Raising the Next Generation

Conversations With Jesus – Luke 6:40

Welcome to part 5 of Ken’s teaching series called Conversations. Today I am going to talk about The Greatest Teacher – Jesus’ conversation about raising the next generation. – Luke 6:40 (this is also my tribute to moms on Mother’s Day)

Let’s take a look at what Jesus is teaching his disciples in Luke 6. Beginning in verse 20, Luke records his equivalence of the sermon on the mount, with his version of the beatitudes (Luke 6:20-26).

And THEN Jesus spoke a parable to them in Luke 6:39-40, when he tells us that the blind cannot guide the blind. Why? Because they will both fall into the pit. You know what this tells me? Since I am all about discipleship, I think that it is accurate to say that we CANNOT lead someone in discipleship to a place that we have not yet gone. That’s not an excuse to never attempt to disciple someone but it IS a strong challenge to lead by example. As followers of Christ, we are called to lead people to greater depths of devotion to Jesus and to spend our lives in the pursuit of conforming to the image of Christ. We must be willing and committed to do whatever it takes to look more like Jesus. It doesn’t happen by accident but on purpose with determined intentionality.

OK, let me get to my intended verse because Luke 6:40 is the starting point for my message today… “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.”

So, this message today is going to focus on what Jesus said about raising the next generation. In context, Jesus is talking about the rabbi-follower relationship, discipler-disciplee, mentor-mentee, but on this Mother’s Day, I think this verse can speak to us about what parents do for their children. If we don’t do anything else, our kids will generally turn out much like us. They follow our example, it’s NOT just what we SAY but what we DO.

I remember a commercial when I was a kid, a dad and his son were in the front yard washing the car. The little boy of 5 or 6 does exactly what the dad does… washing the fender, scrubbing the tires, wearing the baseball cap, all with the narrator repeating the phrase, “like father, like son.” Then they sit down at the base of a tree in the front yard and dad grabs a pack of cigarettes, and as the son reaches for the pack that daddy just laid down, the narrator asks the question, “Like father, like son?”

Our kids are watching us. Moms and dad not only have the awesome responsibility of raising the next generation of citizen in America, but they are raising the next generation of Christians in America. As we look around our country today, what sort of followers of Jesus are we producing? Are we making disciples or do we settle for making good little church attenders? Are the kids in the church today just learning moral lessons from the Bible or are they encountering and learning about the God of the Bible? Do they know the reason they were created and the responsibility they have for reaching those who are far from God and even those who have little or no access to the gospel?

Remember what I said a moment ago, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to take someone to a place we have not yet gone ourselves. We cannot pass on that which we don’t embrace. Our kids will never learn how to have a quiet time if they don’t see us having regular times for devotional reading and praying. They won’t learn how to share the gospel if we don’t share the gospel. They won’t learn how to disciple someone else if no one ever discipled them.

Maybe this sounds familiar… when asked in a social situation, “what do you do?” I’ve heard some moms say something like, “I’m just an at-home mom.” Well, let me remind you what mom’s do at home…

  • First, let’s give mom a creative title. Domestic engineer? Household CEO? Director of child development? And how about the activities an at-home mom does?
  • Teacher: Mothers teach children their first words, colors and shapes. They continue to enrich their learning by helping them with their homework and school projects.
  • Chef: The Bureau of Labor Statistics describes the role of a chef as one who develops recipes, plans menus, orders food inventory, and ensures sanitary kitchen conditions. That certainly sounds like a mom.
  • Event Planner: Even the busiest mom squeezes in time for fun. Whether it’s planning a themed birthday celebration, coordinating schedules with extended family for the holidays, or signing kids up for recreational activities, moms constantly have something to do and somewhere to be.
  • Housekeeper: Maintaining an orderly house can be quite the daunting task for a mother. There is no shortage of things to clean or organize, whether the children are toddlers or teenagers.
  • Accountant: In most households, moms perform many accounting functions such as creating and balancing a budget, paying bills and identifying cost-saving opportunities.
  • Chauffeur: Moms also serve as chauffeurs by providing hours of transportation for kids to and from doctor appointments, school, shopping, and play dates.
  • I read a statistic that if moms received an annual salary for all of their responsibilities, they would earn an estimated $78,000 a year.

But, let’s refocus on Christian moms and dads. Luke 6:40 reminds us that a pupil (or child), after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. How do we as parents invest in our kids for the kingdom’s sake. Aside from any teaching and training that will turn our kids into socially acceptable citizens and productive members of our community, let me suggest these 6 things to be a part of ANY parental curriculum. Here is my acrostic for the day. M.O.T.H.E.R.

Mission – Acts 1:8but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Think about your goal as a Christian parent. It’s not about raising a socially acceptable and productive member of the community. Your goal is not for your kids to have a great education. It’s not to be a great athlete. It’s not to have them participate in wholesome dating. It’s not to have a great career. It’s not about getting them out of the house on their own, making lots of money.

The goal of Christian parenting is for your kids to embrace the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and live out the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40). We teach our kids to love God with their whole being and to love others as themselves. The Great Commandment leads to the Great Commission and the fact that God uses ordinary people like US to spread the love of Jesus to those with little or no access to the gospel.

I love Acts 1:8 because we don’t do any of this alone, we have received the power of the Holy Spirit to be his witnesses. This verse reminds us that our mission field is in our own city, state, country, and the world. It’s not about one place over another but doing all four at the same time. Notice Jesus used the word, “both” in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. We tend to see the command as a buffet line… Jerusalem or Judea or Samaria, or the ends of the earth. Pick one.

