The Need to Do Something Different Now

Here are a few reasons why we can not keep doing the same thing in The Western World  and expect a different result:-

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24% say  they don’t attend because of the outdated style which equates to millions who are Done with Church but love God

88% say  being part of a church is beneficial yet only 1 in 7 attend church monthly.

Church attendance has gone down 48% since 1976 with only 5-15% viewed as Committed Christians in Australia

Average church age now is 53, yet 4 out of 5 conversions occur under age of 20 meaning we are not keeping our young people.

Christian Camps came 5th in top activities in coming to faith, ahead of evangelistic events, small groups, Christian outreach, introductory series, mission groups etc., YET 2 in 3 church goers have not attended a church camp in last 2 years .    When they did  47% made a commitment.

There is much we can do to change this.                   

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Barna a well-respected Author on Christian Trends challenges us with statistical evidence on the decline of the church.  Here are a few conclusions from their work:-

80% of those raised in church could be disengaged by the time they are 29 years old.

2 out of 3 churchgoers say they attend church to “learn more about God.” But less than 1 in 10 say that happened last time they attended.

The Dechurched are still the greatest proportion of the churchless. 

But 2 in 3 Unchurched Americans say they are spiritual people. 

AAM research shows a sharp decline in church attendance across Australia, and this decline is expected to continue into the future.  The Church is failing tochurch pic win enough new people to faith and replace the number of attenders lost each year, meaning a double storm of lost members. One positive is the sustainable numbers of Christians starting to and continuing to attend church, who have come to our country from other nations and brought their faith with them. Unfortunately the picture is similar in other western countries. Without significant missional initiatives by the Church , it is inevitable that attendances will decline even more, as the 65,000 people now aged over 75 no longer attend. (Source: Rob Issachson Mission Report for Australia).

We believe we can  do something more to engage Generation Y/Z and Millennials. We desire that Church  is more relevant to them and  where they do not feel alienated and forgotten. There are many studies and material that point to a better way. We would like  all the body to take responsibility for how we may do this and request a copy of the framework.

This material has been well-tested in organizations for many years and has shown to have extremely positive results if used correctly. It seeks to bring  The Body  greater understanding of the principles necessary for change in one easy to read format, with ideas on how to implement these principles in practice.

What if we don’t change?

Here are a few possibilities of what could happen:-

  • Bored people
  • Untrained people
  • Spectator Christians
  • Ad hoc approach which leads to poor quality learning.
  • People leaving hurt as they lack the engagement with their church, often without saying why, and we are not finding out or showing we care about that
  • Unloved people tell others so the reputation of the church goes down
  • Hurt Christians who feel no one cares about their views or their calling
  • The younger generation becomes more detached as we don’t adapt and church becomes predominately older Christians which is not sustainable
  • People view church as out of date and uneducated
  • Leaders become bottlenecks as decision-making centers around a few. We feel we need permission to do things God has led us to and leaders are too busy to facilitate those new ideas.
  • We set a model that does not reflect the creativity of Jesus and his people
  • We believe we are raising disciples but have never evaluated if this is the case
  • We fail to raise leaders with quality leadership skills that work for this generation and the next generation suffers from a disengaged Church.
  • We fail to recognize that the greatest support we can give is to empower people in their calling not get them to volunteer below their capacity for a church event. This will not change the world.
  • We don’t create wealth and power to influence Gods Kingdom.
  • Without modelling priesthood of all believers we may be  encouraging our people to become fat with too much content but not enough application.    ( we become hearers not doers)
  • We don’t facilitate tailored connection so people don’t make genuine friendships which brings disengagement or people get bored doing community without a strong mission.
  • We have poor accountability so we increase the chance of poor decisions being made and unethical behavior
  • We set a standard of saying we don’t trust others so they model that by not trusting the church.

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To review the studies included in the Framework and find out why we have concluded these things you will need to see the notes which are available for download here.

Join our Facebook group to receive regular updates and daily updated content.

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JaneJohnson new smallCEO. Jane Johnson B.Com Grad Dip LD, Dip Coaching.

Jane has worked in many different leadership capacities from being a professionally qualified Christian Leadership Coach for 13 years to many Christian leaders, to leading a ministry with the Navigators, to being a Senior Learning and Development Manager of a multimillion corporation, advising the management team on strategic approaches to get the best out of their people. She has developed considerable experience with Investors in People taking several companies through to successful accreditation and training as a consultant for them. Hence she understands the amazing impact a tool based on this principle can have.

