Thursday, September 21, 2006

Part of Something Bigger Than Us

I recall on the night that we began our Friday sessions, before leaving our home to go to the church, I checked our church e-mail and this was sent to us from the brother in law of the senior pastor of our sister church in Kansas City, Missouri. God is so faithful and so good to us. I just broke down and cried when I read it.

April 21, 2006
Everything is going to be alright. The threats you have faced shall cease. For this house that I have built, not just built, but birth, shall bring true liberty. The enemy is fighting against the freedom that I have ordained to be. Lift up your heads oh ye gates and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors, for the King Of Glory is coming in.

You being there is a fulfillment of prophesy. My servants in this area of the former generation have prayed for this day. They did not have a face, but a promise. They did not know the name or person who would fulfill this call, but they had a promise. NOW STAND where I have called you and know today, this day, April 21, 2006, that I have commanded a release from heaven. Back up is on the way. Resources from heaven are on the way.

And the Lord shall expose the discrediting of His word. The enemy came to discredit the word of the Lord over your life, your church, and your family. Rally your people right now. Tell them that I, Jehovah, is still in there midst. Tell them, don't run away in fear. The spirit of intimidation is broken on today and what you have decreed from your pulpit shall be established.

The Lord says to you, Pastor Chris; just say it and I'll back you up every step of the way. It's My word that I shall perform in your midst. So rejoice, for it is a new day for you and your house. And yes, I say to you again, you and your people shall be fruitful. For this is the season of harvest for your house.

Isaiah 54:14-17 NIV
14. In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you;
you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.
15. If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you.
16. See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc;
17. no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
and this is their vindication from me," declares the LORD

Last week I shared this with our new prospective members. It was the first time they ever heard it. It is a wonderful reminder for all of us of the faithfulness of GOD.

I recalled this word because I spoke with one of the elders of Metro Christian Worship Center (St. Louis, Missouri) on Wednesday of this week. Elder Ted Boldin encouraged me with a powerful Word of exhortation for us to be patient because GOD is building something special. He just kept saying it over and over again for us to be patient because GOD is setting us up through all the many new relationships HE is establishing for us. He said GOD was making me tough to say "no" and to stick to what GOD has told us to do.

Carol and I are greatly encouraged. I told him (Elder Ted) it was a timely word. We have some tough decisions to make in the near future, but we will stay on course with the Urban World Harvest Vision that GOD has given through our Bishop, Raphael Green. As we said many times before we were sent out, we are not starting our own ministry. Chris and Carol Green and Fruitful Life is just another step of obedience to the command of the LORD in submission to the vision GOD gave Raphael Green. This minstry will be unique to this region of the country, but we're still part of something bigger than ourselves.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A New Release

Life has been pretty busy for us since my last journal entry. The Lord continues to amaze us with the things HE is doing in us, for us, and through us.

We are coming up on the second anniversary of the official start of the ministry. Our little family continues to grow strong in every way as we minister to them. We've added an additional time (for the summer) of ministry by setting aside a time to talk with the youth and young adults on Tuesday evenings. We are going through and highlighting the major points from the book that I wrote for young adults called "What Now?". This continues to be a very special time for all involved.

Our Friday evenings are really special. We've spent several weeks thoroughly combing through the core values of Fruitful Life. This has brought wonderful harmony and unity to have this understanding come forth.

Now we have moved into the core ministry of Fruitful Life and that is the "Time of Healing" ministry. Since our earliest days as youth pastors, Carol and I have always been involved in the lives of youth and young adults in helping them receive healing for the deep, dark secrets and broken places in their hearts. We were so involved that we eventually went through a 30-week lay-counseling course to help us understand how to minister to people more effectively. We bought Josh McDowell's book that gave a step- by-step instructions on how to minister to young people in every crisis from abortion to suicide. This was not a ministry that we sought after or felt some great need to go into. We found ourselves smack in the middle of the lives of young people whose lives were spiraling out of control.

One of the first prophetic words ever spoken over us was that we would be known as "Healers of broken lives." This word came when all I was doing was administration and the tape ministry in the church. So even though we have been involved in street ministry, food outreach, teen ministry, college and career young adults, singles ministry, pre-marital ministry, media outreach, and even in praise & worship, the one ministry that has been at the core of all that we have done over 16 years, in obedience to GOD, was the ministry of healing to broken hearts and lives.

Now, after two years in Harrisburg, PA, we are finally moving into this aspect of the calling on our lives. The past few weeks we have been meeting with Pastor Raleigh Wingfield, his wife Renee, and the elders of Zion Assembly (our hosting church) to discuss with one another and try to discern the mind of God for our joining together to build the Kingdom of God in this community.

Yesterday, we had a meeting in which Carol and I showed video clips of just a small portion of the prophetic words that have come to us, over the past 15 years. After we played the video, everyone just sat for a moment to absorb it. Then the wisdom of God began to spill forth as each person spoke about the portions of the word that impacted them personally.

Pastor Wingfield and his wife encouraged us to change the way we see ourselves. They told us (and I'm paraphrasing) to not see ourselves in light of the young stages of the church (Fruitful Life Worship Center). The church is just getting started, but they said our ministry is being received as being fully mature. They reminded us of the part of the prophetic word that said GOD was sending us to Harrisburg in FULL BLOOM. So they said they are receiving us as a ministry that is in full bloom, fully mature.

From that acknowledgement, Carol and I disclosed that our true passion, beyond praise & worship and youth, is the ministry of healing of broken hearts and lives. Carol explained that we do not conduct this ministry in such a way that it exposes people's secrets publicly. Unfortunately, in the name of prophetic ministry, people have been severely damaged by supposed, healing ministry. I mentioned the way Jesus ministered to Zaccheaus, and that struck a chord of confirmation because one of the elders had just ministered about Zaccheaus that day.

I gave an example to Pastor Raleigh that what we do is similar to a ministry called Breaking Free that is ministered by a mutual brother and friend (John Shuey). What we do is just a more culturally adapted approach so that urban, inner city people can receive this vital ministry.

So Pastor Raleigh has asked that we meet again to discuss how the full, mature gift and ministry that GOD has sent, can be released in the Zion Assembly community.

For Carol and me, this was major. The healing anointing on Jesus was not received by his own folks because they were not willing to receive him for WHO he was. We've been here for two years and Pastor Raleigh is one of the two or three pastors to receive us for WHO we really are. I remember when I was asked to minister at Christ Community Church last year. I recall that there was such a perfect flow and it was because Pastor Dave Hess received us in the NAME by which GOD sent us. They made a demand on the anointing in our lives.

Pastor Raleigh Winfield has done the same thing. God has brought us directly to the apostolic leadership that HE wanted to reveal us to, so that the anointing on us and in us, could be released in Harrisburg. Various pastors and leaders have received us as singers, youth pastors, children's ministers, and even as good church leaders. Therefore, we were not released to BE who we were supposed to BE. We were not able to DO what we were sent to DO.

Jesus spoke forth a powerful principle about receiving a prophet in the name of a prophet and so forth. If we don't receive the gift that GOD sends in the NAME by which HE is sending the gift, we don't place a demand on that gift and we won't access the anointing that GOD sent that gift to release upon our lives.

We have been careful to NEVER self-declare or self-proclaim. We knew we had to wait for the one's whom GOD would reveal our true identity to. We had to wait for GOD to use them to acknowledge WHO had been sent. It had to come from the apostolic in Harrisburg because of the spiritual authority that an apostle has in a city. The spiritual leaders and authorities of a region must acknowledge and receive WHO GOD sends, in the name for which GOD sends them.

This morning, as I write this, I feel a new release for us in this city.