Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Go, Make, Disciple, Teach, Give

My church is in the process of a transformation. We are working toward shedding some dead weight. We are trying to become more outwardly focused and putting our energy into where Christ called us to put it... in our Jerusalem, our Samaria, and to the world. We are evaluating our programs and budget and making sure we are being good stewards of the resources of time, money, and people that God has gifted us with. We are working to get our church lined back up with the plumb line of God's Word and God's Command and Christ's Commission.

 "And Jesus came up 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 the Son and the Holy Spirit, 
teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:18-20

Most churches in our American culture have become a place of programs and events. We have become so inwardly focused that we no longer have the opportunity or energy to reach out. It's very easy in today's western church to become the First Baptist Country Club of Me Centered Hills.

Our tithes become the yearly dues we pay to enjoy the services offered by our local Club and we of course then begin to believe that because we are faithful to pay our dues we should have a say so in how the Club is run. The events and programs should be centered around meeting our needs and wants and if they no longer do so, then we will take our tithes, our Club dues, down the road to the Club that our friends seem to love so much.

Please know that I have been guilty of this thinking as well. We are a selfish people. We want our church to meet our needs first and the needs that we see as priority. We often forget that we must bow our knees before our Father and say God what is Your will, Your purpose, for Your church and particularly for my church.

As my husband said the other day it's as simple as a little twist on the old favorite Presidential quote... "Ask not what your church can do for you but what you can do for your church."

If you are going to church focused solely on having your own personal needs met... they never will be.
No church will ever be enough. You will never be satisfied.


Because satisfaction does not come with personal needs being met... satisfaction comes in being used by God to satisfy the needs of another. Our lives were made to be poured out. We were created with seed in us. We were created to give life to another... not take it. Taking will never satisfy, but giving always will fill us.

This is true in our church and it is true in our homes. 
Just as our church is evaluating time, money, and people, I believe we must also do this in our homes. 

The first place the church ever met was in our homes. The first place the church should still meet is in our homes. When we look at our focus in our marriages and in raising our children and in our finances what is the goal? Is there a goal? Is there a purpose? Or are we just floating through life, pay check to paycheck, tv show to tv show, soccer game to basketball to baseball game, Sunday morning to Wed night to Sunday morning. Are we so burdened down with debt and working to hold on to and maintain things that will only fade away and burn in the end that we have no more time, money, or energy to put into the things of eternal value?  

Where is our time going?
Where is our money going?
Where are we going?

Is the church in our homes focused on going and making disciples?   
Are we as focused on our individual families obeying the great commision as we are our local church?
We should be.

If we begin in our homes it can't help but spill over into our church.

If we stop expecting our local church to focus on the things that we say must be priority and expecting them to put all their time, money, and people into what we deem is most important (and then getting all insulted and disgruntled when they don't) and instead organize our families to focus here and put what God has set on our hearts into action then we go as a family and we go in representation of our church and most importantly THE CHURCH.

If we put the resourses God has given our individual families into action, focused on the great commission... Wow!
What would this add to the launching to the world ability of our local church?

Intead we usually spend 90% of our resourses on us, on our wants, on our desires and then we expect our church to also meet our wants and our desires with the other 10% we give to them.   

Am I right?  

"If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
Then you will take delight in the LORD,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”"
Isaiah 58:13-14 

Here's a little video that I watched this morning that got my mind on this thought and inspired this post...
This Is Discipling

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