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Back to Christ's Original Design

John Stanton
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Discover steps the church can take to implement the biblical model of discipleship and foster spiritual revival amongst our members


  • May 13, 2017
    9:30 AM
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Good morning. It is indeed a blessed day. We can spend this time together in a sanctuary of time and he for reminding us of that hope and. And not just expect something from him but give to him what he deserves to bless him with our praises. And as we looked at yesterday that's really what discipleship is all about right it's a sacrifice of our lives to God and offering to Him to bless him and his work. And our first talk on discipleship and revival we looked at. The implications of discipleship and the church how the church is impacted and ultimately will experience revival because of it. We also look to the origins of discipleship in the Old Testament and how that transitioned over to the new and how we have course ourselves can offer our bodies and our time as a living sacrifice to God as His disciples today though we're going to transition a bit because we want to take a look at the church and in a practical way how does this work how can the church organize and develop a structure to become disciple makers. We have a lot of preaching good preaching going on in our churches we have good teaching happening but not a lot of disciple. And for a church who understands disciple and probably better than anyone else where it came from and where it's going I think we should do a little better at it within our churches and so we'll look take a look about at that here this morning and so thank you for showing up and being here with me. Will start off with a text and we all know this one very well right Matthew twenty eight And Jesus came and spoke to them saying All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go there for a make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name. The Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo I'm with you how often always even to the end of the age now some who have read this have said this is our mission as a church. And while it may include part of our mission I tend to disagree a little bit it's not so much our mission as I believe it is our job our disciples job description. It is what we as disciples are commission to do right and any job any work given to anybody needs a job description and I think this is very telling of exactly what that job description is. Now an interesting thing about this text is that the word make their make disciples isn't in the original languages not in the Greek There's no word that translates to make so the idea here of making disciples is one of disciple link Go therefore and disciple others OK So making disciples and I know in today's age we need to kind of be a little more cognizant of how people receive words you don't want to make anybody do anything right it's God's invitation but the making of the disciple here in every way has to do with the cycling them and help them helping them to become the disciple that Jesus wants them to be so disciples are disciple. As well as ones that are always learning as we saw yesterday from desire of ages Oh it writes that the Savior is commission to his disciples includes how many believers all believers for how long to the end of time. I sometimes have read that great commission at least in the past and I've done it with these eyes of boy the disciples must have felt like wow this is an amazing thing that we're going to do but I taking myself out of the equation. But this is Jesus speak. To me Jesus speaking to you we are to go there for and to disciple others for Christ. We used to have a gentleman in a church that I attended years ago he was a personal ministries director he used to stand up front the beginning the church service and he would say. Jesus said Go. Saints where have you gone this past week. It's a good question isn't it I think it's a question that we can ask ourselves even know where have we gone this past week. Because we're all called to go where have we gone. And so I'm it echoes in my mind when I read that the words of Dr open in Gianni who was a dentist way back in Fairfield days Fairfield California. Great guy. There are four key components to a every disciple making church so if a church wants to make disciples if they want to organize in such a way so that their disciple those members there to become disciples who then disciple others there's got to be some things included and I refer to them as components of a disciple making church and there's four of them. Each of these is indispensable I don't find any way to get rid of any one of them not only are they biblical do they come from the Book of Acts but will will see that Jesus Himself follow these exact steps these can use these components in making his own disciples of the twelve and that is this. I put it into a matrix so as Matrix is work you have your upper left quadrant is number one you go to two three and four and so the first step and disciple making as a component of the church is to connect people to the church and to Christ that connection happens through relationships reaching out. To people and meeting their needs I will talk about some of these things in more detail here in just a minute but the connection to the church and to Christ is the first step in the disciple and process the second one is to grow once baptism has occurred we know what happens if we don't come alongside someone and help them to grow right we lose them they go right out the back door and so the disciple in process not only begins but is continuing on with growing and then he quit being. A concerted effort to equip members for service in Christ Kingdom and then lastly to be sent to send them out in an intentional way to the community. Now disciple making here is a process. OK. It is both cyclical. And continuous so cyclical in that you start with someone who's maybe doesn't know Christ or is very early in their in their walk with God or exploring God They start here at CONNECT and they move to grow equipped and send This is a process that the flow but it's also continuous so the church