discipleship (8)

GUEST POST ~ #ReimagineLEADERSHIP…Less Methods & Meetings; More Counsel & Coaching

 

Shifting from Leadership to Fatherhood 

 

Glenn Bleakney

 

In a day and age when the presence of paternal influence is notably lacking, apostolic leaders face an undeniable and urgent need to transcend their conventional roles as mere leaders. Now, more than ever, they must fully embrace their true calling as spiritual fathers, offering guidance, nurturing, and unwavering care that can only be provided by those who embody the essence of a spiritual father. 

 

This generation yearns for a profound and intimate connection, as well as compassionate support that can only be fostered through the presence of spiritual fathers. As spiritual orphans wander, desperately seeking purpose and identity, it becomes imperative for apostolic leaders to wholeheartedly embrace the role of a father, guiding others to experience a deep, personal encounter with God the Father and embracing their true identity as cherished children of the Divine. 

 

Here are ten strategic shifts for apostolic leaders to become influential spiritual fathers, catalyzing transformative change in the lives of those they father. 

 

1. Embodying Christ-Centered Character: 

As spiritual fathers, apostolic leaders must embody the very essence of Christ-like character in every facet of their lives. In the same way that Paul implored others to imitate his example as he imitated Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1), leaders who embody the virtues of Christ become living testimonies of His transformative power. Through their embodiment of Christ-like character, these spiritual fathers inspire and influence those under their fatherly care. 

 

2. Cultivating Intimacy with God the Father:

Spiritual fathers must prioritize the cultivation of a deep, intimate relationship with God, serving as models of a life deeply rooted in prayer, worship, and devotion. The letters of the apostle Paul radiate with evidence of his profound intimacy with the Divine, serving as a compelling example for all spiritual fathers. By nurturing their own connection with God, these spiritual fathers create a sacred pathway for others to experience the boundless love of the Father and discover their true identity as cherished children of the Divine. 

 

3. Building Authentic and Meaningful Relationships:

At the very heart of spiritual fatherhood lies the importance of authentic relationships. The letters of Paul reveal his deep yearning for genuine connections with others. Spiritual fathers must invest their time and effort in building authentic relationships, characterized by vulnerability, transparency, and a genuine willingness to journey alongside others through both moments of joy and struggle. By fostering an environment of trust and authenticity, these spiritual fathers create fertile ground for transformative growth in the lives of those under their fatherly guidance. 

 

4. Equipping and Empowering the Next Generation:

Apostolic leaders are called to equip and empower the next generation of leaders, following the example set by Paul with Timothy and Titus. The mentorship of these young leaders beautifully exemplifies this crucial principle. In the same way that Paul entrusted them with responsibilities and encouraged them to fulfill their God-given potential, spiritual fathers invest tirelessly in the development of others, creating a legacy of multiplication that extends far beyond their immediate sphere of influence. 

 

5. Imparting Sound Doctrine and Unyielding Truth: 

Paul placed profound emphasis on the importance of imparting sound doctrine in his teachings. Spiritual fathers must ensure that they impart biblical truth and stand unwavering against the waves of false teachings. By grounding their spiritual children in the unchanging Word of God, these spiritual fathers equip them with the discernment needed to distinguish truth from falsehood, establishing a rock-solid foundation for their faith. Sound doctrine becomes an unwavering compass that guides and shapes the lives of those under their spiritual care. 

 

6. Correcting with Love, Grace, and Compassion: 

Approaching correction with a heart overflowing with love, grace, and compassion is a vital aspect of spiritual fatherhood. This mirrors the tone of Paul's letters, which were filled with corrective instructions delivered with immense compassion. Humility, discernment, and a genuine desire to witness transformation are crucial components in offering corrective guidance. When rooted in love and grace, correction becomes a catalyst for profound spiritual growth and maturity. 

 

7. Fostering a Culture of Honor and Affirmation:

Apostolic leaders should strive to cultivate a culture of honor within their communities, following Paul's example of honoring and affirming others (Romans 16:1-16). In doing so, spiritual fathers recognize and celebrate the unique gifts and contributions of those under their care. This cultivation of honor creates an environment of mutual respect, encouragement, and empowerment, enabling individuals to thrive and fulfill their God-given potential. 

 

8. Providing Unwavering Spiritual Covering and Protection: 

Just as Paul provided spiritual covering and protection to the churches he founded, spiritual fathers offer steadfast guidance, support, and accountability to those entrusted to their care. This covering acts as a shield and guide, enabling spiritual children to navigate challenges and grow in their faith. Spiritual fathers become a source of strength and stability, 

 

9. Modeling Servant Leadership: 

Spiritual fathers exemplify the essence of servant leadership, mirroring the selfless nature of Jesus Christ himself. They lead not by exerting authority or seeking personal gain, but by humbly serving and sacrificing for the well-being and growth of those under their care. This sacrificial love and servant-heartedness inspire others to follow their example, creating a culture of servanthood within the community. 

 

10. Nurturing Emotional and Spiritual Healing:

Spiritual fathers understand the importance of addressing emotional and spiritual wounds that hinder growth and wholeness. Just as Paul demonstrated deep care and concern for the emotional well-being of his spiritual children, these spiritual fathers provide a safe space for healing, restoration, and inner transformation. Through compassionate listening, wise counsel, and prayer, they guide individuals towards healing and freedom, enabling them to embrace their true identity in Christ. 

