Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Defining Ministry Success


Chris Green discloses his orientation to church and salvation 
to explain his definition of ministry success. 

Celebrating 10 Years of Ministry


Ten years ago we launched a ministry with a mission to rebuild, restore and renew hearts and homes in the Harrisburg community, across the nation, and around the world.

When we started in September of 2004, in a renovated warehouse on Seventh Street in uptown Harrisburg, our hearts were filled with excitement. We spent six months in prayer and strategic preparation before we opened our doors to a full house on Good Friday on March 25, 2005. It was a celebration of praise and worship. Then on Resurrection Sunday, March 27, 2005, we held our first Sunday service.

Six months later, in September of 2005, our overseers, Bishop Raphael and Pastor Brenda Green, came to Harrisburg to officially install us as the Senior Pastor and First Lady over the church. Little did we know, that just like Jesus was acknowledged by His Father during His water Baptism and led into a season of trial and testing, we were about to walk the same path.

However, today we can proclaim, ‘To God be the Glory for the things He has done!’ God gave us grace after our failures, wisdom to navigate treacherous passages, favor to overcome opposition, comfort for our seasons of mourning, consolation for our process of grief, light in our darkness, joy  in the midst of disappointments, and a new closeness with the Holy Spirit that we could never have imagined if we had not crossed through the wilderness.

In spite of attacks from the evil spiritual forces that seek to control the hearts and homes of this region, the Lord our God still caused our paths to cross with each of you. All that was intended for evil, God has used it for our good.

From chance meetings on our jobs, to unexplainable connections on the internet, God has brought people in and out of our lives and brought this congregation together, one person at a time. We have met in hotel conference rooms, a local church’s classroom, the pastor’s living room, and now we meet in our own space in the United Church Center. It never really matters WHERE we meet. It’s all about the wonderful experience that we share WHEN we meet.

We have laughed together, cried together, danced together, worked together, had our moments of disagreements or misunderstandings, and managed to keep moving forward. We are not a large gathering, but somehow, that really doesn’t matter. We’re doing more than building a big ministry. We’re building people who will do big things for God.

Back in 2012 we took a poll and asked our volunteer team at that time, “What is the one thing that Urban Life is really good at doing? What is the one hallmark of this ministry? The response was unanimous. It’s RELATIONAL. People matter. People feel welcomed. They feel that they belong.

So after ten years, the foundation has been set. The standard of God’s unconditional love has been cemented in our church family. WE have become an assembly where the atmosphere is safe for those who are searching, thirsting and longing for more than what religion has to offer.

In the Bible, the number TEN signifies testimony, law, responsibility and the completeness of order. We believe that as we come to the end of ten years of service, God is calling us to reflect upon and reveal the testimony of the Lord in our lives. We are called to keep His commandments in this new season. We called to a new level of responsibility. We’re being called into the completeness of order. We have been a ministry of order and balance from our first day and this anniversary is a landmark of the completeness of that order.

As we prepare for this weekend of celebration and impartation, the Lord gave us Luke 16:10 as our theme scripture. It reads: He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.

They may sound like a very harsh and strong word for an anniversary theme, but we see it as a promise from God when we are faithful to serve Him, with the right motivation in our hearts.
As we move into another year of obeying our assignment in Harrisburg, we are preparing our hearts and homes for more responsibility.

We’ll begin the weekend with a special dinner this Saturday evening at 6:30PM. We’ll meet in the dining hall of the United Church Center. That night will include wonderful fellowship, testimonies, music and a special greeting from our Bishop via video.

On Sunday, God has directed us to invite Abby Abildness to share the word with us. Abby is the executive director of Healing Tree international and the visionary of the Unite to Restore America movement. You don’t want to miss this very special woman of God as she pours out a wealth of wisdom with us to help us in the journey that is ahead of us.

We’ll be getting started promptly at 11:00am in our Ministry Suite (144B), so we can have her standing before us by 11:30AM. She has a flight to catch and we want to give her plenty of time.

We’re very excited about this year’s anniversary gatherings and we look forward to celebrating together!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Changing the Way You Think


Chris and Carol Green talk about the care that God provides 
even after we make bad decisions. 