itself needs to be doing all of these things at the same time because everybody is at a different stage right. So this is kind of a good check here for each of you to ask in your minds and consider is my church doing all four of these things in a very intentional way. Are we connecting Are we then helping to grow our members are we then equipping them to be sent out into their community and to connect with neighbors friends and coworkers. Because it's important again for the church to consider and to to to to plug in or at least create a structure where all of these four things are being done. And it ties in with how Jesus does. People if you consider this Jesus called the disciples He taught the disciples He showed the disciples right he didn't just teach them concepts he showed them how to do it and then he sent the disciples out and in this respect Jesus is CONNECT THE says he connected he grew he quipped and then he sent his disciples out and of Jesus spent years three and a half years deliberately doing this with his disciples. I think that's enough of an example for us as a church to be more intentional about this process don't you. Where do you think which one of these four things do you think or do you believe that our church the administration lacks most strongly and. We tend to connect fairly well our Vangelis to outreach ways we connect with people we try to connect them with the church I think we can do better we grow them in fact we're quite big on growing but it's more from intellectual sense isn't it we teach them doctrines and things to know about God and about the church and the end time events and those kinds of things. What we're missing is the equipping piece. We don't be quick as we should. And the equipping part is very much that mentoring coaching coming alongside someone helping them to showing them what discipleship really is all about. You see I believe we talked about the elephant the room yesterday. The elephant in the room was what interactive disciples members that aren't active as disciples of Christ. But I'll tell you I think the reason for that is not so much that they don't want to do something for Jesus. I think it's more about that they don't know how or where to start and bring someone along and showing them how to do that is the role of leaders isn't it. It's the role of leadership to create an environment conducive to disciple making. Let's talk about each of these four things because they are all can stand alone we can spend a lot of time on each one of them will spend just a brief amount of time on each one to talk about connecting. First Corinthians Chapter twelve twenty seven says all of you together are Christ's body and each of you is what a part of it so is there any member left out of the disciple in process no everybody is part of the disciple in process Oh yes it's true that some would like to just kind of sit back and wait for a little while and that's OK but everybody's got to be brought into the disciple making process OK or the disciple in process. We belong to the Body of Christ but we also belong to each other yesterday we talked about unity and unity isn't just the absence of conflict unity is unity of purpose where we come together and do the work together because I'll tell you there's a reason for Jesus sending disciples out to buy two and it wasn't the number necessarily I hear people say oh it's got to be two. Now it's got to be together work together. That's the point that he was making there is not being isolated in God's work and so we are each a part of the body but we also belong to each other and are working together to help further Christ's kingdom. In the book education the Church is organized for service and in a life of service to Christ connection with the church is one of the first steps OK So we've got to connect in the church we've all have our Bible work or cluster groups we get together and we talk about this and mention this quite often is that we all have Bible studies where someone asked this question inevitably Well if I get baptized do I have to. Join your church. Was the answer to that. Yes. But this isn't. My requests are recent this isn't making you join my church this is God calling us into a community his body. That he is calling and he has as his church here on Earth right. Our churches also must be safe places to bring someone into. Too many times I've seen in the name of righteousness some things very unkind and pushy aggressive things said that push members right back out we need to be cognizant that discipleship is not arriving at a point in time it's a journey. We start at one place and we're always growing room or decide a disciple means a learner ever learning you're always growing in Christ and so we need to know that everybody is on a certain part of that path and we need to make it safe for them to do it and that Paul goes as far as to say Big sure that you give preference to the other individual not yourself and so all these things are important parts of making the church a safe place for members to grow as disciples. And it does happen through baptism is we find in the book of Acts at Pentecost that those gladly received his word were baptized and that day about three thousand souls were added to them so baptism bring someone and adds them into the church OK So ultimately the goal is to connect people with Christ and His church through baptism so we don't deny that we can't get away from that but we have to be careful in knowing that this is a process and it does take time just talked with somebody here recently in our This story is repeated many times with workers they'll say Well I've I was working with this person three years ago and I ran into them again and found out that they're just almost been searching for me to get started up again because they really are desiring to follow Christ more than ever before and if you remember them three years ago they kind of wrote them off they weren't interested so it takes time and. Takes an investment of time to disciple others doesn't it. Ah I've actually heard members of our church say well I got at least share the message because then their blood is no longer on my hands because I've shared it. Is not what Jesus was saying when he's saying kick the dust off your feet at all it's not even remotely close