The Purpose of CIA Insights

Welcome to Christ in Action (CIA) Insights

Beginning this week, the District Ministry Center will be sending out weekly CIA Insights every Monday morning.  The purpose of these weekly “Insights” is three-fold:

  1. Solicit prayer for the work of our district pastors and lay leaders
  2. Provide inspiration for those engaged in the ministry through the CCD, both laypersons and members of the clergy
  3. Make information available for celebrating how our churches and people are truly becoming Christ in Action

Intercession

On the Chicago Central District, we believe the greatest gift you can offer our district is the gift of praying for us.  We believe prayer is not preparation for the battle. Prayer IS the battle.  Every week on “Insights” we will celebrate ministry taking place where we see Christ in Action.  Occasionally we may provide the travel schedule and location of where the DS and other district leaders are serving. Then a reminder will follow that reads something like this:  “We want to thank you for believing enough in intercession to take a moment and breathe a prayer that God will grant wisdom and energize every church leader involved in the CCD this week to be Christ in Action where they serve!”  (1 Samuel 12:23) We ask for this every week because we truly believe that if we can get thousands of people to pause and breathe a prayer for our work each week, the impact of that intercession will be incredible!   The first purpose of CIA Insights is to solicit intercession.

Inspiration

The Scripture says, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…they will run and not grow weary” (Isaiah 40:31). John the Baptist was an incredible spiritual leader. He baptized Jesus. He declared who Jesus was (John 1:29).  But when things got difficult, even John the Baptist struggled with doubt and uncertainty (Matthew 11:2-3).  What he needed at that time was inspiration to keep going!  Every one of us is the same.  That is why at the heart of CIA Insights is a devotional thought for encouragement.  The second purpose of CIA Insights is to provide inspiration.

Information

In Hosea 4:6, God says, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”  Many churches and people in Christian ministry have so much potential. The problem is they don’t have the information they need to be effective.  This is the third reason we have created CIA Insights. Our desire is to link our churches and leaders to ministry resources.   In fact, the ministry description for our District Ministry Center clearly states that our purpose is to assist in the multiplication of leaders, ministries and healthy churches. The third purpose of CIA Insights is to make information available to make this multiplication possible.
Our prayer each week is that CIA Insights will be used by the Holy Spirit to inform you, inspire you, and prompt you to intercede so that together we may engage in powerful, effective ministry across the Chicago Central District.
We thank you for your prayers.  Our desire is to continue serving you with excellence in all we do.  If there is any way we can serve you better, please let us know.

Costa Rica North Partnership Update

Work & Witness is not all about work.  Such was the case this past July when a W&W team made up of 10 participants from Crystal Lawns, Joliet First, and Living Water went to Muelle as the first Chicago team to work on the Costa Rica North District Ministry Center.  The team worked hard in the heat and humidity and everyone appreciated the breaks for a glass of cold water and a slice of delicious pineapple!

But there also were plenty of breaks for fellowship and witnessing.  One Saturday the team walked a few meters down the road to lunch at the Crazy Iguana Pizza Parlor.  The pizza was delicious but the real treat came in the ambiance – seated outside, with several large trees providing ample shade, and large iguanas wandering all around.  There were about 15 at one count, and one even tried to climb onto the table to sample the food!

However, what made the event truly remarkable was the enthusiasm of the restaurant manager towards the team.  As they finished eating, he announced that they had fulfilled a dream of his to have a large group enjoy his outside dining area.  He was additionally impressed when he was told who they were and why they were there.

That day, the team planted a seed in the life of that manager and the other workers in the restaurant.  They happily went back to work, praying their new friend might come to know the Lord and see firsthand what the Church of the Nazarene is doing in Muelle.

Work & Witness may be work, but it is also witness – spreading God’s love around the world, even if one has to dodge an iguana in the process!

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The team at the La Paz waterfalls, en route to Muelle.

The team on the last night, in the newly constructed sanctuary of the Muelle church.

October 2017 POPS with Rev. Kevin Donoho

This is our second POPS Follow Up! Every month, we’ll invite a pastor to update our CCD family about our meetings. Even if you can’t be with us in person, you are with us in Spirit. This month’s recap is from Rev. Cindi Schimmelpfennig.

Our focus for this month’s POPS meeting was multiplying culture in a growing church.

