Your harvest is in direct proportion to the amount of seed you sow. Farming principle!
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 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.
What a privilege to host New York Times #1 best selling author Dr Gary Chapman at Ivy Church yesterday for two services and then a special afternoon event focusing on children and marriage at Ivy Sharston. Here are my notes from the morning talk. He told some great true stories to illustrate each point but if you want to hear those too please listen to the podcast which we’ll put up later in the week. Gary said that ever since writing the book a question he’s been asked time and again is What’s God’s Language? The short answer is, he speaks all 5 of them! When you look through the Bible you see that because God is love, people come to him because he spoke their love language. We are all unique, so he speaks our language to connect with us in unique ways: Words of affirmation Genesis 1: God blessed creation, and when he made people, he blessed them too… A favourite piece of scripture for many of us who are Words of Affirmation types would be Is 41:10 ‘Do […]
I became a Christ follower a short while after a challenge from an attractive woman who gave me a Bible. I was interested in her so I pretended to be interested in that. She had written a verse in the flyleaf, Mark 8:34. I also pretended I knew all about religion too (enough to try to put her off God and onto me hopefully), because I was ‘already a good Christian’- but now I was stumped. Mark.. 8.. Was this a code? I remembered her previous boyfriend’s name was Mark. Hmm. What did it mean? She frowned as she opened the book and helped me find the verse, which she’d underlined already – ‘If anyone would come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’ I told her I didn’t understand what it meant – and she told me the fact that I didn’t understand it meant I was not a Christian. She’s taught me a lot more since we later married, but that was what I needed to hear most – and not just at […]