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January 9, 2016, 8:44 PM

Our DNA


One of my favorite projects as an engineering researcher involved DNA sequence analysis - analysis of the code that makes up life.  Francis Collins, the leader of the Human Genome Project calls it “The Language of God” in his awesome book

This language is made up of words formed by only four letters, but writes the script for all of life!  For Francis Collins, this language led him to Faith in Jesus Christ.   Francis Collins is a great role model for me as one who believes in Jesus, but who also believes there is no conflict between the love of Jesus and the study of His creation through Science and Engineering.  

In the DNA sequence analysis project I was involved in we were studying how small sequences of RNA - microRNA - had huge impacts on gene expression and, when something in the sequence went wrong - disease.  Our work looked at finding the important motifs, or patterns that had the most meaning and impact.  One of the papers on our work can be found here.  

Our church plant here at All Saints Round Lake has a DNA as well - a recipe for growth composed of sequences of primitive building blocks.  The building blocks in our DNA are:

1. The Alpha Course

2. Boundaries and Growth Courses 

3.  Healing Ministry 

Putting these building blocks together into a sequence has helped our Mission of “Bringing People to Jesus!”  When a person comes to faith in Jesus two major things happen.  First they are saved - forgiven of all of their sins: Justified, with the status before God of being Just-as-if-I’d never sinned.   Our first primitive building block in our DNA - the Alpha course - is aimed at helping people establish this saving relationship with Jesus Christ where our sins are forgiven because of what Jesus has done for us on the Cross, and through His Resurrection.  Alpha is the most effective tool in our day for bringing the Gospel - the Good News of Jesus - to people, and helping them establish saving faith in Him.  It is an amazing process that not only introduces people to Jesus, but also to a healthy, loving community of support as we launch together into the adventure of following Jesus.   I am so blessed that we are an "Alpha Church!"

The second thing that happens when someone encounters Jesus is that a sanctification process begins - the process of becoming Whole - becoming Holy.  If Alpha helps the birth process take place, the second two ingredients of our DNA help a person grow up into the new creation God wants for them as relationship with Jesus grows deeper and faith grows stronger.  Boundaries and Growth courses/small groups catalyze the sanctification process through administering truth and grace over time in a loving community.  Like Alpha, this Good news of freedom and growth comes through people.  The model is very similar to 12 step programs, but generalized so everyone can grow and benefit no-matter where we are in our walk, through safe small groups which help us process hurts and support one another through the challenges of life.  

The third ingredient of our DNA is our Healing prayer ministry in the model provided by Francis and Judith MacNutt from Christian Healing Ministries.  While both of the previous ingredients support Healing (Salvation in scripture can  be translated as Healing, and the Process of healing that takes place in our boundaries and growth groups is profound) our CHM Healing Prayer ministry relies prominantly on the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to heal the roots of our pain, to provide physical and emotional healing, and to deliver us from spiritual influences that seek to hold us back.  

Over the past two years we’ve been moving along an aggressive sequence of these courses.  Through these three Adult Alpha courses, two Growth/Boundaries Courses, two Healing Prayer classes and our Youth Alpha that we have launched in the past two years we have not only had the opportunity to bring people to Jesus, but also bring ourselves and others to His healing and sanctification power.  

As I analyze our DNA sequence I see a model for moving forward that both brings people to Jesus, but also brings each of us and our Church and families to a place of greater Wholeness and health.  If you think about it - we need each of these components.  If we were to do only Alpha, how would we as individuals and as church work on our own issues and become more healthy?  If we did only Boundaries/Growth or Healing Prayer, how would we fulfill Jesus call to “Go and make disciples?”   If we did not arm ourselves with supernatural power to protect, heal and deliver how could we sustain the front line of ministry - evangelism, without harm; and how would we heal our deep hurts?

What part of our DNA attracts you the most?  We need everyone to bring their gifts and passions to these ministries if we are to fulfill our calling and for our church plant to grow.  For 2016, consider stretching in a different area to learn, grow, and provide greater capacity for Jesus to use us for His Glory.  They are all part of our core DNA, and the stronger the sequence we can bring with these building blocks the more meaning and impact we can have for our Saviour Jesus Christ!      

To Him be the Glory, now and for ever.

God Bless You!

Scott+

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."  - John 1:14 NIV

 

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