Converging into a Kingdom Alliance

God is at work in a uniquely beautiful way in our time. The Father is revealing the truth of His identity to His children, while simultaneously unifying His body by moving us away from competition and theological divisiveness. The Holy Spirit is moving the Church into a place of convergence that supersedes the entrenchment of denominations, and this movement is producing Kingdom Alliances. The following personal testimonies offer a glimpse of this reality at work in my own life. As you read on, I beseech you to consider how God is working in your life to bring unification for the Kingdom as well.


Testimony #1

3 years ago God led me out the comfort and consistency of my corporate job of 6+ years and into a vocational ministry role as a missionary to the musician community and the Executive Director of RYFO. Shortly after taking that step of faith I reached out to Sam Metcalf, President of CRM (Church Resource Ministries), to seek his wisdom on how to lead a ministry that’s geographically wide reaching. That conversation unexpectedly turned into a dialogue about RYFO coming under the covering of CRM in partnership to advance the shared mission God had given us.

Through this process I saw the sovereign plan of God played out as He aligned RYFO with a partner that would provide resources to empower our unique assignment to eliminate the cultural divide between the Church and the musician community. The partnership with CRM wasn’t an acquisition or a merger, it was a mutually beneficial Kingdom Alliance.

RYFO + CRM = Kingdom Alliance

Testimony #2

A year or so after RYFO joined CRM, I began talking with my friend Chad Johnson about a similar work God was doing between the artist ministry he was leading (Come&Live), and another organization which shared their DNA and values (Steiger Intl). In Steiger, Chad had discovered a partnership opportunity that could resource and refine the vision God had given him without manipulating or altering it. Through the process of this organizational partnership God began to reveal opportunities for RYFO to also link arms with this new Kingdom Alliance, and that’s exactly what we’ve done! As RYFO is serving the broader musician community we are positioned to identify artists who desire to have an eternal Kingdom impact through their art. In doing so we are able to provide a natural referral to our allies in C&L. Similarly the C&L community is positioned to refer individuals to RYFO who want to help bridge the divide between the Church and the musician community.

RYFO + CRM + C&L + Steiger Intl = An Expanded Kingdom Alliance

Testimony #3

In mid April my family moved from Anaheim, CA to Phoenix, AZ. This relocation occurred as the result of a long season of prayerfully discerning God’s leading for our family and for RYFO. As we’ve settled into life here in Phoenix, God has confirmed our relocation decision in a variety of ways. By way of example, I’ve begun developing relationship with a church (Axiom) that is comprised of a group of missional communities around the valley. This church is being led by a group of young leaders/artists who share my burden to reach and influence the musician community. The alignment and opportunities for ministry partnership that have already been identified are astounding! 

In addition, I’ve been developing relationship with the leaders of the RENEW community. This grassroots movement emerged organically out of a burning desire for revival that lived within a small group of friends who had experienced the miraculous work of God in their lives. As with Axiom, the opportunities for personal and organizational ministry collaboration with Renew are undeniable. The spiritual landscape of what God is developing here in Phoenix has me brimming over with excitement and expectancy.

RYFO + CRM + C&L + Steiger Intl + Axiom + Renew = A Kingdom Alliance with Greater Kingdom Impact


The Bottomline

I believe the Kingdom Alliances I’ve begun to experience are directly connected to a prophetic vision God gave to Heidi Baker of Iris Global several years ago. God showed Heidi a massive net that was pulling in a huge number of fish. Initially Heidi interpreted this picture as being representative of the collective work of her ministry, but as she discussed it with God He revealed to her that the net was His unified body and that her ministry was only a small part of it. I believe that this unifying work has begun to happen all around the world and it’s humbling to see the evidence displayed in my own life. God is moving and a great awakening is coming!!

Now What?

I encourage you to reflect on your own story and to look for signs of convergence and unification. As you reflect, I encourage you to also be on the look out for your own Kingdom allies, or to prayerfully consider how you might join the alliances God has been forming around me and my work with RYFO and others. Who, what, and where is God working in your life and where can you partner for greater impact?

You + ______ = a Kingdom Alliance with Greater Kingdom Impact

Walk in Unity (Ephesians 4:11-16) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. 

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Nothing More Radical

The only perfect man. God in human form. Jesus was radical.

His message, His lifestyle and certainly His purpose on earth, all serve as evidence of His radical nature. In human history He has no equal, and in the ages to come there will never be another person who walks this planet sinless, and full of love and compassion the way He did.

And then the plot thickens…

When Jesus ascended to Heaven He left His disciples with a standard to live by, a specific commission, and the promise of His Spirit. As His followers we’ve been called to live as He did – Radically! Why? Because we carry the greatest news out there, and eternity is standing in the balance for all of humanity.

But what if our background and faith experience have left us with an incomplete Gospel?

That question has served as a recent focal point within the weekly staff meetings I lead for RYFO.  As a staff we’ve shared about our individual faith journeys in order to learn from, and challenge each other to venture into the dimensions of the Gospel we’re less familiar with.

As we’ve been learning together there are 3 dimensions of the Gospel – Word, Deed and Power. We can see each of these dimensions clearly evidenced by the radical life of Jesus. As believers, the Gospel we carry is truncated and distorted if we’re not operating with the Spirit’s leading in all three. The ideal is to move towards the point of their intersection.

The inspiration behind this discussion comes from a position piece authored by Sam Metcalf, President of CRM (the parent organization for RYFO’s ministry to musicians). As Sam writes the Word dimension “means that whatever Jesus says is important. It is trustworthy and, along with the totality of scripture, infallible. The gospel in word embraces an appreciation of apologetics. The gospel is true, and it is rationally defensible.” The Deed dimension “means that as followers of Jesus, we are compelled to focus on the real issues of our time where the Kingdom of God invades and touches the realities of earth.”  The Power dimension refers to “the presence of the Holy Spirit demonstrated by supernatural manifestations.

