An Update On Beyond Belief
Living a life Beyond Belief
God invites us into so much more than the typical American lifestyle can deliver. He invites us into a mysterious, dynamic relationship that profoundly intersects with His spiritual reality. He commissions us to draw close to Jesus as we study Him, learn from Him, and become like Him. Through this amazing union with God Himself, He sends us out to change the world by His strength and power.
YOUR COMMITMENT IS RESULTING IN MASSIVE IMPACT NOT ONLY IN OUR BACKYARD BUT AROUND THE WORLD.
When I think about this union with God, it is beyond belief. For Jesus, life in all its fullness never stopped with merely having the right beliefs. It's about knowing God in an amazingly personal, life-giving relationship! And if that wasn't enough, God wants to do supernatural things through us to accomplish His purposes on this planet. That concept itself is beyond belief!
CCC is currently in the middle of a series on disciple-making called Follow Me. Throughout this series, my prayer is that the teaching takes you one step deeper every week into the arms of Jesus, that you would develop all of the characteristics of discipleship: commitment, love, sacrifice, questions, knowing God’s Word, and making disciples yourself! In the upcoming message series Within Reach (3.4–3.25), we’ll focus on the Gospels and the life of Jesus so that we might keep Jesus in the forefront of our minds through the beginning of 2018. My prayer is that this focus, combined with an emphasis on spiritual disciplines in Journey Groups, will take you to new places in the depths of knowing Jesus.
God is doing amazing things in our city and our world through Beyond Belief! Let me give you some of the amazing highlights that are growing God’s Kingdom because of your faithfulness.
Beyond Our Walls:
CCC is a part of a central leadership team with thirty-eight churches that are working together to create a synergistic movement of Christ in Omaha called Within Reach. We believe that this city is a reachable city if we work together! This group of churches is wrecking the curve as we inspire each other to reach one more person, plant one more church, and unleash unprecedented compassion on our city. In the past two years, we have seen over 4,000 baptisms, eight new churches, and 20% growth!
Our citywide celebration on February 25 will be groundbreaking. Thousands of people from the Within Reach churches will gather to pray and worship together. These people will be commissioned as lights in the darkness, missionaries to our city to be Jesus to those who do not yet know Him. This worship service is symbolic of the unusual unity that God has brought between churches around the mission He is calling us into.
Mission Church and Providence Church are thriving. We co-planted these churches this past September. Both quickly filled their services and are now rocking two services per Sunday. People are coming to faith, getting baptized, and growing in their relationship with Jesus!
CityCare Counseling has twenty-three counselors who are helping hundreds of people find healing in Jesus through divine encounters, with a fantastic facility at The Porch that makes it all possible. The dream of combining outstanding counseling principles with a dynamic Christian worldview is bringing healing every day!
Beyond Our Borders:
Michael and Amy Gilbert have been approved to be Christian and Missionary Alliance missionaries! They will go to Africa with Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA), the compassion and relief branch of the Alliance. The Gilberts will serve in Senegal with our friends Shawn and Becky McCabe. We’ll give them $50,000 from our Beyond Belief fund to get them started!
We are supporting the Great Com-mission Fund like never before. We will send monthly gifts to missionaries who are taking the best news ever to the least-reached places. Our giving this year alone will exceed one million dollars!
CCC will send scholarships to our school in West Africa that is training about seventy-five pastors. We are also adopting a second school in the same country and will provide scholarships for forty to fifty students. This year alone, forty students will graduate who will move into ministry roles or church planting.
I went on an exploratory trip to Cuba in January to meet the national leaders of their movement and brainstorm how to best reach their island with the good news. Their dream is to plant fifty-three churches by 2020 and raise up a new generation of Christian leaders for the Cuban movement. We agreed to put our resources behind them to help make those dreams come true!
Friends, you need to know that your commitment to Christ Community Church and to Beyond Belief is resulting in massive impact not only in our backyard but around the world. God can do abundantly more that we ask or imagine!
Mark Ashton is the Lead Pastor at Christ Community Church.