Power & Influence

Power & Influence

While Daniel and his friends did not seek out power, they became powerful and influential people in the Babylonian court. What should we do as the people of God when we find ourselves in a position of power and influence? Jesus taught His disciples not to seek and use power like the rulers of the world, instead He showed them a better way, a way based on service and love.

Send Sunday

Send Sunday

In this special service we sent out our first church planting residents to start a new church in Rockville, Maryland. Listen to what’s our rationale behind being a part of the start of new churches, why we think it is important, and why you should be a part of it.

How's that Working Out for You?

How's that Working Out for You?

Living as a Creative Minority does not only mean participating in what is going on in culture. But it also means that our lives stand as a witness against the way of life of the empire and the inevitable catastrophe that life leads to. In Daniel 4, we see the story of how King Nebuchadnezzar’s pride led to him wandering the wilderness like an animal. Is there a lesson there to be learned for today? How do we talk about sin and brokenness and their consequences in today’s culture?

True Allegiance

True Allegiance

Sometimes, living as a creative minority means that our principles and beliefs will come in direct opposition to the way of life of the age. We see this happen in the book of Daniel in several occasions, where Daniel and his friends are condemned to death because of their faithfulness to God. How do we respond in those situations? And what does it look like to trust God with our very lives? 

How Can I Help?

How Can I Help?

One of the main elements of being a creative minority is that we are called to engage the culture around us through redemptive participation. On Daniel Chapter 2, we see an example of Daniel using his gifts to serve the king of Babylon. This act lead to many lives being saved, and to the King of Babylon to glorify God and place Daniel and his friends in positions of influence.

Palm Sunday: In DC As It Is In Heaven

Palm Sunday: In DC As It Is In Heaven

When Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray, the first thing He tells them ask for is not for forgiveness, or provision, but for God’s Kingdom to come. It was that important to Him. What does it mean for us today to pray for God’s Kingdom to come? What would it look like if God’s will would be done in DC as it is in Heaven?

The How of Prayer Pt. II: Corporate Prayer

The How of Prayer Pt. II: Corporate Prayer

As we’ve been learning, prayer is a multifaceted discipline. There are different ways in which we can engage prayer. We put a lot of emphasis on the ways in which we can pray individually, but one of the most important and least talked about ways in which we should pray is Corporate Prayer. There is something special that happens when the people of God come together to pray.

The Role of Prayer Pt. II: Intercession and God’s Will

The Role of Prayer Pt. II: Intercession and God’s Will

This is what I think prayer should look like: "We come before God believing that God responds, that He answers, and we can plead God for a better future… and then, because we are in a relationship with our Father, a God who is sovereign, who we believe that is willing everything in the universe for ultimate good, we are able to have the faith to submit to God, and tell God: but not my will, but yours. 

Passage: The Golden Calf

32 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’

“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-neckedpeople. 10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”

11 But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” 14 Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

Exodus 32:1-14

The Role of Prayer Pt. I: How the World Really Works

The Role of Prayer Pt. I: How the World Really Works

I don’t know why God answers some prayers, and doesn’t answer others. I don’t know why certain things happen. I can’t even guarantee you that God will answer your prayer. What I can tell you, is that God loves you. The Apostle Paul believed that ultimately that was the most important thing, was that God loved him. And if God loved him, no matter what else was happening, he was going to be ok.

Passage:

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 4:1

The Why of Prayer Part I The Most Important Thing We Can Do

The Why of Prayer Part I: The Most Important Thing We Can Do

Ultimately the thing that we need is not more technique or more competence but rather, more God.

Passage: Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit

14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Mark 9:14-29

Renewal: DNA, Ep. 3

Renewal: DNA, Ep. 3

This is our vision for renewal at Encounter. That when people encounter Jesus in our midst they would be renewed holistically. That just like the Scriptures say they would be made new spiritually. But that that renewal would have a tangible effect in their life and in the lives of the people around them.

Passage: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Presence & Encounter: DNA, Ep. 2

Presence & Encounter: DNA, Ep. 2

Most people don’t wake up on a Sunday morning wanting to go to church if they are not Christians. But if you are present in the life of those people, they can encounter Jesus through their interactions with you.

Passage: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of graceand truth.

John 1:14

The Mission: DNA, Ep. 1

The Mission: DNA, Ep. 1

The ultimate witness of Jesus is God’s presence in the midst of the church. And the mission of the church is to facilitate the environment where the encounter between people and God can happen.

Passage:24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.”

1 Corinthians 14:24

Expect the Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected

As we get ready to enter into 2019… we have plans, and hopes, and dreams. But the reality is, we don't know what's going to happen…. 2019 is a year full of unknowns, and that's a good thing, because that means that it is also a year full of possibilities for God to do awesome things that we do not expect. What if we took whatever step of obedience and faith the Holy Spirit calls us into, without fear? Because we may get to see God move in our life in ways that we can't even imagine.

Passage: 3 When you did awesome things that we did not look for,
    you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
From of old no one has heard
    or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,
    who acts for those who wait for him.

Isaiah 64:3-4