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Third Thursday Prayer 01.18.2018

January’s Third Thursday will be an important milestone as we discuss the very exciting plans for expanding Pastor’s Prayer gatherings across our city.

Join us Thursday, January 18th, 11:30-1:00 for lunch, vision casting, connection with other pastors and prayer for our city and our time.

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GLS more than a summit

GLS more than a Summit
                     ~  Darrell Adcock, South City Church

I’ll never forget sitting in the lakeside auditorium with 2,463 others at Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago for the very first Leadership Summit.  The presence of the Holy Spirit was heavy on me.  I could tell they had been praying fervently over a long season to “call us up” as leaders.  As Hybels famously said,  “The local church is the hope of the world, and its future rests primarily in the hands of its leaders.”

It seemed only natural to use this conference as a chance to connect with my teenage kids and let them taste of what mature leadership looks like and ways to grow in their service through the local church, learning from leaders in business, politics, thought-leaders, and nonprofits.

“When Dad called me one day to go to this leadership conference, I thought, “I’ll go, spend time with my dad” I never thought that this might change the way I live my life. The first year it opened my eyes to the world of leadership and that I could actually be good at it. What a true blessing it was to sit next to the man I looked up to most in leadership, in life in the church, and most of all as a teacher. The Global Leadership Summit has been the two days a year that I look forward to most. From hearing from the top leaders to the car rides on the way back talking about what stuck out most. The Summit has shaped me to truly love the local church and made me see leadership in a whole new way. Six years down and twenty to go!” – McKenna Adcock

Over the past 25 years of the GLS, I bet I’ve only missed a couple.  God profoundly uses this conference to re-calibrate my leadership, renew my calling, and expand my heart for the local church, the world, and the needs of people.  Plus, I will never surrender the opportunity to connect and grow with my, now adult, kids.

Don’t worry, Kenna, I’ve already got our tickets for next year!

McKenna Adcock uses her leadership for Starbucks and in serving at South City Church in Little Rock. Darrell Adcock serves as Executive Pastor and Music Director at South City Church.  He and Tracy are celebrating 30 years of marriage and their four kids.  Together they help foster and adoptive families through Empowered to Connect Parent Training

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First Principles

First Principles – “Making a Difference in Little Rock”

While at a Bible study in our home with friends and neighbors in our community, Gary was new to the group and sat there quietly taking in the discussion.  I wondered what Gary thought.  He was hearing us describe our previous weeks lesson on the Gospel and this week’s initial discussion on Baptism and the obedience of following Jesus in the walk with Him; a first act of obedience that leads a Christ follower to a life of obedience. This was Gary’s first exposure to First Principles of establishing someone in their faith.

After our meeting was over I asked Gary what he thought and he responded, “Wow, as each person shared, I picked up on several different backgrounds and church denominations, but this study was so focused on the Bible, and kept pulling us back to the Scripture, that is just cut right through all of that.

I’ve watched as the First Principles series takes believers through a process of exploring the Gospel and its implications for our lives, understanding the church as God’s vehicle to accomplish His mission and how that mission calls us to be a ‘family of families’ that lets our good works and openness bring people to Him.  Ultimately it explores our heart motivations so that we are aligned with His heart and mission in all aspects of our lives.  The First Principles is transformational, and the process allows us to identify leaders who can lead others in the same transformation.  This is multiplication at work in our church!                                                                                ~Dave Kella

Those are the kinds of stories I have heard over my journey of the past three years into discipleship with Arkansas Antioch Initiative of the Nehemiah Network; a network of churches who are giving leadership to pastors as well as lay leaders who want to leverage making disciples for thousands of people.

This discipleship curriculum is centered around the Socratic method. The Socratic Method is a way of community based learning in questions. These Socratic discussions focus on a facilitator engaging a group in discussion not lecturing from the front. Socratic discussions over Scripture hundreds of scholarly articles, and writing articles that apply to any cultural setting at any time lead us to evaluate what we believe in light of what is normative in Scripture. The First Principles study engages the group around scripture, conversational learning, and our writing moves beyond simply fill in the blank studies to help us reshape our lives.

