Making disciples

Another thought from Radical

We spend much of our energy in ministry trying to build churches, whereas Jesus invested almost all of his energy making 11 disciples.  Now having been on a church staff before, that’s not a fair indictment of the “church” (as if there were a singular entity in this context) because building ministry programs is usually an act of making disciples.  But Jesus lived and walked with those 11 guys; he didn’t just see them for a couple hours on Wednesday night.

Of course in many ways Jesus’ ministry was unique and cannot be exactly replicated, but what if we focused on making a few true disciples?  The question that comes up immediately for me is: am I living the kind of live that I would want to see reproduced?  And this is what I think keeps many of us from doing this.  Showing up a couple hours a week to something is easy and safe.  Letting someone in on an intimate level is dangerous.  We might have to face some stuff.

But the Lord doesn’t expect us to be perfect before he can use us.  So Lord, help me to step out and invest more in a few disciple-making relationships, starting with my children, and extending to others as you lead.  With 11 guys, you turned the whole world upside down.  May you continue your mission to extend your Father’s love to the nations through me and others who will intentionally make disciples.  In Jesus’ name.

Secret Church!

Been reading Radical by David Platt. This idea of “Secret Church” has been really speaking to me.

After experiencing the desperation of believers in the underground church in China, and going back to pastor his megachurch, he writes:

What if we took away the cool music and the cushioned chairs? What if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? What if the air conditioning is off and the comforts are removed? Would his Word still be enough for his people to come together?

At Brook Hills we decided to try to answer this question. We actually stripped away the entertainment value and invited people to come together simply to study God’s Word for hours at a time. We call it Secret Church.

We set a date—one Friday night—when we would gather from six o’clock in the evening until midnight, and for six hours we would do nothing but study the Word and pray. We would interrupt this six-hour bible study periodically to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who are forced to gather secretly. We would also pray for ourselves, that we would learn to love the Word as they do.

We weren’t sure how many would show up that first evening, but by night’s end about a thousand people had gathered. Our topic of study was the Old Testament. After our first try we decided to do it again, and again, and now we have to take reservations because we cannot contain all the people who want to come.

One of my favorite sights is to look across a room packed with people with their bibles in their laps, studying who God is and what God has said—after midnight (we have never ended on time). Granted, we still have the cushioned chairs—though we did discuss the possibility of removing them! And we still have the comforts of a nice building with indoor bathrooms. Be we are taking steps, I hope, toward discovering what it means to be a people who are hungry for the revelation of God.

This speaks to me deeply. Lord, raise up in our community and in our churches groups of believers who would hunger and thirst after you!

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