A Mission Team Mindset

Last Thursday my wife Patrique, our puppy Haggai, and I traveled west to the beautiful city of Chicago, home to over 9 million souls, for the Inaugural Service of the Chicago International Christian Church! 23 disciples from the Central New York Church also joined us in this trip to celebrate this incredible event! The eleven hours of driving flew by as we dreamed and prayed for God to continue to work miracles in this beautiful but spiritually dying city.

Upon our arrival we met with Chris & Theresa Broom, leaders of the church, as well as our spiritual mentors and best friends. The Brooms graciously took us into their home for the duration of our stay, and showed us the inspiring sights and views of this great city.

Early Friday morning, Chris and I had a great time in the word together overlooking the city of Chicago from the top of a Super Target store! We then met with the Mission Team at one of the many parks, where Chris preached a lesson on love, emphatically stating that without love, our noblest attempts to preach the word and evangelize this great city would be only a resounding gong or clanging symbol (1 Corinthians 13).

His points were:
1. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:1-9)
We fail when we fail to love. It was time to decide whether this is how we want to be. We need to speak the truth in love and inspire others to know Jesus!

2. Only God makes it grow (1 Corinthians 3:7). It doesn’t matter what people think. Take the pressure off of yourself and watch God’s power! It is all to God’s glory!

3. Victory through Humility (Philippians 2:3-11). We need to consider others better than ourselves and get ourselves out of the way. This is for God!

4. Everything without complaining and arguing (Philippians 2:14-16). In order to shine like stars, we need to remember Jesus’ humility and sacrifice for us!

When you combine these points together, they spell L.O.V.E. That is the heart of a mission team for God! After our devotional, we shared our faith with literally hundreds of people. It was awesome! By the end of the day, our feet were hurting, but our spirits were uplifted! That night at the Campus and Teen Devotional, I preached a message entitled “Called by God”. It focused on the God’s calling of Saul in Acts 9, Ezekiel’s calling in Ezekiel 2 and 3 and God’s Call to us in Ezekiel 22.

My three points were:
1. Remember Where You Came From and What You’ve Been Sent to Do.
(Acts 9:1-31). Jesus had to blind Saul to show him to look at the world through His eyes! Afterwards Jesus stated that Saul would have to suffer for his name. My question for the group was, “Are we willing to suffer emotionally, mentally and even physically for the name of Jesus?” If we fear the Lord, will enjoy the peace that comes from his grace and mercy and trust in Him more than we fear men. Our faithfulness is more important to God than our results. (Ezekiel 2 – 3:11).

2. We are prophets for God, whether people listen or fail to listen! Are we as stubborn and as tough to preach the Word as they are to deny it? We need to be faithful in God’s power and preach the word!

3. It’s time to stand in the gap between our city and God! (Ezekiel 22:23-31).
Why are we urgent? Because the wrath of God is coming. We need to plead in prayer for our cities, and build a wall of righteousness that will please God. It’s time to stand up for God and His righteousness, and to give Him the glory!

“The reason some people do not succeed is because their wishbone is where their backbone ought to be.” – Anonymous

Saturday was another incredible day of sharing our faith as we explored the sights of Chicago, and by the time of the Sunday service, we had an attendance of 122 for the Inaugural service! It was awesome! Dave Cadell, a former disciple in Chicago, was restored! His emotional testimony expressed the gratitude for discipling relationships and the example of both life and doctrine that he has seen in the church. Disciples from New York, Wisconsin, Oregon, Connecticut, Arizona and Illinois also came to participate in this great work. Our guests commented on the “spirit” of the service, and the “truth” of the message as Chris Broom called everyone to the lordship of Jesus. Later that night, Dave Cadell’s friend, Jessica, was baptized!

This weekend reminded me of the passage of Scripture in John 4:23-24, where Jesus states: “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit and truth.”

I pray we can all join this mission team mindset of love and determination as we stand in the gap to win souls for God! And to Him be the Glory!