A New Addition & A New Area of Focus
As many of you know First Fruits of Zion is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The past 20 years have been an amazing time of ministry for our work and we've seen our little world change significantly. The ideals of Torah are now highlighted, the Jewishness of Jesus is now mainstream, and the perspectives that Messianic Judaism presents to the church and Judaism continue to challenge and change historic views and interpretations.
Our most recent conference reflected upon the first 20 years of this work, and we also spent a great amount of time projecting forward, discussing the future goals of First Fruits of Zion. We clearly outlined our plan to our constituents in attendance and shared with them our sense that productive years for the kingdom are ahead.
Prior to the conference we spent several months evaluating our work, needs, and goals. We fine-tuned our vision and mission statements (not yet reflected on our website) and outlined the needs to accomplish our mission.
There are several areas that I will share with you in forthcoming blogs that will strengthen our message and reach. One of the most critical needs, as we've outlined, is to do a better job of reaching into the church with our message. We have identified four key areas, which the church needs to consider (and need to change), and we will be developing resources to help address and educate in those areas.
Outlining the needs of the church is not difficult. Obviously the church needs to change. We are not the only voices in this appeal. But often times, we have found it is not so much what is said, but how it is said.
I would like to introduce you to a new member of our Creative Team at First Fruits of Zion and share with you the specific area in which he will focus. His name is Jacob Fronczak. Jacob (pictured above) is a dedicated disciple of Yeshua, a husband, father, pastor, and an educated, insightful and gifted writer. Jacob has been working, behind the scenes, with our current team of teachers for some time now, and we feel blessed to have had the time to get to know him, to benefit from his knowledge and skills, and to learn his heart for the Master and for this message of restoration. So we are happy to formally invite him on as a teacher at FFOZ.
You may have already read some of his work in our Messiah Journal or on his personal blog: Hope Abby.
We need Jacob to fill a specific need and niche at FFOZ. Currently our Creative Team is overloaded with writing projects and does not have the time to focus in on one our core needs. We need to create resources that assume that the reader is not familiar with Messianic thought, terminology, or concepts. We need resources that are engaging and not overwhelming. We need resources that can connect with and relate to Christian readers. We feel that our current resources assume too much of the reader, are too detailed and cumbersome, and ultimately miss the opportunity to share what we have to offer with sincere and seeking Christians.
Jacob will be joining our current team of teachers. Each staff member of our Creative Team has a unique roll. FFOZ will continue to develop resources for those that are mature and knowledgeable in Messianic understandings. Organizationally we have a responsibility to those in Messianic Judaism--we will not shortchange this mission. That is why we needed a specific, gifted, individual to join our team that will have this added roll and emphasis.
Jacob is already working on several projects for First Fruits of Zion. Among his first works will be a series of entry-level books designed to help Christians encounter the Jewishness of their Messiah, their relationship with Israel, their obligations to the Torah, and the broad vision of the Kingdom of Heaven as the original gospel message. Written in a conversational style, these books will serve to reach those who are totally unfamiliar with Messianic Judaism and the message of First Fruits of Zion.
Jacob is also contributing a series of articles, in forthcoming issues of Messiah Journal, addressing traditional Reformed theology, which has been influential in the development of several popular ideas in the Messianic movement. The doctrines of sola scriptura, sola fide, and others will be analyzed from a Messianic perspective, contrasted with the Roman Catholic ideas they were designed to counter, and freshly assessed as to their continuing relevance for Messianic believers today.
Jacob, welcome to our team. We have prayed for the Father to send an individual such as you to our team for some time. I pray your efforts will touch many, educate God's people, and expand his kingdom.
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