 

Spiritual fathers have the incredible opportunity to leave a lasting legacy by impacting not just one generation, but multiple generations of spiritual children. Through their guidance, wisdom, and mentorship, they have the power to shape the lives of their spiritual children and equip them to become spiritual fathers and mothers themselves. This ripple effect creates a lineage of spiritual growth and transformation that extends beyond their own lifetime, reaching future generations who will carry on the legacy of faith and mentorship. Spiritual fathers truly have the privilege of nurturing and empowering spiritual children who will, in turn, become spiritual parents to the generations that follow.

 

Enjoy this teaching? Please consider partnering with us. Sign up to become a monthly partner of any amount or give a on-time donation at our website AwakeNations.org/donate 

 

For the Kingdom,

Glenn Bleakney

AwakeNations.org

KingdomCommunity.tv 

 

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GUEST-POST ~ Discipleship: Walking In Eternal Life  

 

Walking in Eternal Life

by Francis Frangipane

God’s end time people will "end time." What I mean is that, as we near the end of the age, we will increasingly learn how to walk in eternal life, abiding above the boundaries, constraints and the pressures of the realm of time. We’ll see what’s coming and either avoid it or announce it, but we won’t be limited by it.

Jesus taught that those who come to Him "have everlasting life" (Jn 3:16). Right now, we have eternal life in our spirits. Yet, how do we access the timeless place of God’s presence? This is a serious question, for we have become more "time conscious" than "God conscious." Schedules, meetings, appointments and deadlines all fuel our anxieties and compel us to live horizontally, instead of vertically in the Presence of God. 

The Lord seeks to deliver us from anxiety, but that can only happen if we truly learn to walk in the Holy Spirit. The sad fact is, most Christians fail to spend time with the Holy Spirit. We pray, even calling upon the Lord, but few are they who have cultivated moment by moment openness to the Spirit of God. 

"But, when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come" (John 16:23).

The Holy Spirit "will guide . . . He will speak . . . He will disclose" to us what we otherwise could never know or attain. To guide, speak and reveal are forms of communication. Clearly, the Father sent the Holy Spirit to talk to us.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. There are issues in our hearts that the Holy Spirit alone can reveal and remove. Listen to Him, like Christ, He does not come to condemn but to save. His voice is Salvation speaking to us. 

Jeremiah said that the heart is deceitful above all things. We cannot objectively know ourselves. Yet the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth sees and understands our ways. Trust Him, He cannot be deceived. Indeed, the ancient Greeks used the same word for truth as they did for "reality." Thus, we could accurately say that the Holy Spirit is the "Spirit of Reality." He shows us the reality of our need and the reality of God’s answer. To hear Him is to hear the voice of eternal life. 

Jesus lived in union with the Holy Spirit continually. The miracles He accomplished came through the power of the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit He saw the things the Father was doing; He heard the words the Father was speaking. Every strategy we may come up with pales in comparison to seeing God and doing what God does and hearing God and saying what God says. You see, Jesus lived in the dimension of time, but was not limited by it. His consciousness was always aware of the eternal realm. 

Even the urgent news of Lazarus’ illness did not make Jesus move anxiously. As right as it seemed to rush to Lazarus’ aid, Jesus was aware of another reality. He was conscious of the heavenly Father. Because He knew that the Father was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, He lived without hand-wringing or being driven by anxious thoughts or pressures.

Oh how we need to walk in the Spirit today. In every situation, we would consciously be aware of God's involvement in our lives! 

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9). 

God has a system of thoughts and ways that are totally on another plane, yet He invites us to abide with Him!

Beloved, we are not mere human beings. We each are a temple for the Holy Spirit, but we must cultivate a listening heart if we will do the things that God is doing. A Christian is not just someone living out a natural life, hoping that God will bless him. No, God has more for us than that. Jesus set the standard, and He’s given us the Holy Spirit so we can follow Him.

Spirit Filled?
When we are born again, we begin a journey with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us gifts to help us grow; He baptizes us in power to increase our effectiveness. All of this is to lead us until we are actually filled with the Holy Spirit, where we think and act like Jesus. 

Many of us think we are already filled with the Spirit, but we are not. We have three quarts of self and one quart of the Holy Spirit, and we think we have a gallon of God. There is still too much self ruling in our hearts. In America, some pastors identify themselves as being Spirit filled and say they pastor Spirit-filled churches. To be perfectly candid, I have never attended a church that is truly Spirit filled. In the Book of Acts, we see a picture of a Spirit-filled church. The leaders met daily for prayer, and on the way to prayer, their shadows healed the sick! Their offerings went to feed the poor. Out of their sense of love and community, they held all things in common. In that atmosphere, the church grew exponentially. 

I know some are thinking, "My church is getting close to this example." Oh, I forgot to mention, in a Spirit filled church, if you lied, you died (see Acts). 

You see, let’s not accept that we are further along spiritually than we are. God desires to take us further, deeper into eternal life. Having a spiritual gift doesn’t mean that you are filled with the Holy Spirit; being born again does not mean you are also Spirit filled. I have never met a truly spiritually mature person who was anxious; no one who is nervous about time can truly be led by the Holy Spirit. 

Where Do We Go from Here?
In our quest to walk in eternal life, we must allow the Holy Spirit to excavate our hearts of self. If we want to tune into the God channel we must tune out the "self channel," where the anxieties, fears and sins exist. 

