Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas greetings . . .

. . . to all of you in our GCPN. I am rejoicing at all of the wonderful gifts God has been preparing that have now been revealed to us in this season! I can hardly contain my excitement over all that God is doing. So let me share a few bits of news with you:

  • Mike Stroope has accepted a contract position as our Missiological Guide to assist our churches in becoming the missional communities God is calling them to be. Mike officially began this commitment on December 1, 2006. He will be consulting with our churches while continuing his teaching position at Truett Seminary.
  • Six missionary candidates from First Baptist Church of Arlington met for the first time this month and committed themselves to live out the process of preparation to be our “sent ones.” They begin this journey of training, mentorship, and practicum in January 2007.
  • Cottonwood Baptist has committed themselves to the process of training a new host of missionary candidates from their church whom Mike Stroope will be guiding through a similar process.
  • GCPN has been given an office suite in the Wade Building (Southwest Bank Building) on the First Baptist Arlington campus.

I have learned much on this journey about the obedience of “waiting.” Mike gave our missionary candidates the assignment of re-studying the book of Acts. Each of us has studied Acts numerous times in our faith journey. However, the command of Christ to “wait until the Holy Spirit has come upon you” has never been quite as convicting as it is to me today.

The last few years have been ones of questions, analyzing, re-analyzing, discussing, laboring and attempting to bring strategy and order to a very chaotic missions world. As ministers and missions leaders we have analyzed our old methods and proposed new methods. We’ve tried to define what being a missional church really means. I suppose I have come down to this: A missional church is a church that waits upon the Spirit of God to reveal His will and then obeys his revealed will no matter what the cost. Hang whatever jargon on that you want. It is the simple and profound truth. God is making a way for churches to do missions and each of us needs to live that out as He reveals. The “living out” may look very different for each of us. The commitment to seeking and obeying is the same for all of us. Let us pray for one another and for our churches as we partner and share the challenge of reaching our world for Christ.

- Cindy Wiles


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