It is a rather unfortunate thing that the current trend in our contemporary society is to forsake making New Year’s resolutions. I see this leading to nothing other than utter disappointment and dissatisfaction as many fail to properly examine themselves, their lives, and their goals when they are afforded the opportunity.
Winston Churchill, the British statesmen and Nobel Peace Prize winner, once stated that “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see”. Every year I offer up a review of the past year in an effort to challenge and stimulate my perspectives, goals, and ideas for the future. I pray that through my honest examination and expression that I would inspire you to do a review of the past year and prayerfully develop some resolutions for the year to come.
The word “authentic” has been reverberating through my mind and heart for the last couple months. Properly defined, the word authentic means to have a traceable place of origin, to be genuine. As I have been reviewing the past year and peering into 2017, authentic seems to be the perfect word to sum up my resolutions in life, as well as ministry.
In review of the past year’s notes, I found the following quote:
“Allow His Word to be understood in the text, and then Spiritually written on your heart”.
That quote illustrates the “authenticity” I am speaking about. As a pastor whose life mission is to help others know and understand how to live an “eternally fulfilling and satisfying life”, I make it my business to help others genuinely understand the details of the Gospel as expressed through the Scriptures in their historical context. Because then, and only then, will the wisdom that is from beyond man (spiritual), be written on your heart. Also, this authenticity is pointing me toward a more aggressive, bold posture in the new year.
My favorite Bible verse is 1 Timothy 1:5 and surely having love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith all of which demand authenticity. Two other Bible texts that seem to be motivating me this season are Proverbs 25:11 and 1 Timothy chapter 6. The Proverbial advice “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in the right circumstances” highlights the need for us to authentically explain and detail the Gospel in a manner that is like “apples of gold is settings of silver”. This requires a genuine interesting and listening to the concerns of others and presenting truth from His Word. The Apostle Paul’s instruction to his spiritual son Timothy highlights that many fail to know, and/or abuse the doctrines of Godliness by using them for the wrong reasons. The Apostle Paul says, “But flee from these things you man of God, pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11)”. Also, as a pastor, I will seek to walk worthy of these details in my calling as outlined in Titus 1:9, therefore requiring an authentic boldness – what I have usually referred to as “zeal empowered by knowledge” (cf. Romans chapter 10)”.
Allow me to offer up a quick review of ministry in 2016:
BLUE POINT BIBLE CHURCH
Early in 2016 we made it the goal at BPBC to “Walk Worthy: Bearing Fruit”, ultimately with the desire to find the Church at work in the world with “purpose and strategy”. As I reviewed the work of our church this year, and the sermons that were preached, it becomes evident that 2016 was a year of establishing a foundation regarding our identity in Christ and in the world.
We went through a couple of “sermon series” this year at BPBC which were:
“Life Together” which focused on the many relationships we have as Christians and how we are called to live in those relationships; “One New Man” which brought us through the “body” texts of Scripture and showed that we the Body of Christ are the One New Man that was hoped for throughout the Old Testament; #BeingCHRISTIAN highlighted the many “Spiritual To Do Lists” found throughout the Scriptures and how we need to see those details in our lives – you can find our “check lists” at the following link:
We concluded the year with a praise & worship series called “Yadah…Yadah…Yadah.Shachah”, which aimed to focus us on submitting to and being in awe of Him in all that we do, especially allowing this to by highlighted in our “worship service”. And thus our Christmas service highlighted the “mystical realities” we have in Christ and how we need to grow more fully in being “full of grace and full of truth”.
In the midst of such sermon series we went through some other resources learning how to Wiser Together, Chase the Lion with Mark Batterson, and more…all seemingly focusing us on our identity in Christ. Prayerfully as we end the year and move into a new year, we have begun to see ourselves as the fulfillment of what was longed for through the Old Testament, we are a nation, a reality set up in righteousness to convey the truth of God to the world. That’s the role of the Church as per Ephesians 3:15.
On April 11th, I woke up thinking through all that we offer at BPBC and summarized like this:
“The local church provides the “knowledge of God” to enable us to live like, worship like, and love Jesus Christ”.
As I said at our Semi-Annual Meeting in June 2016, “As I have searched out His ways and reasons (regarding church growth), it seems pretty clear that God has given us this time to “examine ourselves”, all in an effort to allow us to demonstrate a purposeful and strategic method of evangelizing and making disciples of the nations. The very purpose of this church as stated in our Constitution”.
Considering that we have had some new faces around BPBC this year, Mr. Andy Diaz was baptized here and continues to grow in the faith, and I have have the privilege of talking with many of you this year – I’d say it was a blessed one! Prayerfully we demonstrate all that we are called to now at The Blue Point Bible Church, and all the more as we grow into 2017 – all for His glory!
