Happy Father’s Day!

Guest Editorial: Chris Schultz, Shepherd-In-Training

An inspiration to us all—John and Judy Morris went out “tagging” with the congregation for Special Missions!

An inspiration to us all—John and Judy Morris went out “tagging” with the congregation for Special Missions!

(Editor’s note: Chris Schultz and his wife Darby are Shepherds-In-Training for the Phoenix International Christian Church. They also serve as the MERCYWorldwide coordinators locally in Phoenix and have organized our congregational MERCY events for the past few years. This is all in addition to raising two beautiful children and overseeing one of the Southwest house church Bible Talks. Chris also serves as the church administrator! Amy and I are very grateful that they wear so many different hats and are so sincerely devoted to serving God and His Kingdom alongside Amy and I.

The past four weeks the church has been devoted to raising missions with all manner of events where brothers and sisters worked side by side! The missions funds raised are to support church plantings in Moscow, Toronto, Houston, Dallas Ft.-Worth, Gainesville, and Chennai India! God blessed our garage sales, tagging, car-washes, and the new annual “Hoop For A Mission” fundraiser 3-on-3 basketball tournament events with over $4,500 raised! In total, the Phoenix Church has raised well over $60,000—to our God be the Glory! ~JMC)

Welcome to the Phoenix International Christian Church Sunday Worship service, Father’s Day edition!

As we celebrate Father’s Day, I am reminded of a scripture that has often made me think of the amazing Father we all have, our Father in heaven.

“Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the LORD.5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” Psalm 68:4-6

Dani and Naomi rally to get everyone fired up about our Special Missions car wash!

Dani and Naomi rally to get everyone fired up about our Special Missions car wash!

As a father myself of two amazing children; (Meleane age 3 and Kailani age 1), this scripture has meaning for me because he gave me an amazing family to guide and love, despite my own broken family. I come from a broken home as many of us can relate to.

As a result, I left when I was a junior in high school and supported myself during my senior year. After high school, I was in desperate need of discipline and direction in my life, so I entered the military. After instilling discipline in me, I was sent on maneuvers on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was during this time I remember reading this scripture and praying to God to help me find a true church that will be my family and that I could find a wife to grant me the desires of my heart. After several months, I was invited to church and became a disciple of Jesus on February 21st, 1998 in Okinawa, Japan.

The air was electric at our first annual “Hoop For A Mission” - Great job Josiah and Kristin Smith!

The air was electric at our first annual “Hoop For A Mission” – Great job Josiah and Kristin Smith!

Over the years, there have been many teachers, or “father’s in the faith” in my life. Chris Teves was my first spiritual teacher, as he trained me and helped me to have a fierce love for God as a Singles’ Ministry leader in Hawaii. Chris taught me that no matter how something is said, you need to look at what is said. As a result, I have come to appreciate discipling in my life and to seek it out. When I was interested in dating Darby, he was instrumental in keeping me focused on loving God no matter what. Later, Tony Untalan showed me temperance in loving others and being an example for my children. He is the example I look to when I look at being a shepherd. Lastly, Jeremy Ciaramella has been instrumental in helping me to “shepherd the flock” and to do my best in caring for others and being united with everyone in the same purpose. His love for “the honor of god” is an example that I aim to follow. Today, I would like to share with you some things I have learned as a father, a shepherd-in-training, and how our “Father” is the ultimate shepherd.

John 10:1-13 describes “The Good Shepherd and his Sheep“, which is our God. There are several key things here that I think are important as we strive to be excellent sons and daughters.

1. Recognize the Good shepherd as our father in heaven.

No matter our circumstances in life, God does not disappoint. He is faithful in all situations. Whom do you allow in your life to shepherd you? A discipling partner, a father in the faith, or a close relationship? We all need help in our lives and we need others to walk with.

2. Getting to the heart

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” (Proverbs 20:5)

All the brothers and sisters worked side-by-side at the car wash!  It was an incredible time for fun, family and fundraising for the Lord!

All the brothers and sisters worked side-by-side at the car wash! It was an incredible time for fun, family and fundraising for the Lord!

As a father, my goal is to draw what is going on in my children’s hearts. When they misbehave, rebel, or have an attitude, behavior modification is not the solution. This is at best a temporary solution. Instead, I must draw out what they are feeling, the emotions that are at war within them. As I address the heart, then I can understand WHY they do the things they do and show them how God wants us to live our lives. Recently, Meleane has had to learn to share with her sister and not to push her out of frustration. When we discipline her, we often ask “why.” The hope is for her to understand her feelings and to not let them control her. Then we talk about how God wants us to act and then we pray for forgiveness as she apologizes to her sister. This approach is also how God wants us to deal with the deep issues in our hearts!

As a brother and a child of God, this applies to us as well. When I am spending time with others in my home having great talks about our spiritual lives, the most often question asked is “why?” As we discover “why” we do the things we do, we get rid of destructive behaviors that lead us away from our father in heaven.

Special thanks to Channing Frye of the Phoenix Suns who donated autographed basketball shoes to use as prizes for the three-point shooting contest!

Special thanks to Channing Frye of the Phoenix Suns who donated autographed basketball shoes to use as prizes for the three-point shooting contest!

3. Discarding unbiblical Methods and embracing biblical methods.

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 2 Tim 2:24-26

Natalie Burdick with the campus ministry sisters who studied the bible with her just after her baptism!

Natalie Burdick with the campus ministry sisters who studied the bible with her just after her baptism!

As a servant of God, he commands us to be respectful of one another, kind, not quarrelsome. The reason why is because hopefully this approach will allow God’s word to lead them to repentance. As a shepherd-in-training, this is especially important to me and it has value for every one of us. At times in my life, I haven’t been gentle or kind in my instruction. But thankfully, I have had great instruction from others and we all have the amazing word of God to show us how to treat one another.

The sisters of the Southwest house church rejoice as Mira Ortiz was baptized and joins the family of God!

The sisters of the Southwest house church rejoice as Mira Ortiz was baptized and joins the family of God!

John 13:34-35 says:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Unfortunately, the world is full of pain and often people feel alone. The good news is that as a child of God, this is not His plan for us. As disciples, we will be known by our love for one another. I’m so grateful that God’s plan for me was to set a lonely person like me into a family that truly loves one another. We’re honored to have you today as part of our family and hopefully, you’ll see the love that is described here. Happy Father’s Day!
(Chris Schultz—Administrator & Shepherd-In-Training)

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