The Mini-Yo-We Leadership Podcast
Episode #1: Jon Thompson on Leading Between Two Giant Gorillas
Today we have a great message from Jon Thompson, the teaching and visionary pastor at C4 Church. We asked him if he had one message he wanted to give to the young leaders of the next generation what would it be? We want to share his great message with everyone.
Jon tells us that people today now live between two massive gorillas in life: on one side is the secular, sexual revolution and on the other the rise of dangerous fundamentalism that kills in the name of God. Both of those groups believe we are with the other group. The secular, sexual revolution calls Christians hateful, backward, and medieval, while the fundamentalist group that kills in the name of God calls us compromised, untruthful, and secular. It is harder and more important than ever to stand with God and fight legalism and hate and violence, while also declaring that God has standards and you have to live them.
But there are guaranteed places where we can always encounter God. He is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere, but according to the bible He is always closely found in certain places. Surviving and thriving between these two gorillas requires this knowledge of knowing where to find God.
- God is always around the gospel. // In Romans 1:16 Paul says that the gospel has sheer power. It is the actual dynamic where the Holy Spirit applies everything that God the Father and the Son has done into a broken life. Do not be afraid when sharing the gospel because Jesus is standing right there beside you.
- God is always around the bible. // All scripture is God-breathed. It is vital for teaching us, rebuking us, and training us in the path of righteousness. The Holy Spirit leads us into God’s truth, and God’s truth and teaching is found in the written word of God. There are 66 books that are written by different authors and times and backgrounds, but it is all God-breathed. God used the Holy Spirit to create these books and it is always present and hovering over these words.
- God is always found in spiritual disciplines. // Spiritual disciplines are the only ongoing guaranteed place to be transformed as a Christian after you’ve met God through Jesus. Holy habits keep your relations healthy. Jesus is God, and He used spiritual disciplines to continue to walk with God. Jesus demonstrated for us throughout the bible that spiritual disciplines allow you to find God.
- God is always found in spiritual gifts. // Spiritual gifts are the only ongoing place to serve the world. Some people are naturally born with athletic gifts, others with gifts of math or science, others are learning acquired skills. All of it can be used for God’s kingdom, but the only place in the bible that God’s presence is found is through spiritual gifts. God uses these gifts to spread His word. Ask Jesus what your spiritual gift is and how you can use it to spread the Holy Spirit.
- God is always found when we gather together in worship. // Sometimes you love to be in church, while other times you wish you were anywhere else. It doesn’t matter what style of church you attend or create, Revelation 5 shows that when we sing or praise or say Amen the we enter into the presence of God with many angels and every person who has ever loved Jesus. God lives in the presence of His people. We are the temples of God and when we gather we encounter God. If you don’t make these gathering priorities in your life, you will walk away from the faith because you will not encounter Him throughout your life.
- God is always found in communion. // Communion is a place of remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But it’s not just remembering His death, it’s encountering Jesus in that presence. Jesus ate throughout the bible with the sinners, and being sinners when we take communion He continues eating with us within this world to show how He loves us.
- God is always found in baptism. // When we accept Jesus Christ, it’s not about what we’ve done for Him but what He does for us. Baptism is the symbol of our marriage to Jesus, our proclamation that we belong to Him and no other gods. Jesus is present every time someone is baptized and we are to be close to Him as He says those vows with that person.
- God is always found in suffering. // We have been taught that we should not experience suffering, but when you read the scriptures carefully you find that this is a place when we can encounter Him. When you suffer for Godly things they become the environment where you get to walk with Jesus. Everything in you wants to avoid this path, but suffering is the place where you encounter Jesus the closest. Christ suffered for us, leaving the example for us to follow in His steps. Suffering for the gospel is part of a normal Christian life and every time that happens we become close to Jesus.
Throughout his great talk, Jon reveals these encounters with us and teaches us to look for God there so that we can walk with Him throughout our lives.
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