You could rightly say much of my life’s mission is that by teaching and preaching the “knowledge of God”, and demolish anything that hinders a healthy understanding of it. Early on in 2016, I felt convicted that there are so many beautiful, worthwhile, and wholesome realities that many are missing out on and they need to be restored.
We continued our allowance of Heroin Anonymous to use our churches, even trying to fix up our basement a bit, allowing for a more beautiful, worthwhile, and wholesome experience of sobriety while at BPBC. Also, we further jumped into outreach this year – developing a BPBC Philosophy of Outreach, participating in Hope Day, maintaining a close relationship with the Suffolk County Police Department, local Civics and community groups, as well as various other efforts to bring common grace to our neighbors and the world.
Also, with the help of It Is Finished Organization (my fiancee’s startup non-profit) we renovated the playground at BPBC. Currently, our Children’s Ministry is in need of a “new beginning”, however in faith we moved forward offer a more beautiful and worthwhile playground – hopinf “if we build, they will come”.
Come to The Blue Point Bible Church to learn more about and to get involved with our “outreach philosophy”.
THE POWER OF PRETERISM NETWORK
As a mature Christians at BPBC who readily understand Bible prophecy to be fulfilled – thus making us “Preterists” – we are continually encouraged with the advancement of the modern reformation. The Power of Preterism Network exists to network Christians who believe in the reformation of Full Preterism/ Fulfillment/ Fulfilled Eschatology and the effect it is having on the church, by provide exhortation and leadership in regards to being Christian and Preterist, as well as moving toward establishing apologetic and evangelism efforts, education venues, outreach, ordination, church planting and more…Also, The Power of Preterism Network (TPPN) maintains an informative resource website as well as details from the annual Bible conference at The Blue Point Bible Church.
We have seen so many come to the understanding of Full Preterism and be edified and encouraged by our work at TPPN in 2016. We had a great conference in March 2016 and look forward to another great one in March 2017 – more information coming soon. You can view the various videos produced through the past years conferences at the following link, http://www.powerofpreterism.com/preterism-.html
This year I had the opportunity to speak on “The Efficacy of the Local Church” on the Montly Fulfilled Prophecy Conference Call which you can listen to and review at the following link, https://preteristconferencecalls.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/01-michael-miano-the-efficacy-of-the-local-church/. Also, an article I had written on Reformation Now: End Times Views Matter was published in the Winter 2016 issue of Fulfilled! Magazine, which should soon be posted on PDF at the following link, http://www.fulfilledcg.com/Site/Magazine/magazine_previous_issues.htm
TFC Magazine was a great resource throughout 2016, however I realize I only posted 3 articles in 2016. Much more to come in 2017, however you can review those articles at the following link, http://tfcmag.com/preview1.php?&search=by%20Michael+Miano
I am currently working with Mr. Ricky Carranza from Finland on a documentary regarding a genuine everyday Christianity that ultimately leads to understanding Full Preterism. As always, so many resources coming from the “Preterist Movement”, I look forward to keep you in the loop through The Power of Preterism Network Updates at www.powerofpreterism.wordpress.com. Through our efforts with TPPN we look to offer more clarity and strategy in being “On the Frontlines of Reformation and Revival” in 2016.
Look forward to more about #TeamPRETERIST in 2017 (we are currently redoing some of the strategy). Look forward to our “Book of Revelation” Bible Conference on March 24th-26th, 2017 at The Blue Point Bible Church (again, more information coming soon).
In the meantime, a resource I recommend you getting your hands on is the new DVD – Resurrecting the Past – which can be ordered at the following link, https://zephonministries.blogspot.com/p/dvd-store.html
(We will have a public showing (with popcorn) at the Blue Point Bible Church in mid-January 2017). 🙂
MGW (Miano Gone Wild) MINISTRIES
There will be quite a bit of changes with my ministry “Miano Gone Wild”. Primarily, it will be changed from solely an online radio platform to a full-fledged ministry – online radio, YouTube video teachings, and blogging. Another aspect that will changed will by the style of the programs. Let’s face it. Those of you who know me know my constant almost neurotic desire to “name and label” things. I am not realizing that doing this, especially on MGW Online Radio often hinders and becomes a distraction from authentic learning and zeal, ends up puts me in a box so to speak, all of which is set to change in 2017.
In the past year, on MGW Online Radio (which is currently under construction at www.MianoGoneWild.com) I offered broadcasts dealing with Church History, Ignatian Spirituality, and more recently “The Flavors of Preterism”. While I enjoyed much of what these series offered, I know many desire a more natural expression of “Miano Gone Wild”. So…look forward to a new weekly style and show starting Monday, January 2nd, 2017.
