discipleship

Are we doing things backwards in the church?

Photo Credit: Pixabay I just saw an advertisement on Twitter that struck me kind of funny. This advertisement was a promoted tweet, where a Christian resource company—they sell curriculum, books, and other stuff was having a huge sale on all their stuff...

"How generous of them" was my initial thought. Then I said to myself, we (the church) don't have a lot of money so I won't even look and see what they have... Then I remembered that for the last six and a half years I have been on staff in some large churches, and now at a small church where the cash-flow was or is not flowing. We really were not able to buy curriculum and other stuff that we deemed necessary to run effective ministry/programs—we wanted to spend what little dollars we had directly on people, meeting their tangible needs or just pay the bills.

We learned to do ministry with almost a zero dollar budget or on a shoestring. It's funny, because during this time, Lars Rood wrote a book entitled "Youth Ministry On A Shoestring: How to do more with less, but we couldn't afford to buy his book...Haha.

We experienced frustrating and difficult times, but we also saw the generosity of the church engage in ground level ministry—when we needed doughnuts, people brought doughnuts or alternatives, instead of the paid staff buying them with ministry budget dollars. And the examples could go on and on... People became more invested in the ministry and the mission of the church, instead of being just consumers.

We also saw creativity expressed in ways we hadn't seen before. We couldn't buy curriculum, so we were forced to write our own. Paid and non-paid people all contributed to the edification of the body.

People stepped up—they worked and lived through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. People grew and matured in ways that money can't buy or fabricate.

Not having a lot of money can actually be a good thing. It causes us to really dig deep down and find out what really matters, especially when it comes to the church. Having a ton of kick-butt programs with all the bells and whistles that go with them, and having paid ministry specialists for every ministry program can be necessary to some degree. But when all of this get's in the way of the church being the church—it should cause us to pause and reflect on what really matters to mission of Jesus.

I am not against Christian resource companies and I am sure I will buy some stuff from them, once I have some cash flow to do so—it's just that I am beginning to wonder, out-loud, if you will allow me to do so—what would discipleship look like if we didn't have all these resources at our fingertips...

Are we doing things backwards in the church?

The importance of a discipleship legacy

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"We are proud of you. You have set off on a wonderful adventure. Who knows what God will do in transforming your lives?" - Wayne and Rolly Bigalow

Fina found a letter from Wayne and Rolly Bigalow, spiritual giants and ministry mentors in our lives, dated August 31st, 2001.

This letter was written to encouraging our family before we left for our wonderful adventure moving from California to Missouri to attend Ozark Christian College and to do ministry.

And it's very fitting for us on our new wonderful adventure here in Oregon.

the beginning...

Wayne is the reason why I am in ministry today! He was the Senior Minister of Sonrise Christian Church in Windsor, CA, and I served as the youth minister at Sonrise.

Wayne was the person who encouraged us to take a step of faith and follow God's call on our lives. So with my wife and three kids we packed up everything we owned and moved to Missouri to finish my Bible college education.

I am forever grateful for Wayne and Rolly (She went to be with Jesus years ago) for the impact they had on us, a young ministry family... And Wayne still has an impact on me and my ministry today—he called me last night to see how we are doing in our new ministry.

the importance of a discipleship legacy...

Wayne and Rolly believed in us and taught us to trusted God and to rely on His grace to get is through our new adventure. We also learned from them the importance of discipleship—leading others into becoming more like Jesus. To invest in others and have others invest in your life is one of the keys to lasting relationship with Jesus, one that is healthy, vibrant, and reproducing.

We have been so fortunate to have so many people mentor us and allow us the freedom to fail and succeed in ministry. As a result of others investing in us, we have been able to do the same. I think many times we have been the ones being blessed by us investing in others, and not so much the other way around.

It is important to carry-on legacy of discipleship. It is not only beneficial for the person your are investing in, but it is also beneficial for you—if you don't then your faith can become self-centered and eventually it shrivels up and dies.

Who are you creating a discipleship legacy with?

Joe

The importance of a discipleship legacy

20140212-193353.jpg

"We are proud of you. You have set off on a wonderful adventure. Who knows what God will do in transforming your lives?" - Wayne and Rolly Bigalow

Fina found a letter from Wayne and Rolly Bigalow, spiritual giants and ministry mentors in our lives, dated August 31st, 2001.

This letter was written to encouraging our family before we left for our wonderful adventure moving from California to Missouri to attend Ozark Christian College and to do ministry.

And it's very fitting for us on our new wonderful adventure here in Oregon.

the beginning...

Wayne is the reason why I am in ministry today! He was the Senior Minister of Sonrise Christian Church in Windsor, CA, and I served as the youth minister at Sonrise.