Jesus told the disciples, and tells us, that they WILL be his witnesses,” meaning if you carry the name of Jesus, you are his witness. We don’t go out and DO witnessing, but we ARE witnesses. If you’re a believer, you’re a witness and can tell others what Jesus has done for you. The only choice we have is between these two options… will we be a GOOD witness or a BAD witness?

As parents, our first priority is to instill in our children that we are on mission with God, no matter what our vocation, marital status, or personal hobbies or interests. Once we understand our mission, it leads us to the next part of raising the next generation…

Obedience – John 14:21He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.

We teach our kids about obeying us (as parents) and obeying teachers, and those in authority (like police) but we often find ourselves telling our kids that obedience to God is optional. Perhaps we justify it by thinking like this… the standard of Jesus is perfection, we can never be perfect, so why try? Or maybe we say, my salvation is not based on my performance (like my obedience) but on the work of Christ on the cross, so obedience must therefore be optional.

Read John 14:21 again… keeping his commandments is a sign of our love for God. If you love God, you WILL keep is commands. When we love God, we will be loved by the Father. Jesus said that if we keep his commands, HE will love us and he will disclose himself to us. If you don’t feel like Jesus is revealing himself to you, try obedience! When we obey his word, Jesus will disclose himself to us.

Walking through life in obedience is something that is caught more than it is taught. We have heard the phrase, “do as I say and not as I do” but our kids see how we are living. They know if we simply put on the mask of Christianity on Sundays or they see that we’re fully committed to Christ and his mission throughout the week.  

Teaching – Matthew 7:28-29 – When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

If parents don’t do anything else, teaching is the thing that they do the most. It seems that day after day, all we do is teach our kids about life, relationships, dating, work ethic, trade skills, vocational skills, study skills, sports skills, coaching, board games, fishing, household chores, homework, you name it. We teach all the time.

But how do we prepare our kids for life’s ultimate final exam? When you stop learning, you stop growing, and all living things grow. Parents must make it a priority to teach their children the WILL and WAYS of God. Nothing will draw a child closer to God than seeing mom and dad taking steps of faith, walking in obedience, especially when it is difficult or uncomfortable. Actions really do speak louder than words.

You’ve heard it said that we should never let a crisis go to waste. It is through the crises of life that we find the greatest teaching opportunities. Take advantage of difficult times to help your kids walk in faith and trust God. Lead by example. Set the pace for your family.

Humility – Mark 10:45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

The culture and the world will teach your children to look out for Number One. They justify this type of teaching to emphasize and develop a positive self-esteem in children. Now, if YOUR kids were anything like MY kids, I didn’t have to teach them how to be selfish, that seemed to come naturally. Kids think the world revolves around them. It’s part of the fall of mankind. We make ourselves to be most important and we desire to be the master of our own destiny, the center of the universe, and sit upon the throne of our own lives. But is that the example of Jesus?

Our Lord and Savior did not seek power, prestige, or position so he could manage or rule over others. Jesus taught that we are supposed to serve others rather than serve ourselves or have others serve us. This is the essence of humility.

We must teach our kids to look out for the interests of others more than themselves. Just how do kids learn this? By seeing the example of their parents. Again, set the pace for humility in your household. Give your life in service to others.

Evangelism – Mark 3:13-14And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach

Jesus spent the whole night in prayer before he called his 12 closest men to be his disciples. We often think of these guys as super-Christians and we can’t expect to live up to the standard they set, especially in the areas of ministry and mission. I love this Mark passage because of what Jesus called them to do.

We often focus on the last section, that he called them to send them out to preach, which is an important part of their mission, but notice the phrase just before that. He called them “to be with him” and THEN he sent them out to preach. This is the “with him” principle.

We need to walk through this life with Jesus, learn from him, and then pass on what we have learned to others, especially to our kids and those within our circle of influence. We learn from him, then we go out to make a difference in the world around us. Make a difference for the kingdom of God. All this leads up to our final point, which is…

Relationship – Luke 24:14-15And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them.

Christianity is nothing if not about relationships. First there is our relationship with the Father through the Son. This relationship is all about salvation. Our next relationship is with other believers. This relationship is all about fellowship. Our third relationship is with a lost and dying world. This relationship is all about evangelism and mission, which we have previously covered today.

We can teach our kids to be successful in the world but unless they understand these key relationships in life, they are no different than your average lost person. Notice what is included in the Luke 24 passage…

In context, this story is part of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus. Look what takes place…

They were talking with each other about the things that had taken place. How often do you talk with your kids about spiritual matters? About how you came to faith in Christ? About how God has moved in your life this week? About how Jesus gave you opportunities to make a difference in someone else’s life? About ministry opportunities or a mission experience? Faith is caught more than it is taught, and it is caught by talking about life together.

Along with talking about and discussing spiritual matters, Jesus approached them and began traveling with them. He took the initiative. The Christian life is not so much about the destination (heaven when we die) as it is about the journey and the path we walk. We go through life as a family, whether in our physical family of blood relatives or our family of faith (or what I like to call them, my forever family).

In Christianity, there are no “lone ranger” disciples. We are in this thing together. The body is made up of many parts and we all work together for the body to function properly. Christianity is about community, and at its core, this means relationships. We need to be connected with one another.

I think this has been the hardest part of this year of COVID. Our relationships have suffered. We have drifted apart. I feel many people have come to the conclusion that gathering together as the church or a small group or a Sunday school class was not really as important as we had made it out to be all these years.

“I have made it just fine without getting together.” I can have my “worship on demand,” any time I want; when it’s convenient for me. I don’t need for my class to get together; e-mail is just fine for me to keep up.