Connect with her on LinkedIn athttps://www.linkedin.com/profile/viewid=287940854&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

 

The incredible impact of One-on-One Discipling versus Spiritual Addition Models

From the CEO of the Ecclesia Framework

JaneJohnson new smallWe are excited to see our visits to our site have massively increased as people see how much transformation is needed in the body of christ ands it is everyones responsibility to understand what form of ecclesia is biblical. We are in a period of great transition but there are many new organic forms of the ecclesia rising up using resources from all parts of the body across the world ( not just restricting themselves to one source of input which can be spiritually limiting).


The writings of Jesus and the apostle Paul show us how important the model of discipling is to effective training and how real multiplication can only take place through oneon-one discipling. This is shown by Jesus spending a large proportion of his time with the 12 disciples and in particular the three.

Jesus knew he would not reach the world by preaching alone and that he needed to raise up good men who were equipped to train and teach others. (2 Tim 2:2). Although this seems to be a slower method on the surface, in the long run, through the process of multiplication it is much faster( see the stats below).

It is also  one of the most effective method of encouraging people to stay in the church as people stay for relationship mainly . It also allows for people to be alerted if they are losing their faith. We may then have a method of dealing with the lost sheep.

the_church_body_400_clr_8912This has been promoted and practiced by the Navigators for decades. See the difference between Spiritual Addition and Spiritual Multiplication.

Results of Spiritual Addition V Multiplication    

Spiritual AdditionReach 100 people for Christ each day MultiplicationWin, Build  & Send One Person Every 6m
36,00072,000108,000

144,000

180,000

216,000

252,000

288,000

324,000

360,000

396,000

432,000

468,000

504,000

540,000

1664256

1,024 (thousand)

4,096

16,384

65,536

262,144

1,048,576 (million)

16,777,216

67,108,864

268,435,456 ( million)

If we are sending out we may not see the numbers in our church but what counts is the quality of the disciple following their highest calling and impacting thechurch growth kingdom.

For more great notes on methods that work – ask for a copy of the framework. www.churchexcellenceframework.com

Can we do anything about the “Done with Church Population”?

done-with-CHURCHFrom CEO of Church Excellence Framework

I am passionate about church becoming all God intended for it and represent what the people loved, well-equipped to be sent out in a lost world that really needs us. America, the UK and Australia were strong Christian nations and much of our life now is due to our strong Christian heritage.

Therefore I was so sad to read of the incredible figures (millions) of ‘Done with Church’ people. And what was even more sad to read was the quote from Josh Packard at the conference on Future of Church where he explained  that,from ground breaking research “the de-churched are among the most dedicated and active in their congregations”. So we are losing our best.

If we put this together with the fact that millennials are not engaging well with church, would you agree that we need to take drastic action? If the ship is sinking is this the time to be having a show or  more importantly trying to fix the leak?

Fixing the leak will mean doing all we can to keep these people from leaving, as it is harder to get them to return. Many are seeking organic versions of church .This exodus is a poor outcome for the church. So can we encourage our leaders to find out why people in their church are leaving and say we want to do something about it?

Moving on to the next is not a long-term solution as many others are likely to have similar issues. Also asking new people what is their experience of the church is a great exercise to stay on top of what is actually happening on the ground. We must have a generation of leaders who are not leading in a vacuum.

IF we look at a sample of the reasons Packard describes in his book Church Refugees, we may get a few clues as to why people are walking away.

  1. They feel they have heard it all before
  2. They are tired of being lectured to
  3. They want to participate, not pay to listen
  4. They feel spurned at every turn.

George Barna has recently released a book called Churchless which is a thorough description of what is happening in America.

This is why we developed the framework to communicate a more organic way of operating a church that draws more closely to biblical and New Testament churches. We are not advocating a model but principles. Getting many organic churches up and running is a long-term project but helping people who are disillusioned but still in church is just as important right now. All some may need is some message that shows that current leaders are looking at doing things differently and are aware of their plight.

church growth

I am encouraged that the leadership training institutes are now raising leaders who can see beyond the traditional role models . Also  as some may have  come  to Christ without going through traditional church, they can see things with a fresh set of eyes and see evidence in the bible of the real ecclesial church where participation, debating and raising and sending disciples was central. Many millennials are craving really good biblical principles of authenticity, serving with a purpose,  and believing their worth is more than a being a spectator which is very encouraging. So there is a lot of hope that with a bit of focus and participation by the WHOLE body (not just pastors) we can turn things around.

