Phil Miglioratti interviewed Bob Logan and Ralph Plumb: Asking the Right Questions to Rightly Assess DiscipleMaking

 
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PHIL >>> Bob, you and your co-author invite us to: "A journey that can help you push your thinking...to ask the right questions." 

BOB >>> Pushing our thinking to ask the right questions is critical. That's the key to learning new things rather than just trying to reinforce existing beliefs. And as followers of Jesus, we are to be in a posture of ongoing learning. Asking ourselves--and each other-- good questions results in examining our own assumptions, allowing God to change our hearts, and coming up with creative ideas and solutions. We are clearly at a place in history where the church needs to think creatively and come up with new means of carrying out the mission God has given us. 

 
 

PHIL >>> As I reviewed your book, 12 questions stood out to me; questions that can serve as an assessment for anyone who wants to live like Jesus and make an impact on others. What do our responses reveal about our personal relationship with God? Our depth of discipleship? (and/or) Our quality of leadership?

  1.  "How are you deepening your relationship with God?

BOB >>> As a growing disciple of Jesus, we need to regularly ask ourselves this question. God desires an intimate relationship with each of us. We should seek to deepen our relationship with God, and that can look a lot of different ways. The idea is to be reflective about our growth and committed to it on an ongoing basis. If we aren't growing in our relationship with God, not much else we are doing is going to have much significant impact. 
 
RALPH >>> A vitally important part of deepening my relationship with God has been to learn to listen - to that still small voice. Reducing the noise in my head and life and just being in His presence.


  2.  "How is God changing your life? 

BOB >>> Here's a challenge to our internal honesty. We may not need to change huge behaviors in our lives; it may be something more like a well-hidden attitude of selfishness. But if we are not able to cite something that God is changing in us, we need to rethink how we are engaging with him. Likely we are being too safe or conventional in our approach to God, for he is a God of transformation and power.
 
RAPLH >>> What I now realize more than ever about God is that He has NEVER left me nor forsaken me - even when I did not feel that He was there.
 
 
 
  3.   "How has the Holy Spirit been prompting you?"

BOB >>>  This is a truly critical question and one that I use in my coaching practice all the time. The crux of the matter here is that I don't know what God has in mind for other people. I am not the Holy Spirit. I don't know how, when, or where he is calling them... and I would never in a million years be able to guess right and then tell them what to do. Rather, I need to trust that the Holy Spirit is at work in other believers-- just as he is in me-- and I need to trust that they can hear from him themselves. I am not in control. What I can do is to listen to the Holy Spirit with them... and ask this question to keep it regularly on their minds. It's one of the most powerful coaching questions I know of. 

RALPH >>> 
The Holy Spirit has been prompting me to "love more" . . . each other, people, everyone - in this broken and divided world.
 

  4.  "In what ways are you being genuine with those around you?"
Why do we need to "push our thinking?" And, why are questions so important to be transformed by the renewing of our mind?
"There are a lot of books that focus on our relationship with God, or on serving our community, or on making disciples, but...we want to help you put those three elements together." 
 
10484577467?profile=RESIZE_400xBOB >>> Especially as Christian leaders, it can be tempting to try to present as having it all together. Yet I've found that--far from being a good example to others, as intended-- this posture can do a great deal of damage: encouraging others to hide their struggles and weaknesses as well. The very opposite of authentic Christian community then arises: everyone pretending to be perfect and everyone being dishonest and afraid of being truly known.

Lack of being genuine with others also does a great deal of harm as we reach out to those who doesn't yet know Jesus. Most people can sense this dynamic, even if they can't quite put words to it, and they run in the other direction as fast as they can. Hiding who you are, your struggles and your challenges, and pretending to be perfect is not appealing to anyone who is not already caught in the trap of perfectionism and trying to be their own God.
 
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RALPH >>> 
Genuine means first being honest with yourself, because everyone else can see what you may not!


  5.  "How have you had the opportunity to value other people?"

BOB >>> That's a great question, and I think it's rooted in two theological truths: the image of God in all people, and the presence of spiritual gifts in all believers. Every single human being, no matter how much we may disagree with their beliefs or their life choices, is still made in the image of God and worthy of being treated as valuable. And when people are believers, they all-- every single one-- has a contribution to make the Kingdom of God. Imagine someone who attends your church and is not necessarily a leader and may not even have very many friends yet in the church. Yet you can ask them to drive the equipment truck to the service, showing respect for their gift of service and the fact that they are an important, contributing, and valued member of the church. If they were not there, something would be lacking. Everybody matters. Show them that. 
 
RALPH >>> Every person has value.  When I am not rushing and pay attention, I embrace this better than when I am in a hurry or impatient.

 

  6.  "How are you relationally engaged with others?"

BOB >>> This question is closely related to #4. We need to be both genuine and relationally engaged. The church in the West leans dangerously close to an unbiblical individualism. The less intentionally we are engaged with others, the more we fall prey to faults like isolation, pride, and judgement. Being in real, authentic, honest relationships provides us with a regular reality check against these sins. 
 
