Received this from someone today. A good reminder that God made us to be His representatives, His hands and feet. God is not doing nothing in the world today, He is working through those who are showing up, who are loving and serving and caring and sharing. And He is encouraging others – like you and me – to join in. Let’s make God visible today!
This past Sunday I surveyed our congregation about their daily prayer and bible reading.
Forty people responded:
— 19 said YES/YES
— 16 said NO/YES
— 5 said NO/NO
These results are both encouraging, and an encouragement to find ways to help those who feel it is important but are not doing it yet.
As to why people do not think it is important, I would be curious to know their reasons.
But maybe I need to start by saying why I do think it is important.
Maybe you can help.
Tell me why you think daily prayer and bible reading are important.
This past Sunday I surveyed our congregation with this question: what is a disciple? The call of Jesus is to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). But if we do not know what a disciple is, how can we make them. If we as a church do not have the same idea of what a disciple is, how can we make them together? The answers below are a starting point, but we will need to unpack them some more if we are going to do a better job of making disciples. Continue reading ‘Survey: What is a disciple?’ »
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)
When speaking in Nazareth, Jesus quotes Isaiah 61:1-2, and then makes the remarkable claim, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21)
Jesus proclaims good news to the poor.
Jesus proclaims freedom from prison and oppression.
Jesus proclaims healing for the blind.
Jesus proclaims the time of God’s favour.
The good news now is: I am forgiven! I am free!
But does this mean that the good news now is also: I am healed!? Continue reading ‘Discussion: Am I already healed?’ »
“We are discipling people every day in our work—as we treat a customer with respect, help out a coworker with his or tasks, respect the boss even when others grumble behind his back, seek justice in the way we do our business, make the workplace a more peaceful place to be, offer to go the extra mile to get the work done and done right, etc. How are you making disciples by the way you do your work?” (Alan Hirsch)
Jesus tapped me on the shoulder and said, Bob, why are you resisting me?
I said, I’m not resisting you!
He said, You gonna follow me?
I said, I’ve never thought about that before!
He said, When you’re not following me, you’re resisting me.
“The ‘modern’ idea of church, or ecclesiology, it seems is that the church exists as a venue to “attract” the lost through dynamic programs, performances and events—the more dynamic the better. What one pastor friend of mine referred to as “theo-tainment.” The problem with emphasizing this approach exclusively is that a disproportionate amount of the church’s time and resources go into these efforts at the expense of discipleship and training the already saved. The result is the proverbial church that “is a mile wide and inch deep.” Yes, the local church may grow in numbers but rarely in spiritual maturity and the witness of the Church is often rendered lackluster.” (Michael Craven, What Happened To Making Disciples?)
The fundamental goal and activity of the church should be to – teach and train every believer to become a ‘disciple making disciple’.
Biblically and theologically, if we’re to become effective at ‘growing the church’, at strategically achieving ‘true gospel growth’ (both numerically and spiritually), then we’re to implement the scriptures call to build churches where making ‘disciple making disciples’ is our – ‘core vision’, and where challenging every believer to that task becomes our – ‘call to action’.
What’s needed in churches today to achieve that kind of vision is a culture change, a return to the practice of daily and mutual discipleship and disciple making. Such a culture change will require a redirection in the order of our priorities, renewed focus in our lives, and greater gospel intentionality in our ministries.
If the goal is to ‘make disciples’, and more importantly, to make disciples who make disciples (disciple-making disciples) the question is – what processes, activities or ministries must be put in place to most effectively achieve that goal?
Today’s question is short, but not simple.
Please take a few moments to jot down your thoughts.
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?