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Engage: Gifted - ministry gifts and building fires

At Central Vineyard we want to take our spiritual health seriously, so we take self-awareness seriously. To go along with this recent sermon on our ministry gifts, here are three tests we recommend you doing to help you have language about what you are gifted for.

1. Strengths Finder - a great tool for finding out what strengths you have

2. Sacred Pathway - a quick test to find out the ways you best connect with God

3. Ministry Gift Finder - a test to find out your Ephesians 4 ministry gifts



Engage: Gifted - practicing the gift of faith in daily prayer

As pursuers of Christ who are following what the Father is doing by the power of the Holy Spirit, we become people who are a bridge between the broken and the holy. In this place, we have various gifts we can use and when we use the gift of faith we are choosing to stand in the gap between people who may not have faith themselves for what God can do for them.

As a church we want to stand in the gap for the broken and lost, and one of the ways we can do that is through joining in this prayer challenge we have found from a church called Church of the Highlands. 

Join us in engaging the gift of faith by committing to pray for 1 person, for 1 minute a day, for 1 month. So, set a reminder, take a screenshot or save this is as a bookmark, and here's what to pray each day::

1.    That the Father would draw _______ to Jesus (John 6:44)
2.    We bind the spirit that blinds _______ mind (2 Cor 4:4)
3.    That _______ would desire to know God as their Father (Rom 8:15)
4.    That believers would cross their path (Matt 9:38)
5.    That _______ would have a divine encounter (Eph 1:17)

So, let's stand in the gap and trust that God will do His part in seeing these things happen.



Engage: Gifted - practicing everyday prophecy


1. Set a side a section of your journal/get a new one.

2. Ask God daily for words for Christians you know and write down everything you see with as much detail as you can.

3. See. Pray. Wait. 

4. At the end of the week allow whatever is still brewing and has life to be shared with the person it's for.

5. Practice giving the word in a strengthening, encouraging and comforting way with a few of these helpful phrases…

  • “I believe God is saying...”
  • “I get a sense that you...”
  • “I see ... and I feel it could mean...” or “It appears to represent...”
  • “I see a picture of... and I don’t have a direct revelation of what it means but I sense that...”
  • “Test this with God in prayer, see if it holds any weight with you and the Spirit”
  • “Does this word align with what God and others are saying in your life?”



Engage: A radical manifesto - pt 4

This week you're going to look at Matthew 6:1 - 7:12 where Jesus redefines what it is to be practicing our spirituality.

Jesus is redefining our piety (AKA our spiritual lives put into practice or "our outside life match our inside life") and urges us to do this with simplicity, in secrecy for the audience of just God, and to be secure and grounded in God.


Engage in the discipline of fasting. Jesus teaches on the discipline of fasting as one of the outworkings of our spiritual life. "Fasting" is not black-mailing God on a hunger-strike - it's intentionally choosing to strip away our allegiances to other gods in our life by saying "No!" to them for a period of time so we learn not to let them rule us.

Here's some ways you could fast this week:

  • choose not to eat for a day, replacing each meal time with times of prayer
  • delete your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter apps off your phone for the week and load the "Pray-As-You-Go" app to use in their place
  • choose to say "no" to a social gathering this week (e.g. Friday night drinks or a certain coffee date of the week) and stay in quietly at home to engage in solitude for the evening



Engage: A radical manifesto - pt 3

This week you're going to look at the last two-thirds of Matthew chapter 5 where Jesus is radically redefining what it is to be human.

"Sin" is often viewed as lines to cross or not-cross. Jesus takes these lines and points out that ultimately our intentions, motivations and character matters just as much as whether we cross/don't cross them. In doing this, Jesus redefines sin as anything that de-humanises ourselves or others. It's quite confronting, but it is all part of this radical picture He is painting: one of what being a fully-alive human, as God has made us to be, is all about.


Engage in the discipline of confession. This week as you make space to engage with the Scripture reading, be prepared to notice the areas of your own life where you are coming up short in meeting the standard Jesus is laying out here.  When you notice these shortcomings, confess them in any of these three ways:

  1. to God in prayer (use the prayer below if you need some help)
  2. to a friend you trust who you can pray with
  3. to a person you can get help from if it is something that is quite damaging to you


Dear Heavenly Father, I lower my head before you and confess that I have too often forgotten that I am yours. Sometimes I carry on my life as if there was no God and I fall short of being a credible witness to You. For these things I ask your forgiveness and I also ask for your strength. Give me a clear mind and open heart so I may witness to You in our world. Remind me to be who You would have me to be regardless of what I am doing or who I am with. Hold me to You and build my relationship with You and with those You have given me on this earth. 

In the name of Jesus, amen.



Engage: A radical manifesto - pt 2

This week you're going to look at the opening several verses of The Sermon on the Mount known as "The Beatitudes". This is Jesus' radical proclamation of hope, describing a portrait of what God is doing now in this broken world.


Each of the Beatitudes help us to see a portrait of hope. Currently in the world there is plenty of suffering and hopelessness, but these Beatitudes tell us how God is acting in fixing those. Slowly read through Matthew 5:1-11 and consider each Beatitudes carefully.  Which of these are you drawn to at the moment?

Engage in the discipline of prayer and pray for those who need this blessing. This might be for others in the world, or it may be closer to home such as your friends or family – or it may even be for yourself. Pray for "God's Kingdom to come" and for these things we see in the Beatitudes (such as comfort, mercy, peace etc) to happen.

Engage in the discipline of action by meeting the needs of those areas you have identified. Did you notice a relationship that needs peacemaking? Or maybe a person who needs comfort? You might be the answer to that prayer you just prayed...


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Engage: A radical manifesto - pt 1

To start our journey through the Sermon on the Mount, you need to grasp the whole thing in one go. It will take you about 20 minutes to either read or listen to Matthew 5, 6 and 7.

So, here's what we suggest trying at least three times this week:


Make space by choosing a discipline of withdrawing: Commit to making a time of solitude or silence in your busy day. The goal is to make some space where you can be fully present to God and the text you are about to engage with, so do whatever you need to do to achieve that; maybe that means getting up a little earlier, or during your day finding a comfy chair or taking a walk to a cafe or park, or in the evening you could flick off the TV/close your laptop for a bit.


Fill the space by choosing a discipline of engaging: When you've made that space for yourself, grab your own Bible or use the links below to read/listen to the whole of the Sermon on the Mount. The goal is to just take in the whole thing.

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