The Glory of Christmas
“The Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost” Luke 19:10
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” 1 Timothy 1:15
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” Matthew 9:25
The great glory of the Christmas story is that Jesus left the place he was and went to the place where the needy people were. Without this action of Jesus to go to where the people were, we would all have no hope. There would be no joy of Christmas ever; for anybody. For all eternity.
To create a church multiplication movement we have to re-enact the Christmas story thousands of times over. Christians have to leave where they are and go to towns and communities where there are needy people who we don’t yet know. These needy people are ready and waiting for a message of hope and joy; the good news and healing of Jesus.
These simple action statements that Christ Jesus “came into the world”, and “Jesus went through all the towns and villages”, are the story of Christmas and the glory of Christmas, and the call of God on our lives. Pray for greater desire to do what Jesus did and for grace to obey his call on your life.
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
Reaching a New Constituency
Today only about 17% of Americans are in church on any given Sunday. When a church multiplication movement succeeds, one of the primary reasons will be that it will reach a new constituency of people, those not in the 17%.
As believers are deployed into new communities armed with the Gospel values such as hospitality (love for strangers) and encouragement, faith and faithfulness, they will find that there are many more people who are open to the message of these values than are open to an invitation to church.
The goal of a church multiplication movement is to appeal to the 83% of Americans who are not in church on Sunday morning.
Several years ago the concept of “red oceans and blue oceans’ was a popular business concept. A red ocean is an ocean full of the “blood” of companies offering similar products fighting over a small segment of the market. Red oceans happen when companies are competing for a bigger “slice of the pie.’
Blue oceans are the place companies get to when they stop fighting over market share and begin to create new constituencies for their products. Rather than fighting over a bigger slice of the pie, blue ocean companies believe the entire pie can be larger.
Here is a brief introductory video of this concept:
A church multiplication movement will not try to attract a larger percentage of the 17% of the population that currently attend church. We will go into the world armed with Christ-like values and seek to reach the other 83%. We will reach people who respond to a message of hospitality and encouragement. This is a different group (a blue ocean) than the people who respond to an invitation to a traditional church service.
Pray that God will give us eyes to see the other 83% and will enable us to interact with them with values such as hospitality and encouragement that they find appealing. Remember: “The Gospel spreads through the hospitality of believers.”
Mt. Bethel Project Updates Now Available Online
Somebody said to me last week that by reading through the Mt. Bethel Updates they have come to understand more clearly how we are trying to create a church multiplication movement. Now, thanks to the good work of Jason Chaillou in the office we have a website on which all the Mt. Bethel Updates are archived. You can find them at www.mtbethelproject.com. We will be adding other resources to this site as we move forward.
Bruce Bennett Training Materials Available in Spanish
Pastor Joel Guzman has thirty people in a training class in Bronx, New York, using the Bruce Bennett materials. Joel is having these materials translated into Spanish and reports that the “Community Church Planting Manual” is almost completed as are the beginning lessons of the Pastoral Training Course and the Omega Church Planting materials. If you are interested in securing these material in Spanish please contact Joel. Also remember that much of these materials are already available in Portuguese. We will put a link for the Portuguese material on the www.mtbethelproject.com site.
Be With Him…
“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:18