So, what does Jesus teach about raising the next generation? Look over these 6 areas. Which one do you need to focus on first? What can you do this week that will help you get back on track? How will you pray differently this week?

When we realize that the life we have been given is not about US, then we find freedom. We are called to be a good steward of the life we have, as one who will give an account for what we have done with that which we have been entrusted.

On this Mother’s Day, let us all remember why we are on this planet. If you are a follower of Christ, your life is NOT about YOU, but it’s all about being an ambassador for Christ and being his witnesses locally, and even around the world. Let’s reflect on what God may be saying to us right now.

PRAY: Lord Jesus, we recognize that life is hard, and without question, it is distracting from what you have called us to do for the kingdom’s sake. Father, open our eyes to the opportunities all around us as we go through this life. May we see you at work and seek to join you in in your mission to reach through who are far from you. Help us to seek the one who is lost. Help us to raise the next generation to love you extravagantly. May we set the pace for our families and our community. May we run the race set before us and not grow weary. May we fight the good fight and finish well. Father, we know we fall short but plead your mercy and grace, to encourage us to stand strong in our calling to salvation and our calling to be your hands and feet in this world. May we be salt and light. In Jesus name. Amen.

DiscipleShift

Jim Putman’s book called DiscipleShift is filled with great information. Here are a few quotes from my reading…

What we need in our churches today are fewer “Christians,” at least in today’s popular definition of the word. Now, I don’t want fewer saved people. Far from it. I want as many to be saved as possible. But the point is that fewer than we think are actually saved. What I want are full-fledged followers of Jesus Christ, and to produce that in our churches today, we need a radical shift. We need more of the engine that Jesus used to change the world, the engine he instructs us to use. This engine will not create perfect churches, but it will create effective churches. It’s relational discipleship.

The solution to our ineffectiveness as churches is to train people to be spiritually mature, fully devoted followers of Christ, and then in turn to have those disciples make more disciples.

  1. The first is focus. Think of a church’s focus as the primary emphasis that it commits its time and resources to achieve. It’s the engine that drives everything else in that church.
  2. The second component is methodology. This is the way a church sets itself up systematically to accomplish its purpose, or the manner in which it tries to achieve its focus.

When looking at the different kinds of churches, leaders disagree over how many categories of churches exist today. Some hold that there are only two main categories — attractional and missional. Others add a third — organic (sometimes called “house”). Others add a fourth — educational.

  1. Educational A pastoral-educational focus with a classroom methodology.
  2. Attractional An attractional focus with an entertainment methodology.
  3. Missional A missional focus with a service-opportunity methodology.
  4. Organic or “Home” A fellowship focus with an organic methodology.

In the organic category, the emphasis is biblical relationships, or fellowship. These churches focus on Bible verses that talk about how people need to be devoted to each other in brotherly love and close fellowship.

 

Something is Missing:

DISCIPLESHIP, NOT EVANGELISM – A solution emerges when a church shifts its focus to biblical discipleship using the methodology of relational environments.

Focus = Biblical Discipleship Methodology = Relational Environments

We believe that discipleship should be the core focus for the church. And we believe that the relational model Jesus utilized is the timeless and best methodology for discipleship. The “relational discipleship model” embraces all aspects of the main four categories, yet it espouses something different as the one driving focus.

Disciples are not merely converts but also doers, learners, students, Christ followers, or better yet, “apprentices of Jesus.”

Parents were to equip their children to love and obey God. The method was relationship (“when you sit in your house,” “when you walk by the way,” and “when you lie down”). And the whole process was discipleship, or in today’s language, apprenticeship.

The apostle Paul and others also used this same method. Consider 2 Timothy 3:10–14, where Paul describes his relationship with Timothy.

Paul didn’t simply lead a Sunday school class once a week or preach a sermon to a large crowd and end there. He focused on doing life with people he discipled. In the Bible, relationships are the context and environment for discipleship.

Jesus’ method is the best one for the church moving forward. It can be called “intentional relational discipleship.”

Simply put, a church exists to make disciples who make disciples. And the primary methodology is Christlike love expressed in life-on-life relationship. But how? What are the specific shifts that need to happen?

 

Unified Method to Accomplish the Goal:

It’s essential for the leadership of a church to have a unified understanding of their goal and purpose as a church. And it’s equally important that they have a unified methodology to accomplish that goal.

Think of the definition as a map on the wall. It’s visible, accessible, and easy to comprehend.

1. “Follow Me” The first two words of Jesus are a simple invitation. This invitation indicates our acceptance of Jesus — his authority and his truth — at the head level. In Jesus’ definition, a disciple is someone who knows him (who he is and what he is like) and follows him. Though we used to be self-ruled, now we are Christ-ruled.

2. “And I Will Make You” The next five words in this verse speak of a process of transformation. This tells us that discipleship involves Jesus molding our hearts to become more like his. This second attribute of a disciple is primarily a spiritual response to the Holy Spirit. It speaks to people at the heart level, as they assimilate the Word of Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to transform their inner being (Ephesians 3:14–18).

3. “Fishers of Men” The final three words in this verse indicate a response of action, something that affects what we live for and do. If our acceptance of Jesus begins in the head and extends to the heart, it leads to a change in what we do with our hands. In other words, a disciple of Jesus is saved for a purpose. Being on a mission means that we acknowledge that we’re saved for God’s kingdom purposes. Our mission is not simply to come to church each Sunday, to be nice to other people, or to cram a lot of biblical facts inside our heads. It’s not even to give money to the church so that the pastors can carry out the mission of Jesus. It’s for every disciple to join in God’s mission in this world, to participate with God’s purposes in the world. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we have important work to do which God had planned before time began.