to what he was referring to so there needs to be what's called this disinterested evangelism we meet their needs because we love them and care for them right that's what will reap a harvest. There are several reasons why people connect with the church OK pursuit of God in truth. A life changing event maybe remember after nine eleven what happen to the churches in New York. They were Pat for several weeks problem was only lasted several weeks. But still life changing events have a way of drawing people to God friendship is a key piece felt needs they have a need in the church can meet that need and also a desire to belong all ultimately all these things boil down to relevance right the church or the message of the gospel has become relevant to them. And so when we anytime we share as disciples we need to do in a way that is relevant to the group that we're meeting and in fact what we're talking about here in regards to health there are so many sick people out there how relevant what more relevant can you be than giving them a healthy lifestyle right. What a beautiful message that we have to help grow this gospel. Let's talk about growing. Growth is not merely intellectually talk about grow it's not simply I want to know the twenty eight fundamental beliefs right. Growing even the word truth has several context within scripture you talk about the truth being Jesus himself you talk about the truth as far as doctrine and talk about truth as far as inner healing truth going to truth are you talking about when you talk about. Truth so all these things impact growing and as you know very well how we live our lives our lifestyle and how we feel health wise impacts our ability to not only follow Christ but to accept him when he calls right and so growing has many context here and I want to make sure that we're covering this from a holistic perspective. But also for this very reason Peter says Give all diligence add to your faith faith is about the addition it's about spring strengthened over time. And we strengthen by exercising that that belief or that truth that we practice right so part of growth it does involve getting out there and practicing what we believe. Also I think is a strong deterrent for complacency isn't it. We were just as later to see it we tend toward complacency and if there is something that can help move us beyond that is is to look to what find ways of strengthening our faith and there are several ways to do that we'll look at those here in just a minute. From Christ object lessons as in nature so in grace there can be no life without what growth the plant must either grow or die and its growth is silent and in perceptible but continuous so is the development of the Christian life at every stage of development our life may be but perfect that's a great promise right because sometimes I feel like I mess up and I say to myself and I'm sure you do the same thing I should have learned that by now but I'm still perfect in Christ and so I keep on pressing forward putting behind me those things that are trying to hold me back. Yet it says if God's purpose is for us is fulfilled there will be continual advancement in the life we have advancement in our faith walk and that is called sanctification which. It is a journey it takes a lifetime right. I think we need to avoid thinking about growth as arriving at a destination. Even when we talk about the word perfect we think of it as arriving somewhere. But can textually that's not the biblical definition of perfect. Perfect is about growing in Christ and walking with him and what he does in for and through you. It's a maturity level of discipleship and it's important I think to remember that it's its journey it's not a destination necessarily. So here are some essential practices and you know most of these prayer Bible study worship self assessment is a big one I think in a day and age where our our environment our cultural and our I believe it's a political environment this country is very polarizing we all need to do some self assessment. This is biblical right the Bible says let a man examine others. When I got to the last two churches I was in when I got there I said. I. Said what one of my own things in the church setting I try to do as a pastor is flip a little bit of what we often see over and over again in our churches which is we see a lot of extending mercy to ourselves and judging others I say I want to flip that I want to extend mercy to others and judge myself. Because that's the biblical model. Right. And there's a couple others here I think testimony and stewardship also provide ways for us to grow. All right let's take a look at a quip. And he himself gave some to be apostles some prophets some advantage of this some pastors and teachers for that what reason. Equipping of the saints for the work of ministry I know we read this text yesterday but it's worth looking at again for the edifying of the Body of Christ. When leaders equip members for ministry they instill confidence in them for doing the work. And I would say this more than anything equipping an individual a disciple in Christ empowers them for service. And I'll tell you what if I don't feel at least somewhat empowered not only by God to do the work but empowered in that I think I'd somewhat know what I'm doing I'm much less likely to actually step out and try it. At the basic level there needs to be some helping someone get started maybe even learning a testimony I think Barna Research found that most of our church members have a much greater opinion of their ability to share their faith than they actually have. I can share my faith but if you ask someone to do it they'll really stumble over that it does take practice to share your testimony about what God has done for you in your life. And and I think also disciples were successful as the apostles of Christ because they were prepared by Christ had he not spent their time with them preparing them they could not have accomplished what he wanted to do for them even with the Holy Spirit being poured out on them there's a lesson here that the Holy Spirit comes with incredible power. Once were enabled or feel or have been already starting to work it's almost like the power as you go. You don't need to put gas where you don't need gas in your car until you're willing