Ray Van Gilst

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Let's Reach an Unengaged Unreached People Group in Central Mexico

[fa icon="calendar'] August 20, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Missions, Fundraising

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Whenever we come across people groups that are not yet reached, it is a big AHA moment.  And especially when they are so relatively close to home.  After all, Mexico is pretty much in our backyard.  So, my question for you is, "Do you want to be a part of something big?"  Actually, I would challenge you to be a part of something big - like bringing back the King - by engaging an unreached people group with the gospel! 

Read more from our Missions Director Tim Agnello on how you can be a part of this "something big." - Ray

As most of you know, my heart beats for the unreached people groups around the world – and that we, the CPD, would be diligent in bringing the name of Jesus to those who have not yet heard! Well, we have an unprecedented opportunity, as a District, to help pioneer a brand new initiative and engage an Unengaged Unreached People Group (UUPG) in the mountains of Central Mexico.

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Are the Gifts Really Supernatural?

[fa icon="calendar'] August 8, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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In Jesus Christ there is the full expression of every one of the gifts. Did Jesus have the gift of giving? Yes! Did He have the gift of mercy? Yes! Did he have the gift of preaching? Yes! Gift of teaching? Yes. Faith? Yes, he did! Now in the body of Christ, the church, I do not have all those gifts, and YOU do not have all those gifts, but you know what? WE have all those gifts. And as the body begins to function and use those gifts, and minister to each other, all of the gifts are there.  And the ministry begins to take place – not with just 5 people, but with everyone having their part.

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The Corinthian Struggle with Balance

[fa icon="calendar'] July 25, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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The full functioning of the gifts of the Spirit within the church is absolutely essential to the building up of the body, that the body may indeed look like Christ. There is no way that the church can be the church without the functioning of the gifts of the Spirit. They are the gifts God has given to us to help us be Christ in the world.

But not only is the subject vital, it’s also controversial since not all Christians agree on how the gifts are to be expressed, how they are to be used, how many there are, how important certain ones are, what those gifts even are, or how they are discovered. And to top it off, what about tongues?

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Are Spiritual Gifts Really for Today?

[fa icon="calendar'] July 11, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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Recently I started a new blog series on "The Gifts of the Spirit" by talking about being “Equipped for Significance.” I want to take a different approach to the gifts than what you might normally see. My view of the gifts is simple: they are supernatural. They are given (hence the word "gifts") by God as needed for service. As I said, simple. So, go on this journey with me as we flesh out what Paul has to say about them and how we are "gifted" to glorify God.

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My Encounter with an Atheist Church Starter

[fa icon="calendar'] June 27, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Church Planting

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One time on a flight from Baltimore to Sacramento I was sitting next to a guy who asked what I do. When I told him that I help people start churches he said, “Really, I’m starting a church – how do you do that?” So, we talked for a bit as I briefly described the process. I began asking him questions about his goals, etc. When I asked him, “So what kind of church are you trying to start?” He said, “An Atheist Church.” Long story short, he turned out to be the guy from Sacramento that sued to get “One nation under God” out of the pledge of allegiance. 

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Equipped for Significance

[fa icon="calendar'] June 20, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Gifts of the Spirit

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Do you want your life to be marked by significance? Do you sometimes feel like even though you want your life to have significance, you just don’t have the tools or skills for it – that you aren’t equipped for significance?

Maybe you even feel a little bit like the customer who called the computer helpline:

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5 Ways Students Were Impacted by Unplugging at Alliance Redwoods Camp

[fa icon="calendar'] June 6, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Alliance Youth, CPD Member Highlights

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We like to give you updates from our partner ministries. Alliance Redwoods is a beautiful facility in a spectacular area among the redwoods where God has been given space to change many lives.

Earlier this spring, students from St. Bonaventure finished their two-year confirmation program with a retreat at Alliance Redwoods. Their youth leader personally understands the impact of camp having converted as a teenager at Alliance Redwoods. He shared this with us: 

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10 Ways to Help a Church Plant

[fa icon="calendar'] May 2, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Church Planting, Thoughts from the District Superintendent

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We have a number of active church plants going on right now from a wide background of ethnicities.  Having been a church planter, I know how lonely that can sometimes get.  I also know the encouragement that other churches were to me at times, and also how we were able to encourage other plants and planters once we were established.  Here are some ideas of how you and your church can be involved.  If you would like us to pair you up with our amazing planters, please let me know and we will do so asap.

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The "Unpleasant" Truths of Scripture

[fa icon="calendar'] March 19, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Devotional, Guest Post

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Phil Rehberg, a regular contributor to the CPD blog nails it again as he talks about "Courage to embrace the unpleasant truths of Scripture."  Do I like everything the Bible has to say?  No.  But I accept everything the Bible has to say because it is the truth.  And the challenge upon accepting it is to then live it out.  Take a look at what he has to say as he challenges us to look objectively at the whole Word of God.

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How are you Handling Troublemakers in your Church?

[fa icon="calendar'] March 15, 2018 / by Ray Van Gilst posted in Guest Post

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Joe McKeever is a regular contributor to Pastor's Newsletter.  His article about handling troublemakers in the church hits a cord with any of us who have been in ministry more than one month.  (Maybe even less!)  He writes this article with humor, frankness, and from a scriptural viewpoint that I think you will appreciate. -Ray


Posted by: Joe McKeever 

How to Handle Troublemakers in Church

There are two answers to this question: The best and shortest is to put mature leaders and sound structures in place to head off troublemakers. That is, stop trouble before it begins. And the other answer is everything that follows here…

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