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Showing posts from June, 2014

None of the above? The primary purpose of discipleship

I've been reading James Emery White's latest book, 'Rise of the Nones.' His provocative attempt to shape churches and lives in order to reach the irreligious who state 'none' to the religion question on their census forms.
Quite simply, to reach an increasingly post Christian generation, authentic Christians are needed to grow up as quickly as possible.
In our local church, we are learning that the emphasis on creating a discipling culture is with this real Missional purpose - It is in order to create genuine followers of Jesus in community, that make his message very real and attractive to those who currently consider him irrelevant to their lives.

This fabulous quote from James Emery White summarises so well what we are aiming at. It contains a quote within a quote, a Bill Hybels bonus from his book,'Courageous Leadership.'

"Hybel's gathers his final thoughts:
'There is nothing like the local church when it's working right. It's bea…

Culture of discipleship : An authentic rabble

We're considering the culture of discipleship over these couple of Sundays together as a local church. Not so much the structure of how to get it done, but how it feels to be part of a discipling, growing community of people who are eager to grow up fully into the mission of Jesus.

The story of David in Adullum's cave is great example of the kind of mixed up people that are drawn into this mission, and that are still called to partner on Kingdom adventures today.
The distressed, discontented and those in debt began appearing at the cave as they heard David was hiding out there - this sorry bunch of loser outlaws with all their hang ups and poor history became the power base for the new kingdom through their growing love for David, and the increasing understanding of the adventure they were engaging in together.

This rag tag rabble don't look too different from the troublesome twelve that gathered around Jesus' leadership hundreds of years later! These fall out boys wer…

Mr Genor story

Stories are always great, and we used this one about Mr Genor to finish a training day on the Kingdom of God today. Some of you have asked about it so I have copied it below. I read the story from the book 'Fire Evangelism' by Che Ahn.

A number of years ago in a Baptist church in Crystal Palace, in south London, the Sunday morning service was closing, and a stranger stood up in the back, raised his hand, and asked the Pastor if he could share a testimony.

He said, “I just moved into this area, I used to live in another part of London, I came from Sydney, in Australia. And just a few months back I was visiting some relatives and I was walking down George Street when a strange little white-haired man stepped out of a shop doorway, put a pamphlet in my hand and said, ‘Excuse me sir, are you saved? If you died tonight, are you going to heaven?’ “

He said, “I was astounded by those words. Nobody had ever told me that. I thanked him courteously, and all the way back to Heathrow this pu…

28:20

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Matthew 28:19 has been rightly emphasised by churches down through the centuries - 'Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit'.
Nothing has changed - this mission remains our top priority. However, verse 20 is of equal value, and yet has received less emphasis.
28:20 'Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you, and surely I am with you to the very end of the age'.

It seems that by emphasising verse 19 and not verse 20, we risk getting new believers to baptism, but then leaving them to get on with things on their own. To work it out as they go along. If this mission to the world remains our most important focus, then we cannot afford to leave disciples of Jesus looking and sounding just like the world they have been saved out of. What gospel message is that going to preach?
The idea in the early church was that our distinctive, Christ shaped lives would be an attractive contrast to the lost world around…