The Vision of Dr. Joe Aldrich

There is no way that those of us who knew Dr. Joe Aldrich can express what he meant to our lives. To me, he was first and foremost one of the strongest visionaries I have every met. He was also President of Multnomah University, author of many books – I could mention many achievements. But first and foremost, to me he was a man of vision and faith.

“Faith requires a large Investment & ongoing commitment.”
Joe Aldrich

Dr. Joe had an amazing vision. He said he wondered what would it take to initiate and sustain a significant work of God in a specific geographical community. George Otis, Jr., has documented hundreds of places in the world today where this is happening and the Holy Spirit is breaking through in power. George Otis has spend much of his recent years documenting some conditions that lead to those. The key factors, he found,  involved prayer, belief, faith, and persistence.

Joe Aldrich and visioning

Dr. Joe Aldrich

Dr. Joe saw himself as a servant leader, servant to the Word and and servant in the world. He taught us to lead as servant leaders, always reminding us that his job was to serve the pastors and their churches, and he was a servant to them and to the Church, which is led by the Holy Spirit and is the very Body of Christ.

Here are some notes I took from a message he gave many  years ago. I’ve added a few personal notes.

The Necessity of the Church

Someone once told me that there is no such thing as the solitary Christian. The warfare is too heavy, the Enemy too strong. Unless individuals come together as the church and churches come together as Church, the cause is lost. God purposely humbles each of us by not giving us all the gifts we need to accomplish to mission to which Christ has called us. For this reason the Church, as the Body of Christ, is a necessity.

The Necessity for Unity

Dr. Joe said there were two words in the Greek language for unity. One, or heis, translates as an organic unity. One familiar use of this word is in the Lord’s Prayer of John 17.

“Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.”
John 17:11 NKJV (emphasis added)

“…that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in unity, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
John 17:21-23 NKJV (emphasis added)

The other Greek word used in the New Testament to refer to unity is homothumadomon, and translates to refers to a functional unity. It translates more accurately as “in one accord”. It refers to people united around a common cause, and is used ten times in the book of Acts (1:14, 2:46, 4:24, 5:12, 7:57. 8:6. 12:20, 15:25, 18:12, and 19:29). It is used again in Romans 15:6. Many of these references refer to the coming together of the early church as the Gifts of the Holy Spirit were poured out. Let’s take a quick overview of how this second Greek word for unity was used in the New Testament. See if you can find the key, or common, words in each example:

Jerusalem (in the upper room or temple) after the resurrection, ascension, and before Pentecost.

“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
Acts 1:14 NKJV (emphasis added)

Jerusalem, after Peter’s sermon.

“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:46-47 NIV (emphasis added)

Jerusalem church in prayer and praise after the healing of the lame man and Peter’s sermon.

So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, …”
Acts 4:24-25 NKJV (emphasis added)

You can follow looking at the other references given for this word in Acts. Not all of them refer to the Church.

The Building of Unity in Portland

Dr. Joe wanted to see what would it take to initiate and sustain a significant work of God in Portland. He began the prayer summit movement, International Renewal Ministry”, in 1986 in an effort to bring the pastors together to pray for this awakening. That same year he brought another leader, Terry Dirks, in to help him. These leaders worked to initiate the organic unity, or heis, in the city. With these prayer summits they would take hundreds of local pastors to the coast and pray for at least four days for the coming of the Holy Spirit in the Portland area.

This prayer movement in Portland led eventually to the Billy Graham Crusade in 1992, one of the best Crusades the Billy Graham leadership ever saw. Some 30,000 people made decisions for Christ in the event. This crusade is documented in a PBS special on the life of Billy Graham (Crusade: The Life of Billy Graham – available on VHS from PBS Home Video as B3346V).(1) Other video was also published on this event. Bob Waymire with Carl Townsend also published a book “Discovering Your City” giving details of the “How to” of the diagnostic research that went into the preparation of the event. The book is available from our office for $14.95 plus postage.

This success of the prayer summits soon spread to 40 states and 30 countries with more summits started internationally. This was started as the heis, or organic component of the Dr. Joe’s vision and under his leadership with the help of Terry Dirks. Although Dr. Joe died in 2009 after a 15 year battle with Parkinson’s, the prayer movement he started continues today. Terry Dirks died in his sleep in 2009 at in Japan as they planned another prayer summit there.