I want a heart that can hear God; I want perception that can see God. We are too much like the world. How do we break this? Spend time with the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to talk to your heart and then write down what you feel He is saying. If we want more of God, we must cultivate the awareness of His Presence, and especially listen for His voice.

We must also take faith and believe that the Spirit is here to help. Zechariah 4:6 teaches us that it’s not by our might or power, but it is by the Spirit of the Lord that we succeed. Acts 2:17 tells us that in the last days God seeks to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. I love the words "pour out." We must stop thinking "thimble" and think Niagara Falls!

It’s time to step out of the box called "time," and live in the Spirit. I’m not suggesting that you become unreliable or are late for your appointments, but that you give yourself to learning how to hear God’s voice and how to live in His presence. If you are one of God’s end-time elect, then it's time to rise above the pressures of time and walk in the eternal life of God. 

 

Holiness, Truth and the Presence of God

This is the first book ever written by Pastor Francis. It came after three years of studying and repeatedly reading the Gospels. The thrust of these messages is geared towards those who desire the holy, powerful life of Jesus Christ. It is a penetrating study of the human heart and how God prepares it for His glory.

Book - $9.60  (Retail $12.00)
Ebook - $9.60 (Retail $12.00)

Audio Book on CD $12.00 (Retail 14.75)
Audio book on MP3 $6.00 (Retail $12.00)
Companion Teaching - CD Series $26.25 (Retail $35.00)
Companion Teaching - MP3 Series $13.13 (Retail $17.50)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~Disciples of the Cross
- audio series

As we learn to share in Christ’s sufferings, we join a society of redeemers who walk in God-given abundance.

Message titles:
Fellowship of His Sufferings
Wimps or Warriors
Disciples of the Cross
Conquering Conflict Through Character

CD Audio Series - $15.00 (Retail $20.00)
MP3 Audio Series Download - $7.50 (Retail $10.00)~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In Christ's Image Training

New self-paced online format.

In Christ’s Image Training is an international online course developed by Francis Frangipane, designed to take Christians at all levels and lead them into a deeper understanding of what it means to be like Christ.

Learn more at www.icitc.org.

Training also available in Spanish / Español
 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~Visit Arrow Bookstore to order these and
other resources by Pastor Francis
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Receive daily posts from Francis:

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A service of Frangipane Ministries, Inc.
Copyright (c) 2024
All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations were
taken from the NASB.

 

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GUEST POST: "Christianity is no longer the norm"

By Curtis W. Freeman

...research professor of theology and director of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke Divinity School. His book Pilgrim Journey: Instruction in the Mystery of the Gospel

was published in September by Fortress Press as a sequel to Pilgrim Letters: Instruction in the Basic Teaching of Christ.

 

This proposal for reordering in discipleship isn’t an attempt to be “seeker-sensitive,” in the worst sense of the phrase, giving nonbelievers less to disbelieve. It’s a realistic response to our society’s profound cultural and political shifts. It’s a recognition that Christianity is no longer the norm and, therefore, does not feel normal to many of our neighbors.

We can no longer assume a basic familiarity with our faith that makes a sense of belonging, at least superficially, relatively easy to achieve. We must start with belonging in the sense of “faith as trust” in God and membership in God’s family, not belief in the sense of “faith as understanding,” because getting to the doctrinal affirmations is a much longer journey than it used to be. In post-Christendom, occasional church attendance is not a sufficient basis for making Christians—if that attendance happens at all.

Moreover, the disciple-making process is not about enculturating people into an affinity group of support and togetherness. It’s about cultivating a community committed to following Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). In a secular society, to believe and behave, we must be able to grasp that we belong not only to that community but to God who created us and demonstrated a profound love for us in Jesus Christ.

Belonging, then, is not simply a matter of church attendance or even membership. It’s a covenant relationship based on trust and commitment. It’s deeper than cultural similarities or consumer attraction to a congregation’s programming. It’s belonging to God and one another in the ties that bind our hearts in Christian love. It’s the fellowship of kindred minds. It’s bearing one another’s burdens and sharing the joy of blessings. It’s a common journey and a common hope.

Read complete article here>>>

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GUEST POST ~ "They just don't know how"

GUEST POST ~ "They just don't know how"

But How?

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By Mike Glenn

Every parent has made the mistake of asking their children to do something the child wasn’t quite ready to do. Maybe it was bringing in a bag of groceries before the child was quite strong enough to carry it by themselves. Maybe it was getting dressed before they understood the tag always goes in the back. The child understood what needed to be done. They just didn’t know how to do it. 

I’m afraid this is true in most of our churches. Every Sunday, our members leave the worship service, inspired by the sermon, committed to doing something differently in their lives, but not knowing how they are to do the new thing they want to do. 

The pastor said in the sermon we need to pray more. The members want to pray. They just don’t know how. 

They’ve heard a sermon convincing them they need to read the Bible more. Again, every member wants to. They just don’t know how. 

Discipleship, for most of us, has become a matter of information. Our depth of discipleship is determined by how much trivia we know about Jesus and the Bible. If someone can rightly point out the wise men visited Jesus in a house and not the stable, they are considered to be a serious student of the Word. In other words, they are real disciples. 

This knowledge, however, never seems to transfer to the way these Bible quoting disciples  actually live their lives. During my ministry, I have been repeatedly surprised to find my Scripture quoting members were some of the meanest people in the congregation. Why this disconnect?

