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December 04, 2007

Comments

Lilly

I whole-heartedly agree with your evaluation. We must invest time and energy on those hungry to know Christ and then grow them so they can do the same. It's really hard to find a church that stresses equipping the saints to do the work of ministry. As long as we keep feeding a consumer mindset, it seems like we will continue to foster a "what's-in-it-for-me" frame of reference for church goers. I'm very interested in reaching the hungry, and after reaching them for Christ, it's important to plug them into a church with a growth environment that gives new believers some credit for being able to embrace what Jesus requires of disciples. I'm tired of witnessing huge efforts being applied to keeping people happy and comfortable, whiny people who won't commit to anything that doesn't fit their list of preferences or their schedules. Let's fast-track disciples in the growth process, and expect them to make sacrifices to serve others and His body. Jesus said, "Whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it." The church does not need to be timid about spelling out the cost of discipleship. Jesus wasn't timid. He told us that we were to bear much fruit and so prove to be His disciples. That's His expected norm.

Jim Fleming

Right on, Lilly! I couldn't agree more!!

John

In my entire life, I have never been involved in a church that understood and embraced disciple-making. I live thousands of miles from your church. But if I was able, I'd join your fellowship, where it seems like my efforts in this arena would be supported and encouraged. By the way, this Lilly gal is right on too! Light-work is a great blog. Thanks.

Jeff

Here's something that I've been wondering for awhile. I'm not quite sure how to word the question, so I expect to do it badly...:)
Do you think there's merit in sticking around a place, trying to show God's love, where people are generally opposed and hostile to the concept?
For some reason, I always tend to be drawn to the "hard soil," where whatever I do for God is going to get rebuffed by the people around me. Even at work, the person I want to reach out to the most is the person most militant to the things of God. These are not people who would consider themselves hungry....but do I just cut and run? Or do I do a Jeremiah and stand firm, knowing I'm probably not going to see much fruit?
OK, wait...that's asking you to give me direction and I don't want to do that. My question is whether you think it's still meritous that I'm trying to hammer on hard soil, knowing that my Disciple-making opportunities are going to be extremely rare?

Jim Fleming

Jeff,
Of this, I am sure: OUR assessment of who is "reachable" and who is not has a high probability of error. The apostle Paul was a clear case of "last person you'd ever expect to become a believer." (Although it definitely took some extreme measures!!) So, give what you can and what someone needs, to the degree that they are willing to receive it. Jesus motto was: "Let him who has ears, hear." Do what you can with hard soil, be patient, don't be discouraged, don't poison the soil, and don't assume anyone is beyond salvation as long as they are drawing breath. Just a few thoughts!

Jeff

That's helpful and encouraging...thanks!

John...are you from Donny's blog?

Bo

Jeff,
Please elaborate on the comment regarding not asking for direction. I perceive piercing sarcasm in your sentence structure. I’m fearful you may have misunderstood the prior exchange of ideas from another heading.

Jeff

I started asking about what Jim thought about the thing (witnessing in a hostile environment), but then I started detailing it and realized that, as I was writing, I was getting dangerously close to "What should I do?" Now Jim is my pastor and I have asked that of him in the past (and will in the future because of the amount of respect and love I have for him), but I realized the error I was getting to. And really, all I wanted was some words of encouragement because I have fits of "why am I here?" and wanted some assurance that I wasn't doing the wrong thing. I don't think I am...just wanted to be encouraged is all.

Bo

Thanks for the clarification Jeff. Jesus does not call us to bring multitudes to Him; the path is too narrow. He only calls us to be faithful in winning souls. In another word, persistence. Ever seen a set of disc pulled by a tractor to till the soil? That’s Jesus! Ever tried to turn the soil with a shovel? That’s you and me brother!

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