Frank Viola in his book reimagining church , explores the concepts of organic church, which may hold many of the answers for the new generation.

If you want to hear more about building a church relevant for the future generation we want to hear from you.

If you Sign up to receive our blog you will get more details of how to do this as we explain the church  framework tool and some of the major research studies and notable works of our time .

To review the studies included in the Framework and find out why we have concluded these things you will need to see the notes which are available for download here.

Join our Facebook group to receive regular updates and daily updated content.

 

Governance of New Ecclesia’s

This is a compilation of what many have seen in heaven as the heavenly blueprint.

 It is open to others adding or debating these principles. A strong foundation is paramount to building a healthy ecclesia  and evaluating it regularly with all sons.

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  • The order of Melkezidek supersedes the Five- fold earthly ministry so we all have elements of the apostolic, kingly, and prophetic functions.
  • Intimacy with the Trinity is critical as a base for purity of motives.
  • Spiritual Fathering and allowing others to rise above the mentor is foundational. ( multiplication not spiritual addition)
  • We are part of all one body regardless of location, moving away from denominations, networks or paid apostolic covering (full unity not partial).
  • No hierarchy– we are all powerful sons so moving  away from the traditional senior  pastor role instigated by Constantine in 300 ad
  • Plural oversight and decision making by consensus restoring the headship of Christ
  • Open participatory gatherings with mutual  edification in gatherings moving away from predominance on sermons- each bringing revelation, teaching , song ,testimony (1cor 14:26)
  • Benches of 3 are established for all mountains   (kingly strategic, apostolic, prophetic) based on model of Father, Son ,Holy spirit.
  • Benches of 7 (as in the  seven spirits) are used for the Mountains of the Ecclesia.
  • Benches of 12 are used   ( drawn from the 12 laws of Zion, 2×12 =24 elders, 12 stones on breastplate, 12 strands of DNA).
  • We seek to first find out what the father wants in heaven and don’t administrate from earth but learn to administrate from heaven.
  • We all  see our role as the one new man to restore dominion over the earth therefore responsibility for our mountains  is important not just intimacy and encounters in the inner court.
  • Understanding difference between Domain of God , the Government of God and the Presence of God . 
  • We seek to take things to the courts of heaven rather than pray on the earth
  • Accountability is important
  • Establishing us as  pillars of fire on earth
  • We need the  BAPTISM OF UNITY . All one church under Christ across the world so  looking for agreement is critical –not just doing our own thing, ignoring or not promoting others.
  • All People are allowed a strong voice not just leaders as we are all powerful sons and mutual subjection is a strong biblical principle.
  • We must all be clear on our  Mountains of authority
    and the level of authorisation we have rather than choosing to pray for things outside our jurisdiction.
  • We seek guidance by Revelation backed up by the word rather than academic exposition of the word.
  • No ecclesia provides spiritual covering – only Jesus is our spiritual covering.
  • Reconsidering membership as we are all part of Christ’s body and this can drive the formation of denominations.
  • Reconsider owning buildings that stop a church evolving easily and organically.
  • Leaders are facilitators rather than having authority to exercise- Looking to empower rather than insisting  things are approved by them. Strong disciples are made by being exposed to debate.
  • Mutual submission to one another not to an organisation or leader ie two way
  • We are all ordained – no ordination required
  •  Facilitating people to find and live out their scroll/ call is important not just how to connect with God.
  •  Moving away from condemnation  of others ministries including non-Christian groups but looking for areas of agreement as all receive some parts of the truth.
  • An Ecclesia that is Missional, existing for those who do not currently believe, more than to support existing believers
  • An Ecclesia that encourages people to go to the inner court  before becoming dependent on prophecy, ministry, prayer or supernatural manifestations.( ie.  not just staying in the outer court )
  • Community with a purpose (communitas) not just community.
  • Evangelists teaching us how to reach out not just doing evangelism ministry themselves
  • We are not to idol worship teachers or apostles but learn to access heaven ourselves so moving away from celebrity ministries .
  • Equipping of  all the Saints versus equipping for a leadership team vision.
  •  People encouraged to give “gifts and offerings” to the whole body not just the local chuch-  that are voluntary that come from honour and love – moving away from a duty offering of 10% (which may be above  10%)
  • People can conduct their own deliverance in the courts . People encouraged to take responsibility for keeping their gates open rather than deliverance being a one off activity.
  • Going into heaven together and coming into agreement can open gates.
  • Returning to the original meaning of teaching as “debating”

