MOMENTUM ENCOURAGING TO WORSHIP | WALK | WITNESS
November 2012 | Issue 2
Issue Focus: Relationship
| gmi vision
It is the dream of a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated, and the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness, guidance and encouragement. It is the dream of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with hundreds of thousands of residents in and around Mumbai It is the dream of welcoming 10,000 members into the fellowship of our church family-loving, learning, laughing and living in harmony together. It is the dream of developing people to spiritual maturity through discipling and bible studies, small groups, seminars, retreats and a Bible school for our members. It is the dream of equipping every believer for a significant ministry by helping them discover gifts and talents God gave them. It is the dream of sending our members on short- term mission projects and as missionaries & church workers into major cities of India, to different states within India, to our neighboring countries and ultimately to other nations of the world. It is the dream of planting daughter- churches in every local language. It is the dream of becoming â€œSalt and lightâ€? in the community, thereby influencing every sphere around us with the Kingdom values, namely sphere of families, education, judiciary, arts & entertainment, Media, politics, business, industry, economics, social services, etc.
6 cover story Open Home by Rebecca Isaac
Cover Photo Courtesy | Crisma & Jacob
Momentum is published in India by the Gateway Ministries family of churches, for circulation among members. Subscription free.
Editorial Mohan Varqhese
Chief Editor Mohan Varghese
Covenant Relationships Immanuel Bundellu
Editorial Team Stanley Mehta David Selvan
Cells Shinnie Steven
Glorifying God in our relationships Edison Dâ€™Souza
Nehemiahâ€™s 5 steps to conflict resolution
One another study Rev Dr. Theodore Solomon Shashikant
New Church plants
News makers report
Nepal Misson Report
Titles worth a read
Editorial Consultants Anand Mahadevan Shobha Sreekumaran Design & Production Philipose Vaidyar Published by Gateway Ministries International B 215, 2nd floor (Deck Level), Belapur Railway Station Complex Tower no. 10, CBD, Navi Mumbai400 614 Maharashtra, India Telephone: +91- 2222150654 / 22189036 Email: email@example.com
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are taken from the New International Version of the Bible. Articles featured in Momentum reflect the opinion of the authors and not necessarily those of Momentum or GMI family of churches - Editor
8 10 18 22
“ Church is made of living stones, joined together to be a temple of God.
You may have at some time been shown the word CH__ __CH and were asked “what’s missing?” And the response was “UR”! You may have smiled because you too believe that church is more than just a building or meeting place. Church is people who are called to be a community – people who love God and love each other. We cannot be church if we do not come together and see the need to know one another beyond the “hi, how are you today?” or “Hope we can get to know each other better” clichés we often use. In this second issue of Momentum, we present an important value cherished by our churches – RELATIONSHIPS. We have articles by people who live in community and have seen what difference relationships make. In this issue we talk about the “Open Home” and why we value it and how it has helped to shape the church as a family. There is an article about Covenant Relationships, one about Conflict - ‘Glorifying God in our relationships”, a study on the many “One Anothers” that appear in the epistles and about “ The Cell group” and why it is import,ant. Some of our common fears about community have to do with ‘measuring-up’ to others expectations, ‘opening up’ to strangers, or whether we will be accepted at all. There is the feeling that church is for the ‘holy Joe’s’ and not for the average Christian who stumbles through life trying to do what pleases God and is right and proper by church standards. In the New Testament we see church was not made up of
the perfect few but rather of Christians learning to be a community with common goals – ‘in the world, but not of it”` Church is made of living stones, joined together to be a temple of God. When people live together and come from different backgrounds, cultures and vocations, it will require dropping of their guard and taking off masks to get close to others and build strong friendships. Of course coming together also leads to disagreements and conflicts when we are faced with others views of what the Bible says, their ideas, prejudices and biases, preferences etc. This issue also has some interesting reads – the Mission Nepal Report, Newsmakers in GMI, New Church plants and also Happenings in the last few months caught on camera. You will read what readers had to say about the first issue of Momentum, spend a few lighter moments seeing the funny side of church life and we also offer you the challenge of doing an interesting Crossword about angels. We hope this issue will truly impact you and help you to build strong relationships with others in your church. Do send in your feedback on the form at Page 25. Please email your reply to firstname.lastname@example.org Mohan
Mohan Varghese pastors the Grace Tabernacle Ministries and oversees their churches. He is married to Sareeta and have three sons Adarsh, Ashok and Alex, the eldest is married to Tiqvah-El and they have a daughter Mireya.
