Sunday, October 30, 2005

October 2005 - Update

October 26, 2005

Dear Friends and Family,

“…The church…while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” (Acts 13:1-3)

The Lord has blessed us tremendously in these last 2½ months! One of the greatest blessings has come from the overwhelming encouragement of our home local church! I am so grateful to the Lord for the way First Baptist Church in West Memphis, AR has come behind Tracy and I in this church planting preparation effort! We are living in an Acts 13:1-3 type of blessing because of FBC’s love and support. To some, these days of preparation may seem unnecessary, but Oh how helpful they are! Here’s a snapshot of what the Lord has been doing in our life to prepare us to plant a new Bible-believing, Christ-exalting, church-planting church:

Preparation through travels: I’ve already been on four trips that have broadened my horizon and love for the church and church planting. First I was able to attend the Bethlehem Baptist Pastor’s Pray and Plan weekend in August where the Pastors of BBC spent time seeking the Lord and discussing relevant church matters. My desire for Pastoring was fueled by joining these men as we sought the Lord. Then, along with several other church planters from Bethlehem, I was able to attend the Acts 29 Church Planter’s Bootcamp in Dallas, TX. This event opened my eyes to a broader picture of what the Lord is doing across the nation through a church planting movement, and my passion to be part of a new movement of church-planting churches was increased. Also, I was invited on a brief trip to Chicago to visit with a Hispanic church planter and gleaned so many helpful insights. Seeing a model of a “multi-congregational” church drove me to pray more fervently for God to use me in a multicultural way for His glory! Finally, Tracy and I both attended a week of assessment in Wisconsin with the TeAmerica Church Planters Assessment Center. We were both so helped by the insights of these godly counselors as they showed us some of our specific strengths and weaknesses. Now, we can see more clearly the areas where the Lord has blessed us, and pray for grace to continue to improve in both our weak and strong areas. The Lord confirmed our calling through these assessors as they strongly encouraged us to continue pursuing and preparing for our church planting dreams!

Preparation through partners. I am so thankful that the Lord is not sending me out alone! We have prayed for a number of years with Bryan Smith and Nathan Sawyer about planting a church together. Thankfully the Lord has heard our prayers and confirmed to us that we are to partner together in this new work! The Smith’s and the Sawyer’s came and stayed with us for an entire week in early October. Our week together was visited by the Lord with His abundant grace and mercy as He fused our hearts together even more, and allowed us to make significant progress on the vision for the new church plant. Bryan will guide us more in the areas of administration, missions, and urban ministries. Nathan will guide us more in the areas of small group community, and leadership development. My role will primarily be preaching, vision for the work, and church-planter development. We are praying for the Lord to add a worship pastor to our leadership team. Join us by adding these men and their families to your prayer list!

A new way to stay updated! For those of you who would like to track our progress more frequently, and enjoy occasional devotional thoughts from our pastoral team, visit our web log (“Blog”) at

In Christ, John 3:30
Jordan Thomas
TCT Church Planting Resident - Bethlehem Baptist Church
720 13th Ave S. - Minneapolis, MN 55415 - (612)-338-7653 ext. 428

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Look to Christ!

There are more unfathomable merits, endless joys, and soul-satisfying delights for all of God's redeemed in the Person of Christ than ten thousand eternities will be able to unfold! All that God is for us in Christ Jesus is an endless ocean that is the believer's in which to swim! For all of eternity, all of the saints, without limitations, will behold the "glory of God in the face of Christ" (II Cor. 4:4,6), and be satisfied fully in Him!

But, what about today?

God would have us be on a radical pursuit NOW of all that He is for us in Christ, not merely when we arrive in heaven (Psalm 42, 63; Phil. 3; Col. 1:9-23). How shall we pursuit this sort of Christ-centered satisfaction? Look to Christ! Today, even now, look to Him! Turn your eye of faith to Jesus in this moment, and believe, by God's grace, "You, Jesus, are enough!" All of the promises in Christ are "Yes and Amen!," they are all true! "My God will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).

As a stranger to God and and enemy of God, look to Christ. Jesus Christ died for your sins just like the Bible said He would, He was buried, and He rose the third day just as the Bible predicted. Trust Christ as your only hope for favor with God! Trust Christ because He alone bore God's wrath for sinners in such a way that we can now have God's favor!

As a doubter of His goodness, look to His infintely benevolent offering of His only Son for your sinful soul! This is the best good He, let alone anyone else, could have done for you - and He has done it! How will He who gave you the best good, withold from you any lesser good? Indeed He won't! All that seems to be trouble, is from God's view a mountain of grace for you to enjoy all of His glories that He has put on display through His grace in Christ! (Romans 8:32).

As a troubled saint, look to Christ and say, "Christ is true...He said, 'Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely on account of Me. Rejoice and be glad (preach to your soul - "Be glad!"), for your reward in heaven is great!" (Matthew 5:11-12)

As a doubter of His ability to hold you in His saving grip in light of your ongoing struggles with sin, look to Christ and ask, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? He who did not spare His only Son (imagine this!), but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things (now it should be easy to imagine this!)" (Romans 8:35, 32).

Now, even now, look to Christ. Find all, all, all of your ability to stand before God in Christ! Find all of your soul's comfort in Christ. Look to Christ!

In Christ, John 3:30

Monday, October 17, 2005

Why This Blog?

This blog exists to more helpfully graft people into our church planting world. The title of this blog is owing to the fact that we want to be engaged in a church plant that is radically Christ exalting. "Solus Christus" is latin for "Christ Alone" and was one of the 5 statements used to describe the theology of the 16th Reformation. Just as God transformed a culture, and a world, by the reformative power of Christ Alone in the 16th century, our prayer is that He will do it again through a movement of Christ-exalting church plants around the world.

Pray for us as we seek the Lord in preparations to plant a Christ exalting church! And keep up with our progress through this blog.

Jordan and Tracy
Nathan and April
Bryan and Angie

Thursday, October 13, 2005

On The Rack

All those who have never chimed in. Maybe you can go for the "finishing well" award?

Still plenty of worthwhile Charnock to feast on with the group.