Because we saw success in the church as people being able to quote the text, not necessarily live the Way. If someone could quote 1 Corinthians 13, they didn’t necessarily have to love their neighbor. They just have to know the words. 

This happens when we become overly concerned about good works actually saving us. So, we focused on “belief” which means being able to repeat the discipleship lessons we’ve learned. To be able to say it meant we obviously believed it. True belief is confirmed in the doing, not the talking. All of us would agree good works don’t save us, but we forget good works are the evidence of our salvation. What we know and believe about Christ blossoms into the choices and actions lived out in our  lives. We love our neighbors because we do loving things towards them. We love Jesus if we do what He teaches us to do.

That brings me to my point. How much time do we spend talking about how we do the disciplines of the faith we talk so much about? How many of us have spent time working with someone teaching them how to pray? How much time do we spend working with a class teaching them to read, study, understand then apply the learned truths to our actual living? How many times have our people left the church after hearing an inspiring sermon and realized they have no idea what to do with what they’ve just heard?

Paul reminds the Philippians to do whatever they have seen him do. I used to think this was an arrogant boast on behalf of Paul, but when I became a father, I understood his statement. I can’t remember the number of times I would say to one of my boys, “Do it like this. Watch me.” They learned to wash their hands, brush their teeth, tie their shoes, comb their hair, read their Bibles, love their wives and yes, become fathers to their own children by watching me. I had to show them how to do the things I wanted them to do and how each desired action should be done. 

Why  are we surprised we would have to be shown how to love our neighbors, pray, or study the Word? After all, we should remember, none of these actions come naturally.

I guess the only thing more surprising is realizing how little of our time is devoted to helping new or young believers actually do what we’re asking them to do as followers of Christ. No one is born being good at being a disciple. No one is born knowing how to pray or study Scriptures. All of us have to be taught. 

Every good teacher I know is very patient. None of this stuff is easy. There will be days when our young disciples are brilliant. There will be other days when they don’t have a clue. Teaching – and learning– these skills takes a long time. In fact, learning them well takes our entire lives. The second quality good teachers have is intentionality. They have a goal for their student and they are determined to get their student to achieve that goal. 

To know and not do, a wise man said, is the same thing as not knowing. Knowing the Word is proven by living the Way. Discipleship happens when disciples live out the teachings of Christ, not when we have memorized the words. 

So, ask yourself, how well are you teaching the application of the teachings of Christ to those you are discipling? (You are discipling someone aren’t you? Every disciple makes a disciple…but that’s another blog). If your disciple can’t do what they believe they should be doing, it may be because they don’t know how. 

Most people are living the best way they know how. The great thing about Jesus is He has a better “how.” Make sure your friends know how to do His “how” the way He would do it. This makes all the difference. 

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GUEST POST ~ #Reassess Your Gospel

GUEST POST ~ #Reassess Your Gospel

Question: What if the Gospel message we’ve been proclaiming is not the FULL picture?

If an important aspect of the Gospel is overlooked, do you think it would affect the Church and our Mission?

You betcha!

In this episode of the Everyday Disciple Podcast, I continue with Part 2 of this short series on the "two lenses" of the Gospel: Power and Purpose. 

Most Christians have never been taught the Purpose of the Gospel...in other words, "why" God sent his Son to save us. This changes everything!

 
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In this episode You’ll Learn…

  • Why the Gospel is so much more than a message about how to have a nice afterlife.
  • How the Gospel propels us well beyond sin management and behavioral modification.
  • How not embracing both "lenses" of the Gospel has led to the lack of discipleship in the Church today.
  • The danger in not keeping both the "how and why" of the Gospel central to all we do.

From this episode:

“It is when we grasp and wrestle with both perspectives that we have a gospel that both places our salvation squarely on the work of Jesus on the Cross and sends us out to be his body, his family of redemption, and restoration in the world. It is when the world both hears the good news and witnesses a demonstration of restoration that they are most inclined to believe. This is a BIG Gospel!“

 

Each week the Big 3 will give you immediate action steps to get you started.

 

Download today’s BIG 3 right now. Read and think over them again later. You might even want to share them with others…

Subscribe and leave an honest review for The Everyday Disciple Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. 

 

Transcript

Caesar Kalinowski: 00:00:01

There's a risk of distorting the Gospel when we view it through only one of these two lenses.

 

If we view the Gospel primarily as the power that sets us free, we could end up focused on our own personal salvation, getting outta hell and going to heaven someday.

 

Which can become a very human-centered Gospel.

 

However, if we view the Gospel as purely focused on the restoration of all things, we can tip over the other way and believe and start proclaiming a social Gospel.

 

This is seen in the churches that are centered primarily on doing good works and acts of service and large social projects.

 

In their cities, but they rarely move toward a proclamation of the Gospel that includes sin, repentance, and salvation found in Christ alone.

 

It's when we grasp and wrestle with both, both of these perspectives, that we have a Gospel that places our salvation squarely on the work of Jesus on the cross, and sends us out to be his body, his family of redemption and restoration in the world.

 

It's when the world both hears the good news and sees a demonstration of restoration that they are most inclined to believe.

 

This is a big Gospel, the Gospel of the kingdom that Jesus was talking about.

 

 

Announcer: 00:01:21

Welcome to the Everyday Disciple Podcast, where you'll learn how to live with greater intentionality and an integrated faith that naturally fits into every area of life.