Putting all three attributes together, we see that a disciple is a person who

1. is following Christ (head).
2. is being changed by Christ (heart).
3. is committed to the mission of Christ (hands).

When a church has a commonly understood definition of discipleship, they have begun to make the first shift toward a renewed emphasis on discipling people.

 

Steps in the Discipleshift Process:

Level 1: Spiritually Dead We begin at the top of the circle (in the twelve to one o’clock position). Ephesians 2:1–5 describes those who are “dead in [their] transgressions and sins.” People in this stage have not yet accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.

I believe we need to set our expectations for spiritually dead people accordingly.

You can think of the “phrase from the stage” as a set of typical statements or questions that a spiritually dead person might say to you, such as:

  • I don’t believe there’s a God.
  • The Bible is just a bunch of myths.
  • Religion is a crutch for the weak.
  • Christians are just intolerant and homophobic people.
  • There are many ways a person can get to God.
  • I don’t believe in hell. People just make their own hell.
  • I’ve been a good person, so when I die, everything will be okay. I’ll take my chances with the big man upstairs.
  • There is no absolute right or wrong. If something’s right for you, it might not be right for me, and vice versa.
  • I’m spiritual, but I don’t connect with any one religion.

Again, we teach our people to recognize these phrases so that they can know where a person is — not to judge them or condemn them but to help our people better know how to pray and respond, to understand what part Jesus wants to play in their lives right now.

Level 2: Infant Looking again at the diagram of spiritual stages, we see the next category in the two to three o’clock position on the wheel — the infant stage. First Peter 2:2–3 describes people who are like newborn babies, craving spiritual milk so they can grow in their salvation.

As you talk to a person in this stage, you may hear one or more of these phrases:

  • I need to go to church regularly? I’ve never heard that before.
  • I need to pray regularly and read the Bible regularly? I’ve never heard that before. How would I do that?
  • I didn’t know the Bible said that.
  • Tithing? What’s that?
  • I’ve always connected with God through nature. Being outdoors is my church.
  • I don’t need anyone else. It’s just me and Jesus.
  • I need someone to regularly care for me.
  • I know Jesus is God, but isn’t karma real too?
  • Trinity? Huh? Now you’ve got me confused.
  • My wife and I just got baptized, and on the way home from church we got into a big fight. What’s up with all that? I thought Jesus was supposed to take care of all our problems.

As you can tell, there are usually lots of questions. The key concept is that infants don’t know much. They don’t understand yet what it means to follow Jesus.

Level 3: Child The next stage of spiritual development is the child stage, found at the three to six o’clock position on the diagram. The apostle John often referred to the early Christians he pastored as his children (1 John 2:12).

The “phrase from the stage” for spiritual children often involves one or more of the following statements:

  • I don’t know if this church is meeting my needs anymore. Maybe I should go to a different church that does better.
  • Don’t branch my small group into two. We won’t get to be with our friends.
  • Who are all these new people coming into our church? The church is getting too big. It’s too hard to get a parking spot anymore.
  • Why do we have to learn new songs? I like the old hymns better.
  • I didn’t like the music today. They should play more contemporary stuff.
  • No one ever says hi to me at church. No one ever calls me to see how I’m doing. No one spends time with me. The pastors don’t care about me. Today in the lobby, a pastor looked right at me and didn’t even say hello.
  • My small group is not taking care of my needs like they should.
  • I wasn’t fed at all by that sermon today.
  • Why don’t they have a ministry to singles at this church? This church must not care about singles.
  • No Christian should ever listen to hip-hop or rock. That kind of music is just unchristian.
  • Well, I’d join the worship team, but no one’s ever asked me.
  • I was helping in children’s ministry, but they didn’t appreciate what I was doing, so I quit.

I am sure that even now you are remembering one of these statements being made to you by a Christian who had been in the church for years.

Level 4: Young Adult Young adults are found at the six to nine o’clock position on the diagram. First John 2:13–14 describes people who are spiritually young adults.

As you speak with a spiritually young adult, you may hear one of these “phrase from the stage” statements:

  • In my devotions, I came across something I have a question about.
  • I really want to go to Uganda on a mission trip this summer. I know I’m ready for it. I know God has big plans for my life.
  • I just love being a worship leader. I think it’s something God has gifted me in, and I love to see an entire congregation lifting their hands in worship when I’m leading.
  • I have three friends I’ve been witnessing to, and our small group would be too big for them, so can we branch so they can come?
  • Brandon and Tiffany missed our group, so I called them to see if they’re okay. Their kids have the flu, so maybe our group can make meals for them. I’ll start.
  • Look at how many are at church today — it’s awesome! The closest parking spot I could find was two blocks away!

The key concept with spiritual adults is they are orienting their lives around God and his perspective.

Level 5: Parent The spiritual parent stage is found at the nine to twelve o’clock position on the diagram. Theologically, we believe that God is the one who births people spiritually. So strictly speaking, none of us are spiritual parents in this way. But this term is helpful in reminding us that those who grow and mature will usually do so under the guidance of spiritual parents; this is God’s plan.

