Thursday, January 17, 2013

discipleship = investment

There are many who would call Paul (the former Christian killer) the greatest apostle, I think he would cringe at the title. But there is so much that we can learn from him that goes beyond just the letters he wrote to the many churches he helped to start. There is so much in his attitude and the investment required to identify and raise up leaders. His ministry wasn’t about making a name for himself; it was about bringing the gospel to people and establishing functioning local church communities that sometimes involved networks of house churches in similar areas. Servant leaders focus on calling out and developing the gifts of others, not on drawing attention to themselves. They call others to follow in Jesus’ footsteps as servant leaders.
Paul took Jesus' command to make disciples of all nations seriously he made it his life's mission.  He understood the commitment it took. You see to truly make disciples you need give of yourself, your time, your love and sometimes even your money.  Hitting the streets or holding crusades in an effort to get someone to repeat a prayer after you so you can count your notches without having a net in place to draw these people into a relationship where they can be discipled isn't following the example Paul set for us or more importantly the command that Jesus gave us. And let just say that standing on a corner waving a turn or burn sign yelling condemnation at passersby definitely is NOT making disciples.  We need to take a step back and look at our methods, if they don't involve loving on people, investing time and ourselves then we are doing it wrong and need to make some changes.
2 Timothy 2:1-2 "SO YOU, my son, be strong (strengthened inwardly) in the grace (spiritual blessing) that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus. And the [instructions] which you have heard from me along with many witnesses, transmit and entrust [as a deposit] to  reliable and faithful men who will be competent and qualified to teach others also."
Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen."

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