J. Gordon Duncan

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We Must Have an Urgency to Create Personal Churches

Acts 2: 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Our communities need personal churches.

What is a personal church?

A personal church is one where intimacy with Christ and each other is emphasized and strategically created within a community.

A personal church is one where it is easy to break into communities (small groups, women’s/men’s groups) that already exists.

A personal church is one where the leaders intentionally seek time with each family or single in the church so as to know them, encourage them, and love them.

Why do I say this? I’ll tell you why. I think our communities need personal churches because I see so few of them and their lack is inhibiting growth with Christ and growth in the church.

Two things helped me realize this.

First, the elders and I at Evident Grace Fellowship decided that we were going to try to do home visits (or at least get one on one time) with every family or single in our church over the course of 3 months. My elders raced out ahead of me and returned with encouraging stories or prayer, honesty, and appreciation. Real steps of intimacy in Christ were taken. As I began to make my visits, I experienced the same. One family was overwhelmingly appreciative that the pastor would visit without something being wrong. I could sense God moving in people’s lives. Once the elders and I visit everyone, we are going to try to just keep it up (visit everyone every 3 months). Real face time created open avenues for growth.

Second, I’m witnessing the damage done by the impersonal nature of some churches. Listen, I understand that needs go unmet in churches. Leadership is imperfect like church members and attendees. But people are walking away from worship because too many churches are too impersonal. They are either too big or they just yell theology without any personal care attached.

So, how do we create personal churches? Here are 3 steps.

One: Leadership must meet with their people. It doesn’t have to be home visits (though that is pretty effective). Day to day discipleship or lunches or whatever work. Genuine questions of care from leadership to the crowd make a huge impact.

Two: Discipleship must be encouraged. Conversations about prayer, book studies, etc have got to be emphasized. Testimonies of discipleship have to become common place. People meeting with people over the cause of Christ creates a personal church that is welcoming and open to growth.

Three: Small groups are essential, but not just 8 people studying a book. Small groups centered on the word of God that encourage real-time application and accountability create a personal church.

Hey, I’m an imperfect pastor leading an imperfect church, but let’s get beyond the showy, impersonal, facsimile of church that is passing today. If we have a personal Savior and a personal salvation to offer, then we must create a personal church to proclaim Him.

Gordon Duncan is the pastor of Evident Grace Fellowship in the Spotsylvania/Fredericksburg, VA community. .

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August 1, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lead, Follow, and Getting Out of the Way

helpTypically, we don’t just wake up one day as adults after spending our entire lives as children.  Instead, we experience moment by moment opportunities to mature and become “grown up” if you will.  However, along the way, there are larger moments, rites of passage if you will, that create leaps of growth towards adulthood:  puberty, learning to drive, graduations, marriages, etc.

These same truths apply to a church.  No matter how mature or Godly the people are within a congregation, maturing as a Body takes time.  Along the way though, there are moments where maturity leaps forward.  Sovereign King Church is about to embark on one of those moments, and we invite you to join us.

1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 detail what Godly leadership looks like within the church.  Obviously, church leadership is not perfect and still sinful, so immediately, the process of finding, training, and installing leadership is a grace filled one.  As much guidance as possible is needed.

Towards that end, over the next 2 Sundays (October 18th and 25th), SK is going to take a small break from the book of Romans to pursue an understanding of the Biblical descriptions of Godly church leadership.  In a mini series entitled, “Lead, Follow, & Getting Out of the Way,” we are going to do 3 things.  We will study the Biblical requirements of being an Elder and Deacon.  We will discuss the process of nominating, training, examining, and electing church officers, and we will seek God’s glory as He builds His church.

We invite all of you to join us for this series.  The process of initially electing church leadership is rarely seen because so many churches are older and established.  They already have their officers.  Even new churches often start with all their leaders in place.  SK is making the transition from being a young, church plant to a maturing growing church.  Part of that process involves seeking, training, and installing Godly leadership.

So, whether you are a part of SK or not, learning what scripture requires in these areas is beneficial.   Perhaps you have been curious about SK.  Aside from the vision of the church, there is probably no more beneficial thing to know than understanding what our leadership is going to look like.  We invite you to find out.

Let’s be honest.  We know that disillusionment abounds when it comes to church leadership.  Sadly, their failures are more widespread than their successes.  We are seeking to change both the perception and the reality of church leadership by seeking what God wants in the governing of His church (novel concept).

Come check Sovereign King out October 18th and 25th for this series.  We look forward to the next step in our maturation, and we would love for any and all of you to join us.

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October 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment