QUIT PLAYING IT SAFE

23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. – 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 (NIV)   

 

I heard Vince Antonucci, from Verve Church, speak this week about risking for God and he reminded me of Paul and the risk he took. As Christians, we tend to want to play it safe. As Vince would say, very sarcastically, we often hear this message at church “the safest place for a Christian is in the center of God’s will”, yet when I look at what Paul went through for God’s will, it doesn’t look very safe. God doesn’t call us to be safe. He calls us to take great risks. Did you know that in 100 AD Christianity was only about 25,000 strong? Did you know that by 300 AD Christianity had grown to 20 Million! Why the growth in only 200 years? Plagues. People were taking risk by taking care of the poor, sick and dying in the cities during the plagues, risking their very lives to help those in need. Did you know Christianity is on decline today? In 1990, 86% of all Americans considered themselves to be Christian. By 2008, that number had dropped to 76%. Why? Because very few Christians are taking risks for God. Because we’ve become a group of believers and not followers. We’ve become more dependent on the church, on own will, on our own priorities, than being dependent on God. It’s easy to have faith or belief in Jesus, it’s hard to follow him.

 

Over the past few years I have become a lot more in tune with those far from God.  One thing I learned is how important it is to have visitors when you are locked up in jail so I began scanning the Taney County Jail Inmate List on a regular basis to see if there was anyone we had built relationships with while serving meals to them.  I came across a gentleman that had been homeless for quite some time.  He had built a relationship with some of our volunteers and they helped him get on his feet and eventually into a motel room.  He landed a job and started coming to church.  One day he walked 2 miles to church just to pay his tithe.  He wasn’t feeling good and didn’t want to stay but wanted to make sure he tithed. This act of generosity had always impacted me so when I saw him on the jail inmate list I had to go visit him. Come to find out he had a warrant for a failure to appear. At the time he was homeless, had no transportation and quite frankly didn’t think he would be alive to make the court date as it was in the winter.  All the charges were dropped and he was able to keep his job upon his release.  But I wonder would most people walk 2 miles to pay their tithe even when they don’t feel good.  I think the homeless guy showed what it meant to risk for God, how about you?

 

Bryan

[email protected]

GATEWAY BRANSON

Soul Revolution 2012

What could God do if you gave Him 60 days to revolutionize your life?

 

Explore how God takes imperfect people, like us, and leads us toward our heart’s greatest desire. Experience how a moment-by-moment connection to God with wide-open willingness, fulfills our deepest longings and transforms us into life-giving people. Join us in September and see what God might do if you choose to give him 60 days to revolutionize your life.

   

SOUL REVOLUTION is a 5 week teaching series beginning September 9th. This series has the potential to change how you do life and experience God, but like most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. There are five ways you can participate. We encourage you to do all five. Participate in the services, read the book, do the 60/60 Challenge, join a group and share your experiences with others in the Facebook world and Twitterverse.

 

Join us every Sunday at 10:30 am for FREE breakfast and “Church for people who don’t like church, where no perfect people are allowed!”  You don’t have to dress up.  Just COME AS YOU ARE. Everyone is welcome at Gateway regardless of what you think about church or God or religion.  Gateway Branson Internet Campus is a place where God meets people who are far from perfect.  This church is for people who don’t really like church.  This is a safe place for skeptics and doubters to ask their questions.  We know lots of people have been burned by church experiences in the past. We hope this is a place where everyone can sort out authentic faith in a very real God and begin to experience it themselves.  BUT DON’T STAY AS YOU ARE…Spectators find it’s hard to grow at this church.  Take a risk.  Meet some people.  Get involved. Go deeper.  Life change is about momentum – little steps you take toward God that lead to extraordinary results.

  

COME AS YOU ARE – Especially if you are

Broken – Tired Poor – Porn Addict – Smoker 

Drinker – Not Good Enough Messy – Questioning God – Imperfect – Ashamed – Willing – Searching for Answers – Don’t Know God – Alcoholic – Lonely

Rich – Unhappy – Straight – Gay – Judgmental 

Drug Addict – And you’ll be just like us!

 

WARNING: No Perfect People Allowed

 

Transportation is provided from the motels by calling 417-335-9915.

KIWANIS MINI GOLF TOURNAMENT - September 13th

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS BBQ - September 16th

Be sure to join us for the our last “Love Your Neighbors” BBQ of the year at The Palms Inn on Sunday, September 16th, 3514 W. Hwy 76, across from White Water.  Oh and by the way, we don’t rain out so if you missed our last BBQ you missed out on something special.  You will not want to miss this one.

    

You won’t want to miss this one as we will have 1/2 pound hamburgers from Famous Dave’s BBQ and live music from award winning Christian artist Tom Lovato from Spokane, Missouri and the band “We Are Called”.

  

You can bring a dessert item if you would like and share in this free and fun event celebrating the true spirit of “community”.   

 

Break down the walls that society has built and experience life with someone that lives on the margins. This will be a great opportunity to build relationships with someone new. There will be food and fun as we cook-out. If you would like more information on how you can get involved please contact Amy at 417-335-0266.  

LIFE SUPPORT Discussion Group

LIFE SUPPORT Discussion Group every Tuesday night at the JWH Living Room.  There is a FREE HOT MEAL provided at 5:30 pm and group discussion from 6-7 pm. This is a group setting where we provide a hot meal and share our life struggles and challenges.  It is a safe place free from judgement from your past mistakes.  It’s interactive and questions are encouraged as we discover the answers together.  We know how important it is for people to connect with one another in relationships.  We will learn how to move forward in life and not stay stuck. 

Soul Revolution 2012

Transportation is provided from the motels by calling 417-335-9915 so come for the food, stay for the conversation and let’s do life together!  We will meet you where you are at in life so “Come as You Are” and explore…Real Life, Real Issues, Real Discussion!

GO SERVE Projects

Have a heart for serving?  Love to serve?  So do we!  Not only do we believe in loving God and loving people, we also believe in serving others and creating a SERVOLUTION in our community  (A complete and radical change of a person’s life caused by simple acts of kindness for the glory of God).  Join us each month as we GO SERVE in our community at Gateway Branson. 

 

Come join us September 9th from 2:00-4:00 pm as we clean up our community with a day of trash and debris pick-up.  You see it’s about serving, giving, and loving, not about getting.