Building a Team



We are so excited about the many doors the Lord has opened for us to minister to hearts and homes in this community, across the nation and around the world. Who would have thought that our tiny little family would become connected to other like-minded pastors and ministries to reach the world for Christ in the midst of these perilous times. Now we must move into the next phase of this ministry.

We are so excited about this open door for ministry that we don’t want you to miss one single opportunity to become part of this end-time outreach. The ministry calendar is always kept up to date so that you and your family can always be aware of what’s happening every single week. You can access it on the ministry’s upgraded website at!calendar/c1nyd

It was not our intention to frighten you by disclosing some of the real perils that are upon America today. It is our intention to stir you to good works. Instead of becoming cowardly and weak Christians who shrink away in fear of the future, we are building strong Believers who will do great things for God.

Much of American Christianity has become all about self-preservation, self-indulgence and self-promotion. None of these things can stand in the face of Islamic extremist who are demonstrating in mass numbers against democracy all over the world. They are now vandalizing churches in America and publicly beheading people in the streets of London. Here in Harrisburg, the Farm Show complex was totally packed out about five weeks ago, as Muslims met in a huge conference to strategize about how to evangelize America.

Carol and I were honored to meet the pastor of a Christian Arabic church right here in Harrisburg. He and his people are appalled to see the same terrorist groups who ravaged their country, destroyed churches and killed Christians, are now operating here in America with the same strategies that destroyed their nation. These Kurdish Believers came to America for refuge, but they have made a terrible discovery.

We’re not trying to cause a panic, but we are trying to sound the alarm. We cannot wait until violence breaks out across Harrisburg and the Pennsylvania commonwealth, before we start trying to minister to hearts and homes. We can’t wait until we can no longer meet publicly before we get serious about prayer. At Urban Life, we’re doing it now and we’re uniting with others to strengthen our forces. We feel there is a short window of opportunity for us to reach this community, nation and world.

So we’re preparing the Urban Life team! Some of you will be needed to join our intercessory prayer team. Some will be needed to help us minister to people who attend our Sunday worship and teaching sessions. Some of you will be needed in hospitality, helps, care, counseling, or we need your gifts in administration. We need help to minister to children, teenagers and young adults. But you can’t wait for Pastor Chris and Carol to tell you what to do. Get on your face before God, now. Fast and pray. Ask the Lord to give you His strategy. When HE gives it to you, come and share it with your leaders, so we can work it out as a TEAM.

As doors are opening for Carol and me to travel, we’re going to need you to keep the ministry going while we’re away in another state or even another nation for a few days or a few weeks. These will not be vacations. Some of our trips will be very dangerous. This is serious business, family.

We just believe that the time has come for those who are willing, able and ready, to step up and form the Urban Life ministry team. Remember what we said two weeks ago. The time is over for merely going to church. It’s time for a team effort to touch hurting hearts and homes in these last days.

In Luke 17:33 Jesus said, “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”
In John 12:25 Jesus said, “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

So what’s the bottom line? We’re not going to get out of this alive. So we must stop trying to preserve our lives and just completely give our time, energy, efforts, and trust to God.

If all of this is too frightening or if you feel we’re just blowing this out of proportion; if you feel this is false teaching, fear mongering, or that we are just simply wrong, please know that you are under no obligation to stay in this ministry. You might simply feel overwhelmed and that you cannot handle this information. We’d love to talk before you go, but feel free to attend another church, ministry or home group. We realize, everyone is not ready to step into this intense level of ministry.

Many Believers are only comfortable in churches where they are still talking about blessings and prosperity. However, we believe those leaders are failing to prepare God’s people to minister and become light in these dark times.

If we see an explosion of revival, which is primarily what we are praying for, then we still must have a ministry TEAM that is prepared to help us. What if we suddenly get 50 people or even 100 people? There’s no way we can minister to that many people all alone. So we’re building a team.

Are you in?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

God Put That Expression in You


Chris Green talks about the importance of being true to the expression
 that God has placed within each person. 

The entire session is available at

Responding to the Cry for Help


Two nights ago, I attended a town hall meeting in Harrisburg. It was organized and hosted by Harrisburg Hope, an initiative from the office of Representative Patty Kim. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss some of the ways Harrisburg can avoid becoming the next Ferguson, MO. The meeting had a panel which included several key players of the Harrisburg landscape.