  • People who are involved in raising up others to join God’s kingdom mission can be identified by one or several of the following “phrase from the stage” statements:
  • I wonder if God is leading me to invest in Bill and help him mature in his faith.
  • I want to help this guy at work. He asked me to explain the Bible to him. Pray for me as I spend time in the Word with him.
  • We get to baptize someone from our small group tonight. When is the next foundations class?
  • Getting him plugged into ministry is essential for his growth.
  • Our small group is going on a mission trip. I am praying for God’s wisdom as I give each person a different responsibility to help them grow.
  • The most important discipleship is with my children. Will you hold me accountable to lead devotionals with my kids on a daily basis? I get so busy that I am not consistent with them.
  • I want to be conscious of the influence of my words and actions when I go to the game with Bill and Betty. I easily get upset at the referees. As new Christians, Bill and Betty are hungry for guidance, and I want to set an example for them.
  • I have a spiritual child in my small group who is causing conflicts; pray that I will have patience as
  • I lead them through this difficult stage.
  • I have a young adult who is ready to be an apprentice in our group; it won’t be long until we are ready to branch our small group.

The key concept for the spiritual parent is a mindfulness of the needs of the less mature disciples.

A person needs to be only one step ahead of someone else to lead him. Many people are leading although they don’t know a whole lot. But at least they know enough to do what they can to follow Christ.

The path of growth is described in a linear fashion to help you grasp the basic concept, but it is often cyclical. We often go back to earlier stages and find areas of our lives where we are uneducated or self-centered.

 

Spheres of Relationships:

After studying the Scriptures, we identified what we call “the four spheres.” This model is now the what in the midst of the how in our church. It outlines how a disciple grows in four main spheres of life:

1. In his relationship to God – Sphere 1: The Centrality of a Relationship with God As a leadership team, we didn’t just pull the four spheres out of our own minds or experience. We believe that Paul is a great example of discipleship and that he reveals his thoughts on the matter in the book of Ephesians. Here we see the central importance of the first sphere: our relationship with God.

2. In his relationship with God’s family, the church – Sphere 2: Relationships within the Family of God, the Church As we read further in Ephesians, we see that in chapter 4 Paul shifts his focus from the central importance of our personal relationship with Christ and begins to discuss the effect that a relationship with Christ should have in our relationships with other believers. If the first sphere of relationship is our relationship with Jesus, it should naturally lead us to living with and loving others in the second sphere, our relationships within the family of God.

3. In his home life – Sphere 3: Relationships at Home A third sphere of relationships that Paul addresses, in Ephesians 5 and 6, is the family. Paul discusses what the home should look like for a believer, how a husband should lead his wife and love her, and how a wife should respect her husband. He understood that we cannot compartmentalize our relationships, that the Holy Spirit wants to influence every sphere of a believer’s life, and that the best place to make disciples is in our own families.

4. In his relationship to the world – Sphere 4: Relationships with the World Finally, as Paul moves through Ephesians 6, he addresses a final sphere of relationships, what we might refer to as the world. Paul speaks of what it means to be a slave and a slaveholder. We must never forget that the disciple-making process happens in the storm of spiritual warfare. Making disciples is not something we do in safe, neutral territory. There is always a battle to fight. When people become followers of Christ, it’s important that we explain how they’ve entered into a lifelong relationship with him. I find it beneficial to explain the discipleship process to them early on, as well as the stages of spiritual development they will go through.

The solution involves a fundamental shift in our thinking — from informing people to equipping them. You may think, That’s what I’m doing already. I don’t want to give people more information; I want to see transformation! But take an honest look. Is that really the focus of your ministry? I want to suggest that there are two issues involved in this shift. The first has to do with a leader’s personal life, and the second has to do with his professional life. The first issue relates to who he is, and the second issue relates to what he does.

 

Leaders Must Be Genuine, Not Perfect:

Leaders need to model for their churches what it means to stumble (James 3:2) and yet remain faithful to the path. When we fall down (and we all do), we get right back up on the road with Jesus’ help. We model for the church that we do not “claim to be without sin” and that we do not “deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:5–10). Instead we confess sin (appropriately) and point people to the forgiveness and faithful path in the ways of Jesus.

The first part of this shift — from informing people to equipping them — begins with the character of the leader, not with what he does. We have an adage for this point: “you can’t lead where you don’t go, and you can’t teach what you don’t know” (see 1 Corinthians 4:6).

I’ve found that disciple-making churches often produce an environment that is more akin to a twelve-step program than to the educational or entertainment culture that currently defines many churches.

A pastor needs to be genuine at all levels of relationship, but not all kinds of relationships require the same amount of disclosure. A pastor can be open and honest at every level of ministry, but he does not need to be equally vulnerable at every level of relationship.

 

Four Relational Environments:

1. Intimate Discipling Relationships (one leader interacting with two or three people). Jesus was relationally closest to three disciples — Peter, James, and John — and he invested his highest-quality time in them.

2. Personal Discipling Relationships (one leader interacting with ten to twelve people). The second category of relational discipleship involves a larger group of ten to twelve people whom you personally disciple. Jesus had personal relationships with his twelve disciples. Not all of them were intimately close to him, but they still received quality relationship and spent regular time with him.

3. Social Discipling Relationships (one lea der interacting with up to 120 people). In this category of relational discipleship, we see a leader interacting with a larger group of people. Jesus had significant social relationships with people like Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. He also had a relationship with a group referred to as “the seventy-two” (Luke 10:17).

4. Public Discipling Relationships (one leader interacting with larger crowds of people). In this fourth category of relational discipleship, a leader interacts with a larger crowd of people in a public relationship. This is the level at which Jesus discipled people publicly, speaking to various sizes of crowds and sharing teaching like the Sermon on the Mount.

These four categories of relational environments are interrelated to one another in churches that are making disciples. Although the smaller-size groups are more effective at equipping disciples, all four discipling relationships are important components of a disciple-making church.

