Monthly Archives: July 2013

Dealing with Pride in Disciple Making

Here’s a great short video from David Platt and Multiply on how pride sneaks into our disciple making.

 

Questions:

  • What suprises you about what he says concerning pride?
  • Can Pride really be an issue when we doubt our own abilities?

I wonder If Sunday School Is Destroying Our Kids

The Bible is not primarily a story about you!  It’s a Story about Jesus.  Check out this article from Belief’s of the Heart:

“Several years ago I met with a woman distraught by her son’s rejection of Christianity.

She said, “I did everything I could to raise him right. I taught him to be like the ‘heroes of faith,’ with the faithfulness of Abraham, the goodness of Joseph, the pure heart of David, and the obedience of Esther.”

She wondered why he rejected Christianity.

I wondered why it took him so long.

Here is how we destroy the gospel message

Look at almost any Sunday school curriculum. You’ll find:

  • Abraham was faithful, and God made him the father of a nation. So be faithful like Abraham.
  • Joseph was a good little boy (unlike his “bad” brothers), and God made him Prime Minister of Egypt. So be good like Joseph.
  • David had a pure heart (unlike his brothers), and God made him King of Israel. So have a pure heart like David.
  • Esther was an obedient girl. God made her Queen of Persia and she saved God’s people. So be obedient like Esther.
  • Finally, if we fail to be good, Jesus will forgive us (a “P.S.” tacked onto the end).

What’s so bad about these Sunday school lessons?

Nothing really. Except that they lie about God, they lie about these “heroes of the faith,” they lie about the Bible, and they lie about the gospel….”
Read More

How To Disciple Someone Through Reading The Bible

So you’ve built relationships with somebody in your neighborhood or work place.  You’ve gotten to know quite a bit about them and they’re starting to consider you a friend.  You’ve had a chance to share the Gospel Story with them and they want to know more.  Now what?  Where do you go from here? 

You can always invite them to join your Missional Community in a service project to see the Christian life lived out in serving others.  Or you could invite them to join your MC in hearing the Story-Formed Way.  Yet the timing might not be right.  You might feel like this person needs a little more understanding regarding how to read, understand , respond to, or apply God’s Word.  One of the best ways you can help is to start reading the bible with them on a regular basis. Yet where do you begin?

If the person is already coming to your MC weekly, why not invite them to come 30 minutes before your gathering to read scripture with you?  You could also invite them to join you on your lunch break once a week.  Try to integrate the Bible Study into something that you’re already a part of so it doesn’t become an added “burden” to an already tight schedule. 

 

What is the Bible?

  You want to clarify what the bible is and is not.   

  • The Bible is not primarily a book of rules telling you what you should and shouldn’t do, though it does contain some laws and commandments.  The bible isn’t really about you.  It’s about God and about what he has done for you. 
  • The Bible isn’t a book showcasing a number of heroes that you should copy.   The Bible does, at times, present people that we should try to emulate.  Yet at the same time, many of those people aren’t heroes at all.  When you look at their lives, you see that even the best people recorded in the Bible have many problems and make many mistakes, sometimes even on purpose. 
  • The Bible is primarily a story about God and His love.   As Sally Lloyd Jones says, “Every Story Whispers His name”.  It’s all about Jesus and what he’s done for us.  (Luke 24: 25-27, John 5:39)

Method

Before we begin to read the Bible, we want to pray that God would give us His Holy Spirit to understand, trust, and put into practice what the Bible says.  Without His Spirit we cannot understand or believe the truth of God, nor can we put into practice what it says. 

When we read any passage of the bible, maybe the best way of understanding what God is trying to teach you in the passage is to look at the verse, within its context (the surrounding paragraphs, chapters, and even the particular book itself) and ask questions concerning what the text reveals to us about:   

  1. Who is God (His Character and nature)? 
  2. What has He done, or has promised to do (particularly through Christ’s person and work)?
  3. Who are we (both apart from God and as a result of who God is and what he’s done)?
  4. How do we live now (In light of who God is, what he’s done, and who He’s made us to be)?  

 

Additional questions to ask each other might be:  

  1. When was the text written?
  2. By whom and to whom was the text written?
  3. Why was it written?
  4. Does it reveal God’s law, (how we should live) or Gospel, (what God does for us)?
  5. How can this text be applied to me?
  6. What is striking you about this text?
  7. Does anything in this text shock you?
  8. When might we use this passage or retell this story?
  9. What can I thank God for?
  10. What promises of God can I trust in?
  11. How does this text point to Jesus?

 

Things to have with you 

  • A Study Bible
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Highlighter
  • Bookmark
  • Notepad

Resources 

A Daring Confidence

Dale Meyer, Former speaker of The Lutheran Hour and president of Concordia Seminary has a daily blog called The Meyer Minute. It’s a great source of Gospel-Centered daily devotional thoughts.  His words have lifted me up and inspired me in Jesus love countless times.