| readers write
Quality production! Content is gracious yet challenging. The Scriptures are the authority. Impressed with vulnerability of each contributor. graphics excellent | Barney Coombs, Canada
Great tool to present the inner core values to the GMI families. Need to have some lighter shade to the content so all age groups would read. Language and style seem to come across colloquial. Could get the youth to e-design the cover according to the theme | Jaya Abraham, Mumbai
Liked the quick-paced articles, the neat layouts and the eye-friendly font and size. I look forward to humour pieces and 'news in pictures' features in the next
A nice medium of communication. Consider including a short word study. A column to counter world views & isms that our church members
| Ingrid Albuquerque, Bangalore
| Cliﬀord, Canada
Your 'hindrances to discipleship' took the cake. I had never ever read something listed like this before - thank you. Dedicate half a page maybe to holy laughter in the form of comic strips
Content is good but design needs changes. Colours not consistent, image resolution not good | Viji Mathew, Vizag
| Clive Coelho, Thane
The articles on are particularly very helpful especially for us in Uganda. We tend to get many converts at crusades and outreaches but lose them very fast. I realise that a lot has to do with lack of proper Discipleship. I would appreciate your blessing to utilise the contents in training my leaders | Titus, Oundo, Uganda
The journey and experiences of different contributors was very interesting and encouraging. We Look forward to next issue | Shiela
| cover story
“ The whole concept of ‘Open Home’ has had a purpose. It has helped to build strong relationships.” “Come, follow me”, Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
Open Homes by Rebecca Issac
Seeing church diﬀerently I came to Bombay as a young person in the year 1986; I stayed in the Y.W.C.A Hostel at Colaba and became part of the Bombay Baptist Church. It was here that I got introduced to the concept of the practice of an ‘Open Home’ by Stanley, and his wife Esme, who were pastoring the church. There were people in their home, especially young people, almost all the time. Most often, these young people would just chill out or would be sharing their problems or receiving counsel from Stanley or his wife. If any of them had a reason to celebrate, then the venue was always Stanley’s house. This was also applicable when any of them had difficult or painful moments, Our discovery of the Open Home Subsequently, I became a part of Sree & Shobha’s Cell group. Their home was also an example of an ‘Open Home’. They gave themselves selflessly to all who knocked on their door. In spite of having a young family with limited resources, they joyfully shared all they had with others. After my work, I would go over to Sree’s place and spend time
with Shobha. She would instruct, correct, encourage and help me through my difficult times. I have also stayed with them in their small onebedroom flat and felt welcomed.. In the meantime my husband Issac, was similarly, part of Mohan & Sareeta’s Cell group. Their open home encouraged him and caused him to mature as a young Christian. Being obedient to a new revelation Romans 12:13 says, ‘Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.’ This is what I saw my leaders model. Many things are caught rather than taught. So, when I got married, and started my own home, practising an ‘Open Home’ was one thing I wanted to follow. But there were some hindrances to this desire. The first being, I was not a good cook and it put a lot of stress on me. My mentors shared with me that it was not the food, but the fellowship that was important. This advice helped to ease off the stress of having to serve great food all the time when people dropped in. Another seeming hindrance was that our home had limited infrastructure (no
running water, not enough furniture etc.). But again it was a command from scripture in Luke10: 40, 41, where Jesus tells Martha not to get distracted with preparations and comforts. Thirdly I was afraid that keeping an ‘Open Home’ would eat into our already limited family time, However, I can say with all honesty that the benefits and blessings of an Open Home far outweighed the hindrances. The start of a new journey We went out and bought a carom board and UNO cards for the youngsters who would come after church service on Sunday for food and fun. As our hearts and homes were open, people in turn would open their lives to us and we were able to minister to them in love. The Open Home is a perfect setting to add value, to build deeper and lasting relationships, and to honour people, and disciple new believers, who come to our church. This is also a good place to train up our children in godly living.
As they were growing up, our sons were not too happy being part of an open home. They resented doing chores in the house and helping us in the tidying and clearing up. However, it had its benefits. They learnt to be organised, tidy and, most importantly ,to share. As it is said “more things are caught than taught”, today, in their young adult years, they invite their friends home and don't consider it to be a trouble having so many people around. They want their friends to feel welcome and at home in our place. This makes me hopeful that they too would practice Christian hospitality in their own homes. One of the purposes for which God created us, is to have fellowship with him. It is a part of our friendship with God. In 1 Peter 4:9, He has asked us
to be hospitable to one another without complaint. This must be a good enough reason for us to share our homes with others. Big deal – it’s been worth it! When I look back, the last 25 years of married life, I can confidently say that our home has been a place where the broken hearted were healed, the hungry were fed, the poor were clothed as written in Isaiah 58:6. The C.B.D church has also emerged from the home that has been open. I would also say with great gratitude that where I am today and who I am today is partly credited to my leader s who had their hearts and homes open for me. The whole concept of ‘Open Home’ has had a purpose. It has helped to build strong relationships.
About the author: Rebecca lives in Navi Mumbai with her husband Issac and two sons, Jacob and Jeremy. Issac and Rebecca pastor the church in CBD Belapur and oversee the GMI churches in Navi Mumbai now known as Lighthouse Ministries.
Quotes to ponder Individualism is sin. It does injury to the Body of Christ. Fellowship in the Body is always two-way – receiving and giving | Watchman Nee It is by functioning that we discover life. The life of the whole Body is hampered and impoverished by the burial of the single talents | Watchman Nee Unity is the soul of fellowship. Destroy it and you rip the heart out of Christ’s Body | Rick Warren Acceptance is an act of the heart. To accept someone is to affirm to them that you think it’s a very good thing they are alive | John Ortberg I really only love God as much as much as I love the person I love the least | Dorothy Day You and I were created by God to be so much more than normal. Following the crowd is not a winning approach to life. In the end it’s a loser’s game, because we never become who God created us to be by trying to be like everybody else | Tim Tebow The secret of my success over the 400 metres is that I run the first 200 metres as hard as I can. Then, for the second 200 metres, with God’s help, I run harder | Eric Liddell
“Come, follow me”, Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
Covenant Relationships by Immanuel Bundellu
Growing up in Bombay Baptist Church, I was taught sound doctrine in Sunday School. As God began to renew our church, we discovered new truths in the Bible and one such revelation was -- God of covenant.
My first covenant was when I accepted the Scriptures as standard and the Holy Spirit as guide for my life. It helped me to face the challenges of college life. I entered into this in stages and it changed my character, bit by bit.
Kingdom of God is defined by covenant relationships.
Covenant Contract: With my second covenant, I submitted to Charles Lazaro, who was my pastor then, for discipleship. I began spending most of my free time with him, learning values from his life.
Beginning with God’s relationship with Man, we see the commitment of Christ to His church, and the covenant bond within the family. Covenant relationships vary in degrees of permanence. They can be a time bound oath to complete a task e.g. Eliezer’s covenant with Abraham to bring a bride for Isaac from Abraham’s kindred (Genesis 24:8-9), or an oath that is binding for life, such as a wedding covenant. Covenant Consent: This is a decision taken about any course of action. Job said “I have made a covenant with my eyes” (Job31:1.). It was a decision not to look lustfully on women. Similarly decisions to follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, etc (1 Tim 6:11) are covenant consents.
