010.1 Sun Ministries, pt 2: Isaiah 58

Jason went to the African Arts Festival. Racism is dumb

song: TobyMac – Diverse City

Continuing the story of Sun Ministries

God called us through Isaiah 61 to initiate reformation of the church and rebuild the ancient ruins. God has a design for Church, and we should be doing that.

Every Christian should be seeking to do things the way God wants them done. What if every Christian lived they way Jesus taught us to live?

Doing things God’s way is incredibly inconvenient.

Many people don’t question church structure.

If you’ve been transformed by Jesus, you will live more like Him

Are you disconnected from your theology? Do your beliefs about who God is, does it change your behavior and values?

Jesus came to the oppressed, and undid the oppression – He made the way for freedom.

Are we afraid that we’re going to give something to someone who doesn’t deserve it?

Isaiah 58 – What does it mean to be afflicted? “afflicted” means oppressed or beaten down. Same word used when we’re told to humble ourselves, or when God humbles His people in the desert to reveal their hearts. It actually has 5 contexts in scripture

  • God humbling His people
  • People humbling themselves
  • People who are afflicted
  • rape
  • and false humility (Isaiah 58:3). The hypocrites are “afflicting” themselves. They are doing things that are essentially meaningless and ineffective, and trying to convince God they are afflicting themselves, humbling themselves. Ceasing from eating for a day is not the same as being raped.

Satisfy the desires of the afflicted – sometimes, those might not be the “holiest” of desires.

To humble ourselves is to afflict ourselves, as the people are afflicted. We do what Christ did. We lay aside our rights and become like those to whom we are sent. They are afflicted, so must we be. This is humbling ourselves. And it is how you set captives free.

The hypocrites of Isaiah 58 are setting up an if/then situation with God. This is a transactional relationship, and not honoring.

God sets up His own if/then’s for the people, revealing to them who really has power in the situation.

Isaiah 58 continues talking about the sabbath, which is NOT one day a week, because we are no longer under the law. But it is our new life in Christ, which is rest.

Rest is not inactivity, nor lack of diligence. It frees us from devising our own strength and wisdom and holding ourselves responsible for the results.

Our whole life should be an act of turning our feet from our pleasure.

Song: Amena Brown – John 1 https://noisetrade.com/amenabrown/breaking-old-rhythms

This episode originally broadcast live on May 29, 2015 on KXEN 1010AM in St. Louis, MO

For more info:






Theme music: “The Resistance” by Josh Garrels (www.joshgarrels.com) licensed by Marmoset Music (www.marmosetmusic.com)


009 Interviewing Volunteers with Sun Ministries

Earlier this year, we hosted three groups of volunteers. I interviewed three of the most engaged students to get their thoughts on their time with us. We spoke about what they learned, what they struggled with, and primarily, their shared concern with a lack of black leadership in ministry.

The interviews were recorded on March 10, 2016.

This episode contains the songs:

“Satellite Kite” and “A Bridge Between” by Beautiful Eulogy, from their album, Satellite Kite, available at humblebeast.com. Used by permission.

“With Your Eyes” by Enter the Worship Circle. Used by permission of Ben Pasley of Enter the Worship Circle. www.entertheworshipcircle.com

“Testimony Song” by Reformation Sound. Used by permission

Theme music: “The Resistance” by Josh Garrels (www.joshgarrels.com) licensed by Marmoset Music (www.marmosetmusic.com)

For more info:


008.2 Living the Gospel -The Work of Sun Ministries

We share how we live out the Gospel, through the story of Sun Ministries.

Two Gospels at play in the world: The personal Savior gospel and the Gospel of the Kingdom. One resembles the Gospel of Repentance preached by John, focusing on our sin and forgiveness, but also focuses on intellect. The Gospel of the Kingdom is about this community of believers, the children of God, the Body of Christ, living with and knowing this God.

