As we continue to look deeper into the gifts or manifestations of the spirit, it’s so important to realize that they are given of God for service. Pride is such a natural bent in us as humans that we need to guard against thinking it’s all about us or that we are doing things when God is actually the one working through us.
"The Rising has been a safe place for those exiting the Mormon faith to learn about Jesus Christ in a very different environment than they are used to."
- Pastor Josh Blair
From time to time we'll be highlighting members of our CPD family to get to know them better. The questions and answers below are from an interview with Pastor Joshua Blair at The Rising in Utah.
Overseas missions. Church planting. Raising third culture kids. These were among the very topics Ted and I discussed on our first date, not knowing we would quickly tie the knot just 6 months later. On our seminary campus, we were well known to be the couple who would succeed overseas as career missionaries. Our hearts for the nations were what brought us together. I was even the proud first recipient of the seminary’s missionary loan repayment plan.
We excitedly left beautiful Massachusetts on a cold winter day in February 2002 for a week-long cross-country drive in our 1992 Honda Accord to a foreign city named San Jose.
If we have the evangelists planting churches and pastors teaching, one of the things that needs to dawn on all of us is that it’s not enough.
After I Corinthians 12:28 the scripture says, miracles, then gifts of healings, then helps, then administrations, and various kinds of tongues. If we back up to verses 8-10 it says, “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.”
Today I am sitting here at my computer remembering a great man.
“Grandpa Peters” followed Jesus with his whole heart. His love for Jesus worked outward to include a powerful love for the church.
My entire life Pastor Russ or as we loved to call him “Grandpa Peters” was a solid fixture of faith and wisdom. He lived out life with the people in his church, preaching every Sunday, officiating weddings, and providing comfort at funerals. He was truly a “fixture” of the community, a man who lovingly noticed the lowly and invested his love – and more importantly the love of Jesus – into any who crossed his path.
In October 2017, Garett Lane & Chris Balint (NC Chico youth pastors) had the privilege and opportunity of going on a scout trip to the C&MA base in Mexicali. They got to spend just a few days with these guys but instantly knew we couldn’t wait to partner with them. Chris shared with the team that he knew the service projects, Vacation Bible School, etc. would all be amazing, but he was equally as excited for our team to rub shoulders with Gil and his crew. They model Jesus well, as they serve and bless those who visit the base.
After months of planning and preparation, the end of June finally arrived. We loaded 61 of us up early on the 24th and headed for the border. We made it by dusk and prepared to cross over. Gil and his crew were there to greet us, and we lined our vans up along the streets of Mexicali as we waited for our cargo van to get through. It was bit of an adventure navigating Mexicali at night, but eventually we made it to the base. We ate tacos at 10:00 at night (we told you these guys are amazing!), and headed for bed.
We were excited and expectant for what we knew we’d see the Lord do over the rest of this week. Many on our team had never been out of the country or on a mission trip of this type. It was awesome to see the youth anticipating what would come.
A bricklayer whose brother was a famous violinist was talking with his boss one day. His boss said, “It must be great to have a brother who is known around the world.” Then, not thinking that he might have offended his worker’s pride, he continued, “Of course, we must accept the fact that talent isn’t equally distributed – even in the same family.”
I am repeatedly amazed at our CPD churches - the way we are engaging the ends of the earth and impacting a lost world in the name of JESUS. Please enjoy reading the latest update below from Josh Blair, lead pastor at The Rising Church in Utah. What a wonderful thing God continues to do in the jungles of Cambodia through the churches of the CPD. LOVE IT!
Last fall we had the privilege of traveling to Cambodia with Tim Agnello on a Vision Trip. Vision Trips are designed to give Pastors in the Central Pacific District (CPD) a ‘boots on the ground’ experience of what our family of churches is doing around the globe. The CPD has a few strategic partnerships, Cambodia being one of them.
Spiritual gifts have been given for one reason and one reason only – as a stewardship – something that we are to manage in building up the Body of Christ.
I Corinthians 12:5, “There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.” These services build the Body for the common good. Spiritual gifts are not for our edification – that’s very important as we lay our foundation. They are not to make us feel more important, or more spiritual, or to build us up.
Does what you do edify other people? Is who you are an edifying influence on other people?
It’s time for the church to reclaim her voice in the world. –Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Hey pastors and friends!
I want to personally invite you to our upcoming Preachers School in Redding, CA, this coming November. Twenty five students. Three days. One purpose. To strengthen our preaching voice, to refine our theology, to fuel our creativity, and together, to tell and retell the story of God in the most redemptive ways possible.
At the heart of this course is the conviction that preaching still matters. In an age of opinions, confusion and skepticism, perhaps preaching has never mattered more. God is raising up voices on the earth, each one unique and vital to the church and the world. They will preach the gospel, stir the hearts, equip the body, and help the church transition from old failing paradigms to engage God’s future kingdom. The redemptive story of God is unfolding on the earth like never before, and if we get a group of us in the same room to listen, dream and explore, who knows what will happen.
Beyond the experience, our desire is to cultivate a family of preachers. Too often, we as leaders become isolated in our own ministry worlds, limiting our influence by our own choice. Yet, Preachers is an opportunity to lock arms with others, gaining access to a family of voices in today’s church and culture. We are always stronger together.
For those called to lead and preach, consider joining us this coming November 5th-8th. We are offering Half Off Scholarships worth $375 for all pastors, church planters, or emerging leaders within the CPD. For more information, see below or visit our event page.
Next Generation Leadership