When Charles Lazaro left for Australia, his last message to the church was “Stand with Stanley”. With that, my covenant submission was transferred to Stanley Mehta, who took over the functions of a pastor. Stan continued shaping my life by faithfully correcting me, whenever he saw the need. And so, covenant relationships were strengthened and multiplied as many more were added to that small group. We need to recognise that such functional covenants are for a season, and specific purposes. Purposes may change, but we are always in covenant relationships. I have discovered that discipleship moves from submission to servant hood and then to friendship.
Covenant Community: This is a network of covenant relationships. Since marriage is a covenant, children born in the family are also part of that covenant. I was included in covenant community when I was born again into God’s family. One of the reasons why Esau was rejected by God was because he broke the covenant of brotherhood. When the enemy attacked Israel, the people of Edom helped the enemy rather than protecting their brother Israelites (Amos 1:11), In church, I often met people who were so much like me that I could not get along with them. Such relationships reenforced / refreshed my past hurts, and threatened this covenant. However, continuous forgiveness and holy forgetfulness, is the key to resolving conflicts within church family. I have discovered that resentments cannot be solved once and for all. They need to be re-solved as they crop up. I could not harbour resentments for a long time.
Big Tom and I are covenant brothers. Since our college days and through many phases of life, we have stood together. We used to say blood may be thicker than water, but Spirit is stronger. Like an iron sharpens iron we have sharpened each other speaking the truth in love. Honouring covenant brotherhood meant I would not speak against him, nor agree with those who spoke ill about him, instead become peacemaker as far as possible. Often God knits souls of people like he did with David and Jonathan (1Sam 18:1). That is what happened with Mohan and me. From the day we met the relationship grew rapidly. Mohan and Munni helped me through the darkest days of my life.
This relationship connected Tom, Gita, Mohan, Munni, Joyce and me, but it was not exclusive. Later, it also extended to children born to them (1Jn5;1) and subsequently, to those from their churches who also were joined to them. Both Tom and Mohan have moved to different cities, though there is no longer proximity or regular contact, our covenant bond remains. Decisions, agreements and relationships become covenants when God is made a witness. Purpose of covenant relationships is determined by the scriptures and degree of their permanence is decided by the Spirit of God.
“What God has joined, no one can separate”
About the author: Immanuel Bundellu is part of Bombay Baptist Church since 1965. He is married to Rachel. He serves as General Manager – Fair Trade at Asha Handicrafts, an export company in Mumbai. He is committed to bringing about social justice to the artisans through Fair Trade practices.
Quotes to Ponder When someone loves you, the way they say your name is diﬀerent. You know that your name is safe in their mouth | Jess C Scott God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are | Billy Graham People who have good relationships at home are more eﬀective in the marketplace | Zig Ziglar Our society is filled with runaways, dropouts, and quitters. The epidemic of walking away has hit our land with eﬀects as devastating as the bubonic plague, and it has destroyed millions of eﬀective lives and relationships. We are so selfcentred that we have ceased to lay down our lives for others. We have seen others faint or walk away and we have followed in their weakness. We have fainted when we could have persevered by exchanging our strength for His! With His strength, not only could we have kept on walking, we could have run! | Kay Arthur There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage | Martin Luther Over-sensitivity is another trait at which generally marks the soulish. Very diﬃcult are they to live with because they interpret every move around them as aimed at them. When neglected they become angry. When they suspect changing attitudes towards them, they are hurt. They easily become intimate with people, for they literally thrive on such aﬀection. They exhibit the sentiment of inseparability. A slight change in such a relationship will give their soul unutterable pains. And thus these people are deceived into thinking they are suﬀering for the Lord | Watchman Nee Aloneness can lead to loneliness. God's preventative for loneliness is intimacy - meaningful, open, sharing relationships with one another. In Christ we have the capacity for the fulfilling sense of belonging which comes from intimate fellowship with God and with other believers | Neil T Anderson To be loved by God is the highest relationship, the highest achievement, and the highest position in life | Henry Blackaby
Cells by Shinnie Steven
About 20 years back, I came to Mumbai to pursue my masters at Kalina University. I was young, enthusiastic, full of zeal for God, and kind of ‘lost’ in the big city’. I made a friend, named Juno in the university, who introduced me to Bombay Baptist Church, Andheri Unit. Coming from Chennai, I was used to ‘charismatic’ messages that could charge your emotions, and make you respond to altar calls every Sunday. The worship in the services in Chennai had great music, great singing and equally ‘great’ worship leaders. When compared to Chennai, I was disappointed with the church services, and wondered if I should go back. At that time my friend took me to the mid-week Cell group meeting. They were small enough for everyone to know each other well, and at the same time not become invasive of our ‘space’. My single days in Mumbai could have been very lonely if not for the Cell groups. Community: Going to the Cell group every week gave me a sense of community. I realized that I now belonged somewhere and that I had
people to go to and depend on. This helped me live in the ‘big, bad’ city of Mumbai. In 1 Corinthians 12, we read that we need one another and ‘cannot manage alone’. According to the Scripture, it is wrong to think that we don’t need other Christians to continue our walk with the Lord. The Bible encourages us to nurture the right kind of inter-dependence and the Cell groups help us do that. This interdependence does not mean that other people run our lives. We are not puppets, manipulated by other members. But in a real sense, we are learning that each of us is our brother's keeper. We were specifically told to help to bear one another's burdens. (Ron Trudinger – Cells for Life) In the Cell group that I went to, I found encouragement, a feeling of identity, rootedness, acceptance, recognition and I also found myself slowly breaking the walls I had built around myself and started to allow others to speak into my life and I was also given the opportunity to be a burden bearer for someone else.
