Update: The October 2020 gathering will be on Saturday the 3rd. We will be answering the question "What is your responsibility as a believer?"
Upcoming: Join us the first Saturday night of each month at 6:00 PM for an authentic, organic gathering experience. We always eat together so text Will at 417-353-0081 each month to see what our "food theme" will be. The Gathering location is 9223 State Highway 59 in Anderson, MO.
"No Institution, No Formula, Just Celebrating Jesus Together"
A new video is uploaded on YouTube and shared on Facebook at 9:00 am each Sunday. Join us each week for a fun time of learning together.
Update: Will and Gretchen Sharples have been doing the teaching the past few weeks and will continue to share some awesome revelations about the grace of God available to all humans.
Upcoming: The Sunday Gathering will be posting video teachings from our Elders, Mark Davis and Stephanie Mundinac. Both are excellent teachers.
Join us each week on Facebook live to watch The Gathering online.
"It Doesn't Matter Who You Are, Or Who You Think You Are, Nothing Surprises God"
Update: As we have stated several times, we post a weekly video on Thursday evening and Sunday morning. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel and like our Facebook page so you don't miss any of our exciting video teachings
Have we been told the truth? Come help us find out.
Thursday Night Honesty (TNH) Join us each week at 7:00 pm to watch our newest video. We are currently in a series study called, "What Every New Believer Needs to Know"
"A Garden Where You Are Free To Bloom As Father Intended"
Contact us if you feel led to start a Gathering in your area. If you just want to start another institutional church we cannot help you. However, if you want an organic experience in meeting together let us know. Our vision is not to start a permanent Gathering but to go as long as people have questions or Holy Spirit says stop.
There is no subject in the modern day church more polarizing than tithing. Even the very mention of the word brings strong emotional responses from both ministers and members. No one seems to be opposed to its validity, only its necessity.
Most group discussions on this issue will conclude that the Bible teaches us to tithe. However, where many of us seem to disagree is how much, or what is supposed to constitute a tithe. In my many years in ministry I have heard multiple beliefs as to how we are supposed to tithe. Some, in an attempt to save themselves money, have decided they should tithe their time not their income. Others have limited their tithe to 10% of their net income, while some would argue that the 10% should be based on your gross. Do we tithe on our tax returns? Do we tithe on unexpected money? How do we even know the tithe is supposed to be 10%?
The questions surrounding this subject are limitless! So what does the Bible really say about the tithe? Surprisingly, the Bible does not speak as much about tithing as you might think. Most English Bibles only use this word a handful of times and the majority of those are found in the Old Testament in the Law.
The most common Hebrew word for tithe is “ma’asrah”which comes from the less common root word “’asar” and simply means “A tenth, or to give a tenth” When we cross over into the New Testament the word tithe becomes even less common and is attributed to Jesus and the writer of Hebrews only. Neither Paul, nor any of the other biblical writers chose to include this teaching in any of their letters, which I find very interesting.
That is not to say they did not teach on giving. On the contrary, Paul spoke much on the subject and gives us some clear insight into what is expected of us under the New Covenant. Probably the most notable is Paul’s statements to the Corinthians in his first letter. Chapter 9 teaches us that we are supposed to give financial support to those who shepherd the flocks of God and allow them to “Eat of the vineyard and drink of the milk of the flock.”
However, I believe the most revealing teaching on the subject of giving is found in Paul’s second letter in chapter 9. Here Paul lays out 5 truths about NT giving:
1. If you sow sparingly you will reap sparingly
2. If you sow generously you will reap generously
3. Give according to what you have decided in your heart (Led by the Spirit)
4. Do not give out of compulsion (Law of tithing)
5. Follow the Spirit and it will bring cheer in giving, not dread.
We should be teaching God’s children to be led by the Spirit in ALL things including their giving. The tithe is part of the Old Covenant Law and was never intended to be a part of the freedom of the New Covenant. In fact, the simplicity of the New Covenant is that we no longer have to toil under the burden of trying to live up to the standards of the legal system. We have been declared innocent by the One who fulfilled all the requirements of the Law. Now we are free from the Law and free to follow Who is inside us not be compelled by an external commandment. As Jeremiah prophesied in chapter 31; “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days…I will put my teaching within them and write it on their hearts.”
The New Covenant teaches us to simply be led by the Spirit in everything, for it is the Spirit of Truth which will lead us into truth. Not regulations or expectations of the institutional church. We are not limited to 10% or any percent for that matter. We are free and unlimited to give as the Spirit leads!
Several years ago I founded a small Gathering in Springfield Missouri. We grew and the offerings grew with it. At that time we were taking in about $1,500.00 per week. Suddenly, God showed me the NT principle of giving and I began to preach being led by the Spirit rather than giving by legal compulsion. An amazing thing happened…Our offering dropped to around $300.00 per week! This is exactly why pastors are afraid to teach a NT concept of giving.
Why did this happen? I discovered that the problem was that people have never been taught to be led by the Spirit. When given the freedom to decide they followed their selfish flesh. I no longer teach on giving. I teach people how to hear and follow the Spirit inside them and he will make sure everything is done in His order, even giving. For this is true New Covenant life.
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John 3:16 is arguably the most familiar verse in the Bible. It seems everywhere you look there is a sign with this verse on it. Most sporting events will have at least one person setting in the stands with this verse in large letters on a poster board. “So, is that a bad thing?”
Absolutely not! It is extremely important that all humans know the message contained in this incredible verse. God loves humanity so much that he came in the form of a human being and died for all of us. And if we believe in him we will not die but have life! Let me note here that the title of this writing is somewhat deceptive. I do not really “HATE” John 3:16. In reality, I love the message of the verse. But let me ask you a question: “Without looking, can you quote verse 17?”
Because verse 16 is so familiar to us we have missed the glorious message of the rest of his statement. Verse 17 is the pinnacle of what Jesus was trying to get Nicodemus to understand: “I did not come into the world to condemn but to save!” Unfortunately, too often our salvation messages have forgotten this magnificent truth.
Most pastors have either preached or explained the message of salvation hundreds of times. We know that it is an absolute essential beginning for all human beings. Without this most important step it will not matter what else a person accomplishes in their life. This is a truth that all people must consider while on this earth because there is no opportunity to make this decision once we leave this life. Because of the consequences of making the wrong decision, we preachers tend to approach this subject with a grave demeanor. After all, this is the most important decision any human will ever make!
In our zealousness, we have too often presented this beautiful message of salvation with a flare that Jesus was actually denouncing in verse 17. We make our listeners feel condemned in an attempt to ensure they will make the right choice in this most important life-altering decision. But this is contrary to what Jesus stated in verse 17: “I did not come to condemn or pass judgement on humanity, I came to SAVE you.”
The word, “Save” in this passage is the Greek word, “Sozo.” It means “To make safe, deliver, protect, bring safely and preserve safe from destruction.” From the definition we can see that it carries with it 3 distinct meanings: 1. Deliverance: When a person is “saved” they are delivered from the past, spiritual consequences of sin. 2. Protection: A saved person is protected from the current sickness of spiritual sin. 3. Preservation: You are preserved for the future and made safe from future death.
The beautiful message of salvation Jesus is explaining in John 3 is very simple: “To show you humans how much God loved you I have come to give eternal life to everyone who believes.” “I have not come to bring a message of condemnation but I have come to deliver you from a life that has been missing the mark.” This too should be our message to anyone who will listen.