Thursday, November 17, 2016

How to Build a Ship for War

If you wanted to be an influential Christian, would you desire to:

  • Witness to thousands of people about Jesus?
  • Build a big congregation with many campuses and movie screens?
  • Write a book?
  • Preach on TV?
  • Serve others?
  • Disciple/equip a few people deeply?
All of these activities can be godly and impactful. However, the method taught by Jesus is to disciple/equip a few people so they can multiply themselves. Multiplication is more impactful than addition, but exponential growth is best of all.  From 30 A.D. to 300 A.D. Christian growth was phenomenal. Growth came fast and deep because it operated on the notion that every Christian was called to serve, evangelize and heal. 

Each one reaches one and each one teaches one. Christian influence grew so powerful that the Emperor of the Roman Empire was impressed. He, like all politicians, wanted to get the Christian vote, so he made Christianity the state supported religion.  Priests became politicians and bureaucrats. They were concerned about pleasing the Emperor and his henchmen whether it pleased God or not. Only a few special, carefully selected people were allowed to preach, teach, serve and evangelize. The model that Jesus taught was exponential in growing disciples. The model we inherited from Emperor Constantine is subtractive. Only a few Christians could minister.  

The Church of the Savior in Washington, D.C. taught us how to build a balanced congregation. They taught about leading people through a journey into the heart to discover God’s life in the vine.  Once the inner life was strong we can take our insights to others on a journey out in a continuous cycle.  

We wanted every one of the 2500 members of our church to become teleios: mature in Christ. Mature Christians would minister at home, neighborhood, work, and ministry. Thousands of lay and clergy are still involved in rearing multiplied generations of healthy offspring while leading churches and non-profits all over the world. 

God longs to build congregations that equip, train and coach every member to operate as a mature minister. Unfortunately, church members are as liable to divorce as atheists. Those are terrible stats if true. Terrible because we know a lot about building great relationships and God has given us the Holy Spirit and all the Fruit of love to buffer the hard paths we walk on. 

Take heart, God is alive and well.

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