Constant Change, Unchangeable God

As you already know, Outpost has been through several changes in the past few years. We have a fun new change for you: a new logo! Heraclitus said, “The only constant thing in life is change,” but, unlike this Greek philosopher, we Christians have a deeper understanding that God is the constant over and above any change.

There is a paradox in this, though. During the Christmas season, we remember that God was and is incarnational through Jesus Christ. The changeless God and His changeless Word took on flesh and experienced human growth. There is a mystery in how the infinite and always-the-same God sought to make Himself known and communicate His eternal message to us finite and ever-changing humans.

Changeless, yet Dynamic God

While God is changeless, He is not static—He’s dynamic! His Word and Truth never change, even as our culture and society do. What does change from time to time, era to era, culture to culture, person to person, is the packaging and style of communicating God’s Truth and Gospel. Again, God and His Word are incarnational—meaning somehow His Truth remains the same even as it is expressed differently in order to be understood in many diverse contexts.

Simplify and Clarify

All of that to say—we are still the same ministry with the same focus. With this logo change, we hope to communicate our message in a clearer way! A lot of my role here as the director of Outpost has been to simplify and clarify who we are and what we do. That was the main purpose behind the core values—Honor, Humility, Honesty, and Healing—as well as behind articulating our mission “to love God, declare freedom, and establish outposts of restoration for the sexually and relationally broken Body of Christ.”

Image of our new logo, described in the article.

Our new logo is, likewise, meant to help us communicate who we are more effectively. Part of the impetus for the change was a desire to make a more memorable logo. We want people to think about us and pray for us often! The basic design shows the letters “O” and “P” combined as “OP,” which is usually our abbreviation for “Outpost.” The black “O” is meant to represent the kingdom of darkness where sin keeps people trapped in an endless loop of despair. The red shape that turns the “O” into a “P” is meant to represent a house of refuge or “outpost of restoration” for those that have been called out of darkness. The Cross is the bridge that breaks us out of the endless cycle of sin and brokenness.

We also have a new slogan or way of articulating our mission: “Encounter. Equip. Establish.” or “Encounter God. Equip the Church. Establish outposts of restoration.” Each of these ties directly to part of our mission statement, articulating it in a succinct and memorable way.  Now let’s talk about this slogan, and how it specifically relates to each part of the mission statement.

Encounter God

This ties to the phrase “love God” in our mission statement. We believe loving God ought to lead to encountering Him, and encountering Him to loving Him. Encountering God’s love is essential to starting and sustaining the healing journey, which is why we emphasize it and try to create spaces for our participants to encounter God.

Equip the Church

The longer form of this phrase could say, “equip the Church for a deeper evangelism” (if we wanted to add yet another “e”). This is another way of saying “declare freedom,” since we are seeking to equip churches, ministries, and Christians to proclaim the Good News of God’s transformative power—that there is hope and freedom from sexual and relational brokenness!

Establish Outposts (of Restoration)

Another way to say this is “establishing transformative community.” The reason we are called Outpost is because an outpost is a waystation, the furthest reaches of a territory or kingdom. We are meant to be a place of refuge for those defecting from the kingdom of darkness as well as those who have wandered or are wandering away from the kingdom of light. An outpost is not someplace where you live forever. Our goal is to see participants learn and grow in this transformative community for a time, but ultimately be sent forth into what God has for them.

Speaking of being sent forth, there is another major change coming—I (Jonathan) will be stepping down from my position at Outpost in April. I am following God’s leading and call to an executive pastor position at a church in another state. This decision was not easy since I believe Outpost is such a gem and a treasure—there really is nothing else quite like it! And I’ve loved the ministry I’ve been able to do here. Still, I’m trusting God knows what He’s doing, both in my life as I walk in obedience, as well as for this ministry of His. I have always felt my role here was a transitional one, and it’s been such a blessing to serve alongside the staff and volunteers. They are amazing and are more than capable of ensuring Outpost continues serving the brokenhearted through this transition of leadership and beyond!

Now more than ever we need your continued prayer and support. We are actively looking for my replacement, so please pray that God will call the right person to help lead this ministry in its vital work. Thank you for your prayers!

A New Mission Statement, But The Same Calling

Chrysalis and Butterflies

2020 was a year of change.

