The body of Christ: We are a team!

God has given us each talents and abilities and spiritual gifts! We each have a role to play within the church. Modernism has brought on an extreme amount of individualism in American culture. One thing the church has got to get back to is being a community of believers. The church of Acts 2, that Bill preached on this morning is the example. Every person played a role in the church. When one of us is not correctly functioning in the role that God has for us, then the rest of the body is handicapped and suffers.

Another problem in American church today is “Ministry misplacement” which is the problem of 20% of the members doing 80% of the work in ministry. I pray our church does not fall into this trend.

Other reasons for meeting once a week for a worship service are:

1. Bible Commands it: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful… Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23, 25)

2. Learn and grow together Proverbs 27;17, “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.”

3. A place for regular Confession. God cannot have anything to do with sin. Sin blocks our spiritual eyes and ears from understanding God.

4. Opportunities to serve/ use gifts that God has given us

5. Serves purposes of God/Bible: Worship, Fellowship, Evangelism, Discipleship, Ministry!

6. Helps us follow God’s Will together as we share together

7. Leads to discipleship

The Importance of discipleship and mentoring:

A disciple is a learner and follower. The first disciples followed Jesus Christ. Discipleship is the intentional training of disciples, with accountability, on the basis of loving relationships. All Christians are disciples of Christ. We are to become complete and competent followers of Him.

I am super excited about the vision for our church! Soon we will be launching a church 0wide discipleship program. The idea is to get everyone in a one-on-one intentional relationship for the glory of God with a mentor. The relationship is about multiplication: both to increase and deepen your own faiths respectively but also for the purposes of prayer, evangelism, and service together. By focusing our time on building into each other and serving the community, not only will your faith grow but also the church will expand.

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An idea that worked

I have to give Campus Crusade for Christ credit for this idea first.
The idea:
Website on a business card. For Campus Crusade for Christ, during Halloween in Athens, we passed out business cards of a Crusade website. I am not sure how successful that was…

But this week I passed out business cards with my church’s website on it. I preached the sermon at my church on Sunday….so I wanted my friends to get a chance to listen, so I posted the link on a card and passed it out.

What is funny is that this time, it worked. People who knew me wanted to go to the church website and listen to me.

Alex

Thoughts on discipleship

I think the church has gotten off track in some ways when it comes to discipleship. I want to be an instrument of change if God wants to use me in some way for a discipleship revolution if you will.

Loving people and remembering that they are fallen has really challenged me and made me step back a little bit to remember that what we are dealing with. Sinful people that need delivered, then developed, then deployed…and at each step there will be rejection. there will be hardships. There will need to be caution and extra care taken at each step of the way. So this principle helped bring me down to reality and challenged me. How can we make these changes that I think we so need but also in light of the fact that men are men. Sometimes I have not been a delicate discipler, but I need to be more so.

I desire to build in men at my secular world as well as my sacred world (church.) My strategy might be different but my goal is the same for both: deliver, develop, deploy and see reproduction!

This course influences me to pray for my lost friends at work that I want to build into. It influences me to pray for men to build into wherever I am. This course influences and challenges me to lead the way. I cannot just preach discipleship, I have got to be doing it. Not just on the receiving end but also on the building into new guys end of it.

The nature of mankind greatly should affect the method and approach to ministry.

All of us, men, come from a fallen background. We are all hurting, no one has it all together. Also man has to chose, we cannot force anything on anyone, nor should we try.

The concept that I personally need help with is love. I pray almost everyday that the Lord will give me love for the people I need to serve today. I need love to be patient with the lost. I need love to reach out to the lost. I need love when I am teaching my classes at church, yes I need to love even the saints, not just the sinners. I am not asking for “love” in general, that I can muster, but the love of Christ to work through me. Because I am from a fallen background too. I make mistakes a lot and my love is useless. I need Christ to fill me with his compassion and love for my flock and for my lost friends.

Also I need patience. Similarly, not my own patience but Christ’s. I need to realize that man will make his own decisions. I am here to help, but ultimately I have already made the decision to follow Christ completely. I cannot expect others to have the same attitudes, response, commitment that I may or may not have. Everyone has their own experiences and thoughts about God. I should not try to force them to follow in my footsteps, although sometimes I really agonize for them – that they (the lost and my disciples) will follow me (in discipleship or in salvation respectively.)

I am not this “great” Christian. I do not want to come across as an arrogant, I do everything right Christian, cause I do not! Forgive me if I have sounded this way.

Leadership lessons from two disciplers/mentors

1. These leaders were careful and caring. They know they are working with people. They understand that dealing with people means that you have got to love them. Teaching them truth and life lessons is important and good but why? Why…well because it is BEST for them. What does that mean, why is it “best” for them? It is love that motivates the teaching of the truth not the truth alone. Truth alone is painful and not always helpful.

2. Leadership requires dependence on God. Pray before you go sharing. Pray before you eat. Pray before you study the Word of God. Pray…these leaders showed me the tender heart and dependence on God that is so necessary before we minister to others.

3. Both of these leaders focus on the Word of God – this is where their approach and strategy comes from.

My two guys who are making disciples: one is a pastor and the other is a campus Crusade leader. They have separate strategies and ideas are both founded on the Word of God. Both see the connection between evangelism and discipleship. Both have a lot of creative ideas.

The main difference between the two is that my Campus Crusade disciple has more of a “closed” approach to his discipleship team. This might be because he does not have time to disciple everyone and that is true.. He focuses a lot of time and quality on those he does disciple! And He is a busy busy man whom has other Crusade responsibilities to attend to.