 

The Place to Start:

Here is the simplest way to start being more authentic: begin at the most intimate levels. This doesn’t start in the pulpit. Begin with your close friends, with an accountability partner. If you don’t have one, then this is a problem that needs to be dealt with first.

This is where the shift from informing people to equipping them begins. It starts with honest, humble leaders who are living out in their personal relationships what they want other people to live out in theirs. So begin there, in your closest relationships.

A key verse for pastors and church planters is Ephesians 4:11–13:

But leading in the church is more like being a really good coach. A leader’s job is to guide and equip the saints so that the entire church becomes a mature community in which disciples flourish.

Yet a pastor’s primary job is to shepherd the sheep. This means to lead them in the way of truth. You lead them by example, not just by imparting knowledge.

What kind of spiritual leader are you?

As a professional athlete, you have all eyes on you, watching you perform. You entertain. You inspire. The pressure is on you.

As a coach, you empower other people to work together as a team. Your role is to equip, nurture, exhort, and train. You release and deploy other people to do the boots-on-the-ground work of disciple making.

 

Results of the Attractional Model:

The attractional model is designed to lead people to an emotional response — to make a decision — so if this is always the goal, those who come, over time, will often believe that Christianity is about emotion rather than sometimes being an act of obedience, whether you feel like it or not.

Attractional models will not take into account that people need spiritual parenting, and because they don’t, it doesn’t often happen. The more mature believers will not be satisfied with just milk every week and will eventually funnel out.

In this case, you are left with immature people who are on fire for a while, but eventually will get bored with even the best shows.

This means shifting how we think about our job, our calling as a pastor or leader. It means that being an effective church leader involves:

  • Discovering what the right goal is: making disciples, not just converts
  • Correctly defining what a disciple is: someone who follows Jesus, is transformed by Jesus, and joins Jesus on his mission
  • Using the right methodology: intentional, biblical, relational environments
  • Producing the intended results: disciples who are spiritually and relationally healthy and are continually making more disciples

The bottom line is that a leader is not following Jesus’ example if he’s not personally involved in the work of making disciples in every aspect.

 

Main Roles of a Disciple Making Pastor:

If you want to make the shift from informing to equipping and be a disciple-making pastor, your ministry needs to revolve around the following four main roles.

1. An Authentic Disciple We’ve already talked about this in the previous chapter, so I’ll just summarize by reminding you that biblical leadership begins with who we are and our walk with God. There is an old saying: “Who you are thunders so loud that it drowns out your words.” Pastors must learn to walk with God daily.

2. A Discipleship-System Builder A church leader, especially one involved in church planting or pastoring, is not just a disciple or even just a disciple maker. A disciple is a person who follows Jesus, is transformed by Jesus, and joins Jesus on his mission; that’s the job of every believer. A disciple maker makes disciples. Every Christian has that job. A pastor is more than that. He has been given the task of leading a church in which he is to create a system in which people are taught how to be disciples. In other words, he and his team are called to lead in the development of a church-wide system that will make disciples who make disciples. As a church leader, your job is to create the community-wide system in which people can be involved in relational environments for the purpose of discipleship. You are an overseer of a disciple-making community.

3. A Developer of Leaders The third main role of a church planter or pastor in a disciple-making church is that of a developer of leaders. Everyone is a disciple and should grow into an effective disciple maker, but not everyone is gifted as a leader. A church planter or pastoral leadership team should identify emerging, gifted leaders and help them grow.

So we really face three problems.

First, most leaders are too busy trying to do the work in the church themselves, and they don’t have time to see and develop the leaders God has sent them.

The second problem is that church leaders are looking for already-developed leaders. They don’t see the potential in their midst because it’s not yet visible. A college coach goes all over the country looking for developed and talented players, and then he offers them scholarships to come and play for him. But a high school coach needs to get his players from within his own school district. Every once in a while, a talented kid will move in, but that seldom happens. If you want to win at the high school level, you must create a program that develops an athlete from the kids program to the junior high level and finally to the high school level.

Third, pastors tend to look for a person who can do everything — an all-star player, if you will — rather than a person who can play a specific position on a great team. I don’t believe there is anyone who can do it all. That’s why we need the whole body of Christ.

This leadership apprentice model can be replicated in every ministry in a church, from hospital visitation to children’s ministry to the role of a senior pastor (training an associate or church planter). I do. You watch. We talk. I do. You help. We talk. You do. I help. We talk. You do. I watch. We talk. You do. Someone else watches. Jesus modeled something similar to this when he was working with the disciples, and a careful review of Paul’s writings will show that he did something like this with Timothy and Titus.

4. A Vision Caster A church leader must also be able to cast the vision that creates the disciple-making culture of the church. He not only makes it clear that everyone is to be involved in making disciples; he constantly points people to the method — relational environments — for doing this. That means sharing the vision from the pulpit and at every opportunity he has with the other leaders and the people in the church.

 

Relational Environments:

The third shift that churches need to make is to foster a culture of personalized discipleship. It’s a change from program-based, informational environments to hands-on training in relational environments. It’s a shift from program to purpose, and it begins by asking the question, What is the true role of the church?

We recognize that in our culture today, it’s a challenge to be relational the way Jesus was with the people of his day. Most people today lead busy lives in which they are physically separated from other people. Some work in cubicles and rarely see their coworkers. Times have changed from the day when most people worked in a town with a central location where they would meet their neighbors or see them on a daily basis.

