About Steve Loopstra

Rev. Steve Loopstra Director, Your Servant in Christ Ministries Your Servant in Christ Ministries was born out of a heart to help God’s people love Him supremely, and to help them prepare their own hearts, families, churches and communities for the transforming presence of God. Rev. Steve Loopstra also serves as an instructor with The Sentinel Group, based in Monroe, Washington. The Sentinel Group is a Christian research and information agency dedicated to helping the Church pray knowledgeably for end-time global evangelization and enabling communities to discover the pathway to genuine revival and societal transformation.. Steve is ordained with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. He served as an Alliance pastor for over twenty years. Steve, with his wife, Marilou have pastored in California, Iowa and Minnesota. In addition they have served as missionaries in Europe. Steve has helped give leadership to the prayer movement in the Christian and Missionary Alliance, in the Twin Cities area and in national prayer initiatives. Steve served for 11 years at the Executive Director of Prayer Transformation Ministries in Minneapolis, MN. Steve is an author, speaker, and prayer leader locally and nationally, a member of the National Prayer Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Church Prayer Leaders Network. Steve has also led prayer journeys to Mali, West Africa, Muslim N. Africa and Berlin, Germany. Steve leads Pastors Prayer Summits, Concerts of Prayer, and teaches and preaches on prayer and revival in churches and conferences.

Your Servant in Christ Ministries — Living and Ministering out of a Culture of Prayer

This is the next point in our “Mission Statement” series of videos. Helping congregations live and minister out of a culture of Prayer

 

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YSICM   Mission Statement Teaching – Part 4

The past few weeks we have been looking at the history and now the Mission Statement of Your Servant in Christ Ministries, or YSICM (why YeS I C HiM)

This week I wan to look at the next touch point for this ministry…

Parts of Mission Statement

  • To serve Congregations
  • Fulfill the first and great commandment to be God-hungry believers
  • Living and ministering out of a culture of prayer
  • Together with others in the community
  • Hunger for and invite God’s Transforming Presence
  • For the Glory of His Name

The local congregation is the instrument that God desires to use to touch the world with His love, salvation and presence. These are congregations filled with “God-hungry” believers who have learned how to live together in a culture of prayer.

What is a “Culture of Prayer.”  I have been using this term for nearly twenty years to describe the lifestyle of the local church in the area of prayer.

A “Culture of Prayer” is NOT a prayer program. We have a tendency in our days to program every part of the life of the church. That is not necessarily bad in itself. We have a program of teaching, a program of worship, a program of giving, o f outreach. All of these can be very helpful. And this is not to say that there can and perhaps should not be a “program” for our prayer ministry in the church. But that is entirely different than  a “Culture of Prayer.”

First, let us think about culture. What is a culture?  Webster defines culture this way:

1athe customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group also the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time popular culture Southern culture

bthe set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization a corporate culture focused on the bottom line

cthe set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic

dthe integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations

Culture is the shared attitudes, values and goals, beliefs, and behavior that is passed on to succeeding generations. So a Culture of Prayer us more than just a program of activity. It is a lifestyle of the persons who are a part of the local congregation. How they act, and respond to life, how they make decisions, and how they relate to one another.

The New Testament talks about being “Devoted” to prayer in Colossians 4:2 – the word that is used there has the idea “to be earnest towards, that is to persevere, be constantly diligent, or to attend assiduously, to adhere closely. Assiduously has the idea of being marked by “careful unrelenting attention, persistent application”

Being devoted to prayer is one aspect of a Culture of Prayer. And a Culture of Prayer is the living out of that devotion. Think about this, Devoted to something is a part of who I am. The culture I live in is a part of who I am. Culture is in many ways unspoken. A young child learns a culture, not by taking “Culture Classes,” but by being exposed to the lifestyle, the attitudes, and choices of his or her parents, and those around them.

A Culture of Prayer, as with any other culture, begins in the family, and is transmitted most of the time without words. In a Culture of Prayer, every aspect of life is infused by the lifestyle of prayer. In the church, every decision, every “program” is birthed, supported and maintained through prayer. Prayer that is in constant fellowship with the Lord for blessing, instruction, courage, faith, persistence.