I know the illustration of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly can be overused. However, most of us were definitely in a type of cocoon this last year! Organizationally TCJHOP and Outpost had a similar experience. Amidst all the shaking, we got to ask ourselves, “What’s really important?” and “Who are we as a whole organization?” We eventually arrived at a mission statement that unites all the parts of our ministry:

TCJHOP exists to love God, declare freedom, and establish outposts of restoration for the sexually and relationally broken Body of Christ.

This is not a change in who we are or what we have been doing but a change in how we clearly communicate what we are all about. While I do not have the space to go into each part in depth, I do want to point out a few things in this statement.

Love God

Loving God is a broad concept, but for us at TCJHOP, we think of it as the beginning, end, and sustaining point of all our journeys. The love of God is what calls us towards holiness, loving God is our reward, and that reciprocity of love is what continually motivates us. This is why we have a prayer room—a place people can encounter God, receive His love, and love Him in return. Healing just doesn’t happen without encounter with God.

Declare Freedom

American culture has a lot of different ideas of what freedom means and entails. For TCJHOP, the freedom we are talking about is the one Isaiah 61 mentions and Jesus quotes at the start of His ministry. It is freedom from sin and not to sin. It is God’s restorative justice. That is the freedom we bear witness to and declare to the Church and the world.

Establish Outposts of Restoration

Just as Outpost Ministries is a ministry of TCJHOP, TCJHOP would not exist without Outpost Ministries. A ministry of outposts is central to our identity. What is an outpost? It is the furthest reach of a kingdom’s territory. In establishing outposts, we are targeting 1) those who are just defecting from the enemy’s domain and 2) those who are wandering to the outskirts of the Kingdom. We are and will be a frontline and semi-fringe ministry. Looking again at Isaiah 61, we see that God is a God of restoration. He is always looking to redeem and restore, as they are the essence of the Kingdom. All the enemy-occupied territory has been taken back. The Kingdom is not about conquering new land but restoring it to its rightful ruler. TCJHOP is seeking for every heart and life stolen by sexual and relational sin and brokenness to be restored to their True King.

Changes

In crafting this clearer mission statement, we also wanted to better integrate TCJHOP as a whole and show that we truly are one ministry in a united mission. In that same spirit, you may notice our newsletter changing its format in the coming months. Part of this change is so we can include all of our ministry partners in our newsletter updates and mailings. Another part is because some updating is overdue!

What Will Be Different?

We want to bring the most relevant content regularly. There will still be monthly newsletters. However, the majority of these will be shorter and focused on the main updates from our ministry. At the same time, we want to provide a deeper look into some of our specific ministry groups and events and will spotlight one or two each month.

Additionally, we know that our articles have been a source of encouragement for many. We still plan to have these articles but will be compiling multiple articles into a single document—a longer-form letter—which we will send out a few times each year. We hope these longer-form letters will continue to encourage and inspire you and that this format will make the newsletter easier to collect and refer to when needed.

In the midst of all this change, please be patient with us as we work out some of the details. We are so excited for what God is doing with TCJHOP and Outpost and His plan for the coming year

Blown Away

testimony

The following testimony is from a Joshua Fellowship participant after completing the Holy Aggression Masculinity Course at the end of last summer:

I went into the [weekend retreat] expecting, but not expecting much. So now I’m a little blown away and still trying to process the weekend. God met me in an incredible way, speaking to me at every turn. The weekend felt like it was the culmination of the last year God has been working in me finally coming to fruition. 

From the start, I could tell there were people praying for us. I had asked a few friends and family to pray for me throughout the weekend, but [I] could feel that there were more. People I do not even know had set an atmosphere, and I’m incredibly thankful for that.

 I found out a lot about myself and how I cope under adversity. I make compromises, and that is what has gotten me here in the first place. I came face to face with my passive self, really putting words to what had been just a vague concept. That allowed me to confront it, to take it down.

 All the while, I was having fun working with other men as broken as I am. After the weekend, I really feel like I am part of the community. I do not just feel hopeful for change, I feel changed. I have come to an understanding of what brotherly love looks like that has been so foreign to me in the past. I am so glad I committed to this summer. It works if you work it. It’s worth it.

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