I have never been a part of anything like this; Biblical community as it should be, with simple, practical steps that lead to reshaping our lives to follow Jesus.       ~ Evan Kenyon

Because of my successful engagement with the First Principles study, I began to explore the leadership cohorts. These as well utilize the socratic method and confirmed the excellence of the product. We have seen this process work with our Espanol campus and many other contexts. You can see an example in the quote below:

I have seen Jesus Christ transform many lives as I have trained leaders in over five (5) countries using First Principles.  This is a huge success for the Kingdom.            ~Daniel Bran

The process really works.  Spending this much time together around the Scripture and the discussions with multiple church leaders really affects change in our lives. I am excited because I have seen so many instances where people are responding to this strategy.

Another key differentiator in this process is for everyone in the church, all people, from new to the faith all the way to full time ministers of the Gospel.  Yes, the leadership development system of the Antioch Initiative can span that large of an experience group.  It is important for leadership development to be happening at these different levels of influence. Lay people must be involved at a higher level of commitment that we may have originally thought if we want to move the needle and make a real difference in our city.

My approach to discipleship has been very focused on small groups of men.  The biblical approach to spiritual family and community is profound.  I tried to look up references in Scripture to household and family and I couldn’t believe how saturated scripture is with that concept.  Establishing churches within a household paradigm marries church, discipleship, leadership development and missions.  Learning and experiencing this has been refreshing, exciting and encouraging.    ~ Michael Kitchens

Establishing churches within a household paradigm marries church, discipleship, leadership development and missions.  Learning and experiencing this has been refreshing, exciting and encouraging

Kevin Kelly, Senior Pastor of Second Baptist Church Little Rock just finished a pilot of First Principles at his church that was another success story.  Eight-five people signed up and seventy-nine finished the course.  They are now looking at how to integrate First Principles of establishing people in their faith into their church.

I dream of a time that is just beginning here in Little Rock where there is a grass roots movement of discipleship, that is biblical and church-centered. A movement in and around Little Rock that mobilizes the laity across denominations and cultures.  One that encourages people to start new small groups and uses First Principles to establish people in their faith and allow people to see their potential in Gods kingdom.

I hope to see more groups like this that are multi-church where we are learning biblically-based and church-centered approach that strengthens our churches and builds unity of a city-wide movement for Jesus.  May God continue to bless this movement for His Kingdom and grant us wisdom in the days ahead.

Dee Brown is a lay elder at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, AR and participant in the Arkansas Antioch Initiative Leadership Cohort.

 

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Seek the Welfare of Our Community

The prophet Jeremiah writes in Jeremiah 29:7, But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. We are seeking to mobilize the church in strategic areas to seek the welfare of our community. These include seeking the welfare of children, seeking the welfare of families, and seeking the welfare of neighborhoods that could use a helping hand.

Love Children
We are seeking to encourage church and school partnerships through strategic partners such as STEP, AR Kids Read, and Kids Hope USA.

We invite Central Arkansas churches to continue to partner with The CALL, Project Zero, and Immerse Arkansas to become a community where there are no children waiting for a caring home.

This year want to focus on a new partnership with Safe Families for Children.   Safe Families is a movement that assist church families in helping children and families Crisis.

The best way to love our children is through healthy families and marriage is God’s plan for the family.    We are partnering with FamilyLife and the Central Arkansas Marriage Initiative to encourage to serve churches in the development of marriage ministry.

Serve our community
CityServe seeks to unite Central Arkansas Churches to demonstrating the love of Christ (Matt. 5:16) in a Saturday Day of Service on April 29, 2017.   The focus of CityServe 2017 will be to love our neighbors by serving neighborhoods that could use a helping hand.

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Central Arkansas Antioch School

The Central Arkansas Antioch Initiative is a platform for local church-based theological education that is fully integrated into community development, church planting and vocational pursuit.  In partnership with the Biblical Institute for Leadership Development (BILD), their North American 30-City Urban Initiative and the internationally accredited Antioch School, the Central Arkansas Antioch Initiative seeks the welfare of our city by:

  • Strengthening church leadership through ordered and intentional Biblical training;
  • Engaging churches and individuals into self-directed collaborative learning networks;
  • Drawing resources into urban communities of need;
  • Organizing world-class and affordable Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate of Ministry degrees;
  • Synchronizing academic development with local, church-based ministry and community development practicums
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