Efrem Smith serves as Pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church and board chair of The Sanctuary Community Development Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He also hosts the radio program, “A Time for Reconciliation” and is the author of the book, Raising-up Young Heroes. His column, The Urban Take is featured in Youth Worker Journal.
Here are my notes from Efrem’s message on the third plenary session. Near the end of the message, I stopped taking notes as I was drawn in by Efrem’s compelling and inspiring words.
We do not have it in ourselves to bring the kingdom of God
BIG IDEA: “God desires to advance our kingdom through our transformed and transforming lives and churches.”
We are transformed but also transforming at the same time; we are delivered and being delivered at the same time.
If we are going to live transformed and transforming lives, if we are going to lead transformed and transforming churches, then we are going to have to understand some pivotal points of the Kingdom of God
We must have kingdom urgency:
- Parable of 10 Bridesmaids: 5 wise & 5 foolish (Matthew 25:1-13)
- Job of the Bridesmaids is to Prepare the Bride
- Are we alert and aware?
- Is your heart open and ready for a people, a place
- Evangelism & outreach
We need to be about kingdom multiplication:
- Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)
- Slaves in this context are in that place because they owe a debt to the master, but here the master gives resources to the slaves
- God has given us natural and supernatural gifts, a hunger and thirst, experiences, passion
- Discipleship – equipping & empowering people – helping people understand their gifts and passions for service (Willow’s Network)
→ there should not be a division between evangelism & compassion/justice; God is not divided about these things
No church is too small or under-resourced to walk alongside of those who need help, who need food, who need school supplies…alongside of schools that need help…alongside of marriages that need help
[This is part of a series of note-posts from the Exponential 2010 conference.]