On the July 24th post Meyer gives a couple quotes from Martin Luther about the place of Good works in a Christian’s life:

Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it a thousand times. This knowledge of and confidence in God’s grace makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and with all creatures. And this is the work which the Holy Spirit performs in faith. Because of it, without compulsion, a person is ready and glad to do good to everyone, to serve everyone, to suffer everything, out of love and praise to God who has shown him this grace. Thus it is impossible to separate works from faith, quite as impossible as to separate heat and light from fire. (Martin Luther, Preface to the Romans)

As we seek to live a Gospel-Centered Mission-Focused life, we need to remember that we’re not striving to impress God.  We don’t need to earn his love, to win his approval, or to secure our salvation.  We have that all in faith through Jesus. Our future is secure.   All we do, then, is in response to God’s love he’s shown us already.

“Faith is living, daring confidence in God’s grace.”  As followers of Jesus, we can stop examining our motives, stop tallying our good deeds, and look to Jesus’ love on the Cross  and know that he will give us all good things.  We’re then freed to love him and to love and serve others in his name without motive and without fear.

The Rob Bell looking Luther picture found here

Disciple ?

There is a lot of talk about faith in the bible.  Both Jesus and the disciples call people to look to and believe the Gospel (The good news of God’s love and forgiveness through Jesus).  Yet when Jesus commissions his followers, he doesn’t call them to make believers of the world, but disciples.  Yet what is a disciple?

Watch this short video from the poet and artist, Propaganda:

A disciple is someone who learns from another.  They learn to think like their teacher thinks.  They learn to live like their teacher lives.   When we come to believe and love Jesus, we want to then live for him.  Yet how do we begin?  Yes, we do want to read God’s Story in the Bible.  But, learning to apply it is hard.  Learning to walk in Jesus’ ways in the 21st century is difficult to understand without seeing someone else do it.  That’s why it’s important to be in relationship with other people who’ve been, not only learning about Jesus and his word, but learning how to walk like Jesus did.

Missional Communities are a great way to learn God’s Story.  Yet they are also great places to learn (with the help of other Jesus followers) how to walk as Jesus did.  Life is hard, in-and-of-itself.  Change is hard.  Living a life of Loving God and Loving others is hard.  Learn with the help of others.  Find a family in  a Missional Community at The Exchange Community.

Picture found here

Christian Life In A Post-Christian World

In his book, After Christendom, Stuart Murray speaks of the new place of the church in a culture where the Christian faith loses coherence and influence.  He lists five shifts that will take place:

  1. From the center to margins. In Christendom the Christian story and the churches were central, but in post-Christendom these are marginal.
  2. From majority to minority.  In Christendom Christians comprised the (often overwhelming) majority, but in post-Christendom we are a minority.
  3. From settlers to sojourners.  In Christendom Christians felt at home in a culture shaped by their story, but in post-Christendom we are aliens, exiles, and pilgrims in a culture where we no longer feel at home.
  4. From privilege to plurality.  In Christendom Christians enjoyed many privileges, but in post-Christendom we are a community among many in a plural society.
  5. From control to witness.  In Christendom churches could exert control over society, but in post-Christendom we exercise influence only through witnessing to our story and its implications.
  6. From maintenance to mission. In Christendom the emphasis was on maintaining a supposedly Christian status quo, but in post-Christendom it is on mission within a contested environment.
  7. From institution to movement.  In Christendom churches operated mainly in institutional mode, but in post-Christendom we must become again a Christian movement. 1.

Questions:

  • How do these shifts change the way you see your country?
  • What must then change with the way we act and operate as Christians?
  • What battles should we stop fighting as the church?  Where should we redirect our efforts?

 

1. Qtd. in Tim Chester and Steve Timmis’ Everyday Church, 22

Picture found here

Pastor James Hein's Blog

Crossing my mind. Mind on the cross.

Family Friendly Faith

May God use these pages to bless, encourage and strengthen you.

Sweet Rains

"He sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matt. 5:45)

The Matt Walsh Blog

Absolute Truths (and alpaca grooming tips)

Faith In Motion

Thoughts on life in light of the Gospel

Provocations & Pantings

Trusting God :: Treasuring Christ :: Triumphing the Gospel

TRANSFORMINGstory

Positively Living Life & Sharing Faith

docshawn

love. serve. lead

multiply

Following Jesus' Command to Make Disciples

JORDAN ELDER

helping others move forward toward Christ, community, and mission

Nate Navarro

love God. love people. don't go alone.

#KingdomCome

Help wanted: Desperate sinners transformed by Jesus to start a revolution. Inquire within.

The Tentmaker Blog

Using paid employment for Kingdom ministry

khamneithang

instigating a life, one story at a time...

Joewulf

Learning to believe and journey toward Jesus

SoulThirst Church

Saturating the world with the astounding love and truth of the Savior King

KPB Stevens

Fiction, Nonfiction, and More

Plasso

Spontaneous acts of controlled synesthesia

Missional Church Planting

a misson alive blog

%d bloggers like this: