Generation Church Blog

SING

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This past Sunday, Generation Church had our first worship night in South County.

We didn’t know what to expect but in these early days of church planting we have been looking forward to an extended time of singing together. Our desire was that during this night we would not only be singing to our God but for our generation. We wanted these songs to mark this season and generation while being reminded by God’s grace to ultimately let our lives sing the loudest for his glory.

SING was not only an amazing night for our community but it was a night of unity amongst a variety of local churches who attended and a powerful time of singing, spoken word, stories of grace, prayer and more singing. It was overwhelming to be reminded that we are a part of the larger movement of Jesus not only in South County but throughout the world. We believe there is an increasing hunger amongst followers of Jesus to be united and to see our region revived again.

Thank you to everyone who participated, volunteered and ultimately joined us for an unforgettable night at the Pier.

The next SING is on July 26th!

Spread the word.

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A Passion For God’s Global Glory

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Meet Lindsay Drew:

Lindsay, has been a huge part of Generation in these early days of church planting in South County.

Our vision from the beginning is that the people of God would see that they are a part of the global movement and mission of God. The Church has been given the joyful responsibility to spread the good news of Jesus from Rhode Island, Fiji and beyond.

Lindsay, is living out this reality as she continues to remind us that we all have been sent by God both locally and globally to be a blessing and ambassador to the world in Jesus name.

Please read below about Lindsay’s upcoming trip to West Africa and ways that you can partner with Lindsay in her Gospel ministry.

“Hello!

My name is Lindsay. I have recently been given an incredible opportunity to serve in Mali, West Africa for 6 months.

I will be helping in many ways, such as teaching English to local workers of an established hospital (upon request) as French is the main language. I will also be focusing my efforts on reaching the school for the Deaf in the area and helping in any way I can to promote equal opportunities, equal education, and to share the love of Jesus Christ.

I have previously had the privilege of serving at the Gospel School for the Deaf in Fiji for over 1 year and I hope the training and experience I gained there will only enhance my time in Mali. I am looking forward to making many more memories such as these with the Deaf students of Mali, but I need your help to get me there. Thank you for your help!”

Read more below about Lindsay and consider partnering with her for God’s global glory.

http://www.gofundme.com/lindsaygoestomali

Easter at the Pier

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On April 5, 2015 we had our first Easter service at the Narragansett Theater at the Pier as a new church plant in South County. It was a joyful celebration in light of remembering the resurrection of Jesus. Thank you to everyone who volunteered, brought food, invited neighbors, friends, family and came to celebrate with us for a weekend that we will never forget.

When we first planted Generation Church we envisioned that we would be the type of community and church family that had life together throughout the week and welcomed everyone on Sunday and in our homes to hear about the greatest news in the world. There is plenty of religion in South County but we believed that God was going to revive people not to more religion but to the good news of God. We believed that God would do this because Jesus is faithful, great in his love, and desires to see his fame spread to ends of the earth. We have seen this come true in these early days as a church plant and this past Easter we saw God’s glory on display as the old Narragansett Theater at the Pier was revived with a full house of people who heard about the message of Jesus. The message that God didn’t send his Son because we so loved God but God sent his Son to give us life and hope because he so loves South County. A message of good news that leads us to celebrate and we certainly celebrated at the Pier Theater.

We continue to celebrate all that God did in our community and in South County during Easter weekend 2015 but we know it’s just the beginning. We are Easter people who have been sent into South County to spread the fame of Jesus and see his kingdom advance. There are more people who need to hear about God’s love and grace. There are more people who need to look again or for the first time at the greatest news in the world; the news that Jesus has defeated sin, death, and evil through his own death and resurrection and is making all things new, even us.

Praise the Lord.

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A Prayer of Hope

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During our Easter Sunday celebration we had a moment of silence and a prayer of hope in response to the recent deaths related to drug overdoses in Rhode Island this year. A number that seems to be growing, especially among the youth.

All accidental overdose deaths, whether caused by illicit or prescription drugs, continue to increase and remain a leading cause of accidental death, with about four overdose deaths per week investigated by the Medical Examiner’s Office in 2014.

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February | 21

We had a moment of silence and a prayer of hope for all those who have died and for their friends and family. We committed to continuing to pray and work together in Christ to see these statistics not only decrease but one day to be completely erased. We believe that on the cross and in the resurrection of Jesus; the lasting power of death has been defeated and God is renewing all things. We mourn over these statistics of addiction and death but we mourn with hope. The hope of Easter.

Pray with us that more of God’s kingdom will continue to come in Rhode Island as it is in heaven.

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The Movement of Jesus

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There have been many famous people, kings and kingdoms that have come and gone in the history of the world. In 2015, there is one name and kingdom that reigns above all and one person whose fame continues to spread to the ends of the earth.

Jesus.

The Church is ultimately about the movement of Jesus. The movement of Jesus began generations before us and will continue for generations to come.

Generation Church is simply stepping into the movement of Jesus in our time.

Who is Jesus?

We believe that Jesus is Lord and God. Jesus maintains and demonstrates all the attributes of God such as: Holiness, Justice, Love, Beauty, Power, Mercy, Sovereignty, Forgiveness, Faithfulness, Glory and more. Jesus is our true Hero. He is the only plan for bringing people back into a relationship with God. He lived a perfect life of humble sacrifice within history, so that He could ultimately be a substitution for us in satisfying God’s righteous demands for perfection. He defeated death in His resurrection so that we could have life. Jesus is the promised Messiah of the people of God and the hope and Savior of the world. The entire Bible is a story of God’s redemptive plan through the one God-man Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 16:16; 28:5-6; Luke 22:70; John 1:1, 14; 10:30; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 8:1-3; 10:4; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Gal 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15; 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5-6)

Our aim is to express this radical belief that Jesus is Lord and God by not only the verbal proclamation of the good news of Jesus but by giving evidence to this reality in  how we love and serve one another as a church community and family. Jesus not only rescues us from our sin as the one true God but he empowers us with his Spirit so that we may imitate his one true humanity.

No matter your reservations with religion, no matter your past, no matter your age and no matter how far you feel from God, we believe there is still good news for everyone. Jesus is good, his unfailing love endures forever and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

We are excited for you to consider, discover or rediscover the good news of Jesus with us during the week at one of our many community groups or on Sunday in South County.

The Gospel and the Sanctity of Human Life

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Many things change when you become a dad. Even though it’s only been over a year now for me, it’s still hard to remember life without our son. But things have changed, every parent realizes this and yet has little time to process all the changes while hoping to have at least one date night every few months amidst the late nights, changed diapers, endless smiles and occasional tears.

One of the most dramatic changes for me was over how I thought and felt about the sanctity of human life; the miracle of child birth, the preciousness of new life. No parent will ever forget the first time they heard their child’s heartbeat. The unborn have their first heartbeat around six weeks and the parents are able to hear their precious child’s heartbeat around eight weeks. This is around the moment that you tell your family and plan for the day and the creative way that you will tell the social media world. Many of us already have numerous names picked out as we await the gender. We went through this excitement like most parents. This excitement is ignited over the scientific reality that we were witnessing the heartbeat of a person, a new human. The excitement is ignited over the reality that every new human in uniquely made in the image of God. Every new human distinctively and creatively reflects the beauty and goodness of God. The reason why we celebrate the miracle of pregnancy is because pregnancy proclaims the miracle of life and the truth that all lives matter. No matter if you are religious or irreligious; republican or democrat.

Before having a child and experiencing the amazing journey of child birth, I suppose I was like many young Christians in my generation that sadly became tired of the issue of abortion and the sanctity of human life becoming the only issue talked about and often hijacked by cable news and a specific stream of evangelicalism that seemed to carry an agenda and presentation that was disconnected to the movement of Jesus. In addition there was the stereotype that if you wanted to be really passionate about being pro life you had to be a republican picketing outside planned parenthood with grotesque signs and images while yelling at young women as they walked through the side doors. As I got older, I realized with many that when it comes to the sanctity of human life we need to talk about life from the womb to the tomb. This means we care about the death penalty, adoption, war, the elderly and many more significant issues that pertain to the sanctity of human life. This is an important realization. When it comes to the sanctity of human life, I still believe that followers of Jesus, and humanity in general needs to address these issues for the sake of the common good and the advancement of God’s kingdom. Sadly from my vantage point as a young church planter/pastor and follower of Jesus in New England, the weight of protest and call for justice has gone to the other side of the church culture seesaw. This younger generation of Jesus followers are being silent over one of the most important justice issues in the history of humanity. This is grievous. We can’t become numb to the statistics that over 1 million babies are aborted each year in America alone. Most of these babies are aborted beyond the 8 week mark when the heart is beating. We rightly need to stand for the Eric Garners of the world but why are we silent towards the millions of potential Eric Garners in our cities and towns? Sadly, many of the people who rightly make their voices heard when it comes to racism and racial reconciliation are silent towards the least of these, to the voiceless, to the children in this generation.

My Hope in Preaching on the Sanctity of Human Life?

My hope in giving my voice to the voiceless is to proclaim the grace of God that reminds all of us that in the face of shame and guilt over the sins of our youth or the sins of today, our sins have been paid for by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The grace and truth of Jesus doesn’t keep us enslaved in condemnation but leads us to conviction and repentance that makes us in awe of the mercy and love of our Father.

My hope in giving my voice to the voiceless is to follow in the steps of MLK, John Perkins and many more who echoed and believed the words of the prophet Amos to come to pass in their generation in the face of injustice, “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos‬ ‭5‬:‭24‬

Finally, a word to people who might disagree or have forgotten to disagree and protest well. At the end of last year our local paper did an article on our big launch as a new church; they quoted me at the end and it’s an important reminder for all when it comes to being able to listen to one another and disagree well. “Mook referenced a favorite quote of his by Bill Clinton: “One of the biggest problems in today’s culture is that we’re afraid to be around people we disagree with.”
“That’s true in politics and in anything,” he added. “We want to create a culture and community where people can be around one another. We don’t have to agree or believe everything, but we can share a space together, have a conversation, and welcome everyone no matter where they are when it comes to their faith. So we’re intentional about loving our neighbors and strangers and people who have given up on God and wherever they may be in life.”

A sermon or a blog post will not change the world but the grace and truth of Jesus is making all things new and we know that every aborted child is in heaven; we can pray, believe and work for more of God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.

Pastor Stephen Mook

The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation

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I remember first learning about Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights movement at West Kingston elementary school. I memorized his I Have A Dream speech and would practice my own delivery to my classmates. I was riveted by his conviction and courage. My dad is a preacher and the fact that M.L.K. was also a preacher made him all the more intriguing. Even though I was young and grew up in a town that was predominantly white I remember understanding the significance of M.L.K. and the civil rights movement. I also remember thinking that racism had died and that we had reached the promised land when it comes to racial reconciliation.

Some years later I fell in love with Hip Hop, especially Tupac Shakur. Tupac and others spoke about racism from another perspective and forced me to confront the messiness of our racial history. I began to read and realized that our racial history is often more harsh than what’s recorded in history books or taught in school. We constantly need to be aware of racism, the temptation to explicitly or implicitly hold a belief or practice that distinguishes one race over other races. Over the years I have seen the continued racial divides in our country and how politics seemed to divide people even more. After living and studying theology in Chicago, eventually training as a pastor in Providence and recently planting a church back in our hometown; I have become increasingly passionate about racial reconciliation as a follower of Jesus.

Through the teachings of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament and the 21st century influence of Dr. John Piper and Matt Chandler, I began to see how the issues of racial reconciliation and the sanctity of human life are Gospel issues. These men would preach on these issues in consecutive weeks, year after year. This is a tradition that I want to continue in the early days of Generation Church. My burden and prayer is that the people of South County and the people of God will not look to Fox news, MSNBC, CNN or the present day cultural shifts when it comes to clarity on racial reconciliation or sanctity of human life and beyond. Instead we would all be life long learners who will not only read history books and the news but also look together in the 21st century to sacred Scripture and ultimately the good news (the Gospel) of Jesus to see how God has spoken to the heart of these issues.

These reasons and more are why I’m looking forward to these messages. I feel the great responsibility as a Pastor and new father to engage this generation with the unstoppable grace and truth of Jesus.

