We have been through a whole lot of change in a hurry—yet we are the same people who live life together as a Church Family just like before. I have been asked to give some short answers to some long questions to help in answering our friends and neighbors when they ask us questions...
Q : What is Kaleo? Kaleo is the Greek word for the Called. As Christians we are all called into a life of ministry. Kaleo is an international missions and church-planting ministry, the western hemisphere branch of Iris Ministries, both of which are associated with Partners in Harvest, the Toronto Revival folks. We are now a Kaleo Church. Kaleo is NOT a denomination, but rather a relationship-based association of missionaries and churches who long for the deepest and truest expressions of the Christian faith. Don and Jackie Ragland are in charge of Kaleo Mission and Leadership Schools, and Tony and Pamela Maxwell are the directors of the Iris Harvest School. That the Lord would place both in our church Family is a powerful confirmation that we are an Antioch Church!
Q: What does it mean to be an Antioch Church? Antioch Church had a strategic role in the expansion of the First (early) Church. Apostles and Prophets and Evangelists were drawn by the Holy Spirit and joined the local teachers and preachers to form the most diverse congregation (Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, young and old together) in the New Testament, and the Congregation most responsible for the planting of the first churches in Asia and Europe. This became the home church to Paul and Barnabas and Silas and Luke and Timothy—among many others whose names we don’t know. Most members of the Antioch Church did not go out themselves to plant churches, but rather supported those in their midst and those drawn to Antioch—who were called to plant churches. We get to be a hub for a coming Awakening right in our own neighborhood—Appalachia.
Q: What is the Appalachia Awakening? The name we have given to the Revival God is sending to this region of the USA. Our role in it, at least as far as we can see it now, is to plant churches – Kaleo associated churches built around our DNA (loving God and neighbor in Word, Worship, and Life Groups) as a congregation. We believe we are planting churches that will plant churches. We KNOW Apostles and Prophets and leaders are being drawn here. R.T. Kendall (look him up on Google if you don’t know him yet) will be here September 1st, Josh Muse and a FIRE School team will be here in October, and John Arnott has asked to come back here next January. Jesus spent most of His time among the outcasts of Israel—Galilean’s—in their little villages. He is calling us to do the same…! The healing of marriages, the strengthening of disciples, the healing of bodies and souls—does not come from turning inward to lick our wounds—it happens in and to us—and to many others—as we obey God and support HIS vision for the Capernaum’s and Bethany’s and Nazareth’s in our midst!
Q: How do we know this is of God? All of the above are fulfillments of prophetic words given to our church over the years. A Lighthouse Church? Bingo. An Eastern Gate Church? Yes. The source of many small fires burning throughout the upper Cumberland and beyond? Amen! Several years ago, the Lord spoke prophetically to our leadership team—the chairs of all our committees—and said these buildings no longer fit who you are as a congregation. I immediately jumped into action, looking for land on highway 111 to build on, praying with a team over the Pamida building (Now Tractor Supply) and even drew up plans for its renovation. I envisioned a cool place to be a mega church. Father had other plans—which we are now just beginning to walk into. I would have never dreamt it would have worked out this way five years ago or even 5 months ago—but placing us in a humble yet attractive setting that folks from any stream of life would be comfortable coming too is just like Him!
I am not a perfect pastor, and I don’t claim to know exactly or even vaguely what things will look like five years from now, but I am SURE that the Lord is actively speaking to us and leading us in HIS direction. The confirmations are uncanny, and the Hand of the Lord is all over us in this new season! Enjoy HIM and enjoy the road He has placed us on!