 

In other words, discipleship as a lifestyle.

 

This is the stuff your parents, pastors and seminary professors probably forgot to tell you.

 

And now here's your host, Caesar Kalinowski.

 

 

Caesar Kalinowski: 00:01:39

Welcome to the Everyday Disciple Podcast.

 

The power of the Gospel is really much bigger than we proclaim.

 

The Gospel is by faith in Christ and Christ alone

 

The power of the Gospel saves us and sets us free in so many ways, but often that's where we stop; we don't proclaim the full Gospel, which includes the second lens, which is the purpose of the Gospel.

 

And if we don't also embrace the purpose of the Gospel, It shines a light on why maybe the church has been really shy on making disciples in recent years. I, praise God, there's a resurgence of, of interest in this, but I really think if the church is not making disciples as our primary mission and really embracing it as a lifestyle, it's a Gospel issue at its core.

 

God in Christ has given us both. The amazing good news. The of message of reconciliation, the Gospel power.

 

But he's also given us the Ministry of Reconciliation, a Gospel purpose. This is the other lens.

 

We've gotta help our people see Gospel has a purpose for our lives. It just doesn't save us and leave us there.

 

Two Corinthians five, 17 and 19. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he's a new creation and he has committed to us this message of reconciliation.”

 

Ephesians two 10 then says, “we are God's workmanship created in Christ to do good works, which God and prepared in advance for us to do.”

Do our folks know that they have good works prepared in advance for them to do?

 

That's what the Gospel purpose is.

 

And that good works probably is not ushering or handing out flyers at the door or just working in children's ministry or doing everything in our box.

 

Do they realize their purpose is so much bigger than that now to.

 

Coming into this purpose of the Gospel sort of brings us into the reason for our salvation and the second lens.

 

And so to get this second lens of the Gospel, we need to look at the, at the Gospel through the lens of a story.

 

If you look at it as a story creation, Fall redemption restoration.

 

And man, I could speak for days on how, on how to help form your people in understanding their own story and telling their story and helping to listen to other people's stories through those lenses.

 

But if you look at scripture, not thematically, where we see the power of the God, the power of the Gospel, but you look at it this way as a storyline, what does it appear?

 

What's it heading towards?

 

Restoration. The restoration of all things.

 

I mean, the story starts in a garden and everything is amazing and there's two trees and it ends in a garden and everything is amazing and there's two trees and they're both the tree of life and it says God will come and dwell of his people. And it all will be restored.

 

No more sickness or pain or death or decay or any of that. It all gets restored.

 

The purpose of the Gospel is ultimately about restoration, and we'll see in a minute why restoration brings about God being glorified in all things.

 

See, the Gospel is not just about my individual happiness and God's plan for my life.

 

It's about God's plan for the whole world.

 

That's my number one prayer. For my kids, for people in our community, I want them to understand that God seriously does have a plan for the whole world.

 

This American dream life where we pretty much as the church look just like our culture, except we hide our sin better and we wedge a little bit of Jesus and church going and a little bit of mission in now cause it's a cool term. Other than that, we're not that different. That is not what Christ died on a cross for.

 

God has a plan for the world, and he's got a purpose for your life.

 

A friend of mine who works in some of the hardest places in the world with the persecuted church asked me one day: “Caesar, is the life you're living worth, Christ dying for? Is the life you're currently living worth him dying on a cross?”

 

t's like, ouch, ouch.

 

And what he was getting after, what he was getting after is, oh, there's so much more. There's so much more than just stacking up and amassing and piling up stuff and in church attendance and ushering and maybe tithing and oh my gosh, if you go to a midweek group, you're freaking rockstar Christian. There's way more than that.

 

When we repent of our sin and we receive the new life that God has offered us, we begin this journey of restoration inside and out, and not for just for us. So we'll have a happier life, more peace, less strife. But this restoration begins in us for the whole world. For the whole world.

 

“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

Now, a word of caution here.

 

There are those that believe that the church, by restoring stuff, accomplishes the bringing about of the kingdom. That's not what we're saying here, and we've gotta be careful that we don't tip our people into that. The kingdom is established by the king. Jesus is the king. The restoration is his work. We submit to that work.

 

It's amazing that he chooses us as plan A to accomplish that.

 

There is no Plan B that I could find in the book yet, but we, we, we, we, we do not want to tip into, well, we bring about the kingdom.

 

If we could just get enough stuff cleaned up around here. That's not what we're talking about.

 

What was the plan Jesus gave us for accomplishing the purpose of the Gospel, the restoration of all things?

 

It's found in Matthew 28: “Go and make disciples.”

 

Thanks Jesus. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

 

How is going and making disciples gonna bring about the restoration of all things and ultimately the glorification of God in all things?

 

When cities. When cultures, when nations are restored as the Gospel restores the hearts of the people in that culture.

 

What if increasingly in the cities, there was more and more teachers, educators, administrators, principals, people on the school boards that were truly disciples of Christ. And they, they, they were, they were bringing about kingdom restoration by bringing about Disciple making to that people group.

 

The mission is always to a people group.

 

It's never a, it's never a, it's never a construct or a building or a system. It's always the hearts of the people in it.

 

What if the business, what about, what about industry and business in this city or any city that you live in was completely devoid of disciples.

 

You know, owners are mistreating employees around the world. But, but what if, what if business was increasingly full of disciples?