Devotions

The Pendulum Principle, Herb Ireland

Throughout the gospels, Jesus lives out for us the example of the Pendulum Principle, a balance of giving out and resting.
Consider the amount of energy that Jesus spent healing the multitudes and casting out demons. Note the woman who touched the hem of his garment. He knew that power had gone out of him. We see Jesus repeated finding solitude, rest, renewal after spending himself with people. Jesus demonstrates for us a balanced lifestyle for ministry.  Giving out and resting
Sometimes, even sleep is not enough! We need solitude with God to fully renew ourselves. Jesus needed rest, how much more do we need it?
Take care of yourself and finish well.

Key Speaker

Kevin Donoho, Lead Pastor of Crossbridge Community Church of the Nazarene in Ottawa, IL.
Crossbridge has campuses in Ottawa and Peru, IL. Crossbridge Community Church is developing church health through the adoption of multisite partnerships.

Multiplying Culture

I was anticipating Kevin teaching us how to develop and lead multisite campuses, but what I received was a pastor being authentic, sharing his heart about ministry transitions, leadership struggles and the need for dependency upon the Holy Spirit for any church growth to happen

1. Expect the church to grow.

In our language, planning, budgeting, staffing, we do everything we can to expect and project growth. We need to visualize bigger. Use language that talks growth into existence. We have got to anticipate what God desires to do and live as if it is our reality.

2. Be prepared to continually change.

There will be change! We must be continually changing to fulfill the mission. Our decisions must not be based on people, the past or programming. Decisions are always based on the mission.

3.  It is ok to fail.

Never be afraid to do the right thing when your mission is at stake. Allow people to tell you what is wrong and what could be better. Your people love the church as much as you do. Fail forward! Don’t spend so much time reliving the past, but turn toward the future of what can be.

4. What is the culture we are trying to multiply?

Be true to the culture you are creating. Keep it simple. Do a few things well. We do this because this is who we are. Don’t merge with other cultures, take them over.

Next month’s POPs will be at the Exponential Conference in Naperville. Registration can be completed here.

September 2017 POPS with Rev. Mark Bane

This is our inaugural POPS Follow Up! Every month we’ll invite a pastor to update our CCD family about our meetings. Even if you can’t be with us in person, you are with us Spirit.

Our focus for this month’s POPS meeting was multiplying leaders in our local churches.

Devotions

Rev. Scott Whalen, our new Assistant District Superintendent, brought us  a refreshing devotional from 2 Corinthians 4. Then he led us in prayer for each of the pastors present. It was such an encouraging way to begin our time together.

Announcements

Before introducing our guest  speaker, Dr. McKain (@lmckain) reminded us about our upcoming Cultivate conference in November (Note: lead pastors who were unable to attend this month, please contact Carlos Castillejos @cgildo for an information packet for your local church). And he took a few moments to lay out 10 District Commitments, including a commitment to prayer, pastoral care, leadership support, and various initiatives to care for our pastors’ families. A full document will be available in the POPS folder on Dropbox soon.

Meet Mark Bane

Mark Bane

We welcomed as our guest speaker Rev. Mark Bane who currently serves as USA/Canada Regional Director of Church Health & Church Multiplication for the Church of the Nazarene. Having pastored congregations in Missouri, New Mexico, and Georgia, Mark has also served as the district superintendent for the Joplin District in Missouri (where he launched 50 new churches in 4 years!) before taking on his current role.

Mark is adept at connecting lessons he’s learned from Bible stories to his own life experiences.

He started with James 5:17 by talking about the prophet Elijah: he was just a person like you and me, yet by the power of prayer Elijah was able to impact the weather. In the same way, we can only make our impact in the world today through the power of prayer, and we have zero impact without the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us. The key to being effective in God’s Kingdom, Mark reminded us, is getting on our faces in prayer. The closer to God we are, the more the power of the Holy Spirit manifests in our work and daily lives.

Mark also reminded us that God’s will is that all would come to repentance and that God is wooing every lost soul—so our job as witnesses to the transformative power of the Holy Spirit is to boldly proclaim the Gospel.

Sweet Hour of Prayer

To help, Mark outlined a plan for spending at least an hour in prayer on a regular basis, based on Philippians 4:6-7:

  • Don’t be anxious (15 minutes to pour out your anxieties. Rev. Bane calls this the noisy time)
  • With prayer and thanksgiving (15 minutes to be grateful. Mark asked us: What if you woke up tomorrow and all you had were the things you thanked God for today?)
  • Present (15 minutes to give God your requests)
  • Receive (15 minutes to allow God to speak to you)

See you at our next POPS!

