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Summer for the City

July 02, 2014


“But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Isaiah 66:2b

If you take God’s Word seriously, you don’t have to wonder why God blesses certain things. The Lord is very consistent. There are things that matter to Him. He has told us what they are, and we can expect to see Him move powerfully when we give ourselves to those priorities.

One of the ways we see God move most powerfully is when multiple things on His heart come together. Recently we were praying and planning along these lines and discussed how: 1) the unity of Christ’s church and, 2) the needs of hurting people in the city of Chicago could come together. Do you know that most of the impacting, life-on-life work for Christ going on in urban areas is happening through para-church ministries? These ministries are out on the front lines, faithfully serving where the funds are meager and the struggles are maximum—in the jails, with people on the street, caring for those enslaved by addictions—loving and showing Jesus to “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40). What if some leading churches in the city of Chicago could lay down their own active ministries and come together to help those who help and give hope?

So we’ve been thinking and praying about what the church can do to help those ministries in the Chicagoland area—our Judea. I called Pastor Colin Smith over at The Orchard, and Pastor Wilfredo de Jesús down at New Life Covenant in the city, Pastor Ron Zappia from Harvest Bible Chapel Naperville, Pastor James Ford Jr. from Christ Bible Church, and Pastor Jarrett Stevens of Soul City Church to create an event this summer that gives some hope to our city. Of course I could have called others, but the first men we called said yes immediately. That confirmed to us the Lord’s leading for this incredible week of worship, encouragement, ministry, and generosity to lift up those who do so much to lift up others.

Watch this, tell some people about it, and if you’re anywhere near Chicago next week, come! Get your (free) tickets here: SummerfortheCity.org.


On the Road to Focused Sermon Prep . . .

June 13, 2014

Getting down to serious sermon prep takes focus, concentration, and at times, clearing your head of the other stuff you are thinking about. So here comes the mind dump. Hope it’s edifying for you—it sure has been for me. Read More

This Will Lift You

May 30, 2014

Dear Pastor/Ministry Leader:

Be encouraged today. The sun came up and God is going forth to work in His world (Hosea 6:3). As you put the final touches on your ministry prep for this weekend of worship, be assured that God is at work IN YOU to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Read More

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