2. When every part of the church’s life is hospitable to people who do not yet grasp the Gospel.
3. When we move away from a ‘tribal’ atmosphere to a ‘missional’ atmosphere.
4. When we respect and talk to people like we do at work.
(Find common ground to build friendships)
5. When we understand more and more how the Gospel changes everything.
The Gospel Changes Everything
The Gospel changes people from the inside out. Christ gives us a radically new identity, freeing us from both self-righteousness and self-condemnation. He liberates us to accept people we once excluded, and to break the bondage of things (even good things) that once drove us. In particular, the gospel makes us welcoming and respectful toward those who do not share our beliefs. We can deeply love people who reject or are indifferent to Gospel because we understand that it was the goodness of God that led us to repentance.
In the past month, the Lord has brought our focus of ministry on the city of Stara Zagora. Although, we had often preached and taught there through the recent years, this time we felt called to fulfill a strategic spiritual mission. Our first ministry visit was at the Awakening Church of God which is pastored by our long time friend and partner in ministry Rev. Jimmy Luchev. The message we felt burdened to deliver was one on the sovereign sameness of the unchanging God. A fortnight later, our team was back in Stara Zagora to minister at the Mega Youth Rally organized by local churches and brought a very special message from the book of Nehemiah, which urged some 300 young people from a dozen local churches in attendance to rebuild the spiritual walls of their local churches. And finally, another two weeks later, we returned to Stara Zagora at the Apostolic Christian Center, which occupies a large newly built complex in the west suburbs of the city. We spent a special day of training with their ministry team after which we were able to minister on Sunday morning, speaking on the principles of Freedom in the Spirit.
Having followed the direction of the Spirit for this location of Bulgaria, we are aware that a new season is coming to the area expressed through a new appointment for the churches in Stara Zagora. And since appointments are always opened through renewed relationships, we are thankful to the Lord for allowing us to rebuild relationships among the churches and people in the city. As the year 2010 nears, we are expecting the final clarification of this new strategic position in the city of Stara Zagora in the divine plan of God for a strong missional and apostolic local church.