Remade to Reclaim:
Resurrection Day is April 16! Make plans to attend one of two identical services on that day: 915am or 10:45am.
But April is also incredibly important to the future ministry and life of Cana. Because of the importance of upcoming events, I have decided to devote this whole issue of the Cana Vision to the task of previewing some of what we are going to discuss during our vision casting Sundays together. Mark your calendar to attend both Sunday morning and Sunday evening services on April 23rd and 30th. During the morning services, we will explore what the Scripture has to say about who the church is and what the church does. During the evening services, we will explore what we must be and what we will do. We will see how we have been remade and, therefore, the mission we have to reclaim the lost world for Christ. We are Remade to Reclaim.
First, the Theme
We are remade in Jesus Christ. All believers share in this fundamental transformation. We were all lost and without God in the world. Before Christ, we were under the weight of impossible guilt and judgment caused by our sin. Death reigned and sin won. We were unable to save ourselves. But Jesus Christ stepped in to remake us. We call this occasion our salvation. Our salvation remade us into the image of Christ. We are remade from objects of destruction into sons and daughters of God.
Yet, the world is not fond of our transformation. We struggle to live out our faith. Praise be to God, he did not leave us alone but provided the Holy Spirit to mature us in our faith. Jesus also placed us under his own authority and into a motley crew we call the church. As gathered believers, we function as a human source of encouragement and aid in an ongoing life with God. Jesus placed us in the church so that we could be encouraged by it and encourage others in it. When Jesus remade us, he uniquely gifted us for our time with the church on this earth. Jesus placed every person into the church as both the church and the person needed. You were remade to belong to Christ. You were placed into His church because you matter to its well-being.
Your placement in the church means Jesus has a mission for you to accomplish. In fact, it seems a church is hardly a church if it has no mission. Jesus remade us in order to reclaim lost souls. Just as we were remade, others need to be remade. We must love them enough to share our faith and our lives with them. Evangelism is the intentional effort to reclaim souls from certain and eternal death. Our mission moving forward must be intentional and focused. The mission God has assigned to us in a result of the people God has given us. We are called to love one another and love the lost. We are called to encourage one another and confess our sins to each other. The power of Jesus to form us into His church is the same power that enables us to call the world to salvation in Jesus. This is the crux of our vision.
Praying for Awakening:
We need a spiritual awakening custom fit to prepare us for God’s mission. Any great project requires the power of Christ Jesus given through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit compels us and empowers us for life change. In fact, we cannot be saved except that the Holy Spirit empowers us. If we are to be a great church, we have to be a church where real power for transformation is the rule rather than the exception.
We need to pray together. Each Sunday morning for the next few weeks, we will pray together for spiritual awakening in Cana. Every person should participate in this call to the altar. As we pray, we will confess our sins, call on Christ for forgiveness, and forgive others who have hurt us. Our prayers cannot begin and end at the altar, however, they need to be a daily habit. Will you pray for awakening?
Second, we need to pray for the lost. Select five people you know who need salvation and begin praying for them. These should be people you have regular contact with. Will you pray for them daily? Spiritual awakening is often accompanied by many salvations and the baptisms that follow. Sometimes we discover that our ritual faith is not true faith. If you find that you do not have a genuine faith, you should declare your genuine faith to His church and be baptized. Spiritual awakening is often accompanied by many people being saved who were already attending church.
Expanding our Mission:
We need to expand our mission. Cana is a great mission giving church. We fund well our missions endeavors. This should continue and increase. Embrace, our international missions fund, has focused on the Moronene people group and we have seen great success there. With that success has come some freedom to expand our international efforts to London. I will spend more time describing this mission later, but I can say now that it is a wide-open mission field. The churches there are beleaguered. There are few pastors. And everyone can be involved in our short-term and long-term mission opportunities. Our efforts to revitalize London churches (and to plant new ones) through direct evangelism, youth/children outreaches, and construction projects will produce great fruit.
Cana is also called to its local community and its own state and nation. We can prepare ourselves for this calling by joining an evangelism team, assisting on the follow-up team, or by willingly participating in some of the outreach ministries the church will construct in days and weeks ahead. We also have an opportunity to expand our digital ministry. Many of us think of the internet as a minor convenience. However, it is a major tool we could use to reach many other people we currently cannot reach through our physical location. We can do digital discipleship in other countries and to our stubborn neighbors. I see expansion of our digital capabilities as a major platform for future ministry.
Expanding our Make:
The work of Christ is not just about the mission actions we take. The work of Christ is also about the transformation we are undergoing together. We call this transformation, discipleship. Discipleship occurs individually through our personal devotion and together in our church community. In order for us to be effective for years to come, we need to become deeper in our daily devotion. We will concentrate considerable effort on prayer both individually and together. We will also look to encourage marriages, strengthen singles, confront practical problems like depression and grief, and improve our biblical understanding through focused training. As we move forward, we will explore and develop ways we can become closer as a community of believers. It seems personal confession is the level of friendship the Scripture envisions. Cana can become a place where we find lasting, edifying, and helpful friends. We need spiritual maturity in order to be confessional with one another. In short, we want to be serious about discipleship both together and individually.
The True Worker:
Though we will lay out a grand vision of how we are remade to reclaim Burleson and beyond, the true worker is the Holy Spirit. Spiritual Awakening will make us a great church, not our plans. Please pray for that spiritual awakening only brought through the power of the Holy Spirit.