"Our aim as Christ’s Social Body is to “follow in his steps” (1 Pet 2:21); to “walk in love as Christ loved” (Eph 5:1); “to speak and do the truth” (4:15, 21; 1 John 1:6); to “grow up together” (Eph 4:15) in the One who embodies “mature humanity” (4:13). In the drama of discipleship, the local church “puts on” Christ’s pattern of covenantal fidelity, not with the definitive weight of Christ’s unique fulfillment, but in his ways, after his likeness." -Dr. Greg PerryRead More
In this book, Pastor Jamin Goggin and theology professor Kyle Strobel invite readers on a journey to uncover Jesus’ seemingly contradictory way to power: weakness.
Why do so many rock-star pastors implode under the spotlight? Why do modern-day churches become so entangled in growing their brand that they lose sight of their true purpose? Because, according to Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel, Christians have succumbed to the temptations of power and forgotten Jesus’ seemingly contradictory path to power—first giving it up.
In The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb, Goggin and Strobel paint a richly biblical vision of power through weakness and offers a compelling vision of the way of Jesus that will challenge both individual believers and the church as a whole.
Our prayer and hope is that churches in Arizona would be full of leaders and pastors who are committed to the Jesus-way of power and that pastors would recognize where the idols of power and prestige have gotten a foothold into our affections for Christ and leadership decisions so that we might turn toward embracing weakness.
Partnering with the church
At this Surge lunch, we will be hearing from Anna Ho, President of Reconciled World. This lunch is intended to provoke questions and ideas for what it looks like to be pastors and leaders who are seeking the Spirit’s help to identify lies that trap us as leaders that keep us from being light in the midst of darkness and seek God’s power to embrace all areas of mission he has called us to.
Anna has spent over 20 years in ministry internationally and has sharp insights into how God’s word calls us to effectively address brokenness, walk with the vulnerable, mobilize local resources, and, above all, depend on God.
Anna speaks with deep theological insight to the capability of the local church around the world to see their communities transformed by Jesus and a biblical worldview when they are freed from lies that cripple the church. Anna desires to see the church respond to God and watch as he brings healing to brokenness and builds His church in both numbers and depth.
Speaker: Anna Ho
Anna Ho, together with her husband Nam are the co-founders of Reconciled World. Originally from New Zealand, Anna Ho has lived and worked in Asia since 1995. Anna joined Food for the Hungry in 1996, working with them until 2013. In 2004 Anna started a program, Truth-Centered Transformation to see if people could really move out of poverty as they understood and applied a Biblical Worldview. The results were beyond anything they ever imagined, with hundreds of communities moving out of poverty. In 2013, Nam and Anna followed God’s leading to launch Reconciled World–based on bringing transformation by applying Biblical truth to all areas of brokenness. Anna currently holds the position of Executive Director of Reconciled World. She is based in Asia but spends at least half the year on the road.
Creativity vs. Consistency
One of the most significant tensions that leaders must manage is that balance between creativity and consistency. On one hand, we were created in the image of a creative God who invites us to engage the complex problems of the world with creativity. On the other hand, God is faithful, unchanging, and consistent. We display his character when our work is marked by a long obedience in the same direction.
For the April Surge lunch, we will explore the tension between creativity and consistency, we will address questions such as:
- When do you choose creativity? When do you choose consistency?
- How do we cultivate a creative mindset in life and leadership?
- How can we approach problem-solving with greater imagination?
- How does the Gospel sustain faithfulness in a world that esteems newness?
Join us for a free meal, time of fellowship, panel discussion and an important conversation about the tension between creativity and consistency.
Speaker: Ken Wytsma
Ken Wytsma is a leader, innovator, and social entrepreneur respected for his insight and collaborative spirit. He is the president of Kilns College, where he teaches courses on philosophy and justice. He is the founder of The Justice Conference—an annual international conference that introduces men and women to a wide range of organizations and conversations relating to biblical justice and God’s call to give our lives away.
Ken is a consultant and creative advisor to nonprofits and a sought after speaker on justice, church, and culture. A church planter and lead pastor at Antioch Church, Ken lives in Bend, Oregon, with his wife, Tamara, and their four daughters.
Ken’s is the author of, Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things, The Grand Paradox: The Messiness of Life, the Mystery of God and the Necessity of Faith, and Create vs. Copy: Embrace Change. Ignite Creativity. Break Through with Imagination.
When Soong-Chan Rah planted an urban church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, his first full sermon series was a six-week exposition of the book of Lamentations. Preaching on an obscure, depressing Old Testament book was probably not the easiest way to launch a church. But it shaped their community with a radically countercultural perspective.
Lament is a missing, essential component of prayer that can be found throughout the Bible, but is often absent from our communities. It recognizes struggles and suffering, that the world is not as it ought to be. Lament challenges the status quo and invites us to cry out for justice. Soong-Chan Rah will help us understand the importance of lament and how we, as leaders in our communities, can create space for the church to lament the brokenness of the world.Read More
As pastors and church leaders, we desire to “do great things for God.” This seemingly good desire can actually lead to lives that are imbalanced and affections that are grossly misplaced. Do our lives point to the fact that we are “not the Christ”? Are we comfortable when people around us see that we are merely human? If we’re honest, there is a very real temptation to portray ourselves as super-human–priding ourselves on our ability to be everywhere at once, fix every problem, and know everything.Read More
We live in times where the Bible is undervalued and undermined both inside and outside of the church. For this December’s Surge lunch Pastor Tyler Johnson addressed Scripture as the means in which churches, communities, and individuals will experience the abundant life Christ promised. Tyler talked about tangible ways to personally, congregational, and culturally engage the Word of God.Read More
As the election season continues to intensify, America is facing an unprecedented wave of cynicism, discouragement, and polarization. Many people are ready to give up on politics.Some are struggling to understand how the Gospel should shape their political engagement. Other people struggle to know how to tangibly get involved with politics beyond the election in November.
Our churches are filled with people who are weary, frustrated, and confused. But, what if we could imagine a different way?Read More
For this intensive, Tyler Johnson unpacks the topic of how people change when confronted with Gospel truths.
The Leader and the Pursuing God
As leaders, we often feel like we need to be pace setters in pursuing God. But, if we’re honest, God can often feel distant, even as we seek to lead others. We search for books, methods, tools and practices to help us pursue God with more intentionality.
But what if we have it backward and God is the one pursuing us? What if our job is not to go find God, but to stop running and hiding? Not to discover the light, but step out of the shadows? Not to earn God's love, but simply receive it?
Jesus reveals a God who comes after us, who is on the prowl, hunting down his world for reconciliation. And the question we're left with is not whether we've been good enough, jumped high enough, or sought hard enough...Read More