One of my favorite songs on Earth is Set a Fire by United Pursuit. It is particularly my favorite when I listen to one of our staff, Lorelee, lead our teams in crying out the chorus to God
Set a Fire down in my soul
That I can’t contain and I can’t control
I want more of you God, I want more of you God
Lorelee plays a bridge when she leads us in worship and calls out to God “I want more. I want more. I want more. I want more of you God. I want more of You, God”
It’s a cry that moves me to tears each time she plays it. I want more of God. I want God to reveal more of His Glory. I want God to reveal more of his character. I want God to reveal more of His Understanding. I want more of God.
I just got back from a week in Minneapolis, MN (BURR!!!) where we had our Praying Pelican Missions, staff meetings. It was a week full of great reunions, training and encouragement.
Matt began the weekend sessions Friday night by challenging us that “I want more” is really a cry out from God.
From 1910 – 2010, the percentage of Christians in the world (approximately 1/3 of world’s population) has remained flat. For 100 years, there has been no change in the percentage of the world that is Christian. In addition, during that same time, Islam and Atheism are two of the fastest growing religions. And Percentage of Christians in the US has decreased from 94% in 1910 to 76% in 2010.
Those statistics are alarming. If the population of the world is 7 billion people and 2/3 are NOT Christian. Then that means that there are 4.7 Billion people in the world living without the joy and peace of Christ.
God is CRYING…. I want more. I want more of them. I want more of the Americas, more of Europe, more of Africa, more of India, more of the South Pacific, more of Asia….God wants more.
Matt proposed, what would that look like if we worked together, collectively as the Church (big C) to get 10% more before the end of my life time, the year 2100…that’s right I am going to live to be 119 years old!
Assuming 25% growth of the world’s population, that means that we would need 3.8 billion Christians in the world then!
I often think back to my big audacious prayers, I call them Sun Stand Still Prayers (term borrowed from book of the same name by Pastor Steven from Elevation Church). I think of those times in my prayer life when I was bold and specific and it turns out that in my prayer life the Lord appreciated that clarity and answered. Prayer’s like….
- God allow me to marry my girlfriend right now (asked at 16 years old) – God answered NO!
- God show me why this adoption fell through – God answered, Madeline!
- God if this is your will sell our house in 1 month -God answered, it sold in 3 weeks
- God we are raising support we need $1000 today – God answered, how is $2000
God will answer our BIG AUDACIOUS prayers! And HE WANTS MORE.
So the real question is how do we do it?
The church working together is the answers, working past the little C, my church and working together as the Big C (The Church)
At Praying Pelican Missions, including here in Belize, we are seeking ministry partners who look past denominational lines, look past raising one’s own flock and working together to reach an entire village. People are going to come into a full relationship with Jesus when we STOP thinking that we are the ONLY ones that are getting it right and start collaborating.
Matt said three things are going to help us reach our goal:
- Vision – Defined by Andy Stanley – “a picture of the future that produces passion in you”
- Motivation – made up of two things – Discipline and Sacrifice
- Objectivity – literally measuring how we are doing, with clearly defined and measurable markers
When The Church moves with these three things in One Direction (goal not the band) to get MORE for God, I literally don’t think that there is anything that can stop us!
Rob shared a devotion the other day from Luke 8, healing of Jarius Daughter.
Jarius approaches Jesus and says come quick for my daughter is sick. Jesus seemingly takes his sweet time, having compassion on all those around him. He even stops and speaks to the women who was healed from her hemorrhage. Eventually, Jarius’ daughter dies and he tells Jesus not to fool with it. People are laughing all around Jesus and mocking when he goes into the room. They are saying she has been dead. Jesus looks at them and says “she is not dead but only asleep”
Rob challenged us at the meetings. A flat line of growth across the last 100 years may look like death. When someone flat-lines, we say they are dead. But we know, God knows that the CHURCH IS NOT SHE IS ONLY SLEEPING.
“But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up” – Luke 8:54-55
We are an organization that looks at the scoffers and mockers and says “The Church is NOT dead, she is only sleeping” We then go out into the world and hold out our hand to help the Church get up and have the Spirit of the Lord return to go out and fulfill the mission of MORE!
10% more Christians in the world by 2100. That seems like a big goal but the truth I rest in is that my God is bigger than any goal I may put before him.
I want more of God for me. and I want MORE people to know God! I am looking forward to working together for the more for God!
- Community / Purpose for Amy – Just last Tuesday, Amy went to a leadership meeting at church. Note: it is because of her involvement in children’s ministry (albeit frustrating) that she is invited to this meeting. She shares her heart for the women of the community and now she is starting a women’s bible study in two weeks. She wrote me and literally said “this is my purpose from God and I know I have crazy Chris Hankins like thoughts but I truly believe that the Lord can use this group this concept and this village to change this country. The Lord is up to something.” Praise God for His revelation to Amy
- Staff Meetings – The weekend portion of our staff meetings was our seasonal staff get together where we have all of our college interns and part-time US assistant trip leaders come in. It was a huge blessing to spend 3 days with our Belize staff team and I am so excited about the work The Lord has for us this summer in Belize. We have the most dynamic, fun, focused, and anointed staff team we have ever had! What a blessing it is to get to serve with these people this summer!
- School restart – Madeline has restarted school after Easter Break and it has been great! She isn’t getting picked on as much and is really loving being around her friends again!
- 10% more – We prayed for 500 people to come to know the Lord last year in Belize. This year we are at 50 people thus far. We are going to be praying for 10% more. So we are praying this year for 550 to come to know the Lord! Pray for 10% more!
- Staff team – as our staff team prepare for a summer of service. Please lift them up. In the name of Jesus we declare that Satan has no place in their lives and that they would be protected from any warfare that may come. Pray that this summer they are transformed through experiencing more of God, God’s glory and His presence.
- Belize staff training – we are preparing for a Belize staff training next weekend. Pray that this would be a great time of fellowship, friendship, instruction and preparation for the summer!
- Pastor Ed’s teacher’s training – Pastor Ed and his team are preparing for another teacher’s training in three weekends. We are partnering with Pastor Ed and his team to teach some new songs and dances! We are so excited. Join us and Pastor Ed and his team in praying for 85 churches to register for the training presenting somewhere around 12,750 children all over the country of Belize! We are humbled by the opportunity to be a part of Pastor Ed’s ministry and what God is doing through him and his team in Belize
- Basketball League – I have a series of games this weekend. Pray that I am able to play well so then I have street cred so that then I can speak into these men’s lives! 6 three pointers per game is my prayer! That’s a SUN STAND STILL PRAYER 🙂
- Elijah James – Elijah is a little on the thin side. The doctors are not too worried about it but they are watching it. Please be in prayer that this little boy would put some FAT on him. He eats everything all the time, just doesn’t put on weight. Pray that this would not weigh on myself and Amy!