to rest upon Jesus. Will that same Spirit come to rest upon us today?
4. MCA Church is “keeping watch over ourselves and the flock of God” that he has entrusted into our care. We need the Spirit’s wisdom!
a. What is cultural literacy?
b. How do I develop cultural humility and a servant attitude?
c. How do I foster a willingness to share?
d. How do we come to delineate between essentials and non-essentials?
1. Please pray that the “Spirit of the Lord will rest upon” you.
2. Please pray for one of the MCA Church ministries that you do not attend, asking God for wisdom about how you can serve that ministry.