“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
Through God’s Holy Spirit working through each and every disciple we truly have the power to take the Gospel not only to the great state of Colorado but also to the very ends of the earth. With this power, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and that is at work in us (Romans 8:11) we will have the strength to not only conquer any sin in our lives and to take on any challenge Satan throws our way but also to see this world evangelized in our generation. Empowered is the title of the 2014 Denver International Christian Church Winter Workshop and our theme for the year! However, before we venture into 2014, let us take a moment to gratefully recount some of the miracles and highlights of 2013!
Unquestionably, God has truly blessed the church over the past few months. At our Inaugural Service in September, we had an attendance of 171! The Lord again blessed at our 1st annual “bring your neighbor day” and Christmas service with attendances of 81 and 107! So encouraging, God has truly blessed the faith and hard work of the mighty Disciples here in Denver as he blessed us with 24 additions over the last 6 months: 13 baptisms and 11 place memberships. It is so encouraging to be part of the SoldOut and unified worldwide movement of God. Miraculously, in the SoldOut Movement’s short seven-year history, God has spread His new movement to build 51 churches in 21 nations on all six populated continents of the world!
With this year’s theme – Empowered, the Denver Church Leadership has set before the Lord the following Prayer Goals for 2014:
1“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’” (Luke 11:1) With the daunting challenge to reach all nations in this generation, comes the realization that we will only be able to accomplish this “seemingly impossible feat” if we too learn to pray as Jesus’ disciples learned from Him. After all, it’s been 2,000 years since the world was last evangelized in a generation –and this was only accomplished by the Spirit working through the Apostles’ prayers! Therefore, our first goal is to call every disciple to refocus on their personal relationship with God.
2“Brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:1) In just a few short months, God has graciously given us 24 additions! We have grown both numerically and geographically as we now have 2 powerful regions in the Denver church. Another specific prayer goal for “the message of the Lord [to] spread rapidly” is to “each one reach one”, where every disciple in the Denver church through prayer and faith will duplicate themselves by meeting, studying and baptizing at least one person in 2014. Furthermore it is our goal to raise up and train 12 new bible talk leaders to support our numeric and geographic expansion.
3“I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel (Denver), in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.” (Ezekiel 34:13) Over the past few months, God gathered so many remnant (veteran) disciples to build God’s church here in Denver! Amazing disciples such as Keith Jefferson, Brian & Patricia Maki, Joe and Jolyn Ruybal, Eric and Arielle Schram, and Matthew and Marlo Lovacheff. God truly does pick the times and places! (Acts 17:24-28) Let us pray that even more remnant disciples join us in 2014!
4“As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak.” (Ezekiel 34:12,16) The heart of God is to gather and to take care of the needs of his people. In 2014, we will strive to imitate the shepherding heart of God by establishing increased accountability on Follow-up Studies, establishing New Christian Orientations, beginning a powerful Chemical Recovery ministry, as well as starting a monthly Shepherding/Deacon in training group consisting of a few chosen disciples that exhibit the heart and conviction to lovingly shepherd God’s people.
5“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:23-24) For many young disciples being consistent with their weekly pledge as well as “coming through” with their Missions Contribution can pose a “mountain of problems.” Yet Jesus promises if we believe – in fact if we pray as if we’ve already received what we need for God’s purposes – God will give it to us! Our financial goals this year are to increase our pledges to $3500/week and to give a 20X Missions Contribution on June 8th enabling us to be fully self-supporting in our very first year! In addition, starting this month we will begin a church wide pledge drive in order to support the hiring of 3 interns that will serve and support the growing needs of the church. To achieve this goal, we are asking for each member to increase their weekly pledge. For teens, we are asking that they increase their current pledge by $1 per week, campus – $10, singles – $15, and for each married couple – $20. We know that this is a sacrifice for all and want to thank you in advance for whatever you are willing and cheerfully able to give to support building God’s church.
6“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church… forever and ever! Amen!” (Ephesians 3:20-21) Our last challenge is for every member to have at least one personal prayer goal that is “immeasurably more than [anything] we imagine.” This may include going into the full-time ministry, becoming a Bible Talk Leader, being selected as a Shepherding or Deacon Couple, or even the conversion or restoration of someone close to you.
In our culture, the beginning of a new year brings hope and resolutions. Yet the world lacks the Spirit’s power to transform, so many “new year’s resolutions” quickly fade. When kneeling and tearful disciples pray, this incense prompts our Father in Heaven to unleash His Spirit and His angels to even “move mountains!” Let us all embrace the Empowered life in 2014!