The Hand of Hur, Inc.

Loving the World and Connecting it to God's Infinite Grace & Power

Lots of Goals and Enthusiasm

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Good Morning! A new year always is a great time to sit down, reflect on the past year or years, and set new goals for the upcoming months and year. Many of those personal ones are called resolutions, and often times are short lived. In organizational structures, those goals that we put forth are quite different. They are ideas turned into plans that answer at least two questions… How Much? and When?… After deciding on the goals that one will meet, they put all possible energy forth into reaching those goals as an organization.

Many feel that the church shouldn’t be considered an organization, and in many ways it’s impossible to define it as just that. A church is a body, and it is an organism. It needs to be nurtured and it needs to grow. But at the same time, those things don’t happen by accident. Many argue this point showing that Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 “I will build my church”. But to understand this completely, we need to look at the entire verse in its context. Here’s what the entire verse says. “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

I don’t want to get into the theological debate over who and what is the “rock”, but there is one thing that I believe with all of my heart. God works in this world through his people. He works through us and through our prayers. You can’t just sit there and hope that God will save your family or friends or neighbors or the world. It doesn’t happen that way. You can’t just wait for him to heal someone without ever saying a word to them or without ever praying. God works THROUGH us. Usually he does this through two things:…

  1. We Pray
  2. Through our Faith God uses Us or Others to answer those prayers.

I teach this to our cell leaders all of the time. For things to work, usually you need both of these elements. A person who tries to reach others without first praying for them and/or for God’s guidance is usually just wasting his time. We can talk all day until our face turns blue, but if the Holy Spirit doesn’t convince those people of their need for God, it’s worthless. Also, if I pray for weeks and months and years for a person to be saved, but I NEVER share God’s Good News with them, I’m being a hypocrite! Why? Because FAITH is not a feeling, it’s an action. Even satan and the demons believe in God, but they don’t PUT their trust and lives in him. We must pray, and believe God’s promises in the Bible. He says in Matthew 28 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” God’s Promise? You go, and I’ll be with you until the end.

Saying all of that… I believe that we as a church must put goals for ourselves and for our church in faith, and then we must first pray and break down the barriers that satan has lifted up in people’s lives and in our city, and then second we must go and work hard at reaching those goals with God’s help.

That’s quite a long introduction for telling you what is happening here! (I’ll have to put this into my Soundoff Blog too… although it’s not a complete argument… ;-)) In the church, we are working hard at trying to continue to reach out and impact this city in a tremendous way.

Last Friday, I gave our team an 8 page plan of things that we will be working on during the next 6 months! Of course, that paper had many parts; “Where we are now”, “What needs to improve drastically”, “What is good, and we need to continue to do and improve on even more”, “What this team and Church can Expect from me and Norah”, “Our General Goals for 2008” and “Our Specific Goals for the next 6 months”. Needless to say, our team, and the church as a whole is extremely excited about the goals that we have put forth for ourselves.

Cell Group Restructuring

I struggle quite a bit with the culture here in Bolivia, but one thing that I love is that people are willing to dedicate TIME to whatever they feel is worthwhile. One of the problems that Norah and I have noticed in our church is the lack of strength in a good percentage of our small groups. People will open groups everywhere. Up until now we have close to 200 groups around the city. Some leaders even have 3 or 4 cell groups, but many of those groups just don’t have the impact that we want our groups to have. So we are doing a little bit of restructuring to help these groups to have a much bigger impact where they meet and for them to grow.

We have decided to temporarily join many of the weaker cell groups… and from now on all groups will have two (2) weekly meetings! (I know that seems like a lot, but it’s necessary and they’re all for it!) The first meeting will be a planning meeting where the “core” of the group (the most constant members) will meet. Here is an outline of the order of that meeting.

  1. Initial Prayer
  2. Bible Reading (and maybe a small teaching)
  3. Share the Vision
    1. Growth Goals
    2. Church’s Vision
    3. Evangelism
  4. Results from the last planning meeting
    1. What goals did we meet?
    2. Were all new assistants visited?
  5. Plan for the next Evangelistic Cell meeting
    1. Delegate visiting responsibilities (ask the members of the team to visit new assistants and those who did not come to the last cell meeting.
    2. Ask different members of the team to disciple the new converts.
    3. Decide how each member of this “core” team will participate in the next meeting.
    4. Prepare the details of transportation to bring the members of the cell to the Sunday Service.
    5. Decide who will direct the prayer, take the offering, who will teach, etc.
    6. Put forth goals for each person to bring new people to the cell meeting.
  6. Prayer for the goals and for the new people who will be invited to the evangelistic meeting.
  7. Fill out Statistics Form
  8. Announcements of events in the Church
  9. Final Prayer

This meeting will help us put a lot more emphasis on the small groups, and the additional planning and prayer will definitely help the groups to grow and impact those around them. We tried this on 2 small groups from the last week in November up until now. Between those two groups, they have won 23 people to Christ in just over a month… so we know it works! Now we’re putting it in action.

Growth Goals

We have put the goal of each cell group doubling by our annual Cell Church Conference which is in June. This doubling will not be based on the 200 groups that we’ve had before this restructuring… it’s based on the number of cells that we have AFTER the restructuring. This restructuring will take several weeks, so we won’t know the exact number of cells that we have until probably the end of this month.

Organization Goal

One of our big problems here has been our lack of organization. We do things great, and people are excited and energized, but we have no membership lists, or even a definite list of those baptized with us, children dedicated, or even of cell groups. So we let the team know that we are going to organize this church this year, whether they like it or not. In a later post I will expand on WHY things are so hard to organize here. LOL

Many Other Things

I realize that this has gotten long, so I’ll quit here, but we have a lot of plans that I’ll be sharing with you later. I’ve been terribly busy trying to get all of this going, but it is already having a big impact here in the church. People are excited and are ready to go. So we don’t have a whole lot of time to rest right now. Please keep us in your prayers always!

Love,

Jason

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