This post is really for family, though others may end up reading it too. I write this at 7 am on Saturday after a time of prayer. I hope it is not long between writing this and you reading it. I am writing this because I know that some of you are not aware of some important things that are going on my life, namely my spiritual life. I wont go into the minute details of how everything came about, because we should just talk sometime in person or on the phone.
Almost a year ago (still cant believe its been one year!) I stepped out in faith to act on a vision God had given me that was years in the making. I began a home fellowship at my apartment in Superior. We meet Sundays at noon and we share lunch together, spend time sharing testimonies, teach from the Word, and pray. It is very very simple and basic. Not much planning goes into each Sunday beyond the message preparation (and food making!). This fact might seem insulting, but let me tell you, it opens the door for God to do what HE wants to do each Sunday. What God has done here is nothing short of amazing.
We are a group that averages 15 each Sunday. There is a core group of people who call this fellowship home. They are comprised mostly of young adults, people I know from UWS, Maranatha, North Bay, and even CMA. The vision God gave me was for a campus ministry - a ministry greater than just a home fellowship.
You see, vision changes over time. It is never the same for too long, but its original state is the same for everyone: to make disciples, immerse them in the Godhead, and teach them to obey. But in what way we do that is constantly changing and in order to know how to keep up with it, we need to be in constant communication with the Lord. We need a consistent prayer life. That is part of what we teach at home fellowship: the absolute necessity of a prayer life.
So the original vision God gave me was for a home fellowship and now that vision has become something more: a great ministry for which the home fellowship is just a part of. Where people within the fellowship begin to realize a vision of their own and act on it. I become just a tool to help them discover what that is and to encourage them to step out and do it.
I am part of a great ministry already. Which leads me to your concerns. Am I just out there on my own, doing something that sounds good, but will probably fail because of no accountability?
Praise God for my pastors. God provided 2 men who have years of experience as missionaries in foreign lands and as pastors of system churches. Bob and Tim undergird my ministry. They are a part of that greater ministry called Foundations International. They have a network of fellowships in Duluth and now, through our fellowship, in Superior. I meet with Bob on regular basis. We also have a weekly Bible Study at another house in Superior lead alternatingly for a few months at a time by Bob and then by Tim. We also meet the first Sunday of every month in Tim's garage with all of the pastors and elders of the Foundations International.
God also sent me a ministry partner in a man named Amos, who I have served with in leadership in the past. He is an author and a teacher at Lakeview Christian Academy. Through these three men of God I have been given a new example of submission. God has humbled me and built me up through not only these 3 men, but also by the other elders and pastors (one such elder who has become a part of our fellowship) and also by the young people within the home fellowship.
I have been blessed beyond measure through all of this and I have seen changed lives. I know you probably have more questions, but I could go on and on and fill up ten pages with information that would take too much of your time. Please please, write to me or call me. Some of you have or had no idea that any of this is going on because, lets face it, in the few times we get together in a year, we dont discuss the things that really matter. Its a shame that I only recently came to realize that this was the case.
Mom and Dad, thank you for your prayers and love through all of this. I would not have done it had you not given me your blessing. The simple fact that you believed in me, no, that you trusted God, means so much to me. More than I can express here. But more than anyone else, your thoughts and feelings on what God is doing in my life matter to me. You raised me "in the way I should go" and all of this is the result of your love. Thank you.
Siblings, sisters in law, nephews and nieces, I hope and pray that as you read this you are encouraged. The whole notion of a home church may be difficult to accept. We were raised in tradition of going to church. Remember that church is not a building, it is an organism: a body of believers. That is why I don't go to church any more, or use the term to describe what we do on Sunday. God does not reside in a building. He resides in the hearts of those He has called out of religiosity and into a relationship with Him.
I am not part of a movement. I am part of a remnant, just like you are. God is at work on an individual level. There is no more revival, but personal revival in the hearts of those He is calling in these last days. We must continue to make disciples until He returns. And so here it is, in November will have been one year since this ministry was born. It has been an extraordinary year in deed!
Until I hear from you or see you again,
Jer, Jerry, Uncle Jeremy