But a small group designed specifically to promote discipleship has a clear purpose. We define this purpose by saying that a small group must display the following characteristics. It should be

  • Bible-centered
  • intentionally directing people to the goal of spiritual maturity
  • a place where people can honestly talk about their lives and work out what it means to follow Jesus.

This is about more than a seven o’clock to nine o’clock commitment each Wednesday night.

CASTING A VISION FOR RELATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS – At this point, you might agree that there is definitely a need for biblical relationships, but you also see a problem: your congregation has always done things differently. How do you change the way things have been done?

We are not in biblical relationship with one another if all we do is sit next to each other on Sunday morning.

Two key Scriptures point to the give-and-take nature of biblical relationships within the context of the church.

1. The first Scripture speaks to church leaders. First Peter 5:2 says, “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care.” This verse points to the pastor’s responsibility to see that the people are being cared for spiritually.

2. The second Scripture refers to the people of God. As a leader, I am often reminded of my responsibility to care for and serve God’s people. But it is also true that every Christian has a responsibility as well — to obey and submit to the leadership of the church.

 

The Master Plan of Evangelism:

Dr. Robert Coleman, a coauthor of this book, presented a similar pattern fifty years ago in his book The Master Plan of Evangelism. Dr. Coleman uses nine words to describe these same stages. We’ve taken his nine-word description of this process and overlaid it onto our four-word strategy. Why? Because we believe that seeing how these grids fit together offers a fuller, more complete picture of what we are talking about in the disciple-making process.

1. Share In the first stage, we incarnate Christ’s life in a lost world and then invite people to respond to Christ. Incarnation means that, like Jesus, we enter into a lost world as ministers. Loving relationships are the bridge to communicate the gospel and begin the discipleship process. The Engel Scale is a popular model that can be used to help people better understand the idea that conversion is a process, not a one-time event. As the scale indicates, a conversion to Christ is not the first moment in this process.

2. Connect In the second stage, we help new Christians associate with other disciples and consecrate themselves to God. Association means that, like Jesus, we establish ongoing relational connections with those who respond to him. Jesus stayed with people whom God had raised up and who were responsive to his call. Consecration means that, like Jesus, we help people to obey God’s teachings. Obedience is a word few people like to hear today, but obedience to Christ is the means by which we grow to be like Jesus.

3. Train to Minister In the third stage, we demonstrate service to others, delegate service opportunities, and supervise the progress. Demonstration means that Jesus showed his disciples how to minister. Jesus connected with his disciples and let them see his priorities and values lived out in everyday life. Delegation simply means that Jesus gave his disciples something to do. You delegate when you assign someone a task. Jesus gave his disciples specific ministry tasks to accomplish. Delegation means we not only encourage people to do ministry in Jesus’ name but also supply opportunities and places for them to do ministry. Supervision means that Jesus made his disciples accountable. Supervision (sometimes called coaching) is tremendously important to the discipleship process.

4. Release to Be a Disciple Maker In the final stage, we expect mature disciples to learn to reproduce other disciples, and we trust the Holy Spirit’s impartation in their lives to guide them. It is difficult for me to say that someone is truly mature in Christ if he or she does not personally obey Jesus’ teaching to make disciples, as stated in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20). Can we truly be like Christ, who personally made disciples, and not personally make disciples ourselves? Reproduction means that Jesus anticipated fruitfulness. Jesus instilled a vision for multiplication in his disciples. Impartation means that Jesus gave his followers his Spirit. Jesus doesn’t send us anywhere. He goes with us wherever we are.

 

The Necessity of Alignment:

Within this shift, we are advocating the principle of alignment, in which every program and ministry of a church exists in harmony with the overall goal of making disciples.

They are not silos functioning as competitors for resources and leaders. If a program is to exist (and clearly some should), it must move people to venues where spiritual growth can occur. Everything the church does relates in some way to the primary mission of discipleship.

The reality is that many ministries within a church exist without any clear, overall sense of purpose. They operate in isolation and don’t end up reproducing people who are committed to the Lord and know how to make disciples.

Ask yourself, What happens in a church if a program functions without any tie to discipleship? If we dig down deep, we find that the program exists only for itself.

Having a lot of unconnected programs in a church not only raises the question of effectiveness; it also creates a quality problem. The more programs you have and the more they are disconnected from a common purpose, the harder it is to lead, organize, and do things that really matter.

To summarize, the principle of alignment means that

  • every program must be evaluated to see if it is really producing what Jesus values
  • every program that has the potential to make disciples, but isn’t doing so, must align itself with the overall goal of biblical relational discipleship
  • we do fewer things in the church, and we do them well.

One good exercise is to have your church’s leadership think through every program in your church, with an eye to discipleship.

However, if we don’t align people, ensuring that each and every ministry is matched and fitted to the purpose of making disciples, the real mission of the church, we will end up with a mismatched, disconnected community of people pursuing their own goals and programs that take on a life of their own. This is why every program in a church must be aligned with the goal of relational discipleship in view.

When church leaders asked if they could help them develop a strategy for discipling people toward spiritual maturity, the parachurch ministry leaders declined. They said they were just overwhelmed with need, and while they believed discipleship was a good idea, all they really needed was volunteers.

This illustrates why alignment is one of the hardest things churches grapple with. To say yes to your calling, you must necessarily say no to a lot of good things, and when you say no to a lot of good things, you say no to a lot of good people who don’t understand why you’re saying no. You’re saying no to something they are emotionally invested in.

For a ministry to be aligned with other ministries around the common mission of making disciples, it must include the following five key components, or it should be a stepping-stone that leads people to another ministry in the church where these components are present.

