A Word About The Prince of Peace MBC

Our Vision For The 21st Century
By the end of the year 2020, The Prince of Peace MBC will be highly visible in the Community of Grand Rapids known best for:
1. Providing a Community of Fellowship
2. Ministries that Reach and Minister to the “Whole Person”
3. A Going, Glowing, and Growing Church
4. Life Changing Discipleship and Individual Growth

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Friday, June 10, 2011

How God Transforms Lives Reveals a 10-Stop Journey – part 2

George Barna is a leader researcher and author in the area of Christian Growth. I found this article on-line. This is part two of the article. Enjoy

Stops on the Journey

The transformation journey has ten stops en route to wholeness and freedom. Most Americans, according to the research, never get beyond stop three (awareness and concern about sin and its effects, but not cooperating with Christ to alleviate that problem). Among those who become "born again Christians," most never move past stop five (i.e., having invited Christ to be their savior and then engaging in a lot of religious activity). In other words, a majority of the American public never reaches the second half of the stops on the journey to wholeness. Barna also determined that most church programs are designed to help people get to stop five of the journey but not to move farther down the road to Christ-likeness.

The single most challenging stop is what Barna identified as "stop 7, which is that of brokenness." The researcher indicated that in order to move closer to completion of the journey, a person must be broken of three things: sin, self, and society. He noted that America's culture serves as a strong barrier to people being willing to completely abandon themselves and the world in favor of listening to, obeying and enjoying God.

Barna also pointed out that a biblical pattern of spiritual development would require brokenness prior to a person becoming "born again," but that Americans typically follow a different ordering of the experiences than that identified in the scriptures. That re-ordering is responsible for the prolonged time it takes to make real spiritual progress.

Transformation by the Numbers

Armed with numerous insights from the research, Barna mentioned a few of the statistics included in the book that place some of these perspectives in context. For instance, while more than two-thirds of Americans say they are either "religious" or "spiritual," they admit to not being deeply committed to faith matters. Fewer than one in five (18%) claims to be "totally committed" to engaging in personal spiritual development. Further evidence shows that among adults who claim to be Christian, just one out of every seven (14%) say that their faith in and relationship with God is the highest priority in their life.

While four out of five adults say they are Christian, only one out of five (20%) contends that the single, most important decision they have ever made was to invite Jesus Christ to forgive them and become their savior.

Driven by social mores, few adults who believe they are Christian are willing to abandon worldly objectives in favor of seeking godliness. Only one out of five (22%) stated that they live in a way which makes them completely dependent upon God – and follow up research, according to Barna, indicates that such dependence only emerges in times of crisis or suffering.

Emphasizing that "you get what you measure" – that is, you evaluate yourself in areas that you believe are important and generally ignore the rest – Barna asserted that neither churches nor individuals usually have measurement criteria for spiritual development that reflect the outcomes promoted by Jesus. Citing "tangible fruit" as a more desirable outcome than the factors often measured – such as attendance, giving, program completion, or even Bible knowledge – he suggested that Christians and communities of faith reconsider how they determine "success" and "maturity" in light of what the research has shown to be the characteristics of those who have reached the latter stops on the journey and exhibit more substantial evidence of holistic life transformation.

The Maximum Faith research not only described the ten stops on the transformation journey, but also the percentage of adults parked at each stop. Less than two percent of the public has reached either of the final two stops on the journey.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Micah 6:8 -

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but
to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" 
 
"Reading makes a broad man but writing makes an exact man" -Francis Beacon-

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Salvation is of the Lord." Jonah 2:9...

"Salvation is of the Lord." Jonah 2:9 Salvation is the work of God. It is He alone who quickens the soul "dead in trespasses and sins," and it is He also who maintains the soul in its spiritual life. He is both "Alpha and Omega." "Salvation is of the Lord." I do nothing whatever towards my own preservation, except what God Himself first does in me. Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet ...

"Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them." Ezekiel 36:3 Prayer is the forerunner of mercy. Turn to sacred history, and you will find that scarcely ever did a great mercy come to this world unheralded by supplication. You have found this true in your own personal experience. God has given you many an unsolicited favour, but still great prayer has always been the prelude of great mercy with you.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In the Lord's Prayer (Matt 6:5-15), J...

In the Lord's Prayer (Matt 6:5-15), Jesus taught us everything we need to know to develop a vital, intimate and powerful prayer life. If we follow His model, no ceiling can stand between us and the throne room of heaven.