CULTURE OF HONOR

  • We are moving into the concept of the one new man , where we are working in unity across the world ,given responsibility by God to create , as our DNa is restored to light and gold.
  • We operate as a  family not a collection of same ideals so we are all free to disagree and have a right to debate culture
  • Servant hearted leaders and  seeking  more to understand than to be understood
  • Faithfulness 
  • Netweaving versus linear  reporting 
  • Empowerment of all versus vetting and requiring permission of the leaders.Where people are accepted for who they are and immediately able to serve based on calling and gifts not relationship.
  • Culture of Honor  seeks to meet in the middle in decision making
  •  Recognising  that each is made in the image of God and holds strands of gods dna that we need to learn from.
  • We are able to choose what is right for us so we do not  withhold material from people or judge what material meets our standards- we are all powerful to make that decision ourselves.
  • Culture of honour sticks with the relationship even in disagreement, so does not withhold friendship
  •  Finding how you may promote others work not viewing it with suspicion.
  •  All sons are powerful , able with the spirit to discern right from wrong and become stronger if we are exposed to a variety of concepts and allowed to debate them. Acknowledging we all carry aspects of the kingdom in us that are worth listening to. Moving away from overprotective shepherding .


    Seek to take initiative in relationship conveying that each person is worth knowing and listening to.

    This move of God is about honouring the ordinary often hidden person , not celebrity speakers. Encouraging testimonies, asking opinions, inviting collaboration .

Possible Processes

  • Facilitators build relationship with the people and facilitate their scrolls taking initiative starting a relationship
  • Asking what the people want to see in a survey.
  • We could review the level of love felt by people and ensuring we are reaching out not expecting people to chase us. ( building a review process with the people )
  • We could place more focus on finding transformation outcomes than attendance measures.
  • Understand about the value of functional roles more than roles around ministry( see framework notes)
  • Including lots of opportunities to practise recognising that we learn more  through practise  than academic learning.( encouraging application)
  • Provide pathways to growth for people at different levels.
  • People are free to bring a word, song, picture testimony or a piece of scripture to read in gatherings.  Time given to hear from God prophetically in the main meeting (1 Corinthians 14.26).
  • Where all can see  written values and an invitation is made to hold facilitators accountable to these values.
  • Using other resources from outside its walls to grow the body and offering to support other ministries without being asked.

Possible values of an Ecclesia

  • Intimacy with God.
  • Replicating as it is in heaven.
  • Raising up the new generation through fathering.
  • Legislating in heaven and responsibility on earth.
  • Only doing what we have a mandate for.
  • Love and honour your neighbour as yourself.
  • We are all one body across the world not just one location therefore freedom to access resources elsewhere.
  • Facilitation and Mutual subjection to one another moving away from clergy / laity divide.

Please refer to books such as Reimagining Church by Viola and Ian Clayton Engaging Heaven for biblical exposition. 

 

CONCEPTS of New Ecclesia Operating in the Heavenly Realms

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This is a compilation of concepts from those discerning the blueprint coming out of Heaven.

WE ARE INVITING PEOPLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE FORMATION OF THIS DOCUMENT TO HELP OTHERS GRASP CONCEPTS MORE EASILY. PLEASE ADD OTHERS POINTS IN THE COMMENTS OR AT THE CONTACT FORM. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SIGNAL YOUR AGREEMENT TO THESE WE WOULD LIKE TO PUT A LIST OF  NAMES AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.