Change: When I first came to Bombay (as it was then called), I had a lot of emotional baggage. I had built strong walls around me and would not allow anyone to break those walls. I felt it was a sign of weakness to allow people to see the real me, and therefore, put on a front of being strong emotionally and mentally. Going to the Cell group meetings changed that slowly. In the more intimate relationships of a homefellowship, under leaders, who lovingly cared for me, I began to drop my masks, my self -sufficiency and my resistance to people. I allowed them to speak into my life, which kept me on course with God. As I slowly allowed people to speak into my life, I realized that it was alright to be myself, and found acceptance, despite all my baggage Contribution: In a large church setup it’s not really possible for everyone to be involved in teaching and leading worship on Sundays; but in a Cell group every member can be involved in teaching, leading in worship, praying and even running the Cell group. It encourages involvement and thereby,
growth in the gifting that God has given us. ‘There is nothing comparable to the small Cell group for ensuring constant personal fulfillment. Many people too diffident to pray, testify, or take part in a large service, can find their tongue much more easily in a group of fifteen or so. Each Cell group, moreover, becomes a kind of mini-church within the wider local church. Therefore all sorts of ministries such as visiting the sick, collection of tithes and offerings, exposition of Bible themes and the use of the Holy Spirit's gifts can be developed in the small local sphere. Latent talents, which we all have, are brought out in each, to a degree that is quite impossible in a large congregation’ (Ron Trudinger – Cells for Life).
Some tips for the Cell goers:
Thanks to the models I had when I was still single. We now enjoy having Cell groups in our own home. I enjoy having an open home, and see people come and build relationships with one another, and grow in the things of God. Hosting singles in our home is a pleasurable experience, especially, since I know their needs in a city like Mumbai.
Life is busy and will only get busier. Take time off mid-week to attend a Cell, and it will recharge you to move on or face life for the rest of the week. If you arrive early, don’t sit down waiting to be served. Go and be of help to the family by helping in the kitchen, or with the baby or clearing the room for the others to sit. Help in clearing up after the Cell is done. Remember you are a family member now and not a guest. Singles should not stay back till very late, unless you are sleeping over, or have been invited to stay over. Your hosts too need to unwind and retire for the day.
Some things to keep in mind when starting/running a Cell
Have games in the beginning to break the ice or to remove the tiredness from work. It helps people unwind and relax When sharing the Word, make it very interactive. Ask open ended questions and invite responses. It helps people to stay focused and they will remember the Word long after it is discussed It does not matter how big or small your house is. What matters is, how
big your heart is; and that is easily gauged by anyone who comes into your house. It does not matter how clean your house is. What matters is that people should feel “at home” when they come to your home It does not matter how fancy your cooking is. What matters is that you care enough to make the ‘chai’ and ‘poha’ or even chips so that people can spend time in fellowship while they snack.
About the author: Shinnie Steven has been part of the GMI family since 1994. She is a professional counselor and presently works with Human Dynamic, an organization that provides counseling services to corporates. She is married to Steven and they have two daughters, Sheena and Sara who are 13 and 10 years old.
Why Cell Groups Matter? by Amrita Sahu Coming from a non-Christian home, Church was a place to meet people in a group, but with little scope for meaningful interpersonal friendships. I was involved in carrying out assigned responsibilities like praying or taking care of the needs of new comers. But it was the Cell groups that became very dear to my heart. It was there that I began to feel like being a part of a family. I could share views, ask doubts regarding Bible, discuss in depth and yet, not feel threatened. I remember one of the series that was done in the Cell group - Enemies of the Soul. It was a big eye opener for me. The author had explicitly described about how the enemy could ensnare us through the various personal traits that we had. There were two topics in the series that completely changed my life. The first one was, Anger. Everyone in that cell related to it. This made it easy for me to share my weaknesses and also listen to the others too. We worked on the issues in our personal lives together, helping one another.. The second topic was the issue of the ‘I’ factor. This brought a major change in my life. Whenever I had to use the word ‘I’ in my conversations, I would ask myself a couple of questions like, “Why did I use it? Was it because of pride? These revelations and conscious efforts to work on my character weaknesses were possible only through the encouragement that I found in the Cell groups.
“Come, follow me”, Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
Glorifying God in our relationships by Edison D’Sousa
Conflict Resolution Sometimes I have wondered how difficult it is for Christians to get along with each other, especially, when the Bible says we will be known by our love. I had a Christian roommate in college. We loved the Lord dearly and are still very good friends. There was one thing that we both had in common, that is, a desire to keep our room clean, and the inability to do it ourselves. Don’t get me wrong. We were not lazy. I have a crazy dust allergy. Within moments of starting the job, I would be knocked down with a terrible bout of sneezing. His problem was that he suffered with bronchial asthma. Both of us hoped that the other would do the dreadful cleaning as we longed to keep the room dust free. Neither of us attempted to clean. When one of us suggested that we clean the room, the other would come up with an excuse and escape the task. In the beginning, we would joyfully display Christian love and do it alone. With time, there was irritation, which then finally, erupted into a fight. These kinds of conflicts are common – among siblings, spouses, colleagues, as well as friends. For instance, it is sometimes a mammoth task to plan a
simple picnic, if more than one mind is allowed to speak up. Each person has a will, a plan and a preference and it is hard to submit to one another. If you think that you are struggling with personal conflicts, then stay assured that you are not the only one. And that is why it would not be presumptuous to presuppose that all meaningful relationships have had, and will have conflicts to various degrees, and for diverse reasons. Personal conflicts have been there from the dawn of humanity In the book of Genesis we read about various conflicts. Conflicts due to sibling rivalries (Cain and Abel), marital issues (Jacob and Rachael concerning her barrenness), unfair wages (Jacob and Laban) and others are some of them. Organizational conflicts have been in the church since its inception The early church began with a remarkable blend of close community and simmering conflict. The Book of Acts describes a peaceful atmosphere: “All the believers were together and had everything in common… Every day they continued to
meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved2” Only a couple of pages later, however, the situation has changed. Not only is the church threatened by outside enemies, but the extraordinary unity within, was apparently short-lived. Complaints arose about the way the church was caring for widows. Later, the church was divided over lifestyle expectations for new converts. Still later, Paul and Barnabas sharply disagreed over a staffing decision, and they parted ways. Procedures, prerequisites, personnel— are all areas that continue to challenge church unity today.3 Why do we have conflicts? We are selfish people because of our ‘sinful nature’. We desire to have everything our way. When we cannot have our way, we may get angry, harbour bitterness or even slander or assault ad hominem the other party. In either way, a full-fledged frontal attack or a cold war, we end up with a conflict in our relationship.
