Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tools for Planting Faith Communities – Summary

Imagine with me for a minute. What if the church was operating by God's design? What if we all shared our resources, cared for our communities, served each other in love and lived the supernatural aspects of our faith that God designed for us? Would the world be different if the church focused on making disciples, loving each other and caring for the poor, widows and orphans instead of building a religious organization that divides over doctrine and spends the majority of its resources on buildings and staff?

What we look forward to at Sun Ministries, what we long for, is a unified, organic, unhindered expression of the supernatural God we serve. We don't seek to control but rather to empower and release. We are not the new denomination or clergy class. We offer assistance for free with no strings attached. Our goal is to assist and become less needed. We are a tool for the mission – Plant Faith Communities that live and operate by God's design based on spiritual gifts under biblical leadership structures.

We have successfully planted the first Faith Community – the Church@HydePark.

We have explored, learned and put into practice the biblical design for God's church. Now we want to help others do the same. If you feel the call and are ready to answer it, you should connect with us. The church by God's design must be interdependent with each other. Here some ways you can connect with us:

Don't go it alone. Together we can see the church by God's design flourish in our lifetime.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Tools for Planting Faith Communities – Part 7 of 7

The Resistance Radio Show is the expression of what we believe God is doing in America today. He is calling His people out of a centuries old system. He is stirring discontent in people’s hearts. People are leaving the institutional church at an increasing rate, and statistically, the church is failing in everything from financial giving to theological aptitude. He is setting the stage for reformation.

This show was born out of several experiences. First was the call out of an empty and unbiblical religious system, and into the Kingdom, into a life of faith and relationship. He led us to deny ourselves, make disciples, engage the spiritual battle, and realize our spiritual gifts. Then He led us into the darkest part of our city. He started a missionary work in north St. Louis, MO.

This work is now dedicated to helping others find their way back to God's design for church and life. The Resistance Radio Show was originally a live, 2-hour talk show broadcast on KXEN 1010AM in St. Louis, MO. These shows have been edited into shorter podcast episodes available through iTunes or your favorite podcatcher. The topics explore what we have learned as we walked in the modern day reformation. We use music, satire and plenty of scripture to expose the corruptions of the modern church systems.

This tool is great for those who want to explore the topics on a deeper level but can't connect with us in person. All of the episodes are available on WordPress -

Please subscribe to the PodCast to stay up on new episodes as they release. You can also connect with us on FaceBook - Click Here

Friday, December 22, 2017

Tools for Planting Faith Communities – Part 6 of 7

When God places His Spirit in us, it kindles in us a desire to be fruitful and serve God. This is the natural result of being redeemed. Many today are frustrated in their walk with Christ because they struggle to find their place in the church and the fruitfulness they desire. They seek for service instead of purpose. They look to unbiblical church and leadership structures to define their role in God's kingdom.

God has designed works for you to do (Ephesians 2:10). He has placed His Spirit in you to guide you to those works. Do you think He would have gone to all that trouble if He didn't intend to show you the works He designed for you to do?

Many fail to find their Ephesians 2:10 works because they fail to seek them in the way God designed.They fail to see what is in the way of finding them. Are you ready for some real hard truth? Here it goes. The only thing in the way of you finding your place in the church and your Ephesians 2:10 works is YOU!

Many today are tired of hearing about the wonderful plan God has for our lives but never being shown how to find that plan. We developed this next tool to help people find their Ephesians 2:10 works.

Finding God's wonderful plan for your life comes the same way everything else does. Through your loving surrender to God and your intentional pursuit of His design for our lives and churches. We cannot find God's plan outside His design. Give God another 50 days to show you the path to spiritual fruitfulness.

Download 50 Days to Spiritual Fruitfulness for free by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tools for Planting Faith Communities – Part 5 of 7

[1 Timothy 4:7 NASB] But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness...

This is the first step for a Christian on the path to living by God's design. We must discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness. I find that some Christians today are still living in bondage. They have never cleaned house and put on the armor of God. Instead they live with fear, bitterness, greed, lust, and pride. All of these rob them of the joy that God promises to us in Christ.

Everything you need to be free from your sin, shame and guilt has been provided for you in Christ. You must do what is necessary to apply His atonement to your life. You can choose to walk in these sinful behaviors and God will allow it. Removal of the effects of this is not automatic. The removal of the eternal punishment is automatic in Christ. Freedom requires us to be consecrated. Consecration requires discipline.

We have assembled a devotional called 50 Days to Spiritual Freedom. This tool was designed to help you put some basic spiritual disciplines into your life. It identifies root sins and behaviors that are hindering your joy and fruitfulness. This is a personal journey tool. It helps you to come before God in an organized way and focus you on breaking free from the harmful effects of sin and your past. I promise that if you give this a try, 50 days from now you will be walking in a new and spiritually invigorated way.

50 Days to Spiritual Freedom is available free by clicking here.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Tools for Planting Faith Communities – Part 4 of 7

The defining task for every Christian is a command given by Jesus to the disciples in Matthew 28:18-20. It is historically considered the primary task of the church. However, this command was not given to a organization. It was given to Christians. They were told to teach it to other Christians. We should have been taught to obey this command. For many Christians, the concept of making disciples is foreign or it is handed over to the clergy as their responsibility. In order to rediscover the church that God designed, we must rediscover how to make disciples and teach them to make disciples.

Do you know how to make disciples? Are you a disciple? Do you have a plan for making disciples and teaching them to make disciples? All of this is necessary to rediscover the church by God's design.

The concept of making disciples scares most Christians today. What a clever scheme by the devil - remove the training and equipping of disciple-making from the people and instead set up an ever increasingly ineffective structure to do the task. It is no wonder the church in America is dying. We have robbed God of His most effective evangelistic tool – YOU! Your testimony of grace and transformation is designed by God to declare His glory and reach others for Jesus. The trouble today is that so few are equipped to make disciples.

We have put together The Disciple-Makers Handbook to help equip you to be a disciple and make disciples. Remember this – we teach what we know but reproduce what we are. You will not be effective at making disciples unless you become a disciple. Jesus always starts with the foundation first and that is you.

You can download the book for free by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tools for Planting Faith Communities – Part 3 of 7

Being the Church – Planting Faith Communities in a Post-Modern World - This book is born out of reformation. The church that Christ started on the Day of Pentecost was a loosely structured organism that operated under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and manifested His power through the spiritual gifts of the disciples. By the time of the Protestant Reformation, the church was a strictly structured and ordered organization with a leadership structure that had little in common with the early church or the instruction of scripture. This present reformation is about returning to God's design. We must stop planting new organizations and return to building the organism. How can it be bad for Christ followers to live by God's design? How can it be bad for the church to order itself under the structure designed for it by God and instructed in scripture?

[John 5:19] Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

Jesus modelled for us the importance of following God's design. That is how He worked. This book is a big picture work. Consider it a fly over of God's biblical design for His children and His church. The theology I will discuss will likely challenge many of the current practices of the modern church. The theology is plain and simple yet controversial. It would not be controversial except that many who profess Christ are ruled more by the practices and traditions of their church than they are by scripture. It was this way when Christ walked the earth. See what He said about the religious leaders of His day.

[Mark 7:7-9] 'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition."

This book can be considered the “What to do” for the church by God's design. It takes you through the basics of understanding your Gospel, baptism, spiritual disciplines and gifts, consecration and gathering together. It is designed to help you get focused and moving together to serve the world in the Love of Jesus. A free Bible study is included in the Appendix to help you and others to explore together.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Tools for Planting Faith Communities – Part 2 of 7

Disciple Driven Church – The Coming Reformation - This was my Phd. Dissertation that is now turned into a book. This was where I began to put into words the journey that had begun with a call from God to plant churches. Not to plant what I saw all around me in America. God called me to plant what I saw in the Bible. This book originally came out in 2009. It has been a long learning process to discover how the church by God's design is meant to operate today in America.

In the beginning of this book I outline how the American church is dying. This fact disturbed me greatly and it still does. The Jesus I know is awesome and I have dedicated my whole life to serving Him. How come others weren't getting what I had found? I looked back through history and pinpointed some moments where major changes took place in the church. Each of these brought us further from God's original design. The church has gone down the slippery slope of compromise and continues its slide.

This book outlines the corrupt practices that permeate American churches and modern American Christian culture. Look at this book as the “What not to do” guidebook for the church. This is the book that put feet to our journey. If you are discontent with the state of the modern church, you may find answers here. Remember as you read it that forsaking corruption is not enough. You must go further and do what is right. Many today in America speak out about the church but continue to partake in it. You cannot remove the yeast from the lump. You must start fresh. We will outline that in our next post.

The Disciple Driven Church – The Coming Reformation Ebook is available free at this link.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Tools for Planting Faith Communities – Part 1 of 7

Sun Ministries now turns its focus to helping others plant faith communities. We sincerely believe that the local church is the hope of the world. In order for it to be that hope, it must be the local church that God designed. This means it must free itself from the harmful practices and structures that have infected the modern church. It must follow God's ways and not man's ways. This is a difficult thing to do in our modern times where most churches around us follow similar unbiblical patterns. Many people have great affection for their church, the people there, and the things that happen there. Our affection for God must overtake all of those things. Jesus said if you love Him you will obey Him. Obeying Him extends to how we operate as a church.

Today in America, nearly every expression of Christianity that surrounds us has adopted many of the same corrupt practices. What appears to be normal is accepted as right. In order for the church to operate by God's design we must go through a process of deconstruction and then rebuild only that which we find in scripture. The Bible contains a sufficient amount of instruction for how the church is to be organized, led and operate. We do not need to make up our own ways.

Over the last ten years we have developed a series of tools that are helpful for people that desire to live their Christian faith according to God's design. These tools will be outlined in this BLOG series. They will be presented in the order we see as necessary for you to engage in the Christian faith as God instructs us to in the Bible. We will start with outlining the history of the practices that have infected the church. We will call this the “What not to do.” We will follow that with instruction on being the church by God's design. Then a lesson in making disciples as instructed in Matthew 28:18-20, commonly called the Great Commission. We will continue with a focus on your own spiritual freedom and then how to become spiritually fruitful. At the end we will introduce you to our Podcast called The Resistance Radio Show. This tool helps you explore these topics more deeply.

All of the tools presented here are available free of charge. There is no denomination or organization to join. We are here to help you and unite you with others that are seeking to experience what they read in the Bible. Enjoy your journey.

Monday, December 4, 2017

How do we plant faith communities?

Sun Ministries plants faith communities by operating in eight core values

Properly structured and functioning church leadership - God has designed the church to function in a certain way. This way is defined in Scripture and must be followed. A return to this design is the fundamental first step of reformation.

Sacrificial attitude towards money – living a moderate lifestyle. Jesus said you couldn’t be His disciple unless you sell all of your own possessions. He also says you can only serve one master.

Building the Sacred assembly – no unbelievers in the worship gathering. The most dominant and unbiblical corruption of the modern church is that unbelievers are allowed in the worship gathering. This practice is not supported in Scripture. Correcting this error is foundational to restoring the sacred assembly.

Believers working in their spiritual gifts. 
The church is designed to function on the basis of spiritual gifting. The only way for the church to function by design is to teach and lead every disciple to operate skillfully in their God given spiritual gifts.

Spiritual Warfare praying  
Prayer is the key to living a victorious life. Spiritual warfare praying is the key to walking in the Spirit and obeying Christ.

Manifest power, presence and leading of the Holy Spirit  
The New Testament emphasizes the spiritual dimension of the Christian life. The disciple of Christ is empowered to walk in the Spirit. Knowing and understanding spiritual gifts, prayer, and spiritual warfare enables the disciple of Christ to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Discipleship for personal consecration and spiritual freedom. 
This core value highlights the need for spiritual transformation, sanctification, and maturity. As we fulfill the Great Commission we bring people to maturity in Christ. This process frees them from sin and their past and leads them to find their Ephesians 2:10 works.

Without love, everything else is meaningless. Jesus said the world would know we are His disciples by our love for one another.

So how do we live out these core values? We start with disciples making disciples in obedience to the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20. As we gather around this core mission we find that the focus of the congregation stays on serving the world. This is the core of the Christian faith. Be a disciple, make disciples and serve others in love.

The Church@HydePark is the result of the leadership of Sun Ministries making disciples and teaching them to make disciples. We help these disciples rediscover God's design for the operation of the church. As other local churches are planted by Sun Ministries both across North St. Louis and the country, we will unite them in service to each other and the world. We are facilitating the launching of a movement. No denomination, no clergy class, no consumer mentality. Instead, we see a movement of unity based on service led by spiritual gifts making disciples that make disciples.

Sun Ministries' role will decrease as each faith community is established locally. In Hyde Park, you will see Sun Ministries' visibility decrease as the role of the Church@HydePark increases in service to the community. Sun Ministries will continue to work in the background training, resourcing and empowering the local faith community. This frees the leadership to work to establish new faith communities in other areas. This is where we find ourself in 2018. We are ready to work to plant new faith communities in new areas.