Dave Browning, in his book Deliberate Simplicity, said “The success of CTK is a credit to the genius of the Holy Spirit. We have been given a different conceptual framework with which to work, and we are thankful.” It’s all about participation with the Holy Spirit. Dave Browning described the CTK story as a divine-human partnership. He said, “We couldn’t do it without God, but God has also chosen not to do it without us. And we have worked hard to cooperate with God.”

Did you catch that? We have worked HARD to cooperate with God. I was reflecting on this yesterday during both of our morning worship services. We had worked hard to cooperate and partner with the Holy Spirit and God showed up! I decided I would start posting our setlist at Forest Park Carthage and the “Why?” behind what we did each Monday here on my blog. But before I just started posting and you think it’s just about listing cool or current songs, I wanted to get to the heart behind what we do – and it’s this concept of partnering with the Holy Spirit.

The last time I preached at my campus, I preached on this concept of partnership and my text was from Philippians 1:3-6 (NIV) –

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel…

I talked about:

  • Us partnering with God (God has done His part on the cross and He still draws men and women to Himself through the work of the Holy Spirit)
  • The pastors and staff partnering with the congregation (we do things with excellence and will never embarrass them when they bring a guest)
  • And the church partnering with the us to reach this community (by inviting friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to church)

It’s a 3 part partnership and the theme I kept bringing up over and over was “We’re in this together!” This is our simple (not easy) plan to reach people for Christ in our community and it centers around this idea of partnership.

I was blown away yesterday in our worship by the God moments and times that the Holy Spirit orchestrated. We had some great moments that we worked hard to partner with the Holy Spirit. And then we had some moments (like ties back into the Colorado movie theater shooting) that we didn’t plan for and God orchestrated. Our message was on “Where is God in the midst of tragedy?” We taped our video message on Tuesday and the shooting happened on late Thursday night. We couldn’t have planned that.

What we did do is make the most of it and let people know through social media that we would be talking about God’s work behind-the-scenes on Sunday and answering the question of where is He when tragedy strikes. I also took a moment during my Welcome time (after the second song) to pause and pray for our brothers and sisters in Colorado. I then let our prayer lead into a powerful song that reminded us of Who God is. It was a special day and reminded me of the genius of the Holy Spirit (as Dave Browning put it).

So tomorrow I’ll post our Sunday setlist and link to our message so you can watch the intro and hear what our Lead Pastor said about God being present in tragedy – which we taped before the shooting. From here on out, I’ll post our Sunday set list each Monday morning, but know that we’re not just picking cool/trendy songs. We do like to stay cutting edge (but that’s another story). The main point is that we work hard to partner with the Holy Spirit and that’s what I hope you take away from my writing.

So, how was your Sunday? Did you mention the Colorado tragedy at all? How did God move in your service?

Greg Atkinson

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