The prayer summits movement continues today, and you can read more at their website at http://prayersummits.net/.

After starting the prayer summits, Dr. Joe started Mission Portland as a network of networks to lead in building the homothumadomon, or functional unity, in the city. Mission Portland continues more as a linkage today, with its website at http:/www.missionportland.org. One of the key projects of Mission Portland was a directory of all the life-giving churches and parachurch agencies in the city involved in the Kingdom Enterprise, i.e., the Harvest Force. I was very much involved in that.

The Challenge Today

fireToday, several decades later, our culture has become increasingly diverse and the secular pressures have increased that are trying to destroy the freedoms our early fathers fought and gave their lives to give us. Yet the issue of unity and grace that Dr Joe and Terry Dirks lived is even more important. Dr. Joe gave us vision, and Terry Dirks showed us how to give Grace (and more).

The functional unity that both led in breathing in our city is again alive and you can experience it at the annual MissionconneXion conference in Portland.

NOTES
1. If you order the tape, be sure to catch the interview with Billy Graham at the end of the tape. The interviewer asks Graham why the Portland Crusade was so successful. I love Graham’s answer. If you can’t get the tape, I’ll be glad to share what Graham said.


Carl is a researcher, writer, speaker based in Portland, Oregon.

He also designs really high quality and affordable web sites for people that dream big. Where are you dreaming? Using the Internet and a web site, you can build networks that are not geographically limited to reach across churches and geographic boundaries to effect change. Also feel free to donate if you wish to help Carl’s ministry work. That option is on this site’s About page,

Also, if you dream big and want to explore your own web site or social media experience and talk with Carl about it, if you are in the Portland area he’ll give you free help to get started for the cost of his cup of coffee. Go ahead – call or email him today!

Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero – Excerpt

 

aragorn300After the dinner, Mark stood again. “…Years ago as a child I remember growing up in the Northwest. I remember sitting in my mother’s lap by the fireplace as she read to me out of a children’s Bible. She read about some real heroes that were unbelievable. There was Moses, Daniel, Elijah, Jonathan. Remember Jonathan? Those Israelites were small in number, and the thousands of Philistines with iron weapons were camped to defeat them. Saul and Jonathan were the only Israelites with swords, and Saul was asleep under a pomegranate tree. Jonathan got up that night and, with his armor-bearer, said ‘Let’s get ‘em.’ They killed 20 in a few minutes time and ended up routing the entire Philistine army. Love those stories—and the heroes.”

“Later my mother took me to meetings where I met some real heroes, leaders in the eyes of my mother, and with them she challenged me. One day she gave me my own Bible. In it, the words of Jesus were in red. ‘I thought,’ I told her, ‘that what Jesus did was more important than what he said.’ She told me I was right. ‘Then,’ I asked, ‘why don’t they make a Bible with what Jesus did in red?’”

“She smiled and gently replied. ‘You are right, but they don’t make Bibles that way. When Jesus lives in your heart as Savior and Lord, your hands become the hands of Jesus.’”

“‘I want that.’ I told my mother. And she led me to the Lord.”

“Some day, when my life story is written, I pray my works might be seen as those of Christ and, in that sense, ‘in red.’”

“We each have our dreams. For each of us, the temptress calls, like the singing siren, and lulls us from taking any conscious action. We tend to avoid the pain of rejection, doubt, and disappointment and have numbed ourselves from the epic story of a life fully lived to which God calls us. To sleep through your dreams is to choose a life of restless nights and unfulfilled passions. I applaud the work of this small group that now challenges every one of us and yes, even the sleeping church. God’s invitation to each of us is to seize the divine, or kairos moments, which are found in the needs of other people’s lives and to speak that moment into them, to encourage them to take hold of their own epic story, even as you take hold of your own moment.”

Home: http://www.creatingnewworlds.org

ruler1

Book 1, Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero is already out and and can be ordered from Amazon.com:

Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero (PB)- $11.00 by Carl Townsend More information (“fiction”)
First book in a fictional novel series about a small church committed to restoring America.
copyright 2015, Carl Townsend

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Getting Your Message Through Part 1- Carl Townsend

megaphoneIf your are serious about God’s call on your life, God will give you  a burden, a message. You then begin to respond that call and call other people to join you in terms of that call God is placing on your heart. That is your message. There are many ways to get your message out: social media, a blog, magazine articles, authoring/publishing a book, speaking, singing. and more.  How you share is important, but also here are some issues common to all of these.

