Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Taking Jesus Seriously // Changing the World

"We seem to have gotten so hooked on numerical church growth that we missed the idea of growth by multiplication . . . which we know from nature & biology is the more organic / natural way to grow." (Frost & Hirsch, The Shaping of the Things to Come. 2006. 212.)

Some of us are just learning to take Jesus seriously for the first time. We're discovering that when the Son of God commanded us to "go forth & make disciples" He meant us & not the impersonal institution we've come to call "church". Our hearts are beginning to come alive as we are learning to ask ourselves the hard questions like, "Who am I praying for today to know or grow in Christ? Who am I getting together with this week? Who will I share more of Christ with? Who will I disciple next?"

We're learning to take Jesus seriously and follow Him and discover His overwhelming love for the people around us. And those we're investing into are beginning to know and grow in Christ. And they're beginning to take Jesus seriously too. And soon, they will embrace His loving mission through them and begin multiplying and making disciples of their own. And soon the number of seats in our big church buildings won't matter nearly as much as the number of seats in our living rooms.

And we'll change the world... one disciple at a time.


Quentin Mullinix said...

I think we focus on numbers too much in general. Many megachurch pastors use sociological methods to grow churches and claim that church growth should be paramount in ministry. This mentality has brought us into accepting extreme seeker-sensitive methods like trying to meet people's felt-needs. However, while strategy and method have their place, when we look at Jesus' ministry, it was far from being focused on growth and his primiary ministry was not seeker-sensative. Believe it or not, Jesus turned away people that wanted to get their needs met. Just take a look at some passsages like John 6:26 "...I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you say miraculous sings but because you ate the loaves and had your fill..." or what about when the rich young ruler came to Jesus and had a conversation with him about eternal life and obeying the commandments from Matt. 19:16-24. To the person thinking about numbers, it seems backwards that Jesus would even suggest to him to sell everything and give it to the poor. Also notice that Jesus did not stop him from leaving and say something like, "Hey, wait. Let's talk about this. Maybe we can make a compromise here." But no! Jesus let him go.

John Lynch said...

That's powerful, Q. "Jesus let him go." He would not compromise Truth in the name of Love, knowing that Love without Truth is not Love.