to go somewhere. Why would the Holy Spirit fill you with a special baptism of power for a specific purpose if you're not even planning on going anywhere you're just going to sit there no reason for it and we wonder why there's no Holy Spirit working as much as we'd like to see in our churches right. X. one verse eight but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and I'll gie day and some area and to the ends of the earth. Right. There are two kinds of. Well how do I say that there are two ways the Holy Spirit comes into our life number one. If you remember Jesus came to the disciples in the upper room and he breathed on them and they received the Holy Spirit. That was the beginning of their true conversion that brought them strength from within and allowed Christ from that moment forward to live in and through their lives but when they got to Pentecost they were gathered together as an as a group as a team and one of the Holy Spirit do he was poured out upon them with strength and power to do what to accomplish the specific task of preaching the gospel to those beginning at Pentecost So although we have the Holy Spirit willing in the Holy Spirit wants to do more than that in fact I think even in Lateran power he wants to empower enable us to give a loud cry. But we need to be prepared ahead of time by the Holy Spirit working in the and through us as we go about our daily responsibilities as disciples. We have much to say about this this is from Hebrews Chapter five or so leaven in fact I'll confess I just added this this morning. This is part of my devotional life and I felt Lord you had me read this at the right time we have much to say about this but it is hard to explain because we are or you are slow to learn this is now the writer of Hebrews who we believe is Paul right in the church and giving them counsel and he saying in fact though by this time you ought to be teachers you need someone to teach you the elementary truth of God's word all over again. You need milk not solid food they were babes in Christ that had not been growing right so it was hard to get them to the point of equipping them. For ministry and then he goes on anyone who lives on milk being still an infant is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness but solid food is for the mature who by what constant. Use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil they have put time and energy and effort into. The work. Not only of learning the truth of God's word but also in practicing the things that we believe. The practice of truth a lie calls it the truth as it is in Jesus if the truth doesn't become practical in your life it will do you no good or anyone else right and so the practicing of this Paul was saying if you don't practice if you don't train and help move yourself beyond where you are this growth mindset rather than kind of a defeatist mindset then you're never going to get to a point where God can use you in some powerful ways. Many think that they have to become proficient before they begin using their spiritual gifts. But I think rather the reality is that we become proficient by using them. This is on the job training. I'm a second career Pastor I was fifteen years in the corporate world it would be ridiculous for them to have brought me into the new job that I had back then. Put me in front of the computer and said go to work without giving me something. To tell me what I'm supposed to do right even sitting by an individual here who showed me how to not only use the computer use the programs on it but accomplish the work that they had assigned to me and it's the same way with church we don't and we can't expect members as disciples to just do it well it does take time yet I think this knowing that we can't wait for great occasions to expect next. Ordinary abilities before we go to work for God. So we need to begin to put those things into practice even though we feel a little deficient and this is one of the lack of this is the lack of comfort level you're seeing in some of your churches with people who want to serve Christ but they're just not quite sure how to get out there and begin to do that and you doing them showing them can do a lot for helping to equip them for that ministry. From review and herald in one thousand nine hundred three many do not know how to win souls to Christ because they have never tried to learn. If they would enter upon the work cheerfully and hardly endeavoring to exert a right influence in the position where God has placed them they would gain strength and experience with every effort so this is the growing as you practice your faith the equipping comes as you go. They will learn how to adapt themselves to the wants of others and might thus become successful in winning souls to Christ and the truth. Now this next passage does not flow from this one but almost you read it you'll say it should. It's next with us from X. the Apostles page fifty four on the other hand there are some who instead of wise the improving present opportunities are idly waiting for some special season of spiritual refreshing by which their ability to enlighten others will be greatly increased. They neglect present duties and privileges that allow their light to burn dam while they look forward to a time when without any effort on their part they will be made the recipients of a special blessing by which they will be transformed and fitted for service. Doesn't happen that way. It happens as we go out and we begin to work and will make some mistakes and will flub up and we won't say all the right things believe me I spent years in a very dogmatic approach to giving someone the truth and when no converts because I repelled most of them. But I learned that I was doing something the wrong way and over time I begin a little more wise in how I approach things and also I think a little more converted. So to speak. Each of the following is an important aspect to equipping disciples spiritual gifts we've got a space to pay some attention to spiritual gifts if your church hasn't explored or help people find their spiritual gifts it really should spend time in doing that as part of the equipping process. Many of you have nominee committees right maybe one or two years when was the last nominee a committee you sat in on where you had