RALPH >>> Our personalities affect how we engage in relationships.  I tend to be more reserved and therefore less outgoing with strangers. After I get to know someone I am much more engaged. It's better not to beat yourself up - you are who you are!
 


  7.  "How have you been the hands and feet of Jesus?"

BOB >>> I am thinking of Jesus' parable of the sheep and the goats. If we cannot point to anything constructive or helpful we have done for others-- even in small ways--how can we really say we are living as disciples of Jesus? None of us is called to do everything, but all of us are called to do what we can with what we have where we are. (Note that I am paraphrasing Theodore Roosevelt in this last clause.) 
 
RALPH >>> I have spent a lifetime of Christian humanitarian service.


  8.  "In whom do you see God working?"

BOB >>> This is another one of my favorite coaching questions. If we don't stop to ask each other this question, we miss SO much. God is not at work only in us, but in those around us as well. Sometimes we can see it and sometimes we can't. But when we can see God at work in someone, the natural follow up question is, "How can we help them?" We are called to come alongside others to help them see what God has called them to do and then help them take the best next faithful step toward doing it. So when we see God at work with someone, he may be calling us to come alongside that person in one way or another. I also appreciate that this question helps take us out of our own self-centric worldview, if even for a moment.
 
RALPH >>> God is working everywhere in and through many people. Humility is most important when we consider the value and contribution of others.
  

  9.  "What conversations have you had about spiritual things?"​ +  ​10. ​ "Who have you encouraged to become a follower of Jesus?"

BOB >>> Questions 9 and 10 provide a check on how we are engaging with the intentional spreading of the gospel message. As we listen and build relationships with others, opportunities will arise for spiritual conversations. Much of this consists of us asking questions and listening to people's answers. Only then can we eventually respond with our own testimony of how we have experienced Jesus and asking if they want that as well. We never have control over other people coming to faith, but we can be intentional about engaging in spiritual conversations and encouraging others to become followers of Jesus when relationally appropriate. 
 
RALPH >>> Conversations and caring begin the process.  Listening is vital.  I try to let God bring opportunity for "spiritual things" in a natural way, not forced. 
We all have a radius of people in our lives that give us this opportunity uniquely.  The challenge is not to pass up these opportunities, as I have regrettably done too often.
 


11.  "How are you helping new believers follow Jesus?"​ + 12.  "How are you helping new followers make new followers?"

BOB >>> Questions 11 and 12 relate to how we integrate new believers into the body of Christ and help them become healthy, reproducing disciples of Jesus. It's important to periodically ask ourselves these questions to assess how we are doing in this area. Like the other questions above, if we find we have little to say in response, we are usually close to identifying an area of weakness. In this area of assimilation of new believers, we can ask the question of ourselves, and also of our church as a whole. Most churches have some type of process in place for integrating new believers into the life of the church and helping them grow toward maturity, but the real question is how effective are those processes? How might they be shored up or improved? Who might you raise up to help in this area? 

RALPH: >>> 
As scary as this thought is, how I live my own life (not what I say) is the best way to show someone how to follow Jesus. It's all about discipleship.


PHIL >>> Bob​ ​please write a prayer for those who want to be transformed in their ministry thinking and practice...

BOB >>> Although we have written suggested prayers throughout The Undivided Heart, at least one per chapter topic, I would reference our overall prayer at the very end of the book: 
May our Creator and Father grant you the discernment and commitment to begin afresh on this quest. May you have the courage and discipline to put one foot in front of the other, laying aside every weight and burden so that you discover the peace that passes all understanding in living with an undivided heart. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
 
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  • NEW BOOK! An Undivided Heart

    New blog post from Bob Logan

    Early in the pandemic, I was talking with my friend Ralph Plumb about the role of compassion in the Kingdom of God and in society. Ralph is widely traveled with much of those travels focused on the relief of human suffering. He also served the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles as their President and CEO for a time. Our conversation was filled with stories of the transformative power of compassion. A book project was born.

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    An Undivided Heart: Living and Loving like Jesus

    An undivided heart is not something you can force on yourself or others and this book, An Undivided Heart: Living and Loving like Jesus, isn’t an instruction manual with step-by-step procedures. It is a journey, unique to you, that begins with your unique relationship with Jesus. Living with an undivided heart will naturally lead to living an undivided life. Cultivation of the heart flows into action.

    Order Now and read through on your own or with your small group. A great read for the Lenten Season! Available in paperback and Kindle.

     

    Here is what people are saying…

     
    “It’s a winner!”

    “In An Undivided Heart, Bob and Ralph fulfill their goal of bringing together the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Helping their readers along their own inward and outward journeys with God, this book is punctuated by powerful stories, and potent questions; it’s a winner!” —Mark Fields

     

    “A book destined for personal and relational impact”

    “I have used Bob Logan’s books in the seminary and in pastoral leadership settings, but this one is written for my friends and neighbors. This is not just another book on discipleship but a book destined for personal and relational impact. An Undivided Heart echoes back to Jesus’ heart while calling us forward as a passionate reflection of God’s heart. Through personal stories, poignant reflection, and practical applications Bob and Ralph energize us to embody and activate the love of God in our communities and world. I’m excited to put it into action!” —Kendra Diehl, VP of Ministry Formation and Innovation, The Master’s Institute Seminary, Regional Leader for The Harvest Network International

     

    “A much needed book in this hour!”