1. A clear goal of discipleship. A ministry should exist to help people follow Jesus, be transformed by him, and join him on his mission.

2. An intentional leader who makes disciples. A ministry should have an intentional disciple-making leader.

3. A biblically relational environment. As we’ve said before, the key factors that cause spiritual growth are the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the people of God.

4. A reproducible process. Those who are involved in the ministry should be growing spiritually in such a way that they are producing more disciples.

5. A supporting organization. The church as a whole must undergird and communicate the vision that God has given it.

 

Components of a Small Group:

The relational small group forms the backbone for discipleship.

Shepherding – A small group is a place where shepherding takes place. A leader of a small group is a shepherd. He models shepherding for the group, and he seeks to create an environment in which people shepherd one another.

Teaching – A small group is a place where real teaching takes place, with Q&A, modeling, and with the best curriculum in the world (the Bible), people can really learn to understand Scripture and use it wisely in their lives.

But when people think of Bible studies, they often think of a teacher teaching and everyone else passively listening. This is a problem for several reasons. First, many people do not have the gift of teaching, and a person who cannot teach can make a group really boring — and when it’s boring, no one comes. Second, it’s difficult to recruit leaders, because many will feel that they are unqualified, that they don’t have the theological training or biblical knowledge to lead. Remember that we want to develop a method that enables reproduction.

When I speak of teaching in the small group setting, I mean that there is a leader who shares from God’s Word, but it is much more than that. Biblical small groups are more about facilitating a biblical discussion than about directly lecturing. The leader must help group members interact with the Word and with others so that people are participating.

Authenticity and Accountability – A small group is a place where authenticity and accountability are encouraged and modeled. We must remember that love is the foundation. Only with this foundation can there be healthy accountability.

When real-life issues are shared in a small group, sensitivity and tact are needed in big ways. Too often, group members will immediately want to fix other people’s problems. But we encourage small group leaders to train their people not to be fixers. Be listeners first. Be gentle and empathize, because you yourself know you have your own issues and your own past to deal with. Be people who pray. And be people who point others to God’s Word. Note that a leader must encourage transparency for the right reasons.

 

Philosophy of Church:

The point is that we must champion and reclaim the ministry of all believers.39 If a church hires a pastor to be a paid performer (they would say “paid teacher”) that people want to come and listen to, then the success or failure of a church is all up to him. But if a church hires a pastor to be a coach, then the success or failure of a church is up to the people as well.

Yes, it takes a while for pastors and Christians to start thinking of themselves as equippers and ministers who make disciples, and this is a vision that needs to be presented to congregations and recast more than once.

The person asks this question because he or she thinks it’s the pastor’s responsibility to ensure that a steady stream of baptisms occurs, when really the question needs to be put back to the person who asked it. “Well, do you know anyone who’s lost? Have you shared the gospel with that person and led him to the Lord?” The person who asked the question is just as much a disciple who makes disciples as the pastor is.

The job of a pastor is to lead so that everybody’s on the same page, and that sometimes means some effective pruning. It takes time. Before you make any big transitions, you have to get all your leaders to catch the vision.

I define success in the way a church has accepted God’s mission as its sense of purpose. Every church has, or should have, a mission statement.

 

The Importance of the Playbook:

At Real Life, we use the playbook over and over again. If you want to be a leader at Real Life, each year you return to class, study the playbook again, and re-sign our leadership covenant. We have found that it’s vital to reinforce the ideas again and again and continually develop consensus.

If you don’t constantly remind them of your playbook, you are in for a real headache.

If you’re a church leader and your church has a playbook, then right up front it helps answer a well-meaning person like this who wants the church to go another direction. It helps articulate to that person the specifics of what you do as a church and why you do it.

If I could leave you with one thought, it would be this: God’s church works. Say those words out loud if you need to. They’re beautiful words, and they’re absolutely true. When I say, “God’s church works,” I do not mean that it is pain free or that it works perfectly. What I mean is that people will be saved and discipled, in spite of the fact that we are in a war and at times will lose a battle and even get wounded. However, God has called you to your church for such a time as this.

Discipleshift, by Jim Putman
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Staff Renewal and Vision

On May 7 the staff got together to discuss the impact of our days of renewal, in hopes of embracing a compelling vision, or at least that we will begin the formation of a vision of “the next” for King’s Grant. Here are a few of my notes and thoughts…

If we are to be an equipping culture, we must decide if we are equipping people for a task/event or equipping them for a ministry (unleashing them for kingdom service).

Let’s remind ourselves of the working diagram for our renewal time:

When we speak of the kingdom, we are meaning the rule and reign of Christ in the lives of our people. This is why we exist, to equip believers for the work of service (Ephesians 4:12). It is as if God has given church leaders “only one job, you have 1 job, so don’t blow it by getting distracted with so many other good and worthwhile things.”

Working Vision Statement:

We exist to extend
    the love of Christ, and
    His kingdom
We exist to expand – His love and kingdom
    in Virginia Beach, and
    to the world
We exist to equip – God’s people; for their mission of…
    mending and restoring relationships
    laying and establishing a foundation
    preparing, training, and sending;the saints for the work of service

After this would come each individual ministry of the church, to do these things, by… (listing several ways that ministry will bring this vision into fruition). In the discipleship ministry we could say we do this by…

  • Providing small group experiences
  • Providing resources for spiritual growth
  • Providing opportunities to serve others
  • Providing equip and train opportunities to become more effective in ministry, in order to work toward the vision

We are called to make disciples, but just how does one measure that? How does one know that the goal has been reached? Perhaps by measuring church attendance, Bible and