Learning How to Penetrate a New City (or Neighborhood) from Jesus

Thursday is for Discipleship

It’s a familiar passage. Luke 10:1-11. The Sending out of the 70 to preach the Kingdom. I’d encourage you to read it. Here’s a seven point outline of the instructions that are given:

  1. The harvest is plentiful and workers are needed. Pray for them  (vs. 1). 
  2. The mission is urgent and potentially dangerous. Don’t hesitate (vss. 2-3). 
  3. Resources may not be important but zeal for the task is. Trust God not resources (vs. 4). 
  4. Look for indications of receptivity to the message in the willingness of hearers to be hospitable. Give and be at peace (vs. 5-6a). 
  5. Assume you will be provided for and be thankful in your provision. Give thanks in everything (v. 6b-8).
  6. Be a healer and a herald. Preach the Kingdom, repentance, and belief (vs. 9). 
  7. Be confident in the message and speak with authority (vss. 10-11).

These instructions that Jesus gave to the disciples on this occasion are often discussed simply as the procedures that Jesus set up for the next phase of his earthly ministry rather than as a model or example of how we might penetrate new communities with the gospel. Let’s change that.

Challenge:

  • Church Planter: Lead your launch team / core group / first converts to use this outline as your basic template for training your people to penetrate a neighborhood with the gospel.
  • Senior Pastors: Lead your elders in a discussion of what this would look like in your present situation.
  • Brothers and Sisters in Christ: Start thinking of ways you might use these instructions of Jesus to take the gospel to your neighborhood.

“It is Hard to Go to Heaven in America”

“Conversion is not the smooth, easy-going process some men seem to think . . . . It is wounding work, of course, this breaking of the hearts, but without wounding there is no saving. . .

For more see:  “It is Hard to Go to Heaven in America”.

Though I am Yours I am Weak

Wednesday is for Prayer

“Oh Lord, though I am Yours, I am weak this morning. I’m tired and drained and I need a fresh filling of Your Spirit. I need the strength that only a Word from You can supply. Nurture my soul this day. Thrill me with Your presence. Sustain me physically. Keep me alert not only to the tasks of this day but of Your direction and presence. Help me to see Your hand in all of today’s challenges. I am waiting on Your promises.  In Jesus name, Amen.”

Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

What Enterprise Car Rental Can Teach the Church

Monday Discussion (Two)

Just saw the new Enterprise Car Rental advertising campaign. It’s very simple but behind it is a great lesson for the Church. A series of Enterprise reps come on camera and simply say, “I can make it right.” A few add, “I don’t have to talk to someone else,” orI don’t need to ask a manager One after another, another fresh and happy face says to potential customers with just those five words that they are ready and eager to make your next Enterprise experience a good one.

How can Enterprise reps make such a claim? 

Think about it.

  1. They can do it because they have been trained and empowered to make decisions by the company.
  2. They can do it because management in the company is confident in their training.
  3. They can do it because management is willing to live with the decisions that their reps make.
  4. They can do it because they know that management is not going to overturn any decision they make.

What the Church Can Learn

This is what elders and pastoral staffs should be doing with congregations. Our job is to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Are we doing it?

 

Are We Taking Equipping Seriously?

Monday Discussion

MossAnd He began speaking a parable to the invited quests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them ...  (Luke 14:7, emphasis added)

Questions:

  1. How is the church doing at equipping and training disciples to observe life so as to speak into the opportunities that are all around us for gospel proclamation?
  2. How are we doing at training people to always be gracious in their speech, seasoning it with salt, so that they may know how you ought to answer each person (Col. 4:6)?
  3. Would you share your stories of what you are doing or thing you have heard others are doing?

Tozer on the Holy Spirit

Sunday Musings

An afternoon helping of Tozer to challenge and excite the heart. Enjoy.

THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES US HIS POWER

My speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.
1 Corinthians 2:4

The Holy Spirit gives us His power, and, thank God, He not only gave it to the first apostles, He has also given it to quite unknown people throughout the centuries. He has enabled some simple people to speak just the right word at the right moment. John Bunyan tells us in his autobiography, Grace Abounding, that one of the greatest blessings and helps he ever had was one afternoon listening to three uneducated women who were doing some knitting together in the sunshine, outside a house, talking about the Lord Jesus Christ. He got more from them than from anybody else. And you find that is what happens. God gives this power to the simplest, humblest Christian to testify to the Lord Jesus Christ, sharing what He has done and the difference He has made to human life. This is how the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son. When He works in us, what He does is to make us glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. The man in whom the Spirit dwells does not talk about himself; whether he is a preacher or whatever he may be, you do not come away talking about him.

You and I have the inestimable privilege of being men and women who in this life and in our daily work and vocation can be glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, God grant that we all may be filled with this Spirit, the Holy Spirit, of God, that we may “know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10); that we may know what He has done for us; that we may know we are the children of God and joint heirs with Christ; that we may have glimpses of the glory that awaits us and that we may find our lives transformed and filled with His power, so that we may say with Paul, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20).

A Thought to Ponder
You and I have the inestimable privilege of being men and women who in our daily work can glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

From Saved in Eternity, p. 94.

Crony Capitalism; Gov. Christie; Clean Water Crisis; Adoption Ratios at Planned Parenthood; Leadership Freak; and much more

Weekend Links

Some interesting links here. I love some, was challenged by all, thought some overblown, but I hope you will be encouraged by all to be active for Christ in every decision you make. Have a great weekend and enjoy your worship of God and the fellowship of the saints this weekend.

Culture and Politics

Crony Capitalism has Got to Go
Planned Parenthood’s Abortion to Adoption Ratio’s (Got see to believe)
George Washington’s Goodbye Address to the Nation (Oh for a Leader Like this!)
Warren Buffet Should Write a Check and Shut Up (Gov. Christie – video)
Planned Parenthood Lies About Pro-Lifers (CNS News, see my comment in the comments section)
Clean Water Facts and Crisis 

Leading Better

What I Learned from an Angry Flight Attendant (Jeff Goins)
Sacrificing Family on the Alter of Ministry (or not)
Discipleship: Is it Being More Like Christ or Becoming More Like Christ (Miquel)
The Most Dangerous Lie Leaders Believe (Leadership Freak)
The Only Five Questions that Matter in a Job Interview (Forbes Magazine)

Worship in Spirit and Truth

An Open Letter to Praise Bands (James K.A. Smith)
Why Saying “Let’s Go to Church” is Bad Theology (Verge)
“Ed’s Story” Ed Dobson’s Lessons from his Struggle ALS (Lou Gerhig’s Disease) –fantastic site
Why Practicing Lent is Crazy (or not)

What Will It Take to Change My Life?

Friday is for Heart Songs

“Nothing will change your life more completely and quickly than obedience to the word of the Living God.” 

We need to train our heats to take joy in simply obeying God, simply hearing his will and doing it–before we know all the results, repercussions and responsibilities that obedience will bring. Obedience, joy-filled obedience is also how we demonstrate and prove our love for the Savior.

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. (John 14:21a, ESV)

Obedience is the mechanism that promises greater knowledge and intimacy with Christ.

And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”  (John 14:21b, ESV)

Obedience is at the center of real spiritual formation and discipleship.

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20, ESV)

Obedience will change our lives or its lack will leave our spiritual lives listless in the pits of our own making.