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Over the last couple of months, I’ve been asked a few times how people, small groups, or churches could be praying for us as we are in a season of preparing to plant our next church in Winnipeg.  So, here are 3 Ways to Pray:

1) For our family.  There is a lot of spiritual attack on families that are stepping out and leading new ministries like this.

– It manifests itself in many ways, like sleepless kids on nights before I’m preaching or we are sharing about our church plant with someone interested in exploring if God might be calling them to join with us.  Nightmares, specifically.

– Also, while there is normatively miscommunication between spouses, this preparatory season can bring an added layer of spiritual attack on marriages that make them occur more frequently.  Praise God that this isn’t what we are currently experiencing, which I attribute to the prayers of many people 🙂

– Also, prayer for us as we build a home from three provinces away (the stress of which is under the surface, but present).

2) For Westside Church as we prep to leave.  We have gone through a lot of changes over the last six months in leadership and God has been working wondrously, but with us also moving in 8 months, there is another role to fill so that Westside can continue to be a ministry that trains, equips and mobilizes men and women for Gospel ministry.

3) For our launch team, people who really know and believe that new things don’t happen on their own, someone has to take the first step.  We have two groups of people to pray for:

– A growing team in Vancouver: people exploring selling condos and quitting jobs, or relocating their jobs to work remotely for a few months or years.  We have students and teachers who have summers off and are considering partnering.  We have singles and couples who are exploring and praying if God might be calling them to lay down the blank chèque of their lives.  It’s incredibly exciting, and we’d love your prayers for them, trusting that a god is raising up labourers for His harvest, and we can be confident in that.

– A growing team in Winnipeg.  We have people reaching out and connecting with us on social media almost every week or every other week – those who are excited about this new work and how they might be involved in what God is doing.  Pray for us as we are going to be in Winnipeg in June/July to meet with them for dinners, coffees, and interest/prayer meetings.

We are so excited to be on this journey and pumped for all of those who are partnering with us on various levels (prayer, finances, and those on our launch team).  Please continue to pray that we would have discernment and trust in His ways.  Thanks for exploring how you might be praying alongside of us!

To listen to one of my latest sermons at a partner church, check out this link: https://christcitychurch.ca/app/uploads/sites/3/2019/05/1-Thessalonians-1-2-10.mp3

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I was reading 1 King’s 22 earlier today and was reminded of this truth that prophecies are always governed by God, but sometimes those “words from the Lord” are not actually … “from the Lord” .. at all.

The scene before us is Ahab, longing to know if he should go to war after three years of peace.  Prophets are called forth and they all say it’s a great idea to go to war.  One guy even fashions some horns of iron and says, “with these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.”  And all the prophets said to go … all except one.  That downer, Micaiah.  Who refused to speak what everyone wanted him to speak and, instead, would only speak God’s Words.

When he shows up on the scene, he begins by saying the same thing as the other prophets, but the king told him to actually share God’a words to him – the truth.

So, Micaiah did.  And it wasn’t pretty.  Israel would be scattered, with no shepherd – no master.  Apparently this wouldn’t go over too well if he did go to war. And then Micaiah turns the conversation towards God’s true word and shares this “behind the scenes look” at why the other prophets had only spoken peace when peace was anything but what was going to happen:

“Then a Spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying Spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’  Now, therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit inn the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has declared disaster for you.

This leads me to note at least theee things:

1) God is in control, even over the lying of false prophets who make up images in their mind of victory and fashion horns because they are so convinced that the demons that have been speaking to them are “the Lord.”

2) Although all prophets are hearing “words”, not all of them are truly “FROM God.”

3) God brings judgment upon Ahab  for his sins by allowing testing to come at the hands of these demons.  God is not the one who tempted Ahab, but He did sovereignty allow it to lead to Ahab’s death.

So, in leadership within a local church, it’s important to note a few things:

– just because someone has a “word”, that doesn’t mean it’s from “the Lord.”  They could’ve become convinced that it is, genuinely, and go to great lengths to defend it, but it doesn’t mean that it is.  So how do we know?

1) We test it according to the Bible (Does the Bible say we should expect such a word?  Does this word contradict clear scripture? Is this word clear and direct or a bit more like a fortune cookie?)

2) We pray about it.

3) We wait to see if it’s confirmed.  If so, it genuinely was “from” God. If not, then it was from us, or worse, from demons.

As leaders, one must be very cautious, because these “prophets” may be providing “words” that sound great, but are contrary to God’s Word.  We must be very careful, and cautious, testing everything against the Bible, and seeking earnestly to see if these “words” are truly God’s words, or if they are simply man’s imaginations, or satan’s temptations, leading to your death.

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To be honest, I started this blog in 2011 and have revamped it multiple times, and so, as I’ve heard so many times in this past season: the difference between masters and apprentices are that masters have failed more times than apprentices have even tried.

Although I’m nowhere near a master on anything, ha, I’d love to have a space where I can continue to grow in my own leadership, codifying ideas, and seeking to share them with those following our story as we will be moving to Winnipeg in 8 months to start our third church plant in the last 8 years.

This will be a space designated for processing through leadership in the local church, our journey at planting a new church, and a place to train our launch team for what it means to be a local church that seeks to make much of Jesus as we share our lives and the Gospel with others, making disciples who know how to make disciples, so that we can accomplish Jesus’ command for us.

Thanks for joining us along the journey!

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