A key principle to remember The golden rule in the Scripture is that all things must proceed from love and must glorify God. When conflict arises, our attitudes and behaviours should reflect our new life in Christ, given by the Holy Spirit who lives within us. We are to be Spirit-controlled and not fleshcontrolled, or out of control. Paul warned the new believers: “But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another2” Much of our conflict is because we act out of the flesh. “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these3”. The Holy Spirit is opposed to each of these works of the flesh. Instead of acting out of the flesh, we must be led by the Spirit and display the fruit of the Spirit Some lessons I have learnt Staying silent is a terrible thing. Before you think I advocate bellowing your lungs out, allow me to clarify. If you are the kind that does not open up easily, then you are like me. We cause more damage by staying silent. We must speak up. We must allow the other person to know our thoughts and what hurt us, without sounding like we are blaming the other person, even though our opinion is that he is at fault. Speak to restore relationships. Our goal in speaking up must not be to prove that we are right. On the contrary,
we must do all things to glorify God. God is glorified in our peace-making. We must submit to one another and esteem one another even in the midst of conflict. Seek godly counsel in resolving conflict. Sometimes our conflicts cannot be resolved between us and the other person. The Bible teaches us not to take this up to outsiders. We must seek help from among our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Speak to the elders in the church and get the matter resolved. God enables us to love by first loving us. The good news is that God never commands us to love without first loving us. We are free to love because we are greatly loved ourselves. Just as secure children have their parents’ love in their emotional bank, so Christians have the assurance of their heavenly Father’s love. The love of God checks us, when we are tempted to dislike or reject a fellow Christian. Saying we love God and hating a Christian brother or sister doesn’t fit. Loving others isn’t just a nice thought. It’s God’s command4. The quality of all our relationships — with family, church, neighbors and strangers — is a sign of our relationship with God. It’s very likely that if we’re in a bad relationship with someone else, we’re also in a bad relationship with God.5
So let us owe each other nothing but the debt of love!
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Acts 2:44-47). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society. 2
Dobson, E., Leas, S., & Shelley, M. (1992). Mastering conflict & Controversy. Mastering Ministry (15–16). Portland, OR; Carol Stream, IL: Multnomah Press; Christianity Today, Inc. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Gal 5:15). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society. 3
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Gal 5:19–21). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society. 4
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (1 Jn 4:20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society. 5
Knowles, A. (2001). The Bible guide (1st Augsburg books ed.) (690). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg. Mark
About the Author: Edison pastors Cross Cultured Church. He is married to Lauren. They live in Mysore with their mischievous daughter Allegra and dog Bella.
Humour A minister, a Boy Scout, and a computer expert were the only passengers on a small plane. The pilot came back to the cabin and said that the plane was going down but there were only three parachutes and four people. The pilot added, “I should have one of he parachutes because I have a wife and three small children.” So he took one and jumped. The computer whiz said, “I should have one of the parachutes because I am the smartest man in the world and everyone needs me.” So he took one and jumped. The minister turned to the Boy Scout and with a sad smile said, “You are young and I have lived a rich life, so you take the remaining parachute, and I’ll go down with the plane.” The boy Scout said, “Relax, Reverend, the smartest man in the world just picked up my knapsack and jumped out!
Nehemiah’s 5 steps to conflict resolution An Excerpt from Rick Warren In Nehemiah 5 the Israelites face conflict for the same reason we do today – selfishness. So what can we learn from Nehemiah about handling conflict? 1. Get angry. (v. 6) Nehemiah didn’t ignore the problem, he took it seriously. When the unity of your church gets challenged, it’s your job to protect the unity of your church. It’s serious business. In times like this anger is completely appropriate and right. There is the right kind of anger and the wrong kind of anger. Leadership is knowing the difference. A pastor who doesn’t have enough fire in his belly to get angry about disunity isn’t much of a leader. 2. Think before you speak. (v. 7) If you only do step one and ignore step two, you’ll get in lots of trouble. Nehemiah 5:7 says, “I pondered them in my mind.” Nehemiah stopped, got alone with God and thought about what he was going to do. He asked God, “What do YOU want me to do?” You should get angry when disunity threatens your church, but you have to think before you act. You can’t just act on that anger. James 1:19-20 says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not
produce the righteousness that God desires
wall. It took guts to confront them publicly.
3. Rebuke the person individually. (v. 7) Go directly to the source.. Nehemiah does that: “I pondered them in my mind then I accused the nobles and officials. I told them `You are exacting usury from your own countrymen!’” (5:7, NIV)
You too have to deal with problems to the degree that they are known. If the problem has spread to the whole church, then you have to deal with the problem publicly.
Nehemiah isn’t making a polite social visit. He’s not watering it down. He is confronting the troublemakers. You and I are called to do that to when disunity threatens our church. Titus 3:10-11 says, “Warn a derisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self condemned.” (NIV) Warning troublemakers is an important task of ministry. 4. Publicly deal with public divisions. (v.7) In Nehemiah’s situation, everyone knew that the rich people were ripping off the poor. He had to deal with it publicly. Nehemiah 5:7 says when going privately to the rich officials didn’t work, he called together a large meeting to deal with them. It must have been a tough conversation considering it was probably the rich officials paying most of the expenses to rebuild the
5. Set an example of unselfishness. (v. 13) Nehemiah led the way in unselfishness. It was the foundation of his leadership. When he asked them to rebuild the wall, he was out on the wall rebuilding it. When he asked them to pray, he had already been praying. When he asked them to work night and day to get it built, he did the same. When he asked them to help the poor, we find out in verse 13 he’d already been doing it. Nehemiah never asked anyone to do what he wasn’t already doing or willing to do. Leaders only ask others to do what they are already doing. Churches have fewer conflicts when their leaders live unselfishly and model that to the congregation. You’re going to have disagreements in your church. There’s no perfect church. But God wants us to minimize disunity in our church for His glory. The testimony of a church should not be the beautiful buildings, great sermons, or lovely music — but how they love one another.
