a LOVE2020 “Q&A” with National Coordinator, Kathy Branzell
>Kathy, one of our colleagues, John Armstrong, has just published a book entitled Costly Love, which he said was written partly as a gift/resource to the LOVE2020 movement. Please talk about how this is an example of an individual’s ownership of the LOVE2020 vision forging a new partnership and creating a new resource …
KATHY BRANZELL~ First of all, I want to thank John for this incredible gift! He has really taken hold of the vision of LOVE2020 “heart and soul.” I am always so excited to see the light bulb go on over people’s heads when they realize how profound, yet simple it is to love. Love turns away anger, gives, hope, brings peace, grows friendships, transforms lives and communities. Love listens, love gives, love expresses itself in millions of ways and that is how Jesus brings us new partners and new resources to help us to share His love and message. >LOVE2020 is simple. A simple call to live out the Great Commission and obey the Great Commandment as an everyday, everywhere, lifestyle. But simple can be misleading. How is the call to a love-motivated, prayer-care-share lifestyle “costly,” as John’ books title reminds us?
KATHY ~ Love should be on our minds and on our calendars every day. In today’s busy world, it seems that everything we do comes at the cost of something else. We have to take a good long look at where we spend out time, talent and treasure and ask ourselves, “Are my priorities God’s priorities?” “Am I fulfilling my destiny or just filling my days?” Put love on your calendar every day and hold yourself accountable; prayer-care-share will become a lifestyle as we deliberately make them a habit. >LOVE2020 is inviting leaders and pastors to engage their members in 40 Days of Love. What is you hope for this fall in congregations? Across cities and towns?
KATHY ~ I am so excited about the 40 Days of Love! It is my prayer that every Christian, every congregation, in every community, will witness the transforming power of love move in the lives of the 10 people they commit to praying for- caring- and sharing the gospel with over those 40 days. It is my prayer that every time someone turns around they bump into the love of Jesus and one of His followers. I pray that Pastors will commission their congregations to be the hands and heart of Jesus in their workplace, schools, neighborhoods. I pray that we will seek out the hurting, hopeless and helpless; to make a difference – an eternal difference – every day.
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THE LOVE THAT EMPOWERS US TO “LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS”
LET LOVE LOOSE THIS FALL
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD!
STORIES . . . PROMO FLIER . . .LOVE2020 TV
The LOVE that EMPOWERS US to LOVE NEIGHBORS is a . . .
The central question of this book is: “What does it mean to believe that God is love and, more particularly, what does it mean for the church of Jesus Christ to live this love?” Over the years I have discovered my lifelong passion—promoting the unity of the whole church in the mission of Christ by rooting all that we do in the triune love of God in Jesus Christ. Today I believe that this growing movement of unity among Christians will have a major impact on our world as this century unfolds.
Extravagant love is the phrase that perfectly describes what I now desire for my life and for the church of Jesus Christ. But this extravagant love is costly. It was won at the great price of Christ’s sacrifice; thus, its value is beyond words. From the Introduction by John Armstrong
John wrote this book, partly as a response to a question posed at the
2012 Mission America Coalition Leadership Consultation.
Paul Cedar was casting a vision for what is now the LOVE2020.com movement ~ a vision
that every person in America will be loved authentically by at least one Jesus follower by year end 2020 ~
and Paul asked everyone present to identify how they would contribute.
John replied that he was about to author a book that would be a clear and compelling case for Jesus followers to adopt a radical, extravagant lifestyle of love. This is that book.
Last fall, a few pastors in Orlando, Florida caught a vision for sending their members
into their neighborhoods with the love of Jesus.
A few churches quickly became many.
One city’s vision expanded to towns and cities across their state. And even jumped the oceans.
This fall, a team has been assembled to invite 40 cities across the United States to participate … and since Chicago is “my kind of town,” I am inviting my Windy City colleagues and friends.
This is a “no excuse” opportunity.
•NO additional planning or programming needed
Your members, most of them, have been trained/equipped/preparing for years, and this is just the gentle nudge you need to get them out of their comfortable seats to sharing Christ’s love in the streets
40 Days of Love is simply a description of our daily lifestyle. Nothing new here.
Give simple, clear, instructions.
Take time every Sunday for people to share how the Lord is leading them.
INTERVIEW: Become INCARNATIONAL In Your NEIGHBORHOODS
Phil Miglioratti ~ TELL US 3-4 THINGS ABOUT YOUR MINISTRY LIFE THAT WILL HELP US UNDERSTAND YOUR PASSION TO AUTHOR THIS BOOK.
Lynn Cory ~ My ministry life, as you term it, began well over forty years ago, when I was called to serve as the college pastor of a rapidly growing church in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. And even though our ministry enjoyed every conceivable success from a worldly standpoint, I couldn’t help but feel that something was lacking or not quite right. I couldn’t put my finger on the problem, so I began to read every book took a simple job in a warehouse. My hunger to find what was lacking in my former experience led me to start a church in our home. There was something in that experience that seemed right . . . more in line with what I believed the New Testament to be saying. We grew steadily, eventually exceeding 60 adults and 25 children, but with a fulltime job, a wife and three young children, I just couldn’t meet all the demands. After four years leading the house church, our family became involved with the local Vineyard. The experience was more informal and fit well for our family. After a time, I joined the pastoral team, but something began to stir in me again . . . something that said the Lord has more in mind for His people. I wish I could be like everyone else and just go with the flow of church today, but the Lord has written evangelism into my DNA and a need to be in community with those outside the Church. The Incarnational Church conveys what I believe is necessary for the Church to be in step with what the Lord desires for His people in this particular season of history.
PHIL ~ HOW DOES YOUR NEW BOOK DIFFER FROM YOUR PREVIOUS BOOK, “NEIGHBORHOOD INITIATIVE AND THE LOVE OF GOD?”
Lynn ~ Neighborhood Initiative focused primarily on the individual believer and how one can live incarnationally in one’s own neighborhood. It gives helpful tools and stories to show how those in the Church can begin to connect with their actual neighbors and how believers can join with the Father in what He doing in the lives of those who surround us. In this new book, however, the focus is on the Whole Church in every city becoming collectively incarnational. By that I mean . . . the corporate body of Christ working together as one to replicate the life and ministry of Jesus in the cities and neighborhoods where He has placed us. While the first book was written with every believer in mind, The Incarnational Church is a sequel aimed more at pastors and leaders.
PHIL ~ WHAT DOES THE SUBTITLE, “CATCHING JESUS’ RADICAL APPROACH FOR ADVANCING HIS KINGDOM” TELL US ABOUT YOUR PERSPECTIVE OF THE INCARNATIONAL LIFE?
Lynn ~ The American church, for the most part, utilizes an operating system known as the attractional model. Very succinctly, I characterize the attractional church model in this way. READ COMPLETE INTERVIEW