    Bob and Ralph have written a comprehensive, practical, and story-filled guide to living Christlike and nothing is more needed in our day. A modern day guidebook for a Jesus-style ministry and a must read for the Church.” —Tammy Dunahoo, Director, Leader Health & Development,The Foursquare Church

     

    “Top of my ‘gotta read’ list”

    “An Undivided Heart; Living and Loving like Jesus” is a wonderfully practical, consistently comfortable, easy-to-read, non-preachy, shallow on number of pages but deep in application, top of my “gotta read” list of books. From self-examination to the global implications of God’s calling for each of us, this book is both a launch pad and accelerator. Compassionate ministry, deliberate discipleship, redemptive entrepreneurship are all included in living authentically and with “An Undivided Heart.” —Tim ‘Doc’ Maranville

     

    “The next book you should pick up”

    “If you have been in going to church for a long time and are ready to be set on fire with God’s love to make a difference in the world, reading An Undivided Heart: Living and Loving Like Jesus is the next book you should pick up.” —The Reverend Doctor Adam T. Trambley

     

    “Both challenged and inspired me”

    “An Undivided Heart both challenged and inspired me. In this era of great disruption, when many congregations and church leaders find programs, and strategic plans in disarray, Logan and Plumb invite the reader to return to the basics  upon which the Christian movement is based – how do we like Jesus have a relationship with the Father, and how do we like Jesus love other people, especially those who differ from us, and how do we like Jesus make disciples when it seems like most (but not all) are disinterested.” —Pastor Robert Wallace

     

    “A must read”

    “A must read for any Christ follower who desires to make a positive sustaining difference in the lives of those who are seeking to make sense out of the chaos of today’s world. Essentially practical, yet inspirational with real life examples of how to creatively and strategically collaborate in the application of God’s transforming love in times of these.” —Raymond Rood, Founder and Senior Consultant, The Genysys Group

     

     “May it inspire each of us to cultivate an undivided heart!”

    “An Undivided Heart” interrogates our siloed approach to spiritual formation and seeks to inspire us to actively live and love like Jesus in a more integrated manner. Through their personal transparency, vulnerability, and gleanings, Bob and Ralph provide us with a practical framework and clear metrics to intentional and holistic following of Jesus, the only true pathway to whole-hearted living. we learn to live and love like Jesus, linking together our growing intimacy with God, our service to our community and our disciple-making activities. We learn how to make whole disciples from broken people; how we may live as an integrated person; how we may truly join God in His work in the world to overcome evil with good. May it inspire each of us to cultivate an undivided heart!” —Dennis Bachman, Executive Director and Lead Pastor of ViaCordis

     

    “Contains both key holistic principles and very practical actions steps”

    “An Undivided Heart” does what it promises. It looks back in history before it evaluates current thinking and then looks into the future. This process is extremely important to future fruitfulness. Not only that, it contains both key holistic principles and very practical actions steps. This book is a great addition to this subject.” —Colin Noyes, ResourceZone Australia

     

    “Transformation awaits!”

    “What does it mean to live and love like Jesus?  Take a journey with your community and use this insightful guide to learn how. Stories of people like you, Biblical principles, insightful discussion questions, and invitations to “try this” make this book a useful companion to everyday Jesus-followers. Decide to be intentional together and establish the rhythms that will help you reclaim your identity in Christ and activate your mission in the Kingdom of God. Transformation awaits!” —Wendy McWherter, founder Flourish Communities Inc

     

    “A journey of discovery”

    “An Undivided Heart represents a journey of discovery. The parables told in it will lead the reader to encounter both how to become a fish and a fisher of men; how to become a sheep and a shepherd; indeed, how to become a disciple and one who makes more disciples. Along the way we are challenged to spend a day “fasting from all digital material,” to light a candle to remember the Holy Spirit in the gatherings of disciples, and to have group discussions that will help us decide how the words of each chapter might be lived out in our lives. By God’s grace, this book will lead to more undivided hearts.” —Keith Shields, Transitional Leadership Pastor and Disciple

     

    “Extremely biblical, practical, and convicting.”

    “Extremely biblical, practical, and convicting. I loved the real life stories and the thought provoking questions throughout each chapter. The book challenged me to love God, love others and make disciples even more!” —Rev. Jeffrey Norris, Lead Pastor

     
    “Discover things that can be applied to your own life.”

    Undivided Hearts: Living and Loving Like Jesus is a book that will speak to people who are busy but need and want to put their commitment to Christ first. It is written in a way that is easy to comprehend with real life characters whose experiences help you discover things that can be applied to your own life. We found the practical tips very useful and small things that we could incorporate in our daily routines which will have us striving to live a life with an undivided heart. Thank you for this wonderful book filled with life changing truths and encourages us to live and love like Jesus.” —Beverly and John McNeil

     

    Get you copy of An Undivided Heart HERE.

    The post NEW BOOK! An Undivided Heart appeared first on Logan Leadership.

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