Pastors on Purpose—October 2017

Guest speaker: Kevin Donoho, Lead Pastor of CrossBridge Community Church of the Nazarene, Ottawa, IL

Presentation: Developing Church Health Through Multi-Site Partnerships

 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

9:00 AM–11:30 AM

Kankakee First Church of the Nazarene

Welcome to the New ccdnaz.org

The new ccdnaz.org is designed around the devices you use

After months of development, we are pleased to launch the new ccdnaz.org!

Responsive Design

The new site is designed to adapt to the size of your screen. We want your experience to comfortable and intuitive.

Any new site takes some getting used to … that’s understandable.

But one of our top priorities in designing the new ccdnaz.org has been to help you use the site easily and efficiently.

We appreciate your helpful feedback as you become more familiar with the new surroundings.

Learning your way around

The new site isn’t just a fresh look—it’s a new vision for how we can work together as a district.

As we continue to improve our web presence, we want to invite you take on a deeper role with us.

This is not just another website for the district office—it’s your site.

  1. The main menu contains select links in keeping with our priorities.The main menu keeps our priorities at the top of our list
  2. If what you’re looking for isn’t in the main menu, then check the footer next. There you can find other helpful links, for example, to our district auxiliaries’ pages (NMI, NYI, and SDMI), or to an online version of the Manual.The footer contains all sorts of helpful links and a search bar
  3. You can search the site, too. There are search buttons at the top and bottom of every page. Just look for the ? icon.
  4. We’ve also made a list of links from the old site that will remain active while we’re implementing newer features here:
  5. If you still can’t find something, then please contact us and hopefully we can help.

Logging in and then …

All licensed and ordained ministers and all district lay leaders have a personal profile.

We’ll be updating you with more details and how tos in the near future.

In the meantime, please try logging in for the first time:

  1. Click the link labeled “Log in” at the top of any page.Log in through the link at the top of any page
  2. If you don’t know your username or password, then click the link labeled “Lost your password?” below the log in form.Reset your password
  3. You’ll be taken to a similar looking screen that asks you for either your username or password. If you know your username, then that’s great! Otherwise, you can use the email address that you currently use for District Ministry Center communications. That’s the one we used to create your account. (You can always change your email address and edit your profile after you log in.)Type your email address to get a secure email sent to you so you can reset your password
  4. Check your email inbox for a message with a link and instructions to set a new password. After that you should be able to log in normally.
  5. If you have any trouble logging in, then please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Explore

Feel free to complete your profile, join your local church’s group, and make yourself at home.

Welcome to the new ccdnaz.org!

Maintaining a Spiritual Movement

John Dawson writes, “It is a dangerous thing to lose the knowledge of the past. One of the greatest needs of the church is a sense of her history and destiny.” After the people of God entered the Promised Land, established their land, properties and families, a very tragic thing occurred. It is the same thing that occurs when every spiritual movement establishes itself. Many times the next generation does not experience “the spirit” of the movement. They do not grow up in tents, they grow up in buildings. They do not see mom and dad praying to survive, they see mom and dad enjoying the fruit, benefits, labor and sacrifice of the previous generation.

The solution to this organizational and spiritual phenomenon is for the church to maintain its focus on the characteristics of a spiritual movement and to continually “rekindle” its spirit. The Israelites did not do that and as a result, after the first generation died, “another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10).

In the New Testament, God makes clear that Israel’s experience is to be a warning to the Church, the new Israel of God (Galatians 6:16). All these things in Israelite history “occurred as examples, to keep us from setting our hearts” on the wrong things as the church continues its development in salvation history (1 Corinthians 10:6). As church leaders, we must never forget what we are doing is a vital part of maintaining the characteristics of a spiritual movement within the church. Nothing is more vital to the expansion of God’s kingdom through a church movement than for that movement to maintain its original spirit! The lesson is this: never forget the early days, and what happened during the days of the tents! Thank you for being Christ in Action. Look forward to seeing you this weekend at Assembly!