| word study
One another by Dr Theodore Solomon Shashikant
The maturity of a Christian can be measured by the way he relates himself to the world around him. It is noted in today’s Christendom that many boast of our Christian maturity, but fall facedown in our relationships. During my college days, in one of our medical college fellowships, a meeting was called for after a disastrous Christmas outreach program. It was disastrous because of the miscommunication between a senior leader and her subordinates. There were heated arguments and discussions for 1 ½ hours in the meeting, just to pin down the erring one, who, by now, was sitting confused at the corner of the room, with his head in his hands. I sat there helplessly witnessing a ‘dog fight’ (Galatians 5:15 – But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one anotherNKJV) seeking the face of GOD for an answer. Finally, I stood up. Everyone in the room settled down, but some of their faces still red, burning with anger. I opened my mouth and questioned, “It
______ one another’s feet. (John 13:14)
Love one another (John 13:34)
Be _______ to one another. (Romans 12:10)
______ one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
Live in ________ with one another. (Romans 12:16)
Stop passing __________on one another. (Romans 14:13)
Greet one another. (Romans 16:16)
Agree with one another. (1 Corinthians 1:10)
Relationships are the test for our spiritual maturity.
_______ one another in love. (Galatians 5:13)
‘ONE ANOTHER’ S in the Scriptures:
Be completely humble & gentle; be patient bearing with one another. (Ephesians 4:2)
_______ to one another out of reverence to Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)
is good that we are over enthusiastic to find out the person who is at fault. But after finding him out how many of us are willing to forgive him?” Tears rolled down from the eyes of the person who was at fault. There was silence for about 10 minutes. To my surprise, except for the senior leader (who was expected to be mature) and her favorites, all the others came forward to accept the person who was at fault. (Romans 15:7 - Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God-NIV).
Do not ________ one another (Leviticus 19:11)
Show ______ and _________ to one another ( Zechariah 7:9)
Bearing with one another and __________ one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you so you also must do.
What motivated Barnabas to take Mark along? ‣
He hoped that the trip would be good for Mark.
Teach & _________ one another. ( Colossians 3:16)
He wanted to give Mark a second chance.
Encourage one another. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
______ one another on towards love (Hebrews 10:14)
What motivated Paul to exclude Mark from the trip?
Do not _______ one another ( James 4:11)
Offer ________ to one another. (1 Peter 4:9)
inspite of the disagreement, encourages me. Which of the disagreements given below seem diﬃcult for you to settle? Why? ‣
Disagreements with strangers
Disagreements with co-workers
Disagreements with friends
Disagreements about important matters
He was hurt by Mark abandoning the first mission before it was complete.
Disagreements with family
Disagreements about trivial things
He didn’t think of Mark as dependable.
Have __________ with one another. ( 1 John 1:7)
Disagreements with people in the church.
But if you ______ and _____ one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another. (Galatians 5:15)
He wanted to punish Mark for his previous behavior mentioned in Acts 15:38
How did Paul and Barnabas reconcile their diﬀerences?
Accept one another then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7)
ACTS 15:36-45 Read the passage and answer the following questions: Paul and Barnabas had recently cooperated to help settle a disagreement regarding circumcision for Gentile converts to Christianity (Acts 15:1-35). After that, Paul suggested taking a trip to visit the new believers in the towns where they had previously preached. What did Barnabas think of that idea? ‣
It was a good idea
It was a bad idea
Barnabas wanted to take John Mark along on the trip. What did Paul think of that idea?
He knew Mark would get on Paul’s nerves.
They talked to the elders and received their input.
They talked it over and prayed until they were united.
They didn’t; their disagreement was so sharp that they decided to part ways.
Which of the following is more important than the other? ‣ ‣
That John Mark should travel with Paul and Barnabas, on another trip. That a Gentile must be circumcised in order to become a true follower of Christ.
These two great men in the New Testament could only settle a disagreement by agreeing to go their separate ways. How does that make you feel? ‣
It was a good idea It was a bad idea ‣
If they couldn’t get along then how can I hope to get along? I’m glad that the Bible is honest about the struggles that we all have, even after we decide to follow Jesus. The fact that God is able to bring out something good out of this,
It is appropriate to note here, that when the Apostles were afraid to receive Paul as one of them, it was Barnabas who testified about Paul’s conversion and encouraged them to receive him (Acts 9:26-28). However, Paul did not want John Mark to accompany him in his mission trips, while Barnabas was determined to take John along. Seasons later, Paul understands the need of John in his ministry, and asks Timothy to bring John Mark along with him (2 Timothy 4:11). Paul says “he is useful to me for ministry”. We need each other, if not now, may be later!!
About the author: Dr. Theodore Solomon Shashikanth has accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior in the year 1998. Since then, he has been actively involved in serving medical students in Andhra Pradesh. At present, he is a practicing doctor and simultaneously pastors Grace Community Church, one of the branches of Grace Tabernacle Ministries, Vizag. He is married to Dr. Vennela, a Psychiatrist and they are blessed with one son, Jeshua Nischal.
New church plants Kingdom Generation Church (KGC) is the first off shoot of Crossway Community Church at Secundearbad. Hyderabad is a thriving metropolis, vibrant and full of youth working in IT/ BPO centers. This large urban population seeks to find life and meaning on weekends at pubs, malls and places offering entertainment. Rakesh & Jerusha have felt a call of God to pioneer this new Church plant at Hi-Tech city, to reach out to these young professionals. KGC aims to advance God’s rule and righteousness into the lives of the young generation of this city. Comprising mainly of young professionals, this church hopes to give direction and purpose through the gospel of Jesus Christ, to people who are blinded by the media, glamour, addictions and depressions. KGC offers friendship, building bridges through the Open homes, connecting seekers to Jesus. We know that “Greater things are yet to come; greater things are still to be done in this city”. Members of KGC are excited and declare with joy “Lord we delight in Your rule, Your Kingdom’s advancing and Lord we are moving with You” Amen.