 

What if seriously, many of you and many of the people in your churches were taught and trained and released and sent and supported to start and run businesses for the sake of the community, for the sake of being a display of the Gospel?

 

Do we really believe the Gospel has a purpose and it's moving towards the restoration of all things, which is always gonna be, and always has been, and always will be about people healthcare.

 

Can you imagine if the government was increasingly full of disciples of Christ service organizations?

 

It's gonna be disciples who make disciples in every area of culture. That is what brings about restoration. That's why the purpose of the Gospel restoration of all things gets accomplished by the plan, go and make disciples.

 

Is that central to your churches? The mission is Disciple making.

 

Whatever you do on Sunday, whatever your budget line items look like in your budgets this fall, whatever you do midweek, whatever you do, if it doesn't somehow prop up, promote expedite and accelerate the multiplication of disciples who make disciples, you're going the wrong direction. And I don't care how long your church has done it. I don't care how many other guys are doing it. I don't care how many videos are up on Verge or resurgence or any of that. If it's not making disciples who make disciples, we're going the wrong way.

 

This is where it gets really good.

 

See when this happens, when disciples increasingly are filling up. Every little nook and cranny of culture in your neighborhood and your neighborhood and media over there in that city and this family that went to LA and is doing it in film and in government over here when every little nook and cranny is reached by the Gospel.

 

 

When disciples of Jesus fill the earth, and this is the point. The restoration of all things will fill the earth with God's glory when everything is full of Jesus.

 

That's why it's all about making disciples.

 

Psalm 72: “May the whole earth be filled with his glory.”

 

What does glory really mean? In Hebrew, the word glory means weight; weighty.

 

God is the most glorious. He's the most weighty one in the universe. He's I am. So to bring God glory to glorify is to, is to manifest that hidden essence that amazingness.

 

Jesus, it says was the glory of the Father, the exact representation of the Father. He was the glory of God. That's what we're to be. That's what God is doing in us, this glorification process.

 

The purpose of of the Gospel is that the whole world would be filled with Jesus. That's the purpose that brings about the restoration of our cities.

 

Not more church services, not better preaching, not lots and lots of hands outs, not lots of world aid. Jesus filling all things. And that happens through disciples making disciples. Making disciples that fill the world is the plan that accomplishes the purpose. That's why it's so critical that we focus on that and, and I want to call you to that.

 

Let me read this Ephesians one, starting in 18. Paul's talking to the church and about the same kind of stuff says.

 

I pray also that the eyes of your heart … love that term … The eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he's called you.

 

That power of the Gospel is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated at his right hand in the heavenly realms. Far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, far above all the media muck and educational woes and healthcare issues.

 

That's how powerful this power of the Gospel is.

 

Jesus is the message. Jesus is the Gospel. Jesus is the point. The P, he's the power. His life, death and resurrection fulfills or fills full. Both the power and the purpose of the Gospel.

 

The Gospel saves us and restores us, and then sends us out to make disciples who make disciples.

 

And how many of us are content to let people sit in our churches and listen to our awesome preaching week after month after year after life? They've never been a part of a community that lives on the mission of making disciples together.

 

If we want to give our people a full Gospel and they can kind of think through it this way, with these handles, what happens if a person or a people only get a steady diet of the power of the Gospel to set them free?

 

What, what are we potentially in danger of them becoming? Man-centered, it's all about you.  Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life. You need to make a personal decision to accept him into your life as your personal savior. And you have a personal walk and a personal faith.

 

See, it can become this amazingly powerful Gospel that has the power that has saved us, is saving us, will save us, can become very man-centered. It's kind of about you and your happiness and avoiding hell.

 

And we sort of paint heaven like, you know, a trip to the dentist office where we're all just kind of waiting to go in and hoping to God Jesus returns before it's our turn to get our teeth cleaned.

 

We have to have the purpose that no, no, see, you have been saved and you do inherit this amazing inheritance in Christ for a purpose.

 

Folks, I, I gotta let you know, and, and it's gonna cost everything you have. Jesus said if you don't lose your life, you won't gain his life.

 

If you try to hang onto your American dream life, you'll lose it.

 

If we only preach the power of the Gospel, the restoration side of things, we, we can't end up with a very social Gospel. In churches that are busy, busy, busy, get it done, restore everything, fix everything, have every kind of feeding thing, every kind of this sheltering, housing, cars, ministry, we do it all. And people do it without the power and it becomes law and it becomes a heavy yolk.

 

But if you have Gospel power connected to his Gospel purpose of making disciples to make, make disciples, that's a powerful Gospel.

 

And we've gotta give our people these both lenses and, and we work it and, and we need to work it into everything, not just the Gospel series or not just a tag on the end of the message, but our people need to hear and understand.

 

The power they have in Christ that's transforming them now for the purpose of making disciples to fill the earth with God's glory, call your folks to this point, them to the power that raised Christ from the dead that now dwells in them.

 

God's Gospel power will accomplish his purpose when we believe that.

 

It's that powerful and necessary that we embrace this fully.

 

Both the power and the purpose of the Gospel.

 

I hope it's causing you to do a little thinking and scrutinizing, you know, how have we been proclaiming the Gospel and how often and are we leaning one way or the other?

 

I hope you will embrace this and proclaim the biggest of gospels.

 

As big as the Gospel is to all your people, and as you make disciples, they will really understand both the power and the purpose of the Gospel.

