In the gospel of John when Jesus begins his ministry we learn about the disciples he chose to walk with him in fulfilling His earthly mandate. One of them, Philip turns to Nathanael and tells him that he had found the Messiah that had been written about in the law.
Nathanael fails to believe this because Jesus was from Nazareth, a remote place that no one thought of as being glamorous as other places. In John 1 this is what happens,
“Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ And Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’” ~ John 1:45-46
Only after Nathanael had an encounter with Jesus did He believe that He was the Son of God.
The same can be said of Zimbabwe in Southern Africa, a nation that has garnered enough negative publicity to last a lifetime. In this nation, however, there is a church that is accomplishing amazing things despite the odds. Celebration Church, led by Pastors Tom and Bonnie Deuschle is constantly pushing boundaries and being a light to people around the world.
Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 1:5, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.” This is the kind of impact Celebration Church is having in every possible life domain and transforming lives as a result.
For a more detailed account you may want to read Pastor Tom Deuschle’s book, “Building People, Building Dreams” for an account of the work the church did in its early days which today it has surpassed. The impact of this church can be mind boggling especially given that it is in a tough economic environment that seems to be deteriorating.
What the church is demonstrating is that when God is on your side nothing will be impossible for you. Let us look at some of the key factors that enable the church to keep changing people’s lives.
1. Teaching based on truth
This is the major reason that Celebration Ministries continues to grow through good and tough times because the truth of the Word of God is a sure foundation. I am sure you know of churches that fell apart or are compromised and that may be as a result of not basing their foundation on the Word of God.
The church has numerous platforms available to teach people about every day issues such as business, marriage, prayer, parenting, etc. but that are based on the Word of God. When your life is built on truth it can survive any storm that comes its way but it will fall apart when built on a lie.
Families have been transformed through the men’s ministries that challenge men to become the leaders God has called them to be. These men have become better fathers and husbands which has been a big blessing to the families.
2. A currency of faith
The intentionality to constantly push the boundaries in spite of the obvious challenges sets the church apart from others. That desire to operate at a higher standard places a demand on God to bless the church according to His riches that are found in Jesus Christ.
Unless you make audacious requests to God for his glory you will not live at the level you need to. Getting into alignment with what God says has enabled Celebration Ministries International to move in the right direction.
3. Praise and worship
Bonnie Deuschle has a high standard for the praise and worship at Celebration Church leading the congregation to connect with our Father in heaven in the spirit. Her goal is to establish 24 hour worship as it was in the days of King David. As the church connects with God, He gives revelation to advance the work of the Kingdom.
Some people in the uttermost parts of the world have connected with the church by listening to its music on the Internet. The church’s music has become a powerful ministry tool that has brought many people to Christ.
4. A standard of excellence
Everything the church does is at a high standard to bring glory and honor to God. God honors those that honor him. Doing things with excellence sets you apart from the rest and that is the case with Celebration Church.
Some of the church’s members have won awards in the marketplace for the amazing work that they have done in their spheres of influence. These are experiences that bring glory to God as they encourage other people in their faith.
The Lord can do great and mighty things on behalf of those who earnestly seek Him no matter what disadvantages or obstacles may stand in their way. What obstacles are standing in your way today? You can do great things for the Kingdom of God no matter what you are struggling with.