Another illustration of a Culture of Prayer. Suppose for a moment that you work as a janitor in the local school. Your job is to clean the hallways, and classrooms each evening after school in preparation for the coming day.  You sweep and mop and dust the hallways, and desks of teachers and students. Now imagine a Culture of Prayer where you do not merely clean, but as you dust around Tommy’s desk, you are praying for him, and his family. Praying for his heart to be open to the Gospel, for protection as he grows from the influences of the world. You pray for the teacher in that classroom as you dust the teacher’s desk and pray the presence of the Lord in that classroom or hallway as you sweep and mop the floor. Suddenly your “job” becomes you lifestyle ministry of prayer.

In order for the church, to be the influence in the world that God desire it to be, we must learn to develop a “Culture of Prayer” to be living out a lifestyle of being “devoted” to prayer.

A culture of prayer in the local congregation means that every ministry, every activity is birthed out of prayer, is sustained through prayer, and is made effective through prayer. Again, it is not the sense of our duty of fulfill the obligation to pray, but rather the relationship with the Head of the Church, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit that we are continuously presenting, and listening for insights, and direction as we go about the various ministries in the local congregation.

As the leadership of the church models this, and disciples the body in this culture of prayer, it becomes a part of each family, each ministry, each activity of the congregation. Not programmed but a vital and dynamic relationship between the head of the Church and the body, each member playing it’s particular role in this culture of prayer.

Pray, and ask the Lord how to begin to learn and live in this culture of prayer.

Consider allowing us to come and teach these principles in your church, or with your group. Email at steveloopstra@gmail.com or call 360-862-5646

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The Greater Than the Corona Virus, Virus

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virusThe Greater Than the Corona Virus, Virus

The spiritual battle over the life of our nation has rarely been as intense as it is in these days. The forces of darkness are in full attack mode utilizing all the weapons they have to destroy this country as a “light on a hill.”

The words of Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3 have never been more real.

“People will love only themselves and their money.” – vs. 2. The boldness with which this self love is demonstrated in some ways takes our breath away. I don’t like the labels necessarily, but the younger generation called “snowflakes” is only living out what they have been conditioned for from the previous generation. Entitlement mentality is the lifestyle of self-love. Sadly, we see the evidence that this “self-love virus” has infected almost our entire nation.

“They will be boastful and proud scoffing at God” – vs. 3. The level of arrogant rhetoric, and the “pride” in debauchery is astounding. Being proud to be in total violation of the clear words of Scripture has infected now not just personal lives, but politics, the workplace, education at even the kindergarten level, and the Christian denominations. The latest being the Southern Baptists. A shocking sign that the delusion, and power of this spirit of darkness has gained tragic control at every level.

“Disobedient to parents and ungrateful they will consider nothing sacred” – vs. 3 – Disobedience has happened because it the guidelines of the Scriptures were thrown out of our schools, and our institutions. The philosophy of “if it feels good, do it” has replace obedience to any form of authority, especially the authority of the Word of God, and the authority of God Himself, who is ultimately the judge of all things.

“They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self control” – vs. 3.  The tsunami of slander, of  forgiveness, of slander on all levels, but especially in the media and politics, has infected the minds and souls of millions of Americans without any regard for any level of righteousness, love or kindness. Those who can remember other days, are or should be in total shock at the depth of this insanity.

“They will be cruel and hate what is good” – vs. 4. What greater cruelty could you imagine than to rip apart a human being while still in it’s mother’s womb? What greater cruelty could you imagine than having a baby survive the barbarism of an abortion and not be allowed medical care? What greater cruelty could you imagine than harvesting body parts of aborted human beings and selling them for profits on an institutional level?

What greater cruelty could you imagine than this happening not in a few cases, but by the thousands and millions? The Lord of the universe does not turn a blind eye to this barbarism and affront to His Word, and His heart. There will be judgment, you can count on that.

“They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.” – vs. 4. The “infection” of sin into every part of society has now reached such a level that it is made to seem normal to live out these sins, for that is what they are. The word “reckless” here has the idea of rushing headlong into something without any restraint. How often have we seen this played out before us in so many ways across our society in these days? It is astonishing. But the root of it is exactly as stated. We have become lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God. So Pleasure, and self have become out gods, and the rest of the world be damned.

