Bridging the Divide: Session 1

God is doing amazing things in our day! As believers around the world, we are facing challenges like never before. Matthew 24 seems to be coming alive before our eyes. At the same time, God’s Kingdom is expanding rapidly. Holy Spirit is moving His people to pray like never before. Followers of Jesus are multiplying especially in people groups and in places where few have been. God is bringing an incredible convergence between prayer movements and mission movements! What’s happening and how can we cooperate effectively?

Course Objectives:

1.Gain a better understanding of your own call from God and how we fit and function together as One Body under Our Head, Jesus Christ.

2. Expand understanding of what prayer is, how we cultivate a conversational relationship with God.

3. Dig deeper into the somewhat diverse perspectives of the prayer and mission streams in order to overcome common challenges to connecting and working in unity toward common goals.

4. Explore specific strategies for better communication, coordination, and collaboration between the prayer and mission streams of the Body of Christ.

5. Review case studies of successful collaboration efforts which have resulted in breakthroughs as possible models.

6. Develop SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time Bound) goals for personal action for your own life.

“Called Under One King to One Body for One Mission”

Our goal today is to gain a better understanding of our own assignment from God and how we fit and function together as One Body under Our Head, Jesus Christ.

The End Vision: Begin with the End in Mind

In order to get where we want to go, we must know where we’re headed. I love jigsaw puzzles! You begin with a boxful of sometimes thousands of pieces in various shapes that will fit together; the box lid shows where you are headed. By seeing what it looks like when finished, it can help us know how individual pieces fit together.

Creator God is restoring what was broken: Intimate communion & partnership in creative work

When we think of our purpose in life, as followers of Jesus we believe we were created by God for intimate relationship with Him as Our Father and with one another in His family. In the beginning, the Garden was where Heaven and Earth overlapped. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, enjoyed intimate communion with God and had purposeful assignments to tend and keep the Garden and to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.  They broke that fellowship by sin and forfeited that intimate communion until God began the process of restoring. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. By grace through faith in His finished work, we are restored into intimate communion and invited to join Him in the process of restoration through creative work in partnership with Him.

One King, Jesus: King of kings and Lord of lords

Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself, took on the form of a servant and became obedient to death, even death on a cross and now He is exalted to the highest place, the Name Above All, King of kings and Lord of lords–we serve One King and Lord and are called to build His kingdom with Him. The Kingdom is where the rule and reign of the King is. It is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom of God is the end goal; the Church is the means to the end. God is summing up all things in Christ Jesus.

One Head and One Body

God invited us to work alongside Him from the beginning. He has prepared good works beforehand for us to walk in them. [Ephesians 2:10] The Holy Spirit reveals our assignment and empowers us to accomplish it as we abide in Him. [John 15:1-8] Jesus is daily adding to the Body, His Church, such as should be saved. The Church, Jesus’ Body, over which He is Head, is being built up as every joint supplies and does its work in the power of the Holy Spirit. Every member is a minister; God gives to the Body apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry. [Ephesians 4:11-16] There are diverse gifts and members of the Body all to be submitted to the Head, Jesus Christ. “I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.” Galatians 5:6 MSG

Living stones being built up as a spiritual house

The Church is not a building, but a gathering of believers committed to Jesus as King and Lord and to loving submission to Him and to one another in Him. Life is all about loving God and loving one another as His love flows through us. God helps you discover, develop and use your gifts within a gathering of believers. The miraculous sign of our faith is loving others. [John 13:35] As followers of Jesus, we are called to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (the Great Commission – teaching them to obey all Jesus commanded) with Jesus followers who love as He loved us (the Great Commandment). To do this, we must abide in Jesus, the True Vine–walking in the Great Commitment to intimate communion with Jesus and in connection with one another.

Formed into one Body

Think of gathering the ingredients for a cake. They are each unique and bring their own distinct flavors to the mix but once they are combined, something greater than the sum of the individual parts is created.1 Corinthians 12:12-14 “There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink.
So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts.”

Health means connecting, coordinating and collaborating well together.

The human body is beautifully complex. Although each body system performs a different role, all the systems work together to keep the entire body healthy. Although scientists categorize groups of organs into different body systems, these systems do not work in isolation. A disorder in one system can cause other systems to break down.

One King in One Body with One Mission

For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion
nor disregard of religion amounts to anything.
What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.”
Galatians 5:6 MSGWe are called to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth (Great Commission) with Jesus followers who love as He loved us (Great Commandment), abiding in Jesus, the True Vine, walking in the Great Commitment, that is, in intimate communion with Jesus and each other. 

Check it out for yourself

“…but speaking the truth in love,
we are to grow up in all aspects
into Him who is the head,
even Christ, from whom the whole body,
being fitted and held together
by what every joint supplies,
according to the proper working
of each individual part,
causes the growth of the body
for the building up of itself in love.
–Ephesians 4:15-16 NAS
One read slowly out loud.Second person slowly read again.
Share what you:Like? – Find Difficult?Learn about God? – People?Are you noticing anything you had not noticed before? Do you notice aspects of:Connecting, Coordinating, Collaborating?
What Is Your Vineyard?

Each believer has an assignment from God–your own area of work, your own “vineyard”. Ephesians 2:10 tells us God has prepared good works beforehand for us to walk in them. We can see in Isaiah 6: 1-8, Isaiah was in God’s presence and heard the call of God. In Romans 12:3, Paul says, “to each is given the measure of faith”–that original word is metron, like the orbit of a planet. God has given to each a particular sphere of authority. For each of us, God gives us authority over our own household and sphere of influence, our oikos. Jesus Himself only did what He saw the Father doing–and we are also to only do what we see the Father showing us to do.

Assignment for Session 1:

For your assignment from Session 1: One King in One Body with One Mission, please read the short article, “What Is Your Vineyard?” at the link I’ll paste in the Chat and watch the video on Bill Job’s background and journey into Business as Mission. Next class we’ll ask you to share your reflections or questions from this lesson and the homework assignments.

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