Some notes as promised from the teaching at Imagine Church this last Sunday.
Not theories, this is what we have done, with some insights into how we have done it.
Four main scriptures –
Matt 28:18-20 – Only ONE product, and it’s only disciples who can make disciples. Jesus was speaking to disciples.
Mark 1:17 – Come follow me – I will make you – fishers of men. Again, only ONE product.
John 14:12 – the encouragement, that WE CAN DO ALL JESUS SAYS, we are all ABLE…
Eph 4:11 – Equipping the Saints for the work of ministry. There is no time-line to this, it takes as long as it takes. With an open heart very significant things can happen in a very short time. We can actually be totally changed in an instance, or something can happen that begins a process of ongoing change. All about our heart attitude.
2 Rules of Engagement for all areas of LIFE…continual self development points…
1 – Listen to what I am saying, not to what I am not saying. Don’t SPAR with me in your minds on theological issues. If you do this you will be distracting yourself.
2 – Don’t deflect what I am saying to you, too somebody else/the church. What you hear, you apply…
For every problem you see in the church, you are actually seeing a partial reflection of yourself, as you are part of the church, therefore you are part of the problem. So the only way you can be involved in changing the church, is by changing yourself.
2 Assumptions for Life…
1 – No one is perfect, even me.
2 – As Christians, we are all heading in the same general directions, we do all want the same things, we just might get there in different ways.
So let’s look at WHAT IS A DISCIPLE – the absolute simplest, workable definition –
I AM A DISCIPLE.
If we can begin to see discipleship this way, then we can look at our own journey so far, asking ourselves how did I get this far, who helped me, how did they help me, what happened to help get me here…then some of those same things I can apply to those who are around me. For example, if some one was super encouraging to me, very patient with me, and I see those things as part of how I grew as a young Christian, then there is a good chance that I can use those two principles to be part of my strategy in discipling some one else.
Some others questions you might like to consider for yourself…
WHAT’S THE ROLE OF THE DISCIPLER..?
WHAT’S THE ROLE OF THE DISCIPLE..?
WHAT DOES THE RELATIONSHIP LOOK LIKE THAT CONNECTS THEM TOGETHER. How do they interact..?
These are not easy questions to answer, but if you want to make disciples, you do need to try and answer these for yourself. Note, I am saying FOR YOURSELF, not for others…
WHAT FRUIT ARE WE LOOKING FOR, WHAT’S THE DESIRED OUTCOME OF THIS RELATIONSHIP..?
For us the real measure of successful discipleship is when your disciples begin making disciples.
The process has an absolute minimum of two stages.
Paul said in 1 Cor 11:1 Imitate ME, as I Imitate CHRIST.
I can’t teach people until after I show them. My example should be such, that I can confidently encourage people to become like me, as they progress towards becoming like Christ. I must recognize “becoming like me”, as a genuine stage in becoming like Christ. This puts some very healthy pressure upon me to actually live a sound Christian life.
This can never happen if I am in the habit of “deflecting truth” that I should apply to myself, onto those around me.
When I deflect truth I should personally apply, I don’t grow as much as should be growing.
Using the word DISCIPLER and DISCIPLE, we are not talking about leaders and followers in a positional sense…let’s redefine leadership…
… I am talking about some ones example that inspires, encourages and motivates some one else, leading them to some sort of personal change. This is “functional leadership”, true leadership by example.
This is well beyond submission and obedience, this is truly desire based “I want what you have”. This type of leadership must be earned, it can never be demanded.
Clearly for discipleship to work someone must be willing to teach and someone must be willing to learn.
There is no shortage of people who want to teach, get in the pulpit, run a home group…but without the example of your life, what have you really got to teach..?
Theories…what will they produce..?
To teach, your must have something to teach, which means there is something that you must of learnt, something that you have applied, something that has benefited your life…un applied theories might sound good, but how do you know that they work, unless your have applied them to your own life.
It’s your example that gives real credibility to what you teach.
It’s your EXAMPLE that inspires, encourages and motivates change in others, then your TEACHING clarifies and helps to equip, it puts detail and definitions to what you have done.
So leadership is an “example that inspires, encourages and motivates some one else, leading them to some sort of personal change”.
Is not position based, it’s really leading by example – it’s a function. It’s cause and effect. People follow because I lead.
With this definition of leadership, anyone can really lead, and they can do it without permission or appointment, it all depends upon are you willing to work on your example. We are clearly making a separation of leadership “in the church”, to leadership in “general Christian life”.
Christian leadership “inside the church” is often very limited. There are only so many Sundays in a year, only so many duties to be carried out on Sunday, there are limited leadership opportunities…but in “normal life”, you can lead as much as you want to…the opportunities are endless. So lead where you live.
Life and leadership are the same thing. They happen at the same time.
Become a greater example and become a greater leader, this is how discipleship starts.