Watching this video reminded me of what we always tell our trainees when we introduce them to Strategy and Foundations. This is a paradigm shift. This is not the way you are used to “doing” church!
In this video you will see how a man who knew perfectly well how to ride a bicycle has to change the way his brain works in order to ride on a “backwards” bicycle…it took him eight months of daily practice to actually get it right! But then, when he tried to ride a normal bicycle again, he found that his brain had to be reprogrammed again!
This is exactly what happens when we try to implement the training.
Think of it this way. Jesus made disciples. That is what He did for most of His adult life on this planet. He had a certain method that He used and it worked! Then, some time in history, perhaps during the Middle Ages, someone changed that method…someone recreated Jesus’ model and turned it around…made it “backwards”. Suddenly the church was inward focussed and started concentrating on building beautiful buildings and filling them with beautiful things so that people would come to them. That was not Jesus’ model! Jesus went to where the people were…He never started a building campaign, other than that made out of living stones…you and me!
So, now we come and we train you to follow Jesus’ method…the original method…the way this Church “bicycle was supposed to be used. But now you find you can’t do it…you have to reprogram your mind and your spirit to return to the Master’s original plan.
BUT, it can be done…if we practice daily and just do it. Discipleship needs to be done like Jesus did it if it is to bear lasting fruit…abundant fruit.
There are three types of people in the Church:
“Think old, do old” people who simply are not willing to change their thinking and ways of “doing” church.
“Think new, do old” people who have the knowledge, but not the understanding and therefore are not able to implement the truth they have learned about disciple making.
“Think new, do new” people who have both the knowledge and the understanding and therefore think and behave in a different way from the way they used to “do” church. This takes a lot of time, frustration, and dedication to get to a new way of thinking and doing…but, as I said before, it can be done!
PRESS ON beloved disciple makers! Press on and the Lord will reward you in due time!
The Scriptures often speak out against gossip, or “talebearing” in some versions…especially when what is being said is malicious or untrue. The tongue, James tells us, although one of the smallest members of the body, can be extremely destructive. So spreading stories about others is frowned upon for good reason.
However, there are two forms of gossip that are commendable.
The first is when you gossip about Jesus. There is absolutely nothing negative you can say about someone who is perfect now, is there? And He is perfect…He came in the likeness of humanity and was like us in every respect, yet without sin. Gossiping about Jesus is a very positive thing to do as when others hear about Him and how wonderful and awesome He is, they want to get to know Him for themselves. The next step is then to simply introduce them to Him and let Him take it from there…
The second form of permissible gossip is when you gossip about missionaries and whatever it is the Lord has them doing in His vast harvest field. Now, unlike Jesus, missionaries are not prefect…sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but we are fallen, broken human beings like everyone else. But…and here comes the good part…you can talk about what Jesus – the only one who is perfect in every way (unless you believe in Mary Poppins) – is doing in and through us! See? Then you are spreading good things…and, indirectly, Good News too!
So, Louise and I give you full permission to gossip about what Jesus is doing in and through us as much as you like. You see, when you gossip about us, you keep us alive in the hearts and minds of those we have left behind in the States…and you introduce us to new folks who may be interested to hear about the Lord’s work in southern Africa, but just don’t know anyone who works here.
So, go ahead…gossip about Jesus and about what He is doing in and through us all you like…you have our permission!
Another testimony of how our training in Strategy has had a positive impact! This time, from Swaziland. Our coordinator, Mandla Bhembe wrote:
Happy to hear from you.
God is helping us and we meet every Wednesday with the group around Mbabane. Busy with the 60 days Study in the life of Jesus Christ. I have also met the clergy from the East Region hope classes will be starting soon by Rev Ntokozo Ndzimandze. My phone got broken God has provided with a new one and hope now communication with you will be much easier now.
Finances are still a challenge but the Lord is helping us. When ready will be happy to invite you again for the further study you have highlighted.
God bless you sir
We don’t often get feedback from our trainees, but when we do, they are always special. Like this one from Phiwa in Durban. About our most recent training in Strategy he just wrote:
The Lord is with you.
I can’t thank you enough for the spiritual armaments that you have imparted into my spirituality as well as ministry through this training.
The material is so divine to extent that I have waited for such since 2008, but I really would not put my head around to formulate anything like that, even though I knew that something is missing in the way I teach the children of God. But now with this material every thing will be so easy. I would like to read the 4 Chairs book, please advise as to how can I get it.
Thank you once again.
Yours in Christ
The image was disturbing. A decapitated Christ – repaired, but broken nonetheless. Who could have done such a thing?
But even more disturbing were the security fences around the church…obviously vandals needed to be deterred, but the spiked fences, electrified wires, and thorny shrubbery were there to keep out the very ones who desperately needed the one Who came to give His life for the world. The Lamb of God Who died as a propitiation for our sins. Heartbreaking.
Everyone in the Durban area lives behind high walls and have all manners of security features from electric wires, to rolls of barbed wire, to cameras…and they live in fear. A friend I met for the first time in 45 years told us horror stories of car highjackings – she herself was highjacked once – break-ins, murders, thefts, and other lawless deeds that were everyday occurrences. She was obviously nervous and did not wish to stand on the pavement to say goodbye for too long…
I have brooded over these images for days now. Were these images somehow images of our lives as believers? After all, we are the Temple of the living God and if our defences are so high – for whatever reason – that no one can get close enough to catch a glimpse of the crucified yet risen Saviour we represent, what purpose do we serve in the Kingdom? What are we hiding behind?
To be sure, vandals break hearts as well as statues, and we do need to protect our church buildings as much as we need to protect our bodies…but was His body not broken to bring the world in?