The combination of my YouTube and blog site to MGW Ministries will prayerfully allow for more edification to flow through my learning and sharing. On YouTube I shared a couple different series – 3Pi YouTube Series, From Fasting to Feasting, and I am currently going through a series called “Gaining a Narrative Theology”. You can watch those videos and more at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfOfWwisYZA
My reading and learning of course usually has a lot to do with what I am zealously sharing and what I hope to transmit to you. Some books that I read and shared this year were Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, many Church history texts, dating and marriage books, Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson, A contemporary look at Ignatian Spirituality, Redirectional Idealism by Don Perry, The Journey to Grace by Richard Belcher, Unseen Realm by Michael Heiser, and Hidden Christmas by Timothy Keller. I look forward to reading many more books this coming year, however I read an interesting quote this morning that I pray will be fruitful in my reading and application in 2017:
“Book reading is of small value unless the truths which pass before the mind are grasped, appropriated, and carried out in their practical issues”. – Charles Spurgeon
GROWING INTO 2017
That leads leads us into a summary of 2016. If you’ve been tuned in to our ministry at The Blue Point Bible Church, as well as all that has been done through the ministries I work in and through, this past year the truth of the “ever-reforming nature of the Church” was highlighted in our learning more about the Church. Through our examining and coming to a more beautiful, worthwhile, and wholesome understanding and expression of our identity as the Church, we have opened more opportunities to grow into 2017 – full of grace and full of truth.
I look forward to growing into 2017 with a marked-out authenticity in preaching, discipleship, and outreach. In September 2016 I woke up one morning thinking about my calling in Christ. I wrote in my notes that “God designed me with a thirst for knowledge, a diligence to study through details, and a desire to share.” This reminded me of my initial zeal (what I often refer to as being “freaked out”) and desire to learn and share the Truth – a zeal empowered by knowledge. I pray that I will express more of that in 2017.
In my life and ministry I have made the resolution to be more authentic and bold in my expression of 1 Timothy 1:5 – loving with a pure heart, maintaining a good conscience toward God and others, as well as living and offering a sincere faith. My mantra has been “zeal empowered by knowledge” which I believe is the living out of my calling as detailed in Titus 1:9 – exhort others with sound doctrine and rebuke those who oppose it.
Ministry at The Blue Point Bible Church will move forward with the vision of #AThinkingFaith. The hash-tag (#) symbolizes our desire to share and be a blessing to the world. We give what we have – a thinking faith. A faith that is build upon heeding to the wisdom of Scripture – studying to show ourselves approved and rightly dividing the Word (2 Timothy 2:15), examing all things and holding fast to that which is good(1 Thessalonians 5:21), and being able and ready to share that with the world (1 Peter 3:15).
I ended classes regarding Immersed Discipleship a couple of months ago for a couple of reasons. Primarily, in being authentic I want to move away from programs and “naming”, and instead truly allow individuals to experience this immersion. We will offer three different Bible reading tracks, and a forum-based Saturday morning Bible Study (9AM-11:15AM) led by Pastor Mike Miano for immersion into Biblical topics and themes as well as Q & A in keeping with individual Bible reading. Set up a meeting with Pastor Mike to learn more about Immersed Discipleship.
We anticipate more and more authentic outreach in keeping with our BPBC Outreach Philosophy of simply serving where we feel inspired and burdened. XD Youth (our new youth ministry for ages 12-16) will be hosting Friday Night Bible Studies at 6:30PM, and on the last Friday of ever month we will throw a “youth party”. It Is Finished Organization looks forward to more organization and activities in 2017 as well. I am praying and resolving to do much more intercessory prayer in 2017. After all, it was one of my favorite Christian leaders, Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said, “Intercession prayer is the most promising way to reach out neighbors, and corporate prayer offered in the Name of Jesus, the purest form of fellowship”.
Also, in the new year look forward to the following (however there is truly much more in store):
- Launch Reformation NOW which is a ‘ministry’ designed intentionally to encourage reformation in the Christian Church, ultimately leading to a greater revival and revolution.
- Launch L.I.F.E. (Learning Institute of Fulfilled Eschatology) – certificate program
- Publish Wicked
- Publish Returning to Our First Love: Biblical Narrative Study Guide
I really do look forward to a blessed and God-glorifying year at The Blue Point Bible Church, as well as all that I have the privilege to participate in. God willing, you will join me in some of these efforts.
I pray the following words of Jim Elliot, a servant of Christ and a martyr for the faith, will be exemplified in and through my life, “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
In Service to Him,
Cheers to a Blessed Year,
Pastor Michael Miano