  1. Who shares your message? Identify, in contemporary language, who is your tribe? Who also owns the same message? This “tribe” defines others you know that share your burden and message. This identifies your tribe and may exist within your current church, a viral church, your network of churches, or you may need to create your own “Church”. One major pastor shared with me as I left for a new job: “Stay with the vision God gives you, even if it costs your your life. Join a church that affirms that vision. If  you cant find it,, build it yourself with others that share it. As an example, back in the eighties Dr. Joe Aldrich began sounding a message that he wanted to see one city or region anywhere totally transformed by the Power of the Holy Spirit. By the early nineties, George Otis, Jr. had identified a dozen cities in the world where that was already happening.  His Sentinel group published the video story of four of these cities on  a DVD. Last time I talked with Otis, he had identified some 250 cities or regions worldwide, with fires started in some 500 more as this grows. This didn’t make your local newspaper, did it? In my own city. Dr. Joe identified those pastors who wished to see this locally and called them to prayer. We had a database of 1800 churches in our four-county area. In the Christian language, you define the harvest force.
  2. Define your audience very specifically. The “audience” defines those whom God wishes to hear your specific message. To use the Internet, which is very inexpensive, you need to aim at a very specific audience. This is very different from traditional advertising, which casts its net to a very broad audience to get a few people within it taking action. Your audience should be a group of people you are naturally called to. In the Christian language, this is your harvest field.
  3. Define your message. What is your specific message to your audience? What is your burden and passion? In Chapter 1 of Nehemiah, what was Nehemiah’s burden and passion? It was not building a wall. This wall isn’t even mentioned in the first chapter. For example, it might be “Restore America” or “Transformation of America” as the message. Your message should be one that your audience can understand and relate to their heart -need.
  4. Add value to the vision of your audience. For this you need to know the need of your audience. This is heart question. What is the heart of your audience? Now you need to communicate your message in terms of the heart need. With Nehemiah, the heart need was security. Jerusalem, or what was left of it was destroyed and they were surrounded by enemies. Nehemiah was going to address that by building the wall. Their real need was a unity and oneness and spiritual recovery.  He spoke to that by leading them in building the wall. The wall was the vehicle for the real need. Some years ago in Portland we had discovered using powerful mapping tools a Hispanic community without a church and needing one. Their want was ESL classes to learn English so they could get jobs. We started by addressing their need. We can confuse needs and wants if we are not careful. Define each for your audience, then add value.
  5. Define the warfare. What is keeping you from carrying your message forward? Finances? time? education? health? depression? Define your counter strategies for each. If the Lord wants you to deliver this message, He will provide a way if you commit. You’re the “postman”. Your job is to deliver the mail, not fight the dogs.
  6. Go personal. When younger I, like others, kept a journal (still do). I’d  get upset if anyone read it.  Now I journal on Facebook. So does a lot of my tribe. And I want you to read it. The personal posts that I do get read  the most, and are also shared the most.  If you want your posts to go viral, getting your readers to share you is essential. Don’t use Truth to beat others. Build relationships in trust and love.
  7. Evaluate. Make sure you have some type of feedback system to measure your on-going success.

(You may share his post. Please share. We do SEO (search engine optimization), SMO (social media optimization), web site design, and more. Contact us for more information.)

Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality

“For the revelation [vision] awaits an appointed time ,it speaks [as to kindle a fire] of the end [the Karios moment]. Though it linger, wait for it.it will certainly come and will not delay.” Hab. 2:3

get beyond illusion
Look at the Nehemiah story.  Those guys doing the spiritual mapping of Jerusalem were reporting to Nehemiah that there was no vision, no passion, no security, no leadership and that those chosen people there were in disgrace. Is that a picture of America today? So here this one man goes in and turns that completely around in 52 days. Really? Remember this “one man” first spent four months in prayer and fasting. For what was Nehemiah praying? There is no wall mentioned in that first chapter of Nehemiah. He wasn’t praying for a wall. For what was he praying?