  • We are designed as Sons having responsibility for Dominion over the earth not just intimacy to restore earth as it is in heaven.
  • We can access heaven beyond the veil, through our gateways( see Ian Clayton book)
  • Everything comes out of Christ being our first love( enter through first love gate).
  • Understanding how to divide our soul from our spirit to finally allow them to come into union.
  • We seek to return  to have our spirit on the outside of our body as in the first creation so we can be transfigured and become a true spirit being able to translocate in the spirit like Jesus.
  • Everything out of Love and a Servant heart( although we are not servants)  are paramount.
  • We seek to move from Lordship to Kingship to Sonship ( away from orphan and slave)
  • With intimacy comes responsibility,  so going into the court to legislate is important .
  • Principle of Zech 3: how to follow my laws, walk in his ways, judge my house, judge my courts and protocol of entering in the courts.
  • Understanding of the four faces of God–     Lion( King) Ox (prophetic), Eagle (Apostolic), Man.
  • Understand the 7 spirits of God , role of  Angels ,  Men in White Linen and cloud of witnesses and how  we can work with them to assist our scroll.
  • Understanding of trading floors and crowns, and seat of rest.
  • Communion more about changing our DNA than remembrance.
  • Setting up ourselves as boundary stones
  • Accessing heaven is voluntary but process of repentance and agreeing with the accuser is important as it is  gathering our royal armaments for coronation.18796_1449923101977249_185850677502023187_n
  • Understanding transformation through seed line cleansing, dna transforming, the importance of the blood and jesus as mediator , obtaining our investiture in heaven and repentance
  • Understanding of  the Garden of God and the Garden in our heart. Responsibility for tendering the garden in our heart( sowing seeds of righteousness).
  • Understanding of peoples scroll/ call/ mandate  is fundamental.
  • Understanding the importance of establishing a marriage covenant with God ( what will you promise to god ? )
  • Understanding of finding God in the Dark Cloud, in the Arc, in the Dance floor, the Bridal Chamber, the Matrix of water, On Gods Mountain and the Tent of Meeting , 
  • Accessing satans trading floor scroll room and training room 
  • Establishing Benches of 3 ( kingly strategic , apostolic, prophetic) based on model of Father, Son Holy spirit.
  • Benches of 7 (as in seven spirits) are used for teams involving elders rather than boards of business people.
  • Understand Benches of 12 ( 12 laws of Zion, 2×12 =24 elders).
  • Understands Mountains are areas of authority/ dominion.
  • Sonship and Kingship underpin 5 fold ministries.
  • 11188340_1449748901994669_3897829647298330200_nEstablishing pillars of fire, entering in the river of fire ,trading floors and trading  from the fiery stones.
  • Understanding the 7 domains  of heaven from the menorah and difference between domain, government and presence of God .
  • Moving from outer court to inner court to increase intimacy .
  • Understanding the different courts, ( court of angels, mobile court, court of war, court of chancellors, court of kings, court of scribes, court of the lord, bench 0f 70, court of fathers and court of men in white linen).
  • Everyone has a voice not just leaders ( priesthood of all believers).
  • Understanding the role of the Hand of God and the Breath of God. When we raise our hand in heaven we are exercising authority
  • We dont ask for the glory to come down to us but the glory is inside us.
  • Engaging the Sapphire and Metatrons cube to create
  • To not be subject to time so we can have rich time
  • We begin to understand the nature of the chancellors houses and how they must come into alignment to release the house of scrolls.
  • Frame the future by setting our desire on it and go back in time and reset it
  • Dealing with familiar spirits in our gateways
  • Experience  baptism of fathers, Baptism of Glory, baptism of Fire and holy spirit, baptism of death, baptism of water and baptism of repentence
  • Leaves of tree of life are for healing of nations and open gateways for nations healing if we take them on board
  • Engaging wisdom and her 7 handmaidens , spirt of truth, glory, excellence , promise, holiness, faith and life
  • Engaging seven spirits : counsel , understanding , wisdom, might, fear of lord , knowledge , spirit of God
  • Engaging tree of wisdom and depth
  • We can ask to engage the men in white linen, e.g. Enoch , Moses , Abram.

Please visit our many pages for diagrams, pathway to begin heavenly realms, governance of ecclesia documents

An ecclesia we could see

To help you understand the framework here are some examples of an ecclesia we could see. 

