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Graham Cooke, Tuesday Afternoon 1

May 1, 2008

Well, I receive and process teachings better if I write them out while I listen to them, so I am going topost the teachings that I’ve typed out so far…I hope that they bless and challenge you. Please pardon the typos and such…it’s hard to keep up with Graham… So this is what I get to do at work during this season…sweet huh?

Here’s the link if you want to hear them:

http://gracefellowship.libsyn.com/index.php?post_category=2005%20GOIAM%20Conference

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Graham Cooke Tuesday Afternoon 1

He’s focused on present-future. Who you are now and who you are going to be in the future. He is not concerned about your past.

30,000 ppl leaving the church each year because ppl are bored silly.

Every relationship on earth can only exist in it’s present form for three to five years and then it has to change. It’s called growing up. If that’s true in the natural then it’s true in the spiritual too. All good relationships are kept by having an upgrade.

We need to understand our people, who God’s given us and what the next stage is that God is taking us through. When Jesus was going to give the message about His core statement about His mission here on Earth…he didn’t do it on the sermon on the mount. He did it in the church. He read Isaiah 61 and He starts talking about setting prisoner’s free… He knew that there were more people bound up in the church than bound up in the world. Religion that bound them to rules but never freed them up.

He is unchanging in His nature but he is changing everything. He loves you for who you are right now but He has a plan for you to change you…a dream for you. We need to understand the next level of the dream. This isn’t it…it’s just a stage along the way. We are building a church along the lines of the dream that God has.

Acts 2:42 So then those who received his word were baptized. They devoted themselves to the teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayer…many wonders and signs…all who believed were together and had all things in common. One mind… adding to their number day by day…

Acts 4:32…the congregation was of one heart and soul…giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus…not a needy person among them…

Acts 5:12 many signs and wonders among the people…together as one accord…none of the rest dared to associate with them but they held them with high esteem…multiple ppl added to their number.

This is just the beginning..we are not trying to get back to the book of Acts..that’s just a good beginning. On earth as it is in heaven…how do we get heaven in our midst? How do we attract God? We have to live in the same paradigm that he is living in…we need the same relationships on earth that exist in heaven. Heaven opens and the holy spirit descends in bodily form on the Lord Jesus…this is my beloved son, listen to him…the holy spirit directs us to Jesus and Jesus directs us to the Father.

Jesus says that its better for you if I go away…listen guys, the holy spirit is better than me at this next stage…so Jesus wants to step out of the way and give the holy spirit center stage..what does the holy spirit do? He talks about Jesus and helps establish us in Christ. Honor…releasing one another, loving one another, preferring one another, blessing one another.

Prayer 24/7 won’t bring the presence of God…if you practice the one another’s in the new testament then the presence will come. God works and moves in a relational paradigm…not a functional paradigm. The problem is that the church is in a functional paradigm. You have to go back to a relational paradigm.

We always substitute relationship for function…it’s takes discipline to hang out with God. It’s a different kind of discipline and stamina to wait…a different kind of energy to wait on the Lord. Some of us make the biggest mistakes because we move too soon. It seemed good but then we find out that it actually wasn’t. God is holding out his hand and saying that it’s about fellowship with me first. We are learning…having to learn..to learn how to wait and to walk with one another.

God has a dream for the church and a dream for every single person that you have under your care. God is useless at one thing: when people fulfill His dream about something, He cannot stay away. He is helpless…He sees ppl living in unity and living out a dream, He has to go down there and take a look. Our goal is to make it impossible to get God to stay away.

“What would it take for you to believe that I am unceasingly magnificent?” –God

Whatever it is that you need to do, do it. We have reduced things to methodologies. It’s not about that. It’s about understanding God for who He really, really is. Start knowing what He likes. Start enjoying your sonship. Enjoying the way that God does things, enjoying the way He thinks.

Beloved, you are not going to be happy if you are not living out the dream God has for you. Think about the church that you are in –what’s their dream? and think about what God has for the church. Functional paradigm is only ever concerned about economy. How can we do the most with the least amount of time and the least amt of resources. And most ppl etc.In the book of Acts the church works in a gathered paradigm and a scattered paradigm. What he does Sunday morning is so minimal b/c it’s not life. It’s just a meeting. And meetings have a purpose. If we limit God to Sunday mornings it’s no wonder that we are missing so much of what the holy spirit is wanting to do. When we operate from a functional paradigm we want to do it all on Sunday morning. The church met in homes and occasionally met in Solomon’s portico…they didn’t use it every week. From house to house everyone would come with something that they could contribute.

How many of your people have dreams that have no chance of being fulfilled in your current paradigm? The Pharisees were dream thieves of their day. They originated a system that meant they could manage everyone’s spirituality. Thus taking away the need of the Holy Spirit. That is what Jesus came to set ppl free from. Jesus came to set ppl free and we have cell church. Hmm… The thing is, we don’t’ build relationships with our ppl primarily b/c we are too busy to build a relationship with God ourselves.

The premise with the way that we are ‘doing’ church is at odds with the Kingdom of Heaven. Something has to change. We have to walk off our map. No church can stand to have 52 life changing messages and no one’s life changes. How many sermons have you heard in your life and how many have been transforming for you?

Think of it this way: Prechristian gets gloriously saved…so excited…comes to their first meeting so excited with new bible and pen and notebook, then takes notes, walk it off, then back in church, then bible study on Tuesday…why? b/c that’s what they are encouraged to do. Jesus didn’t say, ‘I come so that you may have meetings and that you may have them more abundantly.” So they come in the first month and attend 12 meetings and what are they doing apart from learning how to take good notes.

They are learning how to listen but not how to hear. They are learning how to despise the word of God when it’s preached… unconsciously. Meanwhile, the world is moving away from the paradigm of truth that we grew up with. The organ of receptivity was the ear. But we are living in the postmodern world and the organ for receptivity is the eye not the ear—show me. People say I have my truth you have your truth. You respect mine I respect your’s. People want to see God do something. I love postmodernism b/c it is taylor-made for brining us back to being a supernatural church. You are a supernatural being. It’s time we acted like it. We have a church that is moving only in hearing so we have our whole idea of ministry which is not biblical b/c it doesn’t produce the body of Christ. Church is like this huge quivering bottom with a mouth on it. How can you teach something and then not bring people into an experience of what you are teaching. The thing is we don’t understand process so we don’t understand that most of our growth comes form process and not the laying on of hands. So we have a culture that works against heaven and not for it. What we’ve done with all our teaching is created an audience and not an army. People come to listen but know that they don’t’ really have to follow through with it b/c there will be another teaching next week.

This is attractive? I don’t think Jesus is coming back for that girl. He’s coming back for something a little more attractive than that. Give him credit for some taste. How can we teach our ppl so much but bring them into so little? We are about preached out. 30,000 ppl leaving the church, a minimum. People are bored rigid. People need to do, to be, to know that they can come and have a dream…a company of people where they can make mistakes and grow into my dream. We have unconscious pharisaical mentality towards our ppl b/c we don’t understand them. We are not taking the time to get into their hearts. Who are you? What are you called to be? What is on your heart to do? How can I help you to be the best you can be? That’s our job. We’re not here to preach each week. We are here to release ppl into a dream.

What’s the Lord saying to you? What do you want to become? How can I help you with that? How can I know that the dream is real and not made up? How can we connect reality with that dream? What is it that you need to do? What needs to emerge within you? What kind of ppl do you need to be with? You can not impose a vision on people. We work from the bottom up not the top down. I’m not here to fulfill someone else’s dream. I have dreams of my own. I want to know who I want to walk with and who has the same vision. Vision of the house grows up from that.

Vision is easy to get. Spend five minutes in the Starbucks. Every church has similar visions. Heart for the lost, heart for the nations. You can write it down in three minutes if you speed write. But how does that vision look in our body? How does the vision come through this bunch of people?

