Next Generation Ministry

Luke 9.1-11

First solo mission for the 12. The first opportunity to flex their ministry muscles. The first time to cast out the net for a catch. Jesus gives them the ability and right to do what He does, then He sends them out to proclaim the kingdom, giving them works to back up their words. Travelling light, they depend on God for their needs and bring the good news to all who will hear.

When was your first solo mission? Have you begun to flex your ministry muscles yet? Who have you told about Jesus? Just as Jesus empowered the disciples before sending them out on mission, He has also empowered us by giving us His Spirit and fellow believers to equip us and prepare us to accomplish His mission…making disciples. We call it transforming families to live and love like Jesus.

If you haven’t taken your first spin, don’t wait. There are lots of opportunities to serve. By now, hopefully you have put together an impact list…folks that God’s placed in your sphere of influence whom you can help take one step closer to Jesus. Proclaim the good news of the kingdom to them. Take a risk. You may not do it perfectly…that’s ok. God uses regular folks like us to accomplish His mission.

If this isn’t your first rodeo, and you’ve been serving and sharing the gospel for a while now, maybe it’s time for you to take someone else under your wing and bring them along. Show them the ropes and then turn them loose.

Until next time…stay salty.

“Let’s join Jesus on His mission this week of transforming families to live and love like Him.”

This post is based on a sermon from our Luke series, Live & Love Like Jesus. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

Ministry Interrupted

Luke 8.40-56

In this story we have 2 narratives intertwined…2 desperate but very different life situations: 1 well-off, the other poor; 1 highly respected, the other rejected; 1 a part of a family, the other alone. But both are seemingly beyond help. For 12 years the girl and the woman have lived such different lives, but now tragedy has put them on a collision course, and they both experience God’s life-giving power.

This is a story of fear and faith. Fear of the circumstances of life that Jairus and the woman find themselves in. Faith in Jesus’ ability to rescue them in those same circumstances of life. Calming the storm…casting out demons…healing disease…raising the dead…Jesus has power over creation, demons, uncleanness and death. No doubt Jesus can rescue them. His compassionate words and compassionate touch are proof of His willingness to rescue them.

The woman’s faith is pretty straight forward…she believes that if she can only touch Jesus’ cloak, she will be healed. And she is…immediately. No delay. Instant satisfaction.

But what about Jairus? He too believes that Jesus can heal his daughter. However, the interruption and subsequent delay seemingly result in all being lost. Yet Jesus still asks Jairus to trust Him. The timing is not what Jairus would have chosen…Jesus has His own timing (rarely early, but always on time)…but God is still in control. Do you believe that? In the circumstances of your life, do you believe that God is in control, and that His timing is always the right timing? Are you willing to patiently wait on Him? The seed planted in good soil holds fast to the Word and bears fruit with perseverance.

The guy from Jairus’ house thinks that all hope for Jairus’ daughter is lost…and by all appearances it is. But Jesus uses the delay to do something even bigger than healing a sick girl…He raises her from the dead.

We learn something important from this story about living and loving like Jesus…Jesus is busy, but not rushed. He sees interruptions as opportunities to minister grace to others. He’s very interruptible. I’m afraid I for one am both busy and rushed. That many, if not most, times I see people as distractions or as problems to be dealt with. I often overlook or miss opportunities to minister grace to others. I have to protect my routine. Interruptible? Are you kidding me? I have a schedule to keep. But if we want to live and love like Jesus, we have to be willing to slow down, trust God’s timing, and embrace interruptiblity.

So I don’t know where you are…maybe you are like the woman in desperate need of Jesus to rescue you…physically, emotionally, spiritually…maybe you’ve tried everything else. Just reach out to Him.

Maybe you are like Jairus…needing God to act right now! Maybe you need to be reminded that His timing is always perfect and to see the bigger thing that God may be doing in the delay. Maybe it’s a time to exercise a patient faith.

Maybe you need to be reminded that Ministry Interrupted is really a Ministry Opportunity.

Until next time…stay salty.

“May we see interruptions as opportunities to be wholesalers of God’s grace.”

This post is based on a sermon from our Luke series, Live & Love Like Jesus. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

NT Reading – July 27

2 Corinthians 6-7

Their Ministry Commended

And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain— for He says,

At the acceptable time I listened to you,
And on the day of salvation I helped you.”

Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation”— giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, 10 as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.

11 Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened wide. 12 You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections. 13 Now in a like exchange—I speak as to children—open wide to us also.

14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,

“I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
17 “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.
And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.
18 “And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.

Paul Reveals His Heart

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Make room for us in your hearts; we wronged no one, we corrupted no one, we took advantage of no one. I do not speak to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together. Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction.

For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within. But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced even more. For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it—for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while— I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. 12 So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the offender nor for the sake of the one offended, but that your earnestness on our behalf might be made known to you in the sight of God. 13 For this reason we have been comforted.

And besides our comfort, we rejoiced even much more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 14 For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I was not put to shame; but as we spoke all things to you in truth, so also our boasting before Titus proved to be the truth. 15 His affection abounds all the more toward you, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice that in everything I have confidence in you.


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (

To the Work! To the Work!

“While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'” Acts 13:2 NASB

We now embark with the Apostle Paul on a missionary journey, thirty plus years of service to Jesus.

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Paul would help plant numerous churches in various countries, preaching the gospel and making many disciples.

We are told in Acts 14, Paul and his team would return to the churches he planted, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them in the faith, and appointing elders after fasting and prayer.

We are blessed to have the many letters Paul wrote to the churches that make up a major portion of the New Testament.