“They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.” – vs. 5. How sad to watch while those who enjoy the pleasure of evil, or even those who would justify these evils, cover themselves with a cloak of religious rhetoric, and put on a false front so that they feel justified in their evil. But they have only condemned themselves, and rejected the only means of help they have… the God of the Bible.

All of this could leave us with a spirit of hopelessness and depression if that were the only things we had to look to. But there is always hope. Because the God of the Bible, the General of the Armies of Heaven is still on the throne, and His Word is still true and faithful, and obedience to His Word brings redemption, forgiveness, hope and life.

How should we then react to all that is going on around  us? It’s a familiar passage, but it is still true. 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” The reality is, that the condition of society is a reflection of the health of the Church. Let me repeat that. The condition of society is a reflection of the health of the Church. Those who are called by His Name have not place to cast aspersions at what is going on in the world if we ourselves have failed in our obedience and righteousness before our Holy God. This is first of all a call to repentance. You might say, but what do I have to repent of? I don’t do any of those things. Ah, my friend, but you are comparing yourself to them, when you need to be comparing yourself to the Righteous King! For He says to us, I Peter 1: 15 – But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” The time is past due for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to allow the Holy Spirit of God to search every area of our lives, and point out everything He finds that HE calls sin, and for us to earnestly acknowledge our sin, and humbly ask for forgiveness. He promises He will hear from Heaven, and forgive.

We must learn the spiritual discipline of seeking His face. Seeking the divine manifest presence of God in our lives, our families and our churches. There is not substitute. No other way. We in many ways, my friends are a people of God who do not know Him. We, in many cases have not learned the joy, the ecstasy of being in the midst of the manifest presence of God. His manifest presence changes everything, starting in us.

This is a time when we as the people of God should be full of hope, because God loves nothing better than for His people to desperately cry out to Him, and to answer by His presence to bring revival and transformation where the was once desolation and what I call “Societal Insanity.”

This is a time of hope because there has not been a time in many, many years where that has been such a widespread movement of prayer, fasting, and repentance in our country. There are ministries and movements across our land that God has been preparing for such a time as this. We are not alone, we are not abandoned! The God of Heavens Armies is waiting for us to hear His voice, and respond in humble, repentant, desperate faith that He is faithful to His word. Now is the time for Jesus’ Church to be who He called us to be… counter cultural light and salt. He wants us to be “infected” with hope and action!Let me close this with a promise I use many time to remind us of this hope. It is found in Hosea 6:1-3.
“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds.  In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

I have asked this question in many places among many different peoples: “How many of your have laid awake all night worrying if the sun would come up in the morning?”

I have never had anyone raise their hand, and most people chuckle at the idea.Listen, everyone lives with the absolute certainty that the sun will come up in the morning. We plan our lives around this absolute conviction. Our calendars, smart phones, and schedule are evidence that we live with this absolute conviction that the sun will rise in the morning. It is our way of life.

But how many of us arrange our lives, our schedules around the absolute conviction that if we do what God calls us to do that He will come to us? God is not a liar. He not a deceiver. His word is perfect and true, and what He says here He will do because it is His Word, and a part of His divine character.

That is hope!

The days in which we live are a call to action on the part of God’s people. Stop complaining, stop only looking at the ills of our society. Obey His Word! Yes, we are being torn to pieces, but He will heal us. He will bandage our wounds. He will restore us so that we can live in His presence!! Don’t give up. Don’t give in to the weariness, because as we press on to know Him, He  will respond as surely as the arrival of the dawn.

One last question. Did the sun come up this morning? OK then!!

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What is the Mission of Your Servant in Christ Ministries?

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In this video I want to share with you the Mission Statement of Your Servant in Christ Ministries

I invite you to watch, and respond if you would like. I’d love to hear from you.

Steve

 

 

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YSICM MISSION STATEMENT TEACHING PART 4

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YSICM   Mission Statement Teaching – Part 4

Logo - w website

The past few weeks we have been looking at the history and now the Mission Statement of Your Servant in Christ Ministries, or YSICM (why YeS I C HiM)

This week I want to look at the next touch point for this ministry…

Parts of Mission Statement

  • To serve Congregations
  • Fulfill the first and great commandment to be God-hungry believers
  • Living and ministering out of a culture of prayer
  • Together with others in the community
  • Hunger for and invite God’s Transforming Presence
  • For the Glory of His Name

The local congregation is the instrument that God desires to use to touch the world with His love, salvation and presence. These are congregations filled with “God-hungry” believers who have learned how to live together in a culture of prayer.

What is a “Culture of Prayer?” I have been using this term for nearly twenty years to describe the lifestyle of the local church in the area of prayer.

A “Culture of Prayer” is NOT a prayer program. We have a tendency in our days to program every part of the life of the church. That is not necessarily bad in itself. We have a program of teaching, a program of worship, a program of giving, o f outreach. All of these can be very helpful. And this is not to say that there can and perhaps should not be a “program” for our prayer ministry in the church. But that is entirely different than a “Culture of Prayer.”

First, let us think about culture. What is a culture? Webster defines culture this way:

1athe customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group also the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time popular culture Southern culture

bthe set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization a corporate culture focused on the bottom line

cthe set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic

dthe integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations

Culture is the shared attitudes, values and goals, beliefs, and behavior that is passed on to succeeding generations. So a Culture of Prayer us more than just a program of activity. It is a lifestyle of the persons who are a part of the local congregation. How they act, and respond to life, how they make decisions, and how they relate to one another.

The New Testament talks about being “Devoted” to prayer in Colossians 4:2 – the word that is used there has the idea “to be earnest towards, that is to persevere, be constantly diligent, or to attend assiduously, to adhere closely. Assiduously has the idea of being marked by “careful unrelenting attention, persistent application”

Being devoted to prayer is one aspect of a Culture of Prayer. And a Culture of Prayer is the living out of that devotion. Think about this, Devoted to something is a part of who I am. The culture I live in is a part of who I am. Culture is in many ways unspoken. A young child learns a culture, not by taking “Culture Classes,” but by being exposed to the lifestyle, the attitudes, and choices of his or her parents, and those around them.

A Culture of Prayer, as with any other culture, begins in the family, and is transmitted most of the time without words. In a Culture of Prayer, every aspect of life is infused by the lifestyle of prayer. In the church, every decision, every “program” is birthed, supported and maintained through prayer. Prayer that is in constant fellowship with the Lord for blessing, instruction, courage, faith, persistence.

Another illustration of a Culture of Prayer. Suppose for a moment that you work as a janitor in the local school. Your job is to clean the hallways, and classrooms each evening after school in preparation for the coming day. You sweep and mop and dust the hallways, and desks of teachers and students. Now imagine a Culture of Prayer where you do not merely clean, but as you dust around Tommy’s desk, you are praying for him, and his family. Praying for his heart to be open to the Gospel, for protection as he grows from the influences of the world. You pray for the teacher in that classroom as you dust the teacher’s desk and pray the presence of the Lord in that classroom or hallway as you sweep and mop the floor. Suddenly your “job” becomes you lifestyle ministry of prayer.

In order for the church, to be the influence in the world that God desire it to be, we must learn to develop a “Culture of Prayer” to be living out a lifestyle of being “devoted” to prayer.

 

Consider allowing us to come and teach these principles in your church, or with your group. Email at steveloopstra@gmail.com or call 360-862-5646

 

 

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YSICM Mission Statement Teaching Part 3

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Logo - w websiteThe past few weeks we have been looking at the history and now the Mission Statement of Your Servant in Christ Ministries, or YSICM (why Ye S I C hiM)

This week I wan to look at the next touch point for this ministry…

Parts of Mission Statement

  • To serve Congregations
  • Fulfill the first and great commandment to be God-hungry believers
  • Living and ministering out of a culture of prayer
  • Together with others in the community
  • Hunger for and invite God’s Transforming Presence
  • For the Glory of His Name

It is our sincere desire that the body of Christ, and it’s local representatives come to a place where they are actively, and intentionally, fulfilling the first and great commandment is given by the Lord Jesus Christ, to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind…

Matthew 22:35-38One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question; “teacher, what is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind,” this is the first and greatest commandment

I describe this as being “God – Hungry believers”

This begins with the statement of the Westminster catechism – The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever.