On their own, without the balance of the others, each of these dimensions can lead into dangerous territories. On its own the Word emphasis can easily become legalistic and void of any compassion towards others, or expectation for the supernatural movement of God. The Deed emphasis alone can quickly be distilled to nothing more than well-intentioned humanitarianism, a social Gospel lacking in biblical fidelity. Finally, the Power dimension on its one can turn into a kind of warped and bizarre spirituality where in exchange for sound theology, experience rules the day.

In light of these 3 equally important dimensions of the Gospel, I find myself challenged to pursue the radical commission of Christ, to spread the good news as He did, in Word, Deed & Power.

The Movement of God

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Sam and Petty Metcalf sharing at the World Wide Conference. Sam is the co-founder and President of CRM: Empowering Leaders.


We’ve all attended a conference or a seminar at some point in our lives. Typically the topic is intriguing, challenging, and serves as a catalyst for some thought provoking discussion. Sound about right?

Our conference experience in Mexico last month was that and so much more…

The Movement of God

In Us, Among Us and Through Us

Can you picture it? 700 people from around the world gathered together to passionately pursue the Lord! Now three weeks removed from the CRM Worldwide Conference in Cancun, we can clearly see that the theme of the conference, The Movement of God: In Us, Among Us and Through Us, was more than just a compelling topic for discussion. It was something we witnessed firsthand and something that left us personally transformed.

Throughout the week there were moments where God refined and transformed things within us that needed to be dealt with. His movement In Us was precise and gentle. His touch was that of a Master Surgeon. During our times of corporate prayer and worship, the manifest presence of the Lord was undeniable. He was moving Among Us! Finally, we saw His movement Through Us during times of ministry where Johanna and I were able to pray for several individuals who were seeking to hear God’s voice while experiencing His loving touch. In addition, I was honored to play bass with the worship team, and to lead worship for several smaller breakout sessions. The Movement of God is multidimensional, powerful and transformative!

It would be easy to go on and on about God’s movement during the conference, but in an effort to be brief I’ll share one example with you…

As the conference was coming to a close, we were asked to reflect on what we learned and experienced, and to ask God what He wanted us to take away from our time. As I was praying, the Lord revealed a picture to me. I saw a map of the United States with several volcanoes spread throughout the country. In the picture I could see that the volcanoes were not yet active, yet brewing beneath the surface was the potential for a powerful eruption.

As I prayed into the picture and asked the Lord for added discernment, He showed me that these volcanoes were a metaphor for the relationships we have around the country through RYFO. We have many relationships with individuals who share our heart to see transformation in the lives of musicians. As I continued praying the Lord revealed that, in order for these volcanoes to erupt, there needs to be a kickstart.

In light of the conference topic, I saw this picture as a prophetic representation of the current state of RYFO and a proclamation of the type of potential that exists. I am ready to see a Movement of God sweep through the Music Industry as individuals are activated and the Gospel flows out from them to transform the land around them.

-Simeon

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Our amazing view from the 6th floor of our resort! God was so good to us!


As mentioned above by Simeon, there are many things we could share about our experience in Cancun. God’s movement was evident and refreshing! Personally, I experienced God healing me on a deep level,and like Simeon mentioned, God was a Master Surgeon who worked skillfully on me, meeting my every need and removing the “junk” that has been building up over time.

One area of my life that God dealt with was my ever increasing anxiety. As a new mom, I have been slowly gathering more and more reasons to be anxious, even though I knew this was not God’s intent for me, I found myself suffocating with worry and fear over potential harms and danger that could affect my son.

God highlighted this dangerous sin in my life and removed it from me at the same time! I cannot pin point the exact moment it happened, but around the 2nd and 3rd day of the conference I felt lighter and more free than I had felt in months! During a time of worship I was praising God for the experience of freedom and it hit me: MY ANXIETY IS GONE!

A month after the conference I am happy to report that the anxiety has not returned and that feeling of freedom has taken root in my heart and shifted my perspective.

Another exciting takeaway from the conference is our newfound vision and direction for this school year at Concordia and what follows next; our dreams are BIG! And while our dreams cannot be shared just yet, we are confident that God is moving in our lives and grateful for His loving presence. Stay tuned for more!

-Johanna

A Season of Transition

Would you ever consider raising support to live as a missionary? Johanna asked me this question nearly 3 years ago and my answer at the time was an emphatic no. Since then God has done significant work in my life regarding my view on finances and I stand today at the precipice of a major career change that will place me in just that kind of lifestyle; living as a support raised missionary to the music industry.

So what changed? It began with my participation in a leadership mentoring group through an organization called CRM. This group put me in direct contact with people that are living a support raised life and helped me discover a new sense of direction and calling. Ultimately I found myself pointed towards getting involved with RYFO where I have volunteered for a year and a half. My involvement with CRM and RYFO have adjusted my perspective on life as a missionary and brought me to a place of true confidence that God is calling me into this type of lifestyle.

This season of transition has proven to be a process requiring a lot of patience! Daily I’m torn between my current job and my volunteer role with RYFO which is where my creativity and passions truly come alive. There’s no way of predicting how long it will take to develop the base of support that enables me to dedicate my full attention to RYFO. So in the meantime, as this process plays itself out, I’m learning to thrive despite the feeling of division I wrestle with each day. I’m driven by the confidence of God’s leading and the passion I feel for the work we are doing within RYFO.

Until next time…

Sim

For more details on my story you can watch the video Johanna and I made about this season of transition.