(2) Do you ever feel that you're burning out or that you're struggling to 'make disciples'...
...out of people that don't
appear to have much of a
desire to actually BE disciples?
(3) Are you tired of seeing
the mass exodus of college students and young adults ("twentysomethings")
from your congregation?
(4) Do you feel that much of the time,
you're just 'running a church'...
that your ministry is perhaps producing too many
marginally effective believers, and too few
world-changing, selfless DISCIPLES?
(5) What if you could honestly say that your congregation doesn't even NEED an 'outreach program'...
because your people were already meeting the needs in their communities and
bringing people to Christ
on a regular basis - NATURALLY?
What if your congregants were in the
habit of actually doing
what Jesus and His disciples... DID?
No; not "What would Jesus do?",
"What DID Jesus do?"
* (<< See sidebar.)
We're not suggesting anything new. Rather, we are going back to investigate something very, very OLD; what Jesus DID (that is, the disciplines He practiced and that His followers learned - by His words and by example) - that resulted in bold, focused, fearless, world-changing disciples who were marked by effectiveness, love and confidence. People who KNEW God and allowed Him to touch others through them, thus making a REAL difference in the world around them... naturally.
All of the 'programs' and rules in the world cannot rival the effectiveness of individuals who KNOW God and are led by Him.
"...but the people who KNOW their God
shall be strong, and do exploits."
- Daniel 11:32
This was the key to the power and effectiveness of Jesus, His disciples, and the entire early church. We suggest that this same principle is still the key today.
This has been proven over and over again by many people who - even today - practice what Jesus DID.
I spent 30 years as a devoted, faithful "believer"... but didn't know my God. As a result, I was to a large extent defeated, ineffective, and hesitant to share my faith.
Does that sound like anyone in your congregation?
You've studied the Bible; you know that your job is to "equip the saints for the work of the ministry" (and that you're not supposed to be the one that DOES most of 'the ministry')...
...so why does it seem that YOU (and your leaders) are doing most of the work, and most of 'the saints'
simply won't... engage?!
...but what if...
Right about now, you may be getting visions of people doing & saying crazy things like...
- "...But God TOLD me that you're supposed to be my husband..."
- "OK Honey, you collect the rattlesnakes and I'll make the sandwiches... see you at the pot-luck!" ;-)
However, God has a system of 'checks and balances' that guards against that kind of thing, and (guess what?) Jesus showed it to us by what he DID:
His was a life devoted to seeking and doing truth in these ways (the "4 tires" of his car, so to speak, were)...
- Reading, studying and meditating on the Scriptures
- Through solitary, honest prayer, baring ("UN-hiding") your entire life (experiences and 'hurts') to God - and yourself! That is, talking brutally honestly with God about EVERYTHING that's on your heart - especially the 'uncomfortable' things. (That's what we call "Going there"...)
- Intentionally setting aside distractions, 'being still' and KNOWING God - that is, allowing yourself to hear His voice. ONLY assimilating His words will bring full emotional/spiritual healing, direction and true fearlessness and power into your life.
- A transparent, honest and intimate friendship (that is, a discipleship relationship) with 3 other believers (As Jesus did with Peter, James & John).
All other fruit (service, evangelism, holiness, peace, fasting, worship, etc.) springs naturally from the practice of this lifestyle.
Jesus said He was THE WAY. Now is it just me, or...
shouldn't HIS WAY be OUR way?!
So why is it that the VAST majority of christians we have met (Baptist to 4 Square, Community to Methodist, Lutheran to CofC, AofG to Catholic...) have at least one 'flat tire'. Most I've met have 2 or more. (I had 3 myself...)
So how are we ever going to 'win the race'...
...if we continue to run one (or more!) flat tires?
One of the main problems is that...
...we are all TOO BUSY.
In the 'shop, we attack that head on. As long as we are too busy, we will most likely always have at least one flat tire - and probably more.
One of the main projects in the shop will be to find out why we are so busy... and more importantly, how easy (and absoultely VITAL!) it is for us to NOT be.
But it does take one thing: INTENTIONALITY.
Jesus said "my yoke is EASY and my burden is LIGHT." Once again, he was either telling the truth, or He was lying. And once again, we maintain that He was telling the truth.
But... HOW, specifically, do we actually 'trade' burdens with him?
What do we actually DO - to eliminate our burdens (become less busy with 'the things of the world') and open up time for things that will make an eternal difference?
We cover that in the 'shop too.
Oh - and in case you were wondering...
it IS easier than you think! :-)
...and yes, it does sound a bit dangerous. But...
the people who KNOW their God
shall be strong, and do exploits.
Now THAT sounds like the kind of "dangerous" people I want in MY congregation... don't you?
Thank you for your consideration.
© 2007-2013 Paul Andrews