We discuss Sun Ministries – God called us through Isaiah 61 to go to the inner city of St. Louis and lay down our lives and create opportunity.
Opportunity Center – creating jobs, businesses, and skill
Leadership Center – training leaders in reformation and inner-city ministry
Narrow Gate – the pathway from hopelessness to walking with God
In seeking God, and being humble to learn from Him, He brought is into our prepared works

song: Brandon Heath – Give me Your Eyes

If you are going to ask God to show you what He sees, be prepared to be overwhelmed
God moved us to a place of laying down money and standing against the stronghold of poverty
We were holding on to a lifestyle, even after moving into a warehouse

What does the Opportunity Center do?
It creates businesses a varied types to create employment and skill-building opportunity, while also creating income so the ministry can become financially sustainable
Current businesses: sewing center, woodshop, cafe, maintenance services, lawn care. 2016 will see a retail space open.
Managing this is hard, because we’re walking the line between business management and God’s design and utilizing business as a ministry
Some of our businesses bring money from outside the community into the community

Challenges and lessons of the opportunity center:

  • learning to managing
  • consistently train
  • not all about the work, not become a workaholic
  • The truth of Christianity is that it is life – family/work/ministry is blended, not separated and one more important then the other.
  • God uses physical things to address spiritual things
  • We all agree it’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done

A romanticized view of ministry is predominant in America, but what happens after the “honeymoon” is over? Will your relationship sustain after the initial excitement fades? Do you require activity to sustain relationships?

Song: Robbie Seay Band – Up to the Mountain

This episode originally broadcast live on May 22, 2015 on KXEN 1010AM in St. Louis, MO

For more info:

Theme music: “The Resistance” by Josh Garrels (www.joshgarrels.com) licensed by Marmoset Music (www.marmosetmusic.com)

008.1 Two Gospels

We see two gospels reflected in Scripture and present in the world today: 1)The Personal Savior gospel that focuses on repentance from sin; 2)The Gospel of the Kingdom

Jason went to Kansas
Number churchless americans has increased 1/3 in 20 years
pastor in a boomtruck = dumb
The end goal of Christianity is not correct theology

James 2:20, Isaiah 61
People recognize that love and good works are good things, and generally don’t belittle those giving themselves to good works.
43% of people not going to church does not equal 43% of people don’t love God
A religion of intellect and events leaves people very self-focused

song: Audio Adrenaline – Hands and Feet https://youtu.be/pFHyVdugFEM

Revisit the Gospel – Identity and Lordship of Jesus, good works He designed for us to do long ago

Personal Savior Gospel – takes focus off of what God is doing in the world today; puts focus on the forgiveness of YOUR sins, and reduces it down to your experience. The Gospel of the Kingdom is much bigger than you.  A modern perversion of John’s Gospel – a gospel of repentance that prepares the way for the Gospel of the Kingdom. Yes, stop sinning, but also come into the Kingdom and become the Bride, take your place in the Body, and seek out what God is doing.

The Gospel of the Kingdom moves us to do what Jesus did – this results in transformation

What was Jesus’ Gospel?  Jesus lived His Gospel. He gave up everything to come and serve those who were His enemies.

The Gospel of the Kingdom changes what you value

Ephesians 2:8-10 – We don’t get saved as a result of our works. Yet we were saved FOR these good works that God has prepared for us to walk in. Our searching and longing must be for Christ Himself, not for the works. As we come to know our Father, He will bring us into these works. As He does this, we must yield to these works.

No one looks at martyrs and says, “Man, they really screwed up and got themselves killed.”

These works are for the CHURCH – not just about you, and you achieving a sense of purpose. It’s about this New Family becoming an organism and functioning by God’s design.

Because God said it was not good for man to be alone, because the Church is the BODY of Christ, we will never function by His design and accomplish these Good Works He’s designed for us unless we’re functioning in a Body.

The two gospels

  • One gospel wants to know what the bible says
  • One gospel wants to live what the bible says

1 Corinthians 1:26 – think of what you were when you were called

Song: Josh Garrels – Don’t Wait for Me https://joshgarrels.bandcamp.com/track/dont-wait-for-me

If you change the way you perceive the Gospel into more relational terms, it helps clarify things. Children demand everything of their parents. Families are bigger than you, and bigger even than you, your spouse, and your kids. The church is the same way.

Music: “Rugged Old Hand” by Ben Pasley, from his album Residue; “In this World” by Enter the Worship Circle, from their album Village Thrift.  Both used by permission of Ben Pasley of Enter the Worship Circle.  www.entertheworshipcircle.com

This episode originally broadcast live on May 22, 2015 on KXEN 1010AM in St. Louis, MO

For more info:

Theme music: “The Resistance” by Josh Garrels (www.joshgarrels.com) licensed by Marmoset Music (www.marmosetmusic.com)