A spacious 100 seat capacity hall with rooms for Sunday school will soon be constructed for the Zamorin church by a rich Brahmin and is expected to be ready for use by 15th April 2013.
The Zamorin Church was established towards the end of 2011, at Pyannur, in Kerala by Ashok and Suni, along with a few other people. Today they are about 45, including children. The Church officially, moved into a hired hall on the 10th of Jan 2012. Considering the rapid growth they will soon need a bigger hall. On the 24th of August, a baptism service was conducted in which 8 people took water baptism, We are so thrilled to see how God is changing lives here at the Zamorin church. Amongst significant happenings and events to come, here are a few ❖ An 8-week Spoken English class from 22nd of September. (once a week) ❖ A 6-week Finishing School from 1st of October ❖ Church Family Camp planned from 24th – 27th March, 2013 with Stanley and Esme
Gyan is an ATC graduate, He had pastored the evening service of the Bombay Baptist Church for 3 years. Last year Gyan, Chumlano and Avishai left Mumbai in June for Nepal, his native land, to plant a church at Kathmandu. With help from members of the Kathmandu International Christian Congregation, we started worship Service on Saturdays from 3rd March 2012. Cell groups meet on Tuesdays and Fridays.
“Come, follow me”, Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
Ashreya Charitable Society: touching lives, changing community The goal of Ashreya has been to build community through the values we practice. With the growth of the School as an entity that is slowly shaping the lives and the future of children in Arilova area, we often find encouragement in the performance and achievements of the students. They are today better groomed, more confident, and definitely becoming more skilled. A sense of belonging is evident. Once in a while, our efforts do bear fruit that lasts. Recently, we were pleased to discover that the school and the Home have been changing lives. Chandini is an old student of the school. She studied here till class VI and then went to another school to finish her 10th, and is now on the verge of completing her B.Com. Recently, she returned with a request to be given an opportunity to pay back to the School that had opened her a doorway of hope. Speaking near fluent English and skilled in various extra - curricular
activities, she is a part of the English medium primary school. Ganesh is an Orphan who came to the school 8 years ago. His grandmother is still alive and he visits her during the summer vacations. From a shy, reticent boy whom we brought home from the street, he has slowly grown in confidence. He is about to finish his 4 Year Diploma Course in Computers. During his free time, he helps the children in the school learn computers. He is a doer, and always ready to encourage and lend a helping hand. L&T, who are our CSR partners, have shown interest in giving him employment, when he finishes his studies. With strength of 305 students and growing, Ashreya hopes to get Government recognition for running classes upto Std X, by 2013. Our hope is that by 2018, the school will be
completely English medium and self supporting; providing high quality, yet affordable value-based education in this port city. The renewal of 80G exemptions after a gap of 3 years is an answer to prayer to work more purposefully towards our goals.
Ashreya Charitable Society Door No: 48-9-18/78, Flat No:10, 5th Floor, Ratnaveni Complex, Dwarakanagar Visakhapatnam - 530016 Andhra Pradesh, India
PDL Seminar at Dwarka Church
Newly Weds Ricardo + Sutapa
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Max Fernand is married to Gillian and has two children, Jeremy and Gabrielle. He currently works as the Chief Operating Oﬃcer (COO) for Sahaara Charitable Society. He was previously working for L. Gansham Forex Brokers and before that with Normans Martin Forex Brokers as Head of Desk. He and his family are part of
Bombay Baptist Church, Colaba. He and Gillian
Interview with Max Fernand
known to be risk takers for God.
It was a big step of faith that Max and Gillian took when Max shifted from the corporate sector to the NGO sector, and joined Sahaara Charitable Society as Chief Operating Oﬃcer. He talks to Momentum about how he took his decision, his family’s support, his passion and his challenges. Could you tell us how you took your decision? For the last couple of years we have been getting a clear direction from God about my job shift. It was not to do another job, but something new. Last year, I had spoken to Joemon, my pastor, about it and he told me to wait. During my personal devotions and study of the Bible, the whole aspect of God’s provision and always being ready to move when God speaks, kept popping up on and oﬀ. Towards the end of April this year, Joemon spoke to me about considering Sahaara. It was definitely far from what I thought. But looking back, my first three jobs were with secular NGO’s. They never had a spiritual focus. They were just doing the job. After some time, I got fed up and left. But when I met Christ, I realised what was missing in those NGO’s – the spiritual focus, Christ at the centre. At that time I mentioned to Gillian, my wife that I wished to go back and work in an NGO with Christ as the centre. But that was just a conversation and God, I think, heard it. So when the oﬀer to join Sahaara came, Gillian and I prayed about it for a week. It was going to be a huge shift. But we were at peace.
actively participate in church ministry and are
Didn’t you feel it to be a big risk or sacrifice? Risk is very relative. If I stayed back, it would be a risk; because if this was God’s will, then I would be disobeying God. If I shifted (which I did), it would still be a risk, because of the change in income and lifestyle. Both had risks. And I did not want to disobey God. And it is not a sacrifice. It would be a sacrifice if I was giving up what I wanted. By the time God opened my eyes to this, I knew this is what I wanted. How did your family accept your decision? The day Joemon spoke to me about it, I spoke to Gillian and Jeremy (my son), since I wanted them to pray. Gabrielle (my almost 7-year-old daughter) also prayed. She really did not know the implications of it. But 14-year-old Jeremy has got desires, but he was absolutely at peace with it. We were all at peace as a family. Once we all moved in the same direction, it really helped in the decision making. It must be a huge shift for you, from dealing in Finance to now dealing with the struggles of people. How do you handle that? That has been my biggest challenge. Earlier, decisions had to be taken without emotion. I had to use my mind. It had to be quick and fast. Now it’s the exact opposite. We have to weigh everything. Arthur says, “Even if there is one person being impacted, we have to be there.”
