Church Planting and Firehouse Network

          I want to take a little time to elaborate on what the current church planting model will look like for Firehouse and what the network of Firehouse Church could potentially look like. While at the time of the writing of this blog, there are no finite locations as to where we feel the next church plant will be, we can still paint somewhat of a picture as to the process and end result. We must understand that what is being shared is only a result of what we do with the seed right now. It is currently in seed form and needs to be nurtured and watered with the Word of God and prayer. If we continue to be sensitive to the Spirit and obedient to God’s direction, it is then that He will make the plant what it needs to be. 
          The first step will be to establish a team of passionate individuals. These individuals should be first and foremost be passionate about their relationship with Christ, and secondly be passion and motivated about starting a new work for Him.  They must feel as if they are answering His call for them to go on this journey.   We will need a team that consist of but not limited to a lead campus pastor, worship pastor, family pastor, hospitality team members, nursery and kids church team members, musicians, and media team member.  This team should be able to work well with one another as they move forward in the journey.  The lead campus pastor must become ordained or at least licensed through Firehouse Church, but eventually achieve ordination.  The team will meet 2-4 times per month to prepare for the eventual launch of the church plant.
          Under the current model of planting for Firehouse, the church plant will operate as an extension and not as an entirely different entity.  It will be under the same governing board, potentially share bank accounts, and also have access to all the tools that Firehouse currently utilizes and pays for.  It will be one church and one fellowship meeting in different locations.  The board of directors for Firehouse Church will oversee the entirety of network fellowships. However, each individual fellowship will most likely have an operations committee that will be appointed by the lead campus pastor to help him oversee the local fellowship. It would be idea that eventually the board of directors be made up of the Lead pastor and the lead campus pastors.  
          To help understand a little more of how the network of churches will be intertwined, I want to use this small example.  Firehouse currently uses a church management software to record contributions, do child check in, and post events.  The same account will be shared amongst all network churches.  In other works if you attend Firehouse Elberton and check your child in, then when you attend another campus your child will already be in the system.  The idea is that it is seamless integration.  Your tithing will be recorded across all Firehouse network churches so that you will recieve one contribution report.  The network will partner together for outreach endeavors and conferences and such.
          I hope that this brings a little more insight into what the future holds for our Firehouse family of believers.  We also hope that you will be in prayer about this journey, and that you will believe with us for God’s perfect will to be done as we move forward. If you would like to be a part of one of the plant teams, please let us know. May God Bless you and yours!

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The Importance of Prayer

16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
James 5:16 New Living Translation (NLT)
 
     Prayer is a vital part of walking out our relationship with Christ.  Simply put prayer is communication with God.  If we don’t have communication, then how can we have a true relationship.  Relationships require communication.   Imagine a husband never communicating with his wife, or a wife never communicating with her husband, how do you think that would work out?  Jesus desires for us to pray.  Prayer is one of the most important ways that we can grow into a more intimate relationship with Christ.  If prayer is simply communication with God, is there a certain way that we must pray, do we need to pray long, and how exactly do we pray?
     There are many reasons to pray.  We pray to thank God for all He has done, is doing, and will do.  We pray to repent and ask for forgiveness of our sins.  We pray for healing, freedom, and deliverance.  We can make our requests known to Christ.  We are to pray and intercede for others.  We should pray when everything is going good, and when things aren’t going so good.  The thing is we should not only pray when things are not going good and hardships are upon us, but we are to pray at all times and seasons of our life.  One minister talked about not asking God to come into a hard situation, but already having communed with God when everything was going good and then we walk with Him through the situation.  Talk to God about everything.  God is not to busy to hear from you, the truth is, He wants to hear from you.
     It is important to note that prayer isn’t about the posture of your body as much as it is about the posture of your heart.  Prayer isn’t confined to you being on your knees with your head bowed.  Prayer can be done while you are driving in the car, while you are at work, or even when you are cleaning the house.  It is not about how you pray, but from where you pray, and your prayers should come from your heart.  You can pray ritualistically and pray a lot, but if it isn’t sincere then you are babbling words that will have little to no effect.  If you pray ritualistically, it favors religion more than it favors a relationship with Jesus.  It is not even about the quantity, but it is about the quality.  Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6 that is not about being seen and it is not even about repeating our requests over and over.  Jesus says that the heathen think they will be heard for the much speaking, but Jesus says that the Father knows what you have need of even before you ask.  This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pray, but that you should be sincere and believe He hears the first time that you ask.
     It is not even about the lingo when you pray.  It is not about praying the deep voice prayer with eloquent words like maybe you have heard some minister pray.  It is about you opening your heart to God, and seeking Him with all that you are.  He loves you, and He desires a relationship with you.  Jesus tells us to ask, seek, and knock.  We are to make our request known to Him as well as thank Him for who He is and all He has done.  Prayer should not be a task but we should be hungry to want to get to know God more.  Through prayer and the reading and studying of God’s word, we can come to know Jesus more, and have a more intimate relationship with Him.
 

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What is Christianity?

 
 
When it comes to sports, each sport has some basic skills that each player should know.  These are called the fundamentals.  In football, you need to know to wrap up on a tackle, and in basketball, you have to know how to do a basic layup.  These fundamentals and others are important for players to know, no matter what level they are playing at.  If we want to maintain a healthy relationship with Christ, we too must know the fundamentals of our faith to help us in our journey.  These fundamentals are the basic things that we should know when walking out our relationship with Christ.
     Did you know that there are more that 20% of professed Christians who cannot say they are certain that there is a God? How can a person profess to be a Christian, but not be certain?  If I am not mistaken, a majority of Americans label themselves as Christians,  but just because they label themselves that way doesn’t necessarily mean that they are.  That leads to the question, What is a Christian anyway?  A Christian, simply put, is a follower of Christ and His teachings.  Even more so, a true Christian is not just a follower but one who has completely surrendered their life to Christ.  One writer in scripture writes that it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.  A Christian is a person who has willingly surrendered to Christ, and by doing so have allowed old things to die, and awaken to new life in Christ.  When Christ becomes the center of your life, it leads to transformation.
     Let’s look at Matthew 3:7-9, “But when he saw many coming from among the wealthy elite of Jewish society[a] and many of the religious leaders known as Pharisees[b] coming to witness the baptism, he began to denounce them, saying, “You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to slither away like snakes from the fire of God’s judgment?[c] You must prove your repentance by a changed life. And don’t presume you can get away with merely saying to yourselves, ‘But we’re Abraham’s descendants!’ For I tell you, God can awaken these stones to become sons of Abraham!”(TPT)  I want you to notice what John the Baptist tells the Pharisees here. He says that they must prove their repentance by a changed life and that they can’t just get away by saying that they are the descendants of Abraham.  In other words, just saying your a Christian isn’t enough.  Being a Christian leads to a life that has been transformed.  Old things have passed away!  Your desires begin to be transformed to God’s desires.  You began to be convicted about things that use to not bother you.  This is the sign of a transformation to a pure heart.  We become awakened to the leading of the Spirit.  Romans 8:14 tells us that all who are led by the Spirit are the Children of God.
     The truth is people can go to hell with baptismal water dripping from their face, they can go to hell with a choir robe on,  they can even go to hell preaching behind a pulpit,  but a true Christian is one who has a relationship with Jesus, and because of that relationship, their life is being transformed to be more like HIm!!

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