At your servant in Christ ministries our mission is to serve by teaching the primary importance of knowing and loving the God of the Bible, Jehovah, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Our love for God primarily, above all other things, is the beginning point of our fulfilling what God has designed us to do and be. In Mark 22: 18-24, The Pharisees and Sadducees tried to get Jesus into a debate about what is the most important issues, and this took on two important aspects. First they wanted to debate him about theology, and the issue of marriage. Jesus direct them to the most important thing, which is a personal, intimate, loving relationship with God.

Part of Jesus answer to them was to tell them that they did not understand the Scriptures when they tried to debate him about this issue of divorce and remarriage. He said that they do not know the scriptures and they do not know the God of the Scriptures. To know God, we must be in continuing hunger for knowing the Scriptures. To know him, we must know his word, Psalm 14:2, I Chronicles 16:11, Isaiah 55:6-7.

In Revelation chapter 2, in his message to the FE’s in church, Jesus told them that they were diligent to work for the Lord, they have correct theology, they were watchful for error, and they had been patient in their sufferings. But despite all of that, what they had lost was that primary, first love for the Lord.

This is essential for us to understand in these days. We can have many programs and keep watch to have correct teaching, the labor for the Lord is a pastor, Sunday school teacher, Elder, Deacon, or Deaconess, or whatever. But we must always be diligent to make sure that we have not walked away from that primary love that Jesus is looking for.

This is essential for us to understand in these days. We can have many programs and keep Watch to have correct teaching, the labor for the Lord is a pastor, Sunday school teacher, Elder, Deacon, or Deaconess, or whatever. But we must always be diligent to make sure that we have not walked away from that primary love that Jesus is looking for.

It is our challenge to help the church revive that first love so that all the other things will follow.

If you would like to know more about our teaching on these subjects please contact us at Steve loopstra@gmail.com

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YSICM Mission Statement Teaching #2

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This continues a series of teaching on the mission  and philosophy of Your Servant in Christ Ministries… for you to understand our heart for you, your congregation and God’s Transforming heart for your community.

_______________________________-

The Mission of Your Servant in Christ Ministries is to serve congregations with the goal that they fulfill the first and great commandment to be God-hungry believers, living  and ministering out of a culture of prayer, so that together with others in their community, they might hunger for, and invite God’s transforming Presence into their lives, their families, their churches and into their communities for the Glory of His Name.

  • Parts of Mission Statement: To serve Congregations
  • Fulfill the first and great commandment to be God-hungry believers
  • Living and ministering out of a culture of prayer
  • Together with others in the community
  • Hunger for and invite God’s Transforming Presence
  • For the Glory of His Name

        To serve Congregations

A     The Local Church is the instrument that God has chosen to reach our world

i.     Jesus’ words to Peter that He (Jesus) would build His Church (Mt. 16:18)

ii.     The Great Commission to go into all the world, was given to the Church as a whole. Matthew 28:28

iii.     The Power to operate as a Great Commission church is  – Love John 3:16, I Jn. 5 – Love for the Lord, and as a fruit of that, love for those who need to know the Good News about Jesus.

B     Local congregations/ the local church is in need of renewing that first love.

i.     The law of Spiritual Entropy – Entropy is the measure of how disorganized and random a system is. The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that unless outside energy is provided, a system will find its entropy (disorder) staying the same or increasing as time goes on. A system will never get more ordered without outside intervention.

ii.     Revelation 1-3 – esp. 3 and the letter to Ephesus – They had lost their first love. It is a call to remember and return.

 

c.     When the local church is operating and living out what God intended, it will reach and grow in the fulfillment of the Great Commandment.

i.     Filled with the Spirit of God

ii.     Avid students of the Word of God

iii.     In communion with other believers – The Church (Capitol C)

iv.     Contributing to a “Culture of Prayer”

D    The Manifest Presence of God is the power that gives us the ability to overcome Spiritual Entropy and ability to fulfill the Great Commission.

i.     Understanding the Manifest Presence of God.

ii.     Earnestly Seeking His Manifest Presence.

iii.     Learning to live and minister in the Presence.

 

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