Coming from my professional background, I would think it to be a waste of money and time. But I have to unlearn that. What is your motivation as you work for Sahaara? When I drive down the streets, there are lot of things which I see that disturb me. So what can I do? I am not here to earn a living and go home. Here I get the opportunity to serve those who have not got their due. There is no reason why people should be without food when we have food. There is no reason why people should be on the streets without jobs when there are jobs. That has been my concern. What would you say is your number one purpose? To be available for God and people, that is my number one purpose. It’s been great talking to you. I’m sure you would be an inspiration to many. May God be with you and Sahaara in all your endeavours and grant you success.
Interviewed by Rahul Thomas. He is married to Anubhuti and works with Springs of Life Ministries, Thane.
| mission report About the Author: Gyan Lama, is the pastor the Kathmandu International Fellowship in Nepal. Gyan is an ATC graduate, He had pastored the evening service of the Bombay Baptist Church for 3 years. Last year Gyan, Chumlano and Avishai left Mumbai in June for Nepal, his native land, to plant a church at Kathmandu.
Nepal Mission Report people are important Connecting to People:
With help from members of the KICC, the Kathmandu International Fellowship, started worship Service on Saturdays from 3rd March 2012. Cell groups meet on Tuesdays and Fridays.
of restaurants. Visit of David Sinchury and Paul Raj helped us to put up a concert with the Reminisce group. Music and apologetics helped to interact with the many young people who came. Over meal times and jamming sessions the young people showed eagerness to listen to what we had to say.
momo parties and invited people home. That was a very good way to connect with people. Social Work
I met with the owner of Bike Zone Nepal and found out they organize bike treks, tours and social trips on Saturdays. I joined the team and slowly met more people through bike trips.
Benry Kikon’s (Chumlano’s younger brother) stay with us was very helpful. We could organize Live Music in couple
We were blessed to have Steve Thomas and team from Mumbai’make a brief visit. During the teams visit, we had power-packed prayer walks, visit to NGO’s and jamming sessions . We had Anand Mahadevan conduct a Finance and Vision Seminar which was fruitful. Ashok Kumar’s talk on Hinduism was well received. We also organized
As a cell, our visit to an orphanage was good filled with games and songs. We often visit Prisoners Asst. Nepal to organise fun events. Praise God for His Favour and Faithfulness.Visit us at www.kifellowship.org
november 2012 1
5 6 7
20 21 22
25 26 27
ACROSS 1. Another word for "work" or "labor" 5. What will a man give in exchange for his ___ 6. One of the disciples said to Jesus, "Lord teach us to ____" 7. Opening Revelation's fourth seal revealed a horse fo this color 9. Two well-known cities: ___ and Sidon 10. In this book, people did what was right in their own eyes 12. Let God be found ___, and every man a liar 13. In Acts 28:3, one of these came out of a fire and fastened itself to Paul's arm 16. Children are commanded to obey them 18. Doubting 19. Isaiah prophesied that this king would release Israel from captivity 20. Exodus 28:30 speaks of the Urim and this 21. One who sows 24. Saul was also called ____ 25. Took forbidden booty from an Israelite war campaign, hid it under his tent, and died as a result 26. When Elisha brought him back to life, the child did this 7 times before opening his eyes 27. The name of two books of the Old Testament
DOWN 1. Can refer either to a piece of money or an ability to do something 2. Christians are to add to this to their faith 3. Sennacherib was king of this country 4. An epistle containing only 25 verses 7. He oďŹ€ered the sacrifices under the law of Moses 8. It follows Exodus 10. Sold Jesus for the price of a slave 11. In Matthew 17, Jesus went to the top of a mountain and was ___ 14. A paralytic's friends made a hole in this to get him to Jesus 15. Solomon did not ask for this, but received it from God anyway 16. Blueprint 17. James 2:19 says that devils believe and do this 19. An order from God that must not be broken 22. John's second name; he abandoned Paul 23. "Awake, awake, Deborah! Sing a ____ "
| book review
All books on leadership give you a checklist on dos and donâ€™ts or invariably lets you know what to do. Here is the book which assists us to actually understand on how to do it. Amplified Leadership - provides an intentional development process that starts with your relationships and ends with empowered leaders , who are ready to make an impact. This book puts the five leadership practices into a progressive sequence, and it connects the desired results with the necessary skills. Leadership Outcomes Desired
Leadership Skill Sets Required
Establish a Relationship
Connect and Appreciate
Engage a Follower
Encourage and Inspire
Embrace a Team Member
Invite and Equip
Coach an Apprentice
Select and Include
Mentor a New Leader
Develop and Empower
Amplified Leadership teaches you to connect relationally with a significant number of people, then how to engage followers from those relationships. From the followers, the leaders learn to embrace team members, and from the team they select apprentice leaders to coach. Then, finally, the leader is able to mentor new leaders. So, effectively, a new leader repeats the process by establishing new relationships. Relationship is the cornerstone of enduring leadership. The author over reinforces the meaning of making and keeping meaningful relationships, or else our effectiveness as leaders is in jeopardy. In our local church environment, fulfilling leadership and ministry are literally built on relationships. Genuine leadership requires relationship. I just could not put the book down. It is indeed, a handbook on leadership relationships. Get your copy from FLIPKART.COM for just INR 672/- or buy on your kindle or IPAD for just $9.55 and now as Indian customers you can buy in INR.
| titles worth a read
Some good titles on ”Relationships” 1. Cells for Life - Ron Trudinger 2. Brethren Hang Together - Robert Girard 3. Loving one another - Gene Getz 4. Community of the King - Dr Howard Snyder 5. Building with Bananas – Derek & Nancy Copley 6. Brethren Hang Loose – Robert C. Girard 7. Understanding, managing and growing through Conflict – Joyce Hugget 8. Everybody’s Normal till you get to know them – John Ortberg 9. Dropping your Guard – Charles Swindoll 10. Life Together – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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