Justin Hiebert

Catalyzing Change

The People of God in the Mission of God

Posted on 29 Oct 2014 in Christianity, Church, Culture | Comments Off on The People of God in the Mission of God

Every morning after I drop my daughter of at school, I go for a walk. I take the same route, put in my headphones, and listen to an audio version of the Bible. It’s a chance to listen to Scripture, pray, and start my morning by focusing, reflecting, and thinking about the day ahead.

This morning, I had the book of Acts playing, partly in preparation for our upcoming series here at Garden Park. As I listen, I tend to write notes or jot down something that stood out to me.

And this morning, I was struck by one key observation.

Well, actually, I was struck by several, but there was one big one that got the ball rolling.

The book of Acts opens in part by saying:

After his suffering, he {Jesus} presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God(Acts 1:3, emphasis added)

I jotted down in my notes that Jesus, after his resurrection, spent his last remaining days talking about the kingdom of God….what do our churches talk about?

From there, my mind began pull in all sorts of thoughts and ideas on the integration of faith and life in the early church. It’s important, because it’s often

English: Road in the UAE. Français : Une route...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

misunderstood.

People often talk about how the church today just “needs to be like the New Testament Church…” and then everything would be okay. My usual response when I hear something like this is, “Which one?”

  • The Corinthian church that accepted incest?
  • The racist Galatian church?
  • The church in Ephesus that had forgotten how to love?

It’s quick and easy to assume that the New Testament church had it made, that there was just one of them, and that they all had it figured out. The reality, is that just like today, the church then was made up of messy and broken people stumbling there way through faith.

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After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

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But it prompted an initiative in me: starting next week, I’m going to blog through the entire book of Acts. I’m not sure how long it will take, but I promise it to be exciting. I’m not sure yet if we’ll look at every single verse, skip over some portions, or highlight themes, but I do know that we’ll start with the foundation (The Kingdom of God that Jesus spoke about) and see how the early movement of Jesus followers tried to find their way in advancing the mission of God.

We’ll stop along the way to confront some misbeliefs that we have about the early church and confront what the modern church gets wrong (warning: you might be offended).

Along the way we’ll take time to highlight ways that you can begin to live missionally in your local community.

Because God’s story is still unfolding, and you have a part to play.

I’m excited and I hope you follow along. Be sure to spread the word and invite others into the conversation as well. I pray that it will be a fruitful dialogue.

 

Grace and Peace.

Justin

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Justin Hiebert

Leadership Catalyst - Entrepreneur - Coach at JSHiebert Leadership Coaching
I am a Business and Life Coach in both non-profit and for profit settings. I coach leaders, executives, and pastors in areas of vision, clarity, and values. In relationship coaching I focus on healthy and sustainable relationships, and in leadership development roles I catalyze change for individuals and groups to thrive. I also consult churches and organizations on how to train new leaders and create a healthy culture. In addition to that, I am an Anabaptist pastor in the Denver metro area. I specialize on topics that include: missional theology, discipleship, culture and the church in today’s society. I am married to my wonderful wife Elise and we have three kids. I grew up and now work in the United States Mennonite Brethren Church (USMB) and love the people and history of the Mennonite Brethren faith. I am a graduate of Tabor College with a dual degree in Youth Ministry and Christian Leadership, a graduate of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary with a Masters of Divinity, and a Doctoral Student and Bethel Seminary. I also teach college classes in areas of Bible, Communication, and Business.

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