One the panelist was a young minister from St. Louis. Of course I was pleasantly surprised. He graduated from the same high school as the police shooting victim, Michael Brown. It is the same high school where one of my sisters-in-law teaches. This minister graduated from there in 1998 and came to Pennsylvania for college.  After his college graduation, he moved to Lancaster, PA.

His comments, during the discussion, kept taking the conversation back to the realities of an American system in which our nation profits from the poverty of the least of its citizens (minorities, children, elderly, disabled, etc). I was very impressed with him and I was also impressed with Representative Kim because she boldly called out and challenged the Dauphin County leadership for how they have treated African American men and boys.

Up until that meeting, I have always wanted to learn who are the people that genuinely have the best interest of Harrisburg in their hearts.  That night I discovered some of them. In the midst of the typical posturing and rhetoric, these two stood out, head and shoulders, above the group. I must admit that I don’t know these people and I have never been involved in their organizations, so I cannot make a judgment concerning any of them. But from the comments that were made in that meeting, I have a much clearer understanding of Harrisburg.

The largest portion of the meeting was given to allow comments and questions from the audience. Obviously, there was a lot of frustration and anger expressed from most of them. They challenged the unfair treatment of community by the police and the horrible practices within the school system that includes drugging the children and criminalizing the behavior of the Black male children in particular.

Some people stood and expressed desperate pleas for funding and volunteers in their individual efforts to provide activities and programs for youth and children. All throughout the session, I kept hearing a consistent theme: We need someone to help us!

After the event, I made my way to meet the young minister and to meet Representative Patty Kim. I expressed to both of them how much this was needed. I asked one of the panelists if this meeting was the first one with true intention to bring everyone to the table for solutions and he confirmed that my assessment was true. I told Representative Kim that if this kind of meeting had been offered in St. Louis, then the Ferguson incident might never have happened.

I didn’t hand out my business cards to anyone that night and I made no political or religious contacts or connections. My purpose in going was to watch and observe. I came away from that meeting with clear vision. It gave me an understanding of our times and the wisdom to know what Urban Life must do.

I heard a community crying out for help. I saw disconnected and disjointed efforts by many individuals to provide help. I saw all kinds of people with all kinds of strategies to meet all kinds of needs. Each one, in his own way was saying, come over here and help me provide the help. Not one person said, "I will connect what I’m doing with what you’re doing." Not one person said, "I’ll connect my program with your program and pool our resources to make a bigger impact." Instead I observed the continuation of the problem in which everyone wants to be the boss, but no one wants to follow. Some call it the Messiah Syndrome because each one wants to be the savior for Harrisburg.

So now I have a better understanding of why God has us here in Harrisburg at this time. God has allowed my hometown to become a central theme of major problems in our country and right here in Harrisburg, people are crying out for help to try to avoid a similar social upheaval. Now we're all faced with the one question: How will we do it?

OUR first order of business is to establish an Urban Life Ministry Team that can respond to that cry for help. Right now, we’re going to prepare ourselves by alternating Sundays between intercessory prayer, one week, and worship/ teaching the next week.

I don’t know when we’ll make connections with the various people on that panel. I certainly desire to do so. In the meantime, we are getting ourselves prepared. We are doing what we can for now.

We’re going to do our part in the upcoming street outreach in south Harrisburg and we’re going to prepare ourselves for harvest. We’re going to prepare out nets for a great catch of fish. We’re going to be ready to serve and minister to others in these perilous times and we’re going to fulfill God’s purpose for Urban Life in this community, in this nation and in this world.

Are you ready to respond to the cry for help?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

God Gives Seed


Using the parable in Mark 4, Chris Green explains how God answers 
our prayer request with seed (His Word). 
We must recognize and accept His answers when they come. 

I Always Saw More


The Lord gave me a life-altering experience over four years ago. It was about three weeks after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. You may recall that the 7.0 magnitude quake that rocked Haiti on Jan 12, 2010 was the biggest urban disaster in modern history.  More than 200,000 people were killed, and another 1.5 million were left homeless.
I was lying awake after a restless night of constantly seeing the TV images of Haiti running through my mind. I find myself always deeply affected by various events going on around the world. I began to pray in the spirit and instantly fell into a kind of sleep, but I wasn’t asleep.