God Is Near

As a church leader, there will be times when you do not emotionally feel that God is near. But that never changes the truth. Jesus reminds us every time we are in error, it is because we are not paying attention to the Scriptures (Matthew 22:29). How I am feeling emotionally at any given time is not how I base my thinking. The great reformer, Martin Luther, put it this way:

Feelings come and feelings go and feelings are deceiving,
My trust is in the Word of God, nothing else is worth believing.
I’ll stand on God’s unchanging Word, till soul and body sever,
For though all things should pass away, His Word will stand forever!

Today, you may not feel Jesus close. But that does not change the fact! Paul reminds us, “The Lord is near!” (Philippians 4:5). God is near you now! God wants us to seek him and reach out for him and find him—he is not far from each one of us! (Acts 17:27).

James reminds us, “Come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4:8). “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Psalm 145:18). So as you lift your heart to Him today, bask in this truth that can set you free! (John 8:32) “The Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him!” (Deuteronomy 4:7) Thank you for being Christ in Action and always keeping this clear truth in sight—God is near! Look forward to seeing you in a few days.

God’s Promise To Provide

As Moses is recounting the way in which God had provided for his people, he was doing so in hindsight. The 40 years were over. They were on the edge of the Promised Land. God had been with them and seen them through! Oh that somehow we all would learn to have foresight as clear as hindsight! That is what God so greatly desires!

In your work as a church leader, here are some wonderful promises God has given you to claim in Deuteronomy 2:7. When you are certain of God’s call, you can be sure that he will bless the work of your hands! God will watch over your journey, no matter what kind of difficulties or “deserts” it may contain. While you are going through it, there may be times you are tempted to feel that you lack a thing or two. But as God continues to guide and provide in your work, you will find His promise so true!

Remember the words of our Lord, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear” (Matthew 6:25). “Our God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). You will realize and agree with Moses that all the while, “God has been with you, you have not lacked anything!” (Deuteronomy 2:7) Thank you for being Christ in Action … and keeping this clear foresight, that God has promised to provide! … Look forward to seeing you in a few days …

Let God Consume What Is Not Holy In You

As a church leader, God is deeply interested in communing with you. We all know the story that surrounds this passage in Exodus 3. We know the chorus, “We Are Standing on Holy Ground.” The truth is, the time we spend with God can be just as real as the time that God first appeared to Moses on Mt. Horeb! When we come into his presence, we are standing on ground that is declared “holy.”

It is important to note here how God chose to reveal himself to Moses and to his people. This shows us part of the essential nature of God’s character. God gives Moses a commission to lead his people out of Egypt. It is a commission that includes them becoming God’s assembly and his dwelling place. So, how does God chose to reveal himself? God does it through a burning bush that is not consumed (Exodus 3:2–3).

The Hebrew writer tells us, “Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). So what does God consume? God’s plan is not to consume us, but rather to consume everything in us and about us that is contrary to his holiness. What is unholy in your life? If Jesus had a chance to visit with you personally, what private areas would he probe? How does God want to take your character to the next level, so that everything unholy in you is consumed, “so God may be all in all!” (1 Corinthians 15:28).

“I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters” (2 Corinthians 6:17–18). God declares to us as his holy people, “Since we have these promises … let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). “Holiness adorns your house for endless days, O Lord!” (Psalm 93:5). Thank you for being Christ in Action … and making a fresh commitment today, to let God consume what is not holy in you! Look forward to seeing you in a few days …

Developing God’s Heart

As a church leader, we must always remember that if we wish to be involved in the growth of God’s Kingdom, we must share in the things that concern his heart. Our heart must feel what God feels. We must care about what God cares about. God could look into Abraham’s heart and God knew that Abraham would “direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what was right and just” (Genesis 18:19). God knew that Abraham was one with him in spirit (John 17:22).

God also knew that Abraham could be trusted. God welcomed Abraham to stand before him. As David wrote, “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3-4). Abraham could stand before the Lord because of the purity of his heart. It is interesting that in some Masoretic Texts, this passage is also translated “but the Lord remained standing before Abraham” (Genesis 18:22). Whatever the translation, one thing is for sure. God and Abraham sought a relationship with each other!

Abraham had God’s heart. He cared about what God cared about. He focused on what God focused on. As church leaders, we must do the same. We must love what God loves and hate what God hates. We must pray, “Lord, give me the eyes to see what you see in this world. Help me to intercede over the things that break your heart.” May I so live in You “that the world may come to believe that I have been sent by You” (John 17:21, 20:21). Thanks for being Christ in Action! In everything we do this week, let’s remember to keep developing God’s heart! See you in a few days …