Carl’s book. Beyond Illusion: Leading from Reality, speaks into this change. Take a look at the Table of Contents, then order your copy from Amazon.com.

 

 

Ferguson and the Church

Mandella

South Africa The Good News

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hope it will kill your enemies.” Nelson Mandela.

Like many others in America, I weep as I see the effect of what happened and is happening in Ferguson and other violence (as sexual assaults on the campuses) issues as they sweep across the nation and the riots emerge in one city after another, including my own city of Portland Oregon. I don’t expect it to go away any time soon, as the basic causes till remain. I share a deep burden and pain for what is going in in America. There are many causes, but one of these is very important. There is a movement going on in our culture toward something call modernism, liberalism – it has many names. In this you define your own rules for your world view. There are no absolutes. The problem this is that their are, indeed, some absolutes. When someone tells me there are no absolutes, I tell them they have just contradicted themselves by making an absolute statement.  There are absolutes (see Amos 7:1ff). When America was founded, the wise men who led the nation then established the Constitution as our reference for legal and political decisions. The Constitution, in turn, was built on the Bible and philosophical principles birthed by the Protestant Reformation. When we refer to America as a Christian nation, it doesn’t mean we are Christians. We are saying we are built on the Judea-Christian principles. If you don’t like those rules, move somewhere else. A law court here, for example, will not judge by the Sharia. If you can’t honor out system, move to a country that honors what you want. Don’t try to change us. Obama, for example, has been a disaster as a President. He tries  to lead from his twisted Muslim faith and a narcissistic mentality among other things. He’s tried to throw out our Constitution (which he says is not valid anymore) and lead as a emperor or king from his own laws, even though on his inauguration he swore to uphold the Constitution. Congress, in refusing to hold him accountable, has also failed and running on their own laws, which vary among the leadership there. They have left the Constitution, which they swore to uphold as well. Then the police leave the rules of law. After awhile the people say they can do that, too, and they become ungovernable, as at Ferguson – with riots now at at lease a dozen cities. When this begins to happen, you no longer have a republican government. You have anarchy. There are many posts circulating on the Internet that Ferguson could be TIME’s “Man of the Year”. Makes sense. (It did get the #2 slot.) At a conference a few years ago with George Barna of Barna Research, He told us that in five years we would have either anarchy or revival. Looks like America has chosen anarchy. What does mean for me as a Christian and the Church? At the root of all this we are basically looking at a spiritual warfare. The enemy (Satan) is after the very hearts of men – your  heart. The anger, resentment, depression, hate – all of it – is part of the attack from the enemy. From what I see, most Christians don’t even know there is a war going on. In addition they don’t seem to know God calls them to be a part of the warfare. We enjoy our coffee-time before Sunday School, contemporary music, and non-threatening messages. Jesus was not meek and mild. He threw out the money-changers in the temple just days before his arrest and death. Do you know why? The temple was so busy with the money-changers and their corruption of what God was trying to do that the people who needed to be healed could not get in. The kids saw what Jesus was really trying to do and celebrated, praising God. Jesus led from a righteous indignation  and upset “what is. ” Where is the Church today?

Ed Silvoso, spiritual warfare

Ed Silvoso, Creative Commons

“The Church in the West today presents too easy a target for Satan.  We do not believe we are at war.  We do not know where the battleground is located, and, in spite of our weapons, they are neither loaded nor aimed at the right target.  We are unaware of how vulnerable we are.” Ed Silvoso

Barna also said at the conference that of the churches he has worked with, over 90% had no strategic and objective mission statement. As I began authoring my Breaking Light book series, I asked myself what would the Church look like here? You see the young protagonist striking out to find his manhood in this world of confusion. Can he find a Church that can call him out as warrior, hero, and leader in this culture? The Church that God leads him to is called The Phoenix  in the book doesn’t even have a mission statement. They have a mantra found in Luke 4:18-24. Then they send him out with a very bold assignment. They soon find themselves way over their heads with their lives at stake. Big adventure!! Book 1 of the series is out now as Breaking Light: Birth of a Hero.. Order from Amazon.com or see: http://creatingnewworlds.org/2014/08/06/breaking-light-birth-of-a-hero/ Great gift for a friend this Christmas! Only $10.

Website: http://www.creatingnewworlds.org