a list of everyone's gifts as you went through the different responsibilities. Doesn't that make sense oh yeah I mean let's go on make sense. But usually we're just trying to find somebody to do it right and we're not matching them up with the spiritual gifts here's a practical example your greeters you know your greeters need to be you're saying ones. Find out who's saying when and put them out at the front doors of your church and they're going to win some people for Jesus let me tell you my mom was a full on saying when I mean I'd go around in stores and malls wherever we would go and she's talkative It took forever throughout the day to get back home because she talked to everybody she met. And you're sanguine as are your greeters So in other words one of those things you look at during the nominating process it's important talent development. One of the differences between talents and gifts is that gifts are given to somebody and talents or something that maybe someone actually has but they haven't developed except through practice right when you say someone is so talented you better believe that behind that they've been practicing for years. Appreciate this brother who played the piano for us you started playing what last week. We only laugh because we know it's probably been since you were a kid right but I did hear since five or something like that yeah so he's developed his talent I think we can do that with our gifts. Ministry teams working together mentoring and coaching I mentioned yesterday that Jesus did both he mentored the twelve he coached the seventy you can't mentor everyone but you can become a coach to many and so they're just these are different ways of helping to disciple or disciple and somebody resourcing that is within the church I think it's important to have resources for people to use for sharing their faith. When I brought that to a church in the past as a pastor once they said Oh Pastor we can't do that it would cost way too much money everybody will just take the stuff and I'll just leave off the shelves like crazy and we won't have anything left we'll be constantly buying things and I said I I don't know I disagree I said there may be some of that that happens initially but I think eventually people will take because they're already stocks shelves are already stocked and they'll take and they'll begin to hand out what they are they're taking and sure enough. I don't know if Soren is pressed queues here and so on here you know storm was in San point when we did this and we were always looking for people to give their testimony to share their faith up in the front to help encourage people to to do that with others and after we began this program about buying and resource and having resources for them to take out there were some who took that very seriously begin to hand stuff out and they'd come to me and say Pastor you wouldn't believe this conversation I had with this person I had and I said you've got to share that and all of a sudden we started to have people lined up to share their testimony at the front and I'm not saying was all because of having the resources but it surely certainly could help. Our Let's talk about sending what time I and I'm just want to be sure I'm not going over my. Ten fifteen Do I have to what ten thirty Cindy ten thirty OK. Let's talk about sending Let me show you an example of a couple different models of the church and how it can be organized which one is Biblical if you look at those left or right. Why is the right one biblical. Because the reason that the church was organized was for service for Christ to get the gospel out there right and we saw the origins of discipleship yesterday with the priesthood and then sharing what they had with the people were to evangelize the world same concept here with us. Evangelism is at the hub it's the core of what we do as a church with the worship service is just one of those things that we do as a church. But even your social gathering should be evangelistic there are lots of lonely people in your neighborhood who never get to attend anything. Bring them out to your next social event at church. And there's some other things mentioned of course there that you can do for that but I just I think we need to get back to that evangelists focus Here's another way of equipping members you know how when you invite them out for some training exercise and you do that maybe on a Sabbath afternoon or evening or maybe Friday evening how many do you usually get coming out. Very low percentage of the church right. Two three four five I don't know maybe ten depends on how big your church is. Why not use the church service for that. So one of the reasons why Ellen White actually counseled us to stop sermonizing so much during the church service. The testimony she suggested that we should have more testimony time off because of what everybody's been doing all week as they've been equipped for ministry and they have a message a testimony to share about what happened what God's doing in their life. But I think also the church service time is a great way for your church leaders to come. Together and right there when everybody is there help give them some practical ways to equip them to trying to share the gospel the next week and give them several options and several ways of doing that and then say hey part of worship is being sent and we're done with the service Christ always sent he sends us out I'm so we're sending you out to try these things this week how about next week we come back and we hear from you about what happened. OK just some some practical things to consider. Each of the following is an essential step in the evangelism process and we know this prepare you have to prepare the ground right you plant the seed you grow in the plant grows there's a harvest and there's a preservation period OK. One of the reasons why the church was so successful for many years actually mid midnight hundreds up to around one nine hundred eighty and in the seventy's was because other churches. Did these three things very well. So all we have to do is bring them in and give them the truth or a different dynamic a paradigm to God's truth and then what happened they become have an ist they're ready they're ripe. But it in ever increasing age of secularism you're not