All posts tagged: antioch school of ministry
Time-Line

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I’m currently attending Antioch Bible College at Rancho Community. This is my second year and I’m currently going thru the “Habits of the Heart” course. In our cohort we’re spending a lot of time discussing things like, how we study, what we read, how we spend our time, which spiritual disciplines do we participate in, why, and how?

Tonight we continued a discussion from last week which touched on the idea of putting together a personal “time-line” to kind of map what God has done in our lives, how we were shaped, and how we are growing. I always like to see what I’m talking about, graphics help me understand and explain, so here’s my time-line in a graphic.

And here’s a little more detail in written form:

In what is labeled, “Sovereign Foundations”:

  • I was introduced to church through my parents at a very young age. I still remember attending “First Presbyterian Church of Milpitas“. I’m pretty sure I went to preschool there, attended VBS in the summers, and moved into “Milpitas Christian School” through 5th or 6th Grade.
  • I was introduced to Christ in a more mature way through the ministry of “Big Valley Grace Church” in Modesto, California. Rick Countryman was my youth pastor and through his ministry and a trip to Hume Lake Christian Camp, I made what I believe was my personal profession of faith. I also began personally studying the Bible and serving at church during this time.
  • Our family made a move to Southern California when I was in high school. During the following years I was not connected to a healthy church ministry and was not excited about growing spiritually. I call this my “walking away” period. I won’t bore anyone with details.

“Inner-Life Growth”

  • After a few years of not much direction, I spent a summer in ministry back at Big Valley Grace as a worship leader for their youth group. Then I came back to Southern California and began volunteering a Sunrise Christian Fellowship, a small church plant that my parents were attending in Murreita. Through serving for a couple years, I began to feel the call to further invest in ministry. I attended Calvary Chapel Bible College and became the youth pastor for Sunrise.
  • Marriage brought me into the next phase of my life. I began to learn how marriage and ministry work together and continued working a full time job and volunteer at Sunrise. It was in conversations with my wife that I first began to consider full-time ministry.
  • After a lot of prayer, advice, meeting, and talking, my wife and I decided to make a move into full-time ministry at a new church plant in Temecula called Life Church. This was an exciting time in our lives – we were a young family with one child and tons of time and energy to give to the ministry. we experienced a couple years of rapid growth and exciting ministry, had our second child, and made deep connections with people in our church.

“Ministry Maturing”

  • About three years into our time at Life Church, we began to experience some of the growing pains that come with a fast-growing church plant. I became the executive pastor, overseeing our staff. I learned a ton, quickly. While I enjoyed a great deal of success,watching families come be introduced to Christ and the church, I also experienced great deal of frustration & burn-out. After about another year-and-a-half of conversations, prayer, and mentor’s advice, we made the heart-breaking decision to end our time there.
  • It was a week after I resigned that I got a call from Rancho Community Church. A long story short – we came to Rancho. My position was a little vague, but it had something to do with Communications, helping with parent communications at their Christian School (which I had experience in attending..), and helping with the “look & feel” of the church.
  • Since coming to Rancho, we’ve had our third child, helped rebrand the school and church, joined the executive team, and launched a brand new venue campus in Murrieta.

So, that’s my journey so far, laid out on this time-line. There’s three more categories that I haven’t reached yet. I’ll share those and some goals/ideas in Part 2.

This has been really helpful for me to see how God, from the very beginning has been preparing me for where I am at today. How he has given me opportunities to learn and grow – to have life-altering experiences on the way. For giving me a trusting and supportive wife, a beautiful family, and a place now to continue to grow, to learn, and to launch into the the next phase of my life.

 

So, blogging is all about being real, being authentic right? Well I’m back to school right now and here’s me being real with my first “Paper” in probably 10 years…

“The book of Acts gives us a well organized history of the proliferation of the first “Christian” church from its inception in Jerusalem to the expansion outward, especially through Paul’s journeys as it stretches to Rome. The church began with many signs and wonders, including: the coming of the Holy Spirit in the form of “tongues of fire” above the heads of the disciples, speaking in tongues (many languages), exponential growth, and healings, to name a few. The church also operated in a very communal way, with members eating together, living together, and sharing all their possessions. The early church also dealt with governess, segregation, “law” versus “grace”, heresy, betrayal, and persecution.

One of the typical responses by churches forming today is to look at the church in the book of Acts as normative; even taking snapshots of the church at different points of its development and calling that behavior normative. If we do believe that the book of Acts gives is a guide-map for building a local church, than we really have to look for some general patterns of behavior that we can apply today.

Some of the issues that the early church of Acts dealt with leave us some great patterns that we can bring into the modern church. For example, when the church in Jerusalem began teaching that Gentile Christians must practice the tradition of circumcision, Paul immediately challenged that train of thought. He went directly to James in Jerusalem and argued that this teaching went against teachings of Jesus Christ, and would only lead to an outward religion. We can see this argument throughout the New Testament, and we almost always see that the traditions and outward expressions of religion can lead to pride and legalism. So as we build our churches today we would want to be very careful about traditions and expressions that are imposed on people, leading them away from grace and a relationship based religion.

Another area that the early church showed patterns of normal behavior is in the idea of church planting. As the church grew and expanded, new churches were started in neighboring cities; churches with their own leadership and practices. This was against the model of a central church or synagogue, or holy place of worship. Today we can see that church planting is one of the most successful ways to evangelize. Not only do church plants attract mostly un-churched people, they also create places for people to serve, for ministers to develop, and for new and innovative ideas to be implemented. Church plants are also highly dependent on the faith and tenacity of the members, and require a high level of commitment, just as Paul had as he went and planted churches throughout the Roman Empire.

Those are just a couple examples of some ways we can apply some of the patterns and principles of Acts to today’s churches. I think the most important thing we can to do is to really study what the primary messages are from the stories of the emerging and growing church in Acts. There are many practices that may sound good or look exciting, but have no basis in today’s church culture.”

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So there you have it – hopefully I don’t get slammed too hard from my instructors.