Through the summer we will read through all the letters Paul wrote in some chronological order, trying as closely as possible to match Paul’s writings in the order they occurred.

In Acts 8 we read how Paul persecuted the church.

In Acts 9 we read of Paul’s dramatic encounter with Jesus – the one he had been persecuting.

Later in Acts 9, we read how God used Paul to share the gospel to the Jews, though he would meet with much resistance.

In the coming chapters we will see how Paul sets up the church at Antioch as his base of operations and how God will use Paul to share the gospel with the gentiles, as promised in Acts 9.

“But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.’” Acts 9:15-16 NASB

In this passage, we see how the the Lord assures Ananias that Saul is His chosen instrument to carry His name before the Gentiles, kings, and the people of Israel.

We will see how Saul becomes Paul, apostle to the uncircumcised and to kings (Governors Felix and Porcius Festus, King Herod Agrippa II, and possibly Nero – the roman emperor).

We will read of his ministry to both Israel and the Gentiles and of his many sufferings at the hands of those he was trying to help – Paul lists many of those sufferings in 2 Corinthians 11:23-27.

Paul definitely responded to the work God had called him to.

As I read through Acts I am reminded of the work Jesus has called us all to:

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20 NASB

As you read through the remainder of Acts, journey with Paul as he goes about the work, even when he faces opposition and times of trials and suffering.

Be mindful of your own journey – the work we have all been called to do.

To the work! To the work!

Until next time… Keep reading!


Guiding the Way

“And he said, ‘Well, how could I unless someone guides me?’” Acts 8:31

I was planning to write something about Peter this week, but when reading through Acts, I have often stopped here in Chapter 8. 

I love this passage of scripture. At the start of Chapter 8, we have Paul ravaging the church, persecuting Christians, dragging them off to prison. 

This persecution causes Christians to scatter, but note in verse 4, “those who were scattered went about preaching the Word.”

One such person who was scattered was Philip, one of the Seven appointed to ministry in Chapter 6. 

There is much we can learn from the text about Philip.

It appears from the text in Acts Chapter 6, that Philip met the practical needs of ministry by serving tables so the apostles could devote themselves to teaching and prayer. 

Here in Chapter 8, in the region of Samaria, he’s an evangelist. We are told Philip preached throughout Samaria, and as a result there was much joy in the city. 

Then in Gaza, Philip ministers one-on-one to the Ethiopian eunuch.

Later in Acts 21, we find him at Caesarea raising a family of four daughters who become prophetesses. 

I think we can see Philip as a composite of our own lives – a great example of how God chooses to use us in ministry.

Sometimes, we just need to do the work. It might mean cleaning tables, ushering, putting away chairs, cleaning the kitchen when serving food to the poor, among other activities.

Other times we may be called to share our faith publicly either through teaching or giving a testimony to groups or larger crowds.

Often, we are called to minister one-on-one praying for the friends, peers, family, school mates or fellow workers that God has placed in our lives. 

We are called to minister to our families, raising children in the faith, guiding and helping them discover their calling, preparing them for what God has called them to be. 

We have seasons of ministry, but Philip serves as reminder of what the Christian walk looks like, we go through our journey one step at time, season after season. 

And dare I say – maybe, just maybe, we may be called upon to talk to a stranger, that guy at the barber shop, grocery store or cleaners, someone God has placed strategically in our path to hear the Good News of the Gospel. 

Way back in Mark 13, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would give us what to say. We can trust in the Holy Spirit! 

Our role is help others along the way, guiding, pointing the way to Jesus, and the good news of the Gospel.


Until next time… keep reading!


Sources used for this blog: Jon Courson’s Application Commentary – New Testament, ESV Study Bible


Easter Devotional – March 10

Matthew 12:15-21

15 But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all, 16 and warned them not to tell who He was. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

18 Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen;
My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased;
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel, nor cry out;
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
20 “A battered reed He will not break off,
And a smoldering wick He will not put out,
Until He leads justice to victory.
21 And in His name the Gentiles will hope.”

Jesus’ public ministry is the fulfillment of ancient prophecies. Read Isaiah 42. After being long-awaited, the prophecies have arrived. Jesus is redefining what God’s Kingdom would look like. If God’s Kingdom came like earthly kingdoms, by force, the weak (like us) would not come out victorious. This is good news for those of us who sometimes struggle with our faith… “a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench”. He wants to gently strengthen our weak faith, hope and love…the meek will inherit the earth.

Prayer: Lord, as You reach out to me in Your gentle love, help me to bring Your Kingdom here in this day.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (

Easter Devotional – February 25

Matthew 4:18-25

The First Disciples

Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

Ministry in Galilee

23 Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues andproclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.

24 The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs,epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. 25 Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.

Imagine. You get a chance to go to the Super Bowl. The national anthem has been beautifully sung, the coin toss is about to take place. But the coach comes out and points to a couple of people in the stands and says, “Hey, come on down here; you’re not spectators anymore, you’re playing in the big game.” First reaction: Are you kidding me? I’m totally unprepared. I’m not ready.

While this would never happen in professional sports, this is how Jesus calls us. We were never meant to be spectators while God works His wonders all around us. We are called to participate. Even though we are unqualified and unprepared, He is all-powerful and completely worthy. God likes to use the unqualified and the unprepared, we just have to be willing to go out on the field.

Are you willing to go out on the field? Willing to allow Him to do His work through you?

Prayer: God, help me to be a player. To be willing to listen to Your call and move from the spectator seats to my place on the field.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (