It has been quite a while since I have posted here - the reason - Facebook mostly.
Gonna try and stay up to date on this now!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
...and there was a resounding chorus of angels singing Hallelujah!
Why is it such a big deal that we are aligned with Acts 29? Well, here is why:
Revolution church is a 6 year old church plant that was dealt a severe black eye in year 4 and has to struggle to recover. Statistically, church planting is a suicide mission. Church planting books and conferences often observe that 80% of new church plants fail within the first four years (though this data has not been carefully sourced). A controlled statistical study by Ed Stetzer showed that out of 1000 churches planted between the years 2000 and 2005, only 68% remained viable after four years. Revolution is one of those survivors.
A number of factors contribute to this failure rate, but denominations and church-planting agencies often compound the problem by throwing money and opportunity at any young Christian leader with a dream and an entrepreneurial spirit. Since my involvement with our denomination (The Reformed Church in America) I have witnessed several church planters come and go, burning through hundreds of thousands of dollars while trying vainly to hold together a core team by the sheer power of their charisma.
From the outset, the Acts 29 Network has had a different model. They have held firmly to the biblical criteria for eldership given in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. No man can be approved to plant an Acts 29 church unless he is an exceptional man in every way: a strong husband and father, a sound theologian, a gifted leader and preacher, and a proven start-from-scratch entrepreneur. While others are looking for better methods, we are looking for better men.
And the numbers seem to indicate that God is blessing this approach:
From 2006 to 2009 Acts 29 assessed 414 potential church planters and approved 240 (58%) to go forward as Acts 29 Candidates. (Candidates must gather a core of 40 people before moving to Full Member status). Two hundred of those men are now Full Members who are active in church planting; the rest didn’t make it through the candidate phase.
Of church planters who are assessed, approved, and progress to Full Member status, the viability rate within Acts 29 is 98.4%.
Acts 29 currently has 204 Full Members and 85 men in candidate phase (including our own Will Walker), for a total of 289 churches affiliated.
With over 40% of applicants rejected, you’d think that aspiring church planters would be going elsewhere. But the exact opposite is happening: in 2009, Acts 29 had 470 new applicants – an average of 39 per month. God is raising up an army of men who want someone to shoot straight with them. They want to know if they’ve got the right gifting, calling, and experience to plant churches – and they’re coming to us because they know we tell the truth.
So why am I so happy about Revolution being affiliated with Acts 29 - it's all about the leadership. Our leadership is exactly as described in scripture - accountable to each other and to our ecclesiastical head. This type of leadership was non-existent during the first 5 years of Revolution and never came into existence until the last 2 years.
Now, under the leadership of Pastor Scotty West, who is on the international board of Acts 29, we have taken the biblical model of leadership seriously. Our elders and pastors are all required to meet, without exception, the guidelines of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. No excuses. The men that run Revolution are these guys.
It is unfortunate for some, but fortunate for the body, that we now adhere to this model . It's not just anyone that can (or should) lead a church. It is a serious endeavor and unless your own household is in order - you shouldn't even think of Pastoring a church. When we follow the Bible’s instructions for church leadership, surprisingly… it works.
So watch for the changes at Revolution - in March we will be ordaining two new pastors at the church as well as installing our elders and deacons that have completed their training period.
It's so exciting!
Posted by Rick Bambrick at 4:39 PM
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Sunday, December 06, 2009
My devotional time each day has me exploring more and more into what God wants me to do with my knowledge of His Word.
I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able . . . But as for you, continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (Acts 20:32 and 2Timothy 3:14-15)
The present verses again point me to continuing in the word of God's grace. Only the grace of God is able to provide what is needed for the life we are called to live. This necessary grace is held forth for our learning and appropriating in "the word of His grace." This life-giving grace is to be lived in day by day (ideally, from childhood through old age).
Paul urged Timothy to continue in the biblical truth that he had been taught, truth about which he had become convinced.
"Continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of."
God's word not only instructs me in His ways, it also convinces me of their validity. In this process, God uses human instruments: "knowing from whom you have learned them."
In Timothy's spiritual training, the Lord used the prophets of old (who were inspired to write the scriptures), as well as Paul (who discipled Timothy). Timothy's mother and grandmother were also a vital part of this process.
"I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice" (2Timothy 1:5).
Thus, his spiritual nurture began in his childhood years.
"From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures." It is the will of God that children be raised upon the scriptures. "Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).
If you were not raised upon the Word, God wants to begin feeding it to you at new birth.
"As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" (1Peter 2:2).
If you have never had a serious diet of the Word, today is the day to begin.
As I learn more of the Word of God, its ability is unleashed in my life. Saving grace is the first great matter the Lord wants to bring to us through the scriptures: "which are able to make you wise for salvation."
People can be exceedingly foolish concerning salvation, until they are enlightened through the Word of God . Some think they do not need to be saved. Others think they can somehow save themselves.
The Bible reveals the necessary path for all: "through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
Posted by Rick Bambrick at 9:27 AM
Saturday, December 05, 2009
2 Corinthians 10:3-6
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,
2Co 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
2Co 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
2Co 10:6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
We have an arsenal not made by human hands, but is stocked full with the powerful weapons fashioned by God Himself. They aren't for marketing or manipulation of any sort, but are specifically designed to demolish demonic strongholds — putting down every false argument raised against Truth. These weapons have the power of God to destroy the enemy's efforts against our Faith.
Prayer is one of these weapons, and when it is coupled with the Word of God it possesses a power that is invincible. That's why the early disciples said, "We will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word." When we follow their example, we will experience the same results that happened for them.
I look at a remarkable example found in the Scriptures.
When Joshua was battling the armies of the Amalekites in the valley of Rephidim, the Bible tells us that Moses was on the mountain lifting up the Rod which God had given him. As long as the Rod was held up, Joshua advanced in battle. When Moses' arms grew weary and he lowered the Rod, the enemy began to make advances against Joshua. Aaron and Hur, two of Moses' friends, stood beside him and held his arms up — the result was a overwhelming victory for Joshua. (read Exodus 17:8-13).
The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. Jesus said that when we pray in secret, God will reward us openly. An example of this happened in Jerusalem when the disciples gathered in prayer and "the place where they were assembled was shaken." They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and preached the Word of God with boldness — even in the face of death threats.
This brief scan of the biblical record proves the age old adage — "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much!" (James 5:16). Prayer makes tremendous power available, the kind of power that is dynamic in its working and effective in its results; great power that produces wonderful results.
Why not pray today and look for happens as a result. You just might find yourself praying every day!
Posted by Rick Bambrick at 9:17 AM
Friday, December 04, 2009
I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able . . .
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed" . . . For this reason I have sent Timothy to you . . . who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church. (Acts 20:32; John 8:3; 1Corinthians 4:17)
God's grace characterizes His word: "I commend you to God and to the word of His grace." This permeating presence of grace in the scriptures is what makes God's word so able to effect godly changes in our lives: "the word of His grace, which is able." This is why the Lord wants us to continue in His word: "continue in the faith" (Acts 14:22). Also, continuing in the word allows the Lord to remind us of things pertaining to grace, things we need to hear over and over again.
Jesus called professing disciples to continue in His word. "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide [remain, continue] in My word, you are My disciples indeed'."
Posted by Rick Bambrick at 8:53 AM
Friday, November 06, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Posted by Rick Bambrick at 10:33 AM