 

 

Okay, let me get to today's big three. As always, I like to summarize the show in some ways and say, Hey, if nothing else, don't miss these three things. They're sort of head, heart, and hands and a bit actionable at the end here.

 

Don't miss these three things first.

 

The Gospel is not just about our individual happiness or God's plan for my life. It's God's plan for the whole world.

 

When we understand both lenses of the Gospel, it propels us well beyond a Christianity that is focused on sin management and behavioral modification, and it sends us out to be a part of the restoration of all things.

 

Second, the more we embrace both the power and the purpose of the Gospel, the more the church will engage in making disciples of Jesus and filling the world with his glory. Calling people to God's eternal purpose is a powerful way. To help them see all of life as an opportunity for mission. It's way bigger than chasing the American dream or whatever dream wherever you're living. And I just wanna remind you, it's not enough to call people to church attendance and participation in Christian events. The adventure we were created for awaits.

 

And then third God in Christ has given us both the message of reconciliation and the ministry of reconciliation. Don't forget, don't miss it.

 

It's important that we hold both of these aspects of our mission intention together. Focusing on one without the other is not a complete understanding of nor participation in God's eternal purposes for his church. It's just too small.

 

So ask yourself, which do I tend to lean toward or proclaim more often?

 

The power. Or the purpose and, and whichever it is, then ask the spirit to guide you in a fuller embrace and proclamation of the Gospel in all of life.

 

He will, the spirit will do, that God is going to accomplish.

 

He is accomplishing his eternal purpose to fill the world with his glory, and he's doing it through his family, through us. The redeemed.

 

It's amazing, right?

 

How powerful is this is how big this is.

 

I wish I had heard this, uh, years and years and years ago. I wish this was proclaimed from the rooftops and the seats and the pulpits of every church and everywhere.

 

Heath Hollensbe: 00:35:40

Thanks for joining us today.

For more information on this show and to get loads of free discipleship resources, visit everyday disciple dot com.

 

 

← Embracing How and Why God Saves Us – Pt.1

Why You Want to Be Praying For Your Child’s Future →

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Take your Community Group through the Gospel Primer!

Everyday Disciple: FREE Discipleship Resources and Training.

Missio Publishing – More Missional Books and Resources

 

Thanks for Listening! 

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GUEST - POST ~ Knowing God. A Two-Sided Coin?

KNOWING GOD

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We're living in dark and desperate days, my friends.

 

When you live in days like that, you need the facts because knowledge is power. Knowledge tells us what our opponent is all about, and how to fight that opponent. Knowledge is a very good thing. In the biblical Greek, there are two words for “to know.” One is the word oida, which means “to have knowledge of.” It’s a great word that influenced the European culture which in turn influenced our culture. The great danger of that word is we can think that when we've come to know in the mind and know the facts, that will be sufficient for us.

 

There is another Greek word for “to know” and it’s ginosko. It means “to know by experience.” This is the word that influenced the Hebrew culture. It basically says that we have no right to say that we've come to know something until we've experienced it. Let me give you some examples. I know about Abraham Lincoln. I've read a lot of books and they're encouraging to see a man of integrity, passion, and courage, who would fight for his nation. But I only know about Abraham Lincoln, because I have never met him.

 

Here is another example. I know about a kiss ― where two mouths come together to exchange tongues and saliva. That doesn't sound very appealing, but I've also experienced it, ginosko, with my sweet bride, and it's wonderful. You see, to just know about love is not enough. I need ginosko. I need to experience love. I share that with you because, in dark and desperate days, we need to know God. You see, it's not enough to oida, to know about God. You can read your Bible and learn that God is omnipotent and He's omnipresent and He's omniscient. He knows all things. He's all-powerful. He's everywhere. This is all wonderful, but in reality, if God is only a concept in my mind it does nothing for me.

 

What good is it to know that He's omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent unless He's all those things to me by experience? My friends, in dark and desperate days, don't settle for knowledge about God. You need the experience of God — the ginosko. This is what Paul was hammering home to the Philippians in his own life. He said, “This is my one thing. I press on because I want to know Him.” He didn’t use the word oida. He didn't want to just know about Jesus. He used the word ginosko. He wanted to experience Him — to experience the power of the Resurrection because death was coming at him every day of his life. 

 

Every day there's loss and sorrow, grief, hurt, fear, and anxiety, and it can paralyze us. 

 

We need the power of the Resurrection to raise us up from the death that we are encountering today.

 

My friends, the wonderful thing is, He wants to be known! He wants to be experienced. He wants to be all that He is to whatever you need in the moment of faith. He wants to supply all your needs. He wants to save you with His Life and give you hope. In the midst of a dark world, pursue a relationship with Him. Talk to Him as you read His word. Ask Him to teach you. Ask Him to open your eyes to the glory of what He has provided. May you understand the height, length, breadth, and depth of how much He loves you. Bless you, in Jesus’ name.

 

Frank Friedmann | Our Resolute Hope

 

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GUEST POST: How to Ask Good Questions in Discipleship

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Jesus is our model for disciple making.  In the following article, Matt Dabbs, an experienced disciple maker and church planter, shares what he has learned about a crucial component of discipling people, and that is, asking questions. 

We often think of discipleship—which is the state of being a disciple—as something that leans heavily on bible education.  But Jesus shows us that there is so much more, especially the way he asked good questions.
          – Bobby Harrington

In John 5:6 Jesus asked a paralyzed man, “Do you want to get well?”