  • An ecclesia that understands the deeper meaning of Ecclesia and the Priesthood of ALL believers.
  • An ecclesia that is missional, existing for those who do not currently believe,  more than to support existing believers.
  • An ecclesia that understands discipling to a deep level and the principle of reproduction.
  • An ecclesia that builds community with a purpose not just community.
  • An ecclesia that places more focus on transformation outcomes than attendance measures.
  • An ecclesia that understands about the value of functional roles more than roles around ministry
  • An ecclesia that recognises the greatest growth happens through practise more than academic learning.
  • An ecclesia that knows what it takes to engage and equip, providing pathways to growth.
  • An ecclesia that understands that the greatest conversions come from the younger generation and so devote key resources in this area.
  • An ecclesia where people are free to bring a word, song, picture testimony or a piece of scripture to read in services.  Time given to hear from God prophetically in the main meeting (1 Corinthians 14.26).
  • An ecclesia that has strong processes in place for enabling people to find their calling and is proactively supporting people in their calling.
  • An ecclesia where all can see and  pray together  over its strategy.
  • An ecclesia that encourages the application of the word just as much as the preaching of it.
  • An ecclesia where everyone understands “who they are in Christ” and how to engage with Gods presence.
  • An ecclesia where people are accepted for who they are and immediately encouraged to serve.flowchart
  • An ecclesia that is not afraid to use other resources from outside its walls to grow
  • An ecclesia that communicates it goals, strategies, values and virtues clearly to the congregation and seeks to find out if it is meeting them regularly. Then re-evaluates.
  • An ecclesia who knows how to engage the courts of heaven.
  • An ecclesia that understands that only 5% of the population are now committed Christians and wants to play their part in releasing and providing resources to change that by empowering people in the marketplace to be Christ.
  • An ecclesia that sees the need for change in its style of presentation, to constantly evolve and reflect cultural trends.
  • An ecclesia where one on one discipling is encouraged, as modeled by Jesus and Paul.
  • An ecclesia that actively seeks out feedback from members and allows the body to participate in decision making
  • An ecclesia strong on encouraging outreach and evangelism, whilst developing training to teach others how to witness.
  • An ecclesia that is constantly encouraged to greet, encourage and release new people to serve the church.
  • An ecclesia that understands the effectiveness of Church Planting and Church Multiplication Strategies.
  • An ecclesia that is visible in the community and involved in the community.

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HEAVEN IS A PRESENT REALITY NOT A FUTURE DESTINATION AND 5 REASONS THIS CHANGES HOW YOU LIVE TODAY

Slide01-compressor-2-e1438118382824By Frank Powell

Our two sons attend Snowden Elementary, a public school about one mile from our home in Memphis, TN. So, every school day, like other families who don’t live within walking distance, we park our car two blocks from the school and proceed to cross a six-lane road. It’s a busy intersection that requires two crossing guards and a police officer to ensure children’s safety and regulate awful driving.

I have grown to love crossing guards. Rain, shine, humidity, and freezing temperatures, crossing guards are there. They always show up. And crossing guards don’t sit in a lawn chair, waiting until the area is safe, wishing children the best as they cross busy intersections.

“Good luck as you cross the street, guys. Hope you make it to the other side.”

Instead, they hold stop signs, blow whistles, and walk with children through the road.

Now, as an author and pastor, I know every metaphor breaks down at some point. But I think the image of a crossing guard teaches us something about the heart, character, and mission of Jesus.

You see, Jesus doesn’t sit on one side of eternity waving us across to Him. And He doesn’t join us on our side, only to pat us on the back and wish us good luck as we venture through the crossroads of life. Instead, He moves with us through the intersections of life. It is the heartbeat of John 1:14, “The Word became flesh, and moved into the neighborhood.” Could it be that these words are intended to be the heartbeat of the church as well? I believe so.

The ascension of Jesus has a lot to teach us about what Jesus is up to today. If we are not careful, Jesus’s ascension into the heavens after His death will come to mean that His work was finished, and that One day He will reappear when He comes to judge the world and to set all things right.

“Good luck as you cross the street of life, guys. Hope you make it to the other side.”

Not exactly.

Here’s what Paul writes in Ephesians 4:10, “He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.” In other words, the ascension of Jesus isn’t a way for Him to escape this world, leaving us to navigate the intersections of life alone. It’s a declaration that he stands in the middle of the road, much like a crossing guard.

And this is important. When Heaven is a future reality, something that seems “way over there,” we are much more likely to hang out on the sidewalk. After all, who wants to cross a six-lane road without help?

Not me.

But if Heaven is a present reality, one where Jesus stands in the road directing traffic and walking beside us, we move off the sidewalk and into road with confidence. We step into the intersections of life because Jesus is there.

Here are 5 ways embracing heaven as a present reality changes how we live today.

1.) THE GOSPEL BECOMES MORE THAN A SERIES OF STEPS.

