I spent some time with my friend from NewThing Josh Howard as he helped a small group of us think about movements of disciple making and church planting. Josh (who will be with us again at this year’s LAUNCH event in October) shared with us that in their work across South East Asia they radically changed their approach 8 years ago toward intentionally discipling people who would then go and make more disciples they call it “Train the saved, save the lost.” And it’s simple but can be disheartening because it’s not all up and to the right – it’s usually more like a J curve, you see some subtraction – and you don’t see the big crowds now. It seems nothing much is happening because multiplication is slow at the start, one person reaching out and reproducing Jesus at a time. But when you get doubling disciples every six months or so look out – you start to see something amazing. So in the First Quarter of 22 across the nations they are operating in, it’s starting to go exponential. In […]
“The number one thing that a church leader needs to do is to wake the sleeping giant that is the church. Because I think there’s so much of what the church is that just sits idle because maybe you can’t play an instrument or maybe you’re not on the preaching rota and maybe you don’t have the time that you can commit to being at something on a regular basis..But there are people within your church context or if you’re a church leader within your church context, who perhaps are in significant positions of authority within businesses that can ask the right questions or maybe just maybe one of them themselves could make a massive impact.. mobilise the church..”
The word disciple occurs 269 times in the New Testament. “Christian” is found three times. The New Testament is a book about disciples, by disciples, and for disciples of Jesus Christ, who made it clear that to follow him means we must become his disciple. But the church has made it possible for the vast majority of those in its ranks to be ‘Christians’ without becoming disciples of Jesus.
The churches of the Western world have not made discipleship a condition of being a Christian, so churches are filled with ‘undiscipled disciples’ – though of course in reality there is no such thing.
How often have I loved to preach or read about Jesus coming and walking across the storm to the disciples in their little boat when they cried out for help to him. It gives me such comfort for whatever I might struggle with when I read that he cares and he knows, that he came in their hour of need saying, “Do not be afraid it is!” I snuggle up in bed reassured that he calms the storm. And I love to sing, “My lighthouse! You will carry ME safe to shooooooore…”
Why do I love that? Because as with so many songs we like in church, it’s all about ME.