The answer doesn’t take a masters degree to figure out. Of course a paralyzed person wants to get well. However, there is more to this question than that. Does this man want to take on a life that is required of him when he is able and has full agency? More will be expected of him on the other side of healing. The truth is, some people would rather stay with what they already know than get better. Health can be far scarier than paralysis for some. It is important that he owns the answer to Jesus’ question before Jesus heals him.

Or, how about Matthew 8:26 where in the middle of a raging storm Jesus asks his disciples, “Why are you so afraid?”

Again, the answer is obvious… or maybe it isn’t. The sentence right before the question is, “You of little faith.” They are with Jesus. They don’t need to be afraid. However, fear is a natural human emotion that is understandable in those kinds of circumstances. Instead of saying, “Don’t be afraid,” he asks them ‘why’ they are afraid, and it is important that they wrestle with their own answer to Jesus’ question. They might not all have the same answer!

Both the paralyzed man and the disciples in the boat have something in common. They are both learning and growing in their faith and Jesus is working with them.

Like Jesus, when we disciple people, we need to use questions. Unfortunately, this doesn’t come natural to many of us. Try this–the next time you meet with someone (or a group) you are discipling, take a mental note of how many times you use declarative sentences versus interrogative sentences (periods vs. question marks). The next time you meet with this same group, try to convert some of your statements into questions.

So much of our teaching can be done most effectively when we let people wrestle with things rather than by simply telling them things. When you feel like telling someone who you are discipling something, make sure you aren’t short-circuiting their learning process. Stop for a moment and consider if what you are trying to teach them might best be learned by converting your statement into a question–then work through their answer with them.

When all of our instruction ends in periods rather than question marks, we can create disciples who are far too dependent upon us for the answers. The reality is that it can feel good to have people depend on you for answers and wisdom, but if the goal is for them to learn, then it isn’t about what makes you feel good as their guide, but rather, what it takes to grow them closer to Jesus. We can also feel like we aren’t a successful teacher if the person you are discipling doesn’t get it right away. We can buffer that anxiety a bit when we ‘tell’ rather than ‘ask,’ because it is much harder to determine if those being discipled get what we have taught when we tell rather than when we ask.

Here are ten questions to add to your disciple-making repertoire:

  • What is the Holy Spirit trying to teach you in this moment?
  • How do you navigate this decision in a way that upholds your integrity?
  • How can I really help you? (Matt 20:32)
  • What do you need most from God right now?
  • What is keeping you from doing what you know you are supposed to do (obedience)?
  • What good thing is God doing in your life today that we can celebrate together?
  • What is on your mind/what are you thinking in your heart? (Luke 5:22)
  • What is one thing you are going to do with what you just learned?
  • Who is someone with whom you can share what you learned?
  • What is God doing in your life right now?

These are a few questions that can work in concert with your learning to convert your statements into questions. This allows the person you are discipling to have some investment in and ownership of the conversation and the process they are walking through. Questions allow people to turn from passive recipients of a disciple-making process to active and engaged participants. The level of growth and maturity you can see through shifting from declaratives to interrogatives can be huge!

For King Jesus,

Matt Dabbs

 

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This article is one segment of "Mini-Course" 101: ReimagineDISCIPLESHIP...

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"Quote/Unquote" • #ReimagineEVANGELISM...

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John Teter, author of "The Power of the 72: Ordinary Disciples in Extraordinary Evangelism"
 
 
"I love the biblical model of anonymous but faithful disciples who engage their world with the news -not the advice- of the gospel."10172146678?profile=RESIZE_710x
 
 
"The 72 were the answer to (Jesus') earnest prayers to the Lord of the harvest. But let's be honest. they must have been terrified. Their anonymity allows us to pause and wonder if we could be among the seventy-two disciples; the 72 were unknown rookies just like you and me"
 
 
"The 72 were sent to demonstrate the same explosive power of God that raised Jesus from the dead...They were sent with great energy and zeal to love, serve,and bring new life to the city...operating as a team. Standing alone, the newly appointed evangelists would have had a difficult time embracing and overcoming the challenges. Each evangelist was given an immediate partner. Each two-person ministry team was part of a much bigger thirty-six person evangelism battalion.  Together, there were seventy-two personalities, seventy-two diverse perspectives, seventy-two prayers, and seventy-two voices."
 
 
"My research has identified the benchmark events present in process conversion:
1) trusting a non-Christian;
2) experiencing God and the good news of the gospel;
3) hearing and understanding the good news; 
4) receiving a clear call to follow Jesus."
 
 
"Ministry success is not based on how many come, but on how many go."
 
 
Responding to Luke 10:1-2, you say, "He didn't begin with ministry strategy. Jesus started with prayer."
 
 
"After Jesus taught the 72 to pray earnestly for more kingdom workers...Jesus taught them how to eat with non-Christians while being detectivesinvestigating the spiritual foundation of their new friends." 
  

CONTENTS

Introduction: Welcome to the 72

Part I: Theology
1. Faith Comes First
2. Sent to the Poor
3. Wolves, Bears, and Crushing Pressure

Part II: Application
4. How People Become Christians
5. Earnest and Powerful Prayers
6. Friends: Secular to Sacred
7. Experience: Healing and Hearing
8. Conversion: Rejoice with Me

Epilogue: A Final Benediction

 
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