I had a church that wanted me to consult with them about their vision for the church. They gave me the vision for the people and I didn’t have a witness to any of it and I tore it up and asked, ‘Have you spoken to your people about what’s in their hearts?’ God doesn’t give vision to the leaders for the house…He sows it in the hearts of individuals and He says to his leaders, be a good dad and talk to your kids. Find out what I put…God hides the vision like a jigsaw in pieces in people’s hearts. When we start connecting with people we start putting it together. We found in that church that there were 64 people that had a vision for the arts. There were mime artists, singers, escape artists…they are the only church in the UK that has an entertainment license to the streets…guys who are unicyclists…they put on all kinds of shows in the streets…they have four booths: one to get saved, one has prayer, one prophecy, and one if you’re just miserable. It has a question mark on it. They have four huge trucks that fold out and fit 600 ppl. This one guy who beat Houdini’s record…we hoist him 2000ft in the air with chains and he still gets out. It is wild…a bit wacky. But I think the kingdom is whacky. You don’t take the most fortified city in the world by saying nothing. You don’t overcome a malicious enemy by reducing your army. We have to produce a people that want to be a part of the 300 people. You’ve got to utilize your people. There is a spirit of who we have not captured in terms of who God is. Boldness is not going to come at this level… you have to be living your dream. Every one of your people has a dream.

He has a dream about church. And you have a piece of that dream. Why do we have strange ppl in our churches? B/c God is strange. You want to walk with the Lord, you have know the Lord…well you have to know that He is consistent but completely unpredictable. You walk with the Lord but you seldom know where He is going. He won’t do things in a way that appear theological. It seems completely illogical. You cross over the river and the enemy seems bigger than you. You get an idea of what you’ll become when the Holy Spirit helps you overcome. The enemy will say that you can’t take him and tell you what you can and can’t do. But the Holy Spirit will tell you, that’s what we’re going to overcome. The Holy Spirit shows you the impossible just to get you smiling. When we finish, then that territorial spirit will be you. God is the biggest territorial spirit…he marked off all the tribes… your territory has to come to you in your dream. You have a dream and your ppl have a dream. Your great pleasure is releasing their dream.

Our vision can start to be shaped by what is coming out of ppl’s hearts. We can start to make partnerships and our meetings take on a different shape. We start preaching less and teaching more. If our preaching doesn’t release ppl into an experience then our preaching is not doing anyone any good. Then we can get away from our sanctuary driven paradigm. You take a city by training warriors and going house to house and street to street.

We need to fight with one another. Why? So we make sure that we don’t do anything out of mediocrity. Contend with me. Don’t settle for anything less. Contend with one another for the dream. Friends don’t let each other get away with anything.

I had a friend that was discipled by Smith Wigglesworth. He never let me forget it. He would say, I have taught you better than this haven’t I? The only answer was ‘yes sir’. He only let me make the same mistake three times. First time, it’s okay b/c you’re learning. Second time, that’s just stupid. Third time it’s a character issue. But he contended with me b/c he knew the dream that was in my heart.

My prayer for you is that you would get back in touch with your dream. If you’re not living your dream then you may be someone else’s nightmare. What’s your dream? What are you in this for? What has the Lord said to you? How does he want to show up? There is so much more to life out there than we are currently enjoying. God is the happiest person that I know. He has the sunniest disposition. Some of us are out of touch with his innate happiness. If you are going to walk in the spirit of the Lord then you have to get used to belly laughing. Heaven is funny and full of laughter. You will be full of laughter and joy b/c you are full of God and His dream for your life. Live under the smile of God and do the things that make God extraordinarily happy.

During the worst seasons of my life He has come and kissed me. He has held my dream in front of me and says, ‘this is who you are. Don’t forget it.’ The Lord has comforted me. The joy, peace, and love are all permanent emotions. He steps into your pain and you realize just how adored you are by the Father. He takes hold of your dream and he holds it in front of you and says, ‘this is who you are for me and this is who I am for you’ He shows you something about yourself and himself that helps you. What a joy and treasure. He has things for you. And you must live in the pleasure of who he is for you. Then discover in your people what their dreams are. But that is for another discussion. Let’s pray.

Thank you Father b/c no one loves us like you do. …

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