September 4th 2016 – The Mission-Minded Bible Talk!

What a joy to see Jazmine baptized into Christ! We are so grateful to God for bringing her father Marlis to us (pictured, left) and now his daughter as well! To God be the glory!

What a joy to see Jazmine baptized into Christ! We are so grateful to God for bringing her father Marlis to us (pictured, left) and now his daughter as well! To God be the glory!

“But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.”Acts 8:3

In the first century, there were several different kinds of “meeting” spaces that the disciples of Jesus utilized when they met in smaller groups. The first such meeting space emphasized from the very beginning of God’s church on earth is the home! In Acts 2:46 the bible records “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” There are other similar references to the church meeting in homes throughout the New Testament scriptures. (cf. Nympha’s home – Colossians 4:15, Archippus’ home – Philemon 2, and so on). This “style” of “house to house” ministry was prevalent in Jesus’ instruction to his followers when he sent them out evangelizing “…as you enter a home give it your greeting.” (Matthew 10:12-13) There are over 140 references in the Gospels alone to the words “home” and “house” and roughly half of them are descriptive of the locations where Jesus taught and the worked miracles of his ministry. (e.g. Matthew 8:14, 9:10, 9:23, Mark 3:20, 7:17, Luke 7:37 and so on…)

Welcome to the Kingdom Manuela! The ASU Campus Ministry is blessed with a new sister!

Welcome to the Kingdom Manuela! The ASU Campus Ministry is blessed with a new sister!

Another place where Jesus did ministry with his disciples was in the public places. In the case of the initial disciples during the very beginning of the church on earth in Acts 2 this was an area in the temple courts – “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.” (Acts 2:46) Jesus set this as an example as he himself is recorded as teaching publicly in the temple courts. (Matthew 21:23, Mark 14:29) A similar dynamic of teaching in a public place with a small group of disciples is illustrated at the “The Lecture Hall of Tyrannus.” (cf. Acts 19:9)

What an incredible celebration for the Phoenix Church to see Marlis Williams (pictured, center right) baptized into Christ at this year’s Global Leadership Conference Banquet!

What an incredible celebration for the Phoenix Church to see Marlis Williams (pictured, center right) baptized into Christ at this year’s Global Leadership Conference Banquet!

In our ministry, we have “Bible Talks” which are essentially small groups that serve to imitate “house churches” or “discussion groups” that meet weekly either in a home or in a public/common place. The campus ministry has many of its “Bible Talks” on the campus in common areas around the ASU Tempe Memorial Union. We’re very excited that Scott Lunde and Nehemiah Thompson have initiated the first “Downtown ASU” bible talk! That bible talk started with Scott Lunde by himself praying to meet a “Timothy” whom he could start a bible talk with. Scott boldly shared his faith with Nehemiah who studied the bible and now is our brother! Scott and Nehemiah are now partners in building our downtown ASU Campus/Singles bible talk!

These small groups allow us to build the deep loving relationships that Jesus calls us to in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” It’s not plausible for us to have these kinds of relationships with all the disciples in our entire church. However, in a small group of 4-8 people, it’s definitely possible to build depth like this. Certainly our deep Christian relationships are not limited to such a small group, but building our ministry like this is imitating the example of Jesus’ focus on his 12. The mission minded bible talk understands, the only way “all men will know” that they are Jesus’ “disciples” is if there is that deep Christ-like love for each other. This is why we should consider our bible talk attendance as important as church service!

It’s always a special joy to see disciples return to the family of God in restoration! Welcome back to the family Mandy! There are angels in heaven rejoicing with us!

It’s always a special joy to see disciples return to the family of God in restoration! Welcome back to the family Mandy! There are angels in heaven rejoicing with us!

The first century met in homes, on campuses, and in public places in small groups to evangelize. We are striving to do the same with our bible talks meeting in homes, at coffee-shops, and campuses all over the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Today’s “BIBLE TALK EXPO” will give us all a chance to hear more about this amazing “building-block” of God’s church! We have a vision to evangelize the nations in this generation – and it starts right here, right now, with our bible talks! On the 25th of this month are our “House Church” services. The week of the 25th, (Monday the 19th – Saturday the 24th) our bible talks will be “saturating” their neighborhoods with invitations to house church. In effect, this is our first “house church” “Bring Your Neighbor Day” service!

The sisters rejoice as Finau is forgiven of all her sins, given the gift of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and is added to God’s kingdom through baptism in the name of Jesus! (Acts 2:38-41)

The sisters rejoice as Finau is forgiven of all her sins, given the gift of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and is added to God’s kingdom through baptism in the name of Jesus! (Acts 2:38-41)

A “Mission-Minded” bible talk (small group) is the catalyst for evangelism with one another and shepherding one another. I believe that every disciple of Jesus can grow into a “Bible Talk Leader” in their walk with Christ. A bible talk is something that you invest in daily which is why a bible talk is comprised of those who mentor one-another (“disciple” one another). “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today.” Hebrews 3:12. As a ministry, God is growing rapidly towards over 100 members—it’s not possible for us to encourage 100 people every day! It is possible to do so with a small “bible-talk-sized” group! “Love never fails” so let’s make it a point to never fail to love those who visit our bible or visit our church services! Let’s be praying for our bible talks to grow in love and in numbers and to split soon! Let’s pray to raise up more disciples to become bible talk leaders! Jesus was a leader, let’s all be like Jesus! (1 Cor 11:1)

To God be the Glory,
We are family unto eternity!

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