Thursday, August 07, 2008

Firebrand School of Ministry

September 16, 2008 is the opening day of classes for the Randy Dean Ministries Firebrand School of Ministry. It is a 2 year school and every student in the school will be an assigned intern working under my pastoral care for the duration of the full 2 years. Go back in these blogs and read the blog, “10,000 Firebrands” for the story of God’s leading in this purpose…it has been an exciting and challenging journey.

For an application you can go to our church website at and click on the school announcement on the main page. Since we are attempting to keep our costs to a bare minimum as we begin this venture, an individual student can come on board for $75 a month, or $900 a year. Married couples can enroll for $100 a month or $1200 a year. Each student will be responsible for their own living expenses, potential mission’s trips, and textbooks. Since we are brand new with no accreditation we offer no grants, financial assistance or student loans. We are, however, open to anyone interested in underwriting scholarships for students with proven needs.
I promise this: an uprising of spirit and a revolution of Kingdom sized proportions.

The following three core values of the vision will guide us:
1. Generational impartation; what one generation fought for and won will be a starting point for the next generation to build upon and increase.
2. Holy Spirit Conversion; the Baptism of Fire from Jesus Christ. Not based on a doctrine or formula, but rooted in lifestyle and passion.
3. Healing of and through authentic spiritual authority. The full expression of the Kingdom of God will be found in a culture of honor and growing dimensions of humility and obedience.

Firebrand School of Ministry mission is to equip and deploy full time ministers, whose personal core value is, “on earth as it is in heaven” into the full spectrum of life on earth; artists, politicians, entrepreneurs, inventors, home-makers, church workers, and servants of all descriptions. Out of their authentic passion, they will transform the world through the communication and demonstration of the Kingdom of God.

The Old Testament tells the story of Sampson pulling a “firebrand” out of a campfire and lighting the tails of 300 foxes and sending them running through an enemy’s crop land. That’s a wild story and a terrific picture of what my goal is for this school. Our motto is, “If you’ve got ‘em, light ‘em!” 10,000 firebrands lighting 300 equals 3,000,000!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Holy Beast

I’m tracking a Holy Beast. His footprints and trail are everywhere around me. It’s not so much that He is hiding from me as it is that He is hidden FOR me. In sublime moments here and there I thought we were completely intersected, but He slipped away or more accurately put, I assumed discovery while He sighed, “That’s the porch. I’m in the Great Room”.

For three decades I’ve read two passages of mystery, “Now when they heard this, they were pierced (violently stung) to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’” (Acts 2:37) and, “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell (affectionately seized with a violently grasping embrace) upon all those who were listening to the message…and all…the believers…who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out…”(Acts 10:44, 45). In these brilliant word pictures I see that Peter, most likely unwittingly, is unlocking the Kingdom of Heaven and Something, quantitative AND qualitative drops with an unmistakable thump and entire gatherings of people are blessedly attacked and desire no escape.

The truest essence of the language in these passages is that these people were seized, grasped, taken hold of, clutched and clasped and, while it was an affectionate seizure, it was with more or less violence than we might like to think. It was seminal, determining, generative, axiomatic, a point of origin, a fountainhead, a wellspring, a dictum and a command catalyst.

Western sensibilities long to tame this Holy Beast. Like a circus lion, we want it to play with the tamer, roar only on command and send me home with giddy arrogance. It offends our rational democratic pleasure of always wanting to take our time, consider the options, and come back later, after we’ve played the intellectual, to cast a vote against it. Yet, I’ve come to believe that He is eager to write a new book, “How the West Was Won; Again”.

I’m serious about this. There are Keys of the Kingdom for the unlocking of this undomesticated God and if Peter could stumble his way into their usefulness, then I refuse to be denied. In her book, “Teaching a Stone to Talk” Anne Dillard describes my heart perfectly, “Why do we people in churches seem like cheerful brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute? On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may awake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.” She quotes an Hasidic rabbi as refusing to visit a friend the next day by explaining, “How can you ask me to make such a promise? This evening I must pray, ‘Hear O Israel.’ When I say these words, my soul goes out to the utmost rim of life’”.

We are all beckoned to that utmost rim of life, but IN CHRIST, to return with the Hurricane Breath of God to unleash an irresistible Word. I’ve just participated in burying one too many young lives to believe that God does not have an irresistible Answer. Pardon me, but I just heard a Roar just a few meters from where I’m sitting….you can stay where its safe if you’d like, but I’m on my way to be delightfully devoured by a Holy Beast Who longs to be found.