I’m excited for you to join us. We will have a time of discussion after morning church.

Pastor Stephen Mook

Seeking God in 2015

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Our vision and prayer for 2015 is that we will passionately seek our Sovereign Lord.

Yet it’s hard to seek, hard to hear, hard to see with endless distractions in front, behind, all around and inside of us. But God. We give thanks to God our Father for seeking us. Pursuing, speaking, relentlessly seeking us. The lost generation now found in Jesus name. So now we seek in the power of the Holy Spirit: “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in his presence.” Psalm 27:4

We believe that 2015 is going to be an unforgettable year for Generation Church and the larger Church in Rhode Island. We have already seen God do immeasurably more then all we could ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us in these first months of church planting. This is just the beginning. Jesus is better, greater and more faithful then we could ever dream or realize.

Now is the time to press forward and meditate with single minded devotion on the beauty of God as missionaries who have been rescued by God and sent into South County and beyond to imitate Jesus, make disciples of Jesus and spread the global fame of Jesus for the joy of all generations.

“You have said, Seek my face. My heart says to you, Your face, Lord, do I seek.” Psalm 27:8

Happy New Year!

 

Finally Alive

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December 14, 2014 was an unforgettable celebration for our church family. We celebrated the good news that Jesus doesn’t just make us good but Jesus makes us alive. Finally alive.

One of the great joys of this season has been seeing God’s faithfulness and grace on display through endless stories of people waking up to the wonder and imperishable joy of Jesus.  One of the brightest ways that we see God’s faithfulness and grace on display is through the celebration of baptism. Baptism isn’t just a rite of passage that good religious people do at a certain age but baptism is a testimony that religious people and people far from God can be raised to new life in Christ. Baptism declares to the world that we are finally alive by God’s glorious grace.

When God gave us a burden to come back to South County to start Generation Church it wasn’t to advance religion or keep our faith private. No. We came back to South County to spread the fame of Jesus to a land and people that we love. We had a kingdom dream to see Jesus exalted in the lives of the religious and irreligious. We had a kingdom dream to see South County awakened to the imperishable joy of God. We wanted to create a welcoming space for everyone to hear and respond to the greatest news in the world because if we can be passionate about sports, education, the environment, our children, sports, local politics and beyond; we can consider and even possibly get passionate about Jesus with our lives. 

This is why Sunday’s baptism celebration was unforgettable. It was a reminder that the movement of Jesus doesn’t only advance through passionate church planters and pastors but the movement of Jesus advances through passionate followers of Jesus who have been given a glorious mission to make disciples and spread the good news of God for the joy of all generations and the global fame of Jesus.

This Sunday we were reminded about why we start new churches. We were reminded that God is faithful and the movement of Jesus is unstoppable.

Pastor Stephen Mook
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In Rhode Island As It Is In Heaven

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Here’s a brief recap of our launch series through the Lord’s prayer.

The movement of Jesus is unstoppable. This is why Generation Church was planted in South County. The prayer that Jesus teaches his followers to pray reminds us of this reality. The Lord’s Prayer is more then just a ritualistic prayer that religious people pray but is the ultimate blueprint for how we should pray and live on earth as it is in heaven.

The Lord’s Prayer: Matthew 6:9-13

Matthew 6:9-10: The Supremacy of God
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:11-13: Our Dependency on God
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil/evil one.
God’s kingdom has come in Rhode Island as it is in heaven.
We believe that there are greater days ahead in Rhode Island. God our Father, and Jesus our Redeemer and King through the power of the Holy Spirit has come to rescue and revive the people of God. A people passionate to see the name of Jesus honored as holy and awesome. A people in awe of the beauty of his holiness. A people joyfully dependent on God in everything and for everything. A people called to be a blessing within South County, Rhode Island and beyond. A people empowered by the Spirit with a kingdom mission to make disciples and spread the global fame of Jesus in each generation.  May we know more of this reality on earth as it is in heaven. May we know more this reality in Rhode Island as it is in heaven. May we be a part of the unstoppable movement of Jesus.
***Here’s the final sermon in our launch series and overview of the Lord’s Prayer: http://generationchurchri.org/sermon/the-unstoppable-movement/