having anybody or very few times when you have these three already done when you meet them. You've got to go back to what. Preparing the soil can't even plant the seed before you prepare the soil so talk with him get to know them interact with them and be a friend of theirs and then you can plant that seed right medical vandalism I think is a very big part of preparing the ground right. Paul says I planted a policy watered but God gave the increase so the neither he who plants is anything nor is he who waters but God who gives the increase now he who plants and he waters are one and each one will receive his own reward according to. To his own labor so every disciple who's laboring in God's vineyard receive their own reward OK then he goes on for we are God's fellow workers you are God's field you are God's building according to the grace of God which was given to me as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation and another builds on it but each one take heed how he builds on it we are each to play a part in the process of bringing souls to Christ and also I would add in the process of disciple of those who have come into the church through that. That continuous matrix of disciple making right let me share a story with you here. Bobby was a boy that loved to go visit grandma and grandpa on their farm but he was never allowed to stay very long because was just too small and kind of got in the way of what was happening in the farm as the harvest came in so he was very excited one year where mom and dad said Hey Bobbie you're going to get to go Steve Grammont grap and help him for two weeks. Oh he couldn't wait to get on Grampus tractor and and get out Grampa grandma grandpa is place and spend time with them not only on a relational level but all the things they could to do want to far. And so he packed up his stuff Mom and Dad drove him to Grandma Grandpa farm money got his bag and went into the house and. It was later in the evening so we got ready for bed and grampa came by and said Bobby I want to make sure you get good night a good night's sleep here because we've got a lot of work to do tomorrow a lot of stuff going on so get your rest you'll need all of it. And so he did he slept very well that night. And then as you know about farm some of you when the sun comes up. And the rooster crows it's time to get to work and there was grandpa at the door Bobby let's get out let's get going but he slipped on his jeans followed Grampa out went to the barn and learn how to milk the cows and Lou. Now to feed the chickens it is a work around the garden. And after about an hour I have two hours boy this is he's got little hungry and he could smell that that food wafting from the the kitchen where Grandma was cooking and they find a gram invites them in and they went in and boy that he never had a meal that felt so good or that it tasted so good I should say it did feel good to his stomach too but as they were sitting there for about forty five minutes finishing up their meal grappa stood up from his chair and said OK Bobby it's time to get to work. Bobby said work grandpa we've already been working for a couple hours. He said Bobby that's not work them's chores. The work is in the field. Brothers and Sisters the work in the church that we do in and for the church to sustain it them's chores. The work is in the harvest field. The work is what we do when we leave the four walls of the church and we enter into the harvest field you know the science you have in some of the churches you are now entering into the harvest field or to the gods mission field that's very real. Very much reality. And look Chapter ten verses one and two Jesus said after these things. Well the text itself says after these things this the Lord appointed seventy others also and sent them out two by two before his face and every city in place where he himself was about to go did he send them before or after he went. Before OK Good point good lesson there was not the point I want to make with this he said of them the harvest truly is great but the laborers are few therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest by the way who's he talking to here talking to his disciples. Do you think he's thinking are the laborers the disciples. OK So disciples are labors they're God's laborers in his field. But there's something interesting about this text in fact let me go back here this these words send out the word there in Greek is a bottle and that word is the same word used describing the casting out of demons. When Jesus saw the demoniac he it Ballo the demons and they came out of him. And so at Balliol a bhalo is an action word that refers to this casting or driving or sending out someone. Where they don't currently reside and even more than that. Against their will at times. So when Jesus is sending out laborers that bottle his disciples in the church it could be very uncomfortable because many times it could even be against our will. There's this notion that we have that well you know some people are made for witnessing some art. I don't buy it. I think we're all made to witness in the way that we're gifted we're not all meant to do the same thing. But I've found very few gifts where it just naturally happens. Maybe the exception of sanctions at the door. But other than that even your cooks in your your leaders of the fellowship dinner. No matter what gifts you have it you have to use it to become proficient at it and to be uncomfortable and those who do door to door work they'll tell you every time it's very uncomfortable the first few doors I think it's a little easier as Jesus is with you and he helps you. From testimonies volume five page four sixty three of the work which the church has failed to do in. A time of peace and prosperity she will have to do in a terrible crisis under the most discouraging forbidding what circumstances. This day is just before us the members of the church will individually be tested and proved they will be placed in circumstances where they will be what. Forced. Forced to do what bear witness for the truth at some point you'll be tested to bear witness for Jesus whether you're putting it off or not. And Jesus says if you confess my name before others. I'll confess you this isn't a strong arm thing this is simply acknowledging the