Unfortunately, in many Christian circles, the gospel is reduced to: 1) trust in Jesus, 2) have our sins forgiven, 3) arrive in heaven after we die. Even though Jonathan Storment and I embrace these truths, we wrote Bringing Heaven to Earth because we believe the gospel is larger than a few simple steps.

Much larger.

Following Jesus isn’t about crossing our fingers, hanging on tight, and waiting for eternity. It is an invitation to cross the road, to embrace a covenant relationship with the Creator. God gives us the opportunity to join him in all of the ways His mercy and goodness flow through the world.

When this reality sinks into our hearts, it changes how we see the world.

2.) GOD, WITH ALL HIS POWER, WALKS WITH YOU TODAY. HE IS A GOD OF THE PRESENT, NOT JUST A GOD OF THE PAST AND THE FUTURE.

In Exodus 3, God tells Moses He is “The Great I Am.” This becomes the most sacred name for God. It echoes throughout the pages of Scripture. But it also echoes throughout the pages of our lives. At least, it should.

This is huge: at no point in history does God become “The Great I Was” or “The Great I Will Be Again One Day.” He is “The Great I Am.” The same God today as he was the day He spoke the words to Moses.

If God is confined to the past or future tense, how will we raise up a generation to follow God in the present? Here’s the reality. The same God who parted the waters for the Israelites and promises to restore all things is the same God who walks with us into the street today. His power, grace, love, and desire to redeem the world are with us.

3.) SALVATION ISN’T PRIMARILY A MOMENT IN TIME. IT IS A MOVEMENT IN THE WORLD.

Throughout the New Testament, and especially in the book of Acts, conversions were a central theme. People regularly surrendered to Jesus, confessed Him as Lord, and were baptized into His name.

Don’t misunderstand me. We believe in conversions, and we celebrate them. Places like Luke 15 show us Heaven celebrates when a soul unites with Jesus in His death and resurrection.

The gospel says we’re invited into a conversion MOVEMENT, not a conversion MOMENT.

The message of the gospel, however, is not that we are invited into a conversion moment, but into a conversion movement. Conversion isn’t a life insurance plan, securing our future in heaven. Conversion launches us into the street where we join God’s movement of restoration and redemption. The prayer Jesus taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven,” is more than a prayer. It is the life we are called to live. It is a life in the street where things are dangerous and unknown.

But it is also a life where Jesus meets us because the mission of Jesus is in the street.

4.) YOU PARTNER WITH GOD TO MAKE HEAVEN A PRESENT REALITY.

God could do whatever He desires by Himself. He doesn’t need us. But from the beginning God engages in a working relationship with human beings. God is eager to use who God saves.

God is eager to use who God saves. Allow God to use you.

He doesn’t save people to increase heaven’s future population. He saves people to increase heaven’s present population. God delegates. He gives responsibility. He empowers His people. He equips them with everything they need to live an adventurous life. A life that declares the future of heaven is pressing into our present world.

That’s a message worth spreading.

5.) PERFECT LOVE DRIVES OUT FEAR.

As I write this, chaos is rampant all over the world. Violence is everywhere. Tension is high. And reasons to be fearful abound. Yet, the Bible declares hundreds of times, “Do not be afraid.” Now, I understand fear isn’t always unhealthy. But when fear paralyzes the soul, stunts spiritual development, and hinders the church from loving a world God desperately loves, something is wrong. If we are not careful, fear will drive out love, instead of perfect love driving out fear.

Hearts that trust Jesus are not called to shrink into a shell. They are called to press into the city. The response in the New Testament when people surrendered their lives to Jesus was not to play it safe. The response was to risk their lives for the sake of the gospel.

The earliest Christians knew the church was at its best when it gave up home field advantage to meet people where they were in life.


We wrote our book, Bringing Heaven to Earth, because we believe the good news of Jesus is just that: good news. We believe this good news doesn’t prepare us to die well, but to live well.

The good news doesn’t prepare us to die well, but to live well.

We believe Jesus loves this world more than we could ever imagine, and He wants His church to live as if they deeply love this world too.

IT’S YOUR TURN. HOW DOES HEAVEN AS A PRESENT REALITY CHANGE HOW YOU LIVE TODAY?


We now have lots of resources at the heavenly realms page on this site and the  support group facebook page  – http://www.churchexcellenceframework.com


To review the studies included in the Framework and find out why we have concluded these things you will need to see the notes which are available for download here.

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