I felt a powerful wind come upon me and I was taken up out of Harrisburg and carried way up above the earth. Then from what seemed to be a satellite view of the earth, my vision was focused upon the United States continent.

I was carried down out of space and another great wind came and carried me through city streets. At a speed, faster than sound or light, I was being carried from one city to another. The wind was carrying me through the streets, around buildings and through neighborhoods.

I recognized certain parts of north St. Louis, but then I realized it was not just St. Louis, but I was seeing many cities all at the same time. I was flying on the wind through one city after another, in a flash of time. It’s difficult to describe how fast it was happening and how I was in many places all at the same time.

I had a simple question, "Lord, what do you want me to do?"

Suddenly the wind carried me high into the sky and I was rocketed towards the Midwest. I realized I was flying toward St. Louis. As I was descending, I saw the stadium, but I did not quite reach the city. I stopped before I reached the boundary of the state line.

I asked the Lord, “Where do you want me to go?”

Suddenly, I was being pulled backwards. I thought: “Am I going back to Harrisburg, going to Philadelphia or New York?” But the wind suddenly shot me back up into a satellite type position, high above the Earth.

I looked straight down and my view changed to that of a satellite image. It was as if though I were looking down upon a city through the lenses of a camera. I heard the sound of a camera shutter and the image changed to another city; then another city; then another and another. The images begin to change faster and faster until it was moving at rapid-fire speed.  It was far more cities than I could possibly count.

Then the wind carried me back to the Earth and into my body. I lay there still feeling the wind and the Lord said: “I’m going to put YOUR name in the wind… when I do; you are to put MY name in the wind.”  Then I came out of the vision.

Last year, on the first Sunday in September, I revealed this vision to the Urban Life family for the first time. It was the first time I publicly spoke about it. I have never had this kind of experience in GOD. Remember, this happened four years ago.

Today, I share with you something that has been in my heart for many, many years. Through all of our training and experiences over the past 27 years, we have been prepared and groomed for a very specific latter-day ministry. And that ministry is starting to come alive.

For the past 10 years in Harrisburg, I have always told my wife that from the time we first moved to Harrisburg, I have not seen just a church or a church building for our ministry. I ALWAYS SAW MORE. That vision happened to me four years ago, and I have waited for the right time just to begin talking about it.

I can’t say that I have fully understood it, but the last three months have brought much of that vision into focus for me. For instance, in the vision, the sudden emphasis on St. Louis has now come to pass. I didn’t know what that part meant four years ago, but it’s pretty clear now.

In the vision, after that brief moment of being focused on St. Louis, God launched me into a position to reach the world. And now, as you all know, the Lord has connected us to people who also have a heart to reach the world. 

He has connected us with other like-minded pastors and leaders who do a lot more than just TALK, but they are people of ACTION, like us. They do not procrastinate and they do not take months and years to finally decide to make the necessary steps to obey the voice of God. They are not allowing the precious time they have left on this earth to be wasted with the petty pursuits of money, fame and security.

We are sensing that the next part of our journey is coming upon us. Almost 34 years ago, we sensed God’s timing to move from Tulsa to St. Louis to work and serve with my brother. After serving in our home church for 17 years, the Holy Spirit spoke to us about moving to Harrisburg. Now after 10 years in Harrisburg, we sense the Lord shifting us and connecting us with these special people, who have the same call to turn our nation and our world to Christ.

At this same time last year, the Lord gave us a promise that HE was going to Open Doors for us in 2014.

"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens. I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”

It is becoming more and more evident that a new season is upon us and a very significant door is being opened for Carol and me; and for those who have joined to us, who can answer the call, too. We have some very special things that we want to share with our entire church family and even for those who have not officially joined this ministry, but have felt connected to us.

NO, don't worry, Urban Life is not about to close, but it is about to CHANGE and we want to share our hearts with you THIS Sunday.

We’re calling for a special assembly of the Urban Life family so that Carol and I can talk about the direction we are going to take, immediately following our 10th anniversary celebration. When we meet this Sunday, we will not have any preliminaries. We’re going to get into the heart of the matter right from the start, at 11:00AM sharp.

We’re excited about our future and we look forward to what God has in store for us.

We are overcomers, moving into a new season,

Pastor Chris Green