reality of what is and that is the fact that God has called all of us to share our faith with the people around us that is the reason we exist as disciples in his church. For gospel workers page two hundred let ministers teach members that in order to grow in spirituality they must carry the burden that the Lord has laid upon them the burden of leading souls into the truth. Those who are not fulfilling their responsibilities should be visited prayed with labored for do not lead people to depend upon us ministers teach them where they are to use their talents in giving the truth to those around them and that's working they will have the cooperation of heavenly angels and will obtain an exit experience that will increase their faith and give them a strong hold on God. Not only do our members need the call a cultural change of discipleship within the church I think in many respects even our pastors need a bit of a paradigm shift in regard to their responsibility in the church. Do good preaching good teaching all the things that they do now but in division of that make sure that they are equipping members for ministry because if your members are depending upon you for spiritual food and that's all they do. You're not it's not conducive to discipleship in fact we remember we saw the negative correlation between Pastor dependence and discipleship. OK. Here are the ways that the church can send out laborers into God's harvest field social engagement personal ministry health ministry Community Action small groups church outreach centers of influence public of Angeles and all these things I have some details on stuff that you can you can use and integrate in your overall ministry but all these things are great examples of the way to be sent out into ing and get out there in your communities I'm going to finish here with this there for qualities of every disciple making church so these are the qualities you need to components of integrating discipleship in your structure but qualities you have as a church and they tie in to each of the four the connect grow Eclipse seven Here are the four. Relational emphasis we connect to people we connect people to the church through relationships not by preaching doctrine. Doctrine will come but the relationship must be established first and that's why a relational emphasis is key to connecting them and bringing them into a relationship with Jesus himself there's need to be a growth curriculum I say curriculum in that you need to be concerned about how people are growing you can't just say OK go out there and grow by reading your Bible and by praying. Very few people when they first become Christians even know how to pray. To teach them how to pray some how to read their Bible in a systematic way. And then read in story forms in a way that converts and touches the heart. Thirdly there needs to be empowering leadership not positional leadership but leadership that empowers ministry I'll tell you what Jesus is paradigm for leadership is so much different than what we see in the world we think of the leaders as being these high position who kind of his a controlling and authoritative influence Jesus didn't do it that way he was a servant of men and that's how he led by example and then fourth is Evangelist to focus ascending piece you've got to be focused that. The hub with the spoke we talked about there needs to be that focus I'm going to add a fifth quality This is my last slide and that is in regard to how we can disciple young people we're losing young people. In droves. And it's not just because they're making bad decisions it's because we're not coming alongside them to disciple them either. So we can't just talk about discipleship in the context of adults we need to as a fifth quality needs to be emphasized and how we come alongside our young people and how that happened so I'm using some different wordings here but they're essentially meaning the same thing number one which is building intergenerational connections that relational piece but you need you have to break down the divide of in of generations and there are deliberate ways to do that I finished reading a whole book on that here recently and just was inspired by how that can happen in the local church. Number to teach by example. Actually learn by doing they want to see practical examples not just what you say it's what you do it's how young generation thinks and how they respond invite participation actually give responsibilities to our young people so they have an active part to play in the work of the church. And don't make it a token thing hey we had young people Sabbath. Or what happens the other fifty one. It has to be integrated all in your church throughout the year OK And then lastly make a difference share in socially relevant ways. OK so not just share the truth and preach it and then you're done but you connect with people in a way and you're evangelism is in such a way that it's socially relevant to people and the young people who are watching and seeing this are seeing lives impacted because that will lead that it of itself will inspire them to get involved let me tell. They respond they will respond if we're intentional about doing this and I believe it's very very important fact I will add that our conference office here we have Jeff winds and Richard Brown who are putting together some very detailed plans about how the church can happen how this can happen and in local churches they're looking for several churches who will be part of programs for connecting with young people and helping to integrate them in the church work so exciting things are doing I really appreciate that they were helpful in putting this slide together as well OK. I'm going to conclude there and I hesitate because of our time I hesitate asking for questions. So you say go ahead Cindy. OK All right I'll take questions we You've heard a lot over the last couple days from me in the mornings do you have any questions if you don't great will move on to our break and go from there but if you have any questions about what you've heard does it make sense if you does it make sense maybe I'm missing it but I'd love to hear from you anyone. So him up there and one here. Just repeating I appreciate the fact that I agree with that he quit being issue how can the churches do better are there programs are there people that can help churches because that's the hungering cry from my heart and why I came to this workshop here is that equipping part yeah I hesitate to just offer another program how many programs to churches get from the conference right. This is a lifestyle a cultural issue of the local church and I think building and creating a new culture comes from casting a vision from its leaders who by from the pastor from the elders have to be talking the same thing and they have to be talking it constantly but that equipping piece is. Is missing just to. Kind of as a revelation to us to put more focus and emphasis on that the mentoring the coaching the coming alongside somebody to demonstrating from using the church service maybe as a time to do some of this this is all a cultural shift there are some people that will like it the come to church to hear a sermon and they don't get one. And so I think casting that vision and continuing to go back to the equipping piece almost over emphasize that piece first can help bring you to a point where more of that is happening and I don't have it is solely a program but there are a lot of things like. There is a thing that pioneer Memorial Church put together called. How to Become a contagious Adventist or something like that and they talk about these equipping piece and how that can happen to you and there's some other resources I can have I can give you if you want to let me know later on so yeah one possible option for equipping would be what it continues to say in that verse you had the beginning and first Peter. I mean second Peter chapter one. And it's your faith virtue into virtue knowledge into knowledge temperance into temperance patience into patience godliness godly Struthers of kindness and of brotherly kindness charity or love for these things be in you in a bound they make you. That you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ but he lack of these things is blind and cannot see or and have forgotten that he was purged from his old sins so I think adding. Those items. Through faith. Can can the Lord can help equip of us who Lord can help equip with absolutely and it's a two way street it takes the church doing some offering some opportunity. Equipping members but also takes the response of the members to volunteer for being equipped and so there's a two way street there as well and having substance to the other cooking I think it is important for. Us we had a hand up there and one down here maybe just a couple more because I don't want to go over too much and infringe on the next speaker's time right there at the home. And then will come forward. When you read that book that gave you all these ideas what were some of those ideas I didn't read a book to give me all these ideas. All the oh in regard to the young people OK actually I met with our youth and family life Department to talk about some of these issues and to let them know that I felt impressed to put something there at the end of the slide was the last slide is a fifth quick point. And asked for some help with the language I've done and some study I know that Mark we're is in a lot of standing as well on the millennial some kind of how they think and how to connect them back in with the church so we don't lose them but these discussions I've had with with them and reading some some books helped put that list of four things together there are many others but certainly there are for those. Well what were some of the things that you can do. Well let me give you just an example of breaking of connecting in general intergenerational a one of the things we've had churches do that actually create more barriers is they have separate worship services for the young people and for the adults have you seen that happen that's the worst thing I've my impression as one of the worst things we can do. We need we to make sure we're connecting with each other in their ways relational to do that to help the different generations connect and to create and build relationships search and upper Columbia Conference I don't know of one state line OK Another one here as far as it could be I grew up into into America and our church was a young church of the time so. Pasa taught us how to preach and so we would meet once a week and you taught us how to preach and then he gave us the opportunity to stand and Sabbaths in warning and preach and he taught us how to do evangelism and so he gave us the opportunity to hold ten Crusades. He also taught us how to do home sales. And so our church multiplied twice a year we had actually lay vandalism you know we actually preach six weeks now and saw it us was a rapid growing church in a very young age and so we also had something in Internet. They Congress where every two years preachers from all over into America met in a different part of an America we met one year in Jamaica. And we had people tell their stories of how God was working mightily in their experiences so for me even as a young person I was we had something called as in training or deacons in training and we were actually trained by the church as well as the deacons how to become there so it was an ongoing process for us and so when it was time to go out we were constantly being trained and you know you don't it that's what you need to do and I think we've moved away from that a bit as a church suggesting we make sure that we're intentional are getting back there and that all four components are part of the church because that is how we make disciples Amen. Let's close with prayer and then we'll have a quick break I think Father in heaven. Where we know that you have incredible plans for your church and we're getting very close to that time with a loud cry will be given we believe that the Lord help us to be prepared for that to work in our churches and allow you to move to not only connect people but to grow them and equip them and begin sending them out so that when that time comes we can be ready to finish the work we thank you Lord for what you're doing. Here and please be with all the speakers who are presenting today may they be a blessing to each and every one of us we pray Jesus' name amen this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.


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