Wayne was the person who encouraged us to take a step of faith and follow God's call on our lives. So with my wife and three kids we packed up everything we owned and moved to Missouri to finish my Bible college education.

I am forever grateful for Wayne and Rolly (She went to be with Jesus years ago) for the impact they had on us, a young ministry family... And Wayne still has an impact on me and my ministry today—he called me last night to see how we are doing in our new ministry.

the importance of a discipleship legacy...

Wayne and Rolly believed in us and taught us to trusted God and to rely on His grace to get is through our new adventure. We also learned from them the importance of discipleship—leading others into becoming more like Jesus. To invest in others and have others invest in your life is one of the keys to lasting relationship with Jesus, one that is healthy, vibrant, and reproducing.

We have been so fortunate to have so many people mentor us and allow us the freedom to fail and succeed in ministry. As a result of others investing in us, we have been able to do the same. I think many times we have been the ones being blessed by us investing in others, and not so much the other way around.

It is important to carry-on legacy of discipleship. It is not only beneficial for the person your are investing in, but it is also beneficial for you—if you don't then your faith can become self-centered and eventually it shrivels up and dies.

Who are you creating a discipleship legacy with?

Joe

Four Liberating Truths

VergeNetworkLogoBlue-LargeI came across these four truths on the verge network website. The four truths are: God is great – so we don’t have to be in control. God is glorious – so we don’t have to fear others. God is good – so we don’t have to look elsewhere. God is gracious – so we don’t have to prove ourselves.

Below is a little snipet from the article on vergenetwork.org...

In Tim Chester’s book You Can Change he identified four liberating truths about God. He suggested that underlying all our sinful behavior and negative emotions is a failure to believe one of these truths at a functional level...

 

 

 

What are your thoughts on these four truths? Can you identify these truths about God in your daily struggle to walk by faith? In an upcoming four part series, I will blog about my interaction and discovery with these four truths, as I struggle daily to live them out as I walk by faith.

You can connect with the Verge Network for more great content and resources on gospel-centered Missional Communities: www.vergenetwork.org @VergeNetwork

What's On The Other side Of This Life

journey Journeys are not something to be taken lightly. I remember when my family went on a journey to Joplin, MO it began over twelve years ago. We left all that we had and all that we had known back in Sonoma County, CA. We journeyed through the Southwest part of the United States on our way to the heart of the country. My wife and I had never ventured that far out of our motherland before, so we took as much safety and precaution as we knew how; and hit the road with our three little kids in-tow.

We saw beautiful country along the way, desert, mountains, high country forests, and big open blue sky. It wasn't before long that we found ourselves on winding detours, tornadic storms, and even experiencing bad gasoline for our van. In between the serendipitous and tumultuous moments we found a rhythm that centered us back on the purpose of our journey...

We were headed to Joplin, MO to attend Ozark Christian College and prepare for fulltime vocational ministry. Or more precisely, we were moving out of and with the overflow of our love and passion for God and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit - we were being obedient because of love and devotion, not because of obligation and duty.

 

The real purpose of the journey was to grow deeper in our love and passion for relationship with the Father, it was not the destination to the college nor the vocation of ministry.

 

The Journey Is Still Going...

In many ways the journey is still going. We have moved geographically again on this journey and have found a home Colorado just like we did in Missouri, and the journey could very well pick us up and change geography again; who knows... However, what is still on going is the internal part of the journey, and this is the hardest part of the journey, moving through the constant ebb and flow of understanding our relationship with God, keeping our passion for Him, and obediently living out our love and devotion to Him.InnerJourneys

Too be very frank. Changing geography isn't hard to do! Moving from Northern California to Southwest Missouri and then to Northern Colorado isn't that difficult to adjust too. Leaving friends and family is hard, but eventually you make new friends and thanks to Facebook and vacations you can still see the people you love and care about...

What's hard is keeping focused on growing deeper in our relationship with God... Let me be even more upfront. I mess-up my relationship with God sometimes. I let everything else take precedent over this relationship, things like the type of ministry job I have, money, pleasing people and being who they want me to be,making a name for myself or for others, cars, electronic gadgets, vacations, things to complain about, ideas, philosophies, ministry methods, what we're having for lunch or dinner, and the list could go on...

 

I've let all these things whether good or bad corrupt the rhthym and purpose of my journey... The reason for the journey isn't the journey or the desitnation, the reason for the journey is the person we are on the journey for. I am learning not to take journeys lightly, but to cherish every moment and keep focus on the one who was the reason for the journey.

A good friend of mine, Brian Mavis, shared with me a prayer that I am going to pray first thing every morning, that's if none of these other things get in the way...

Here it is:

"I will live every day as if it is my last, knowing by God's grace and love the Savior waits for me beyond the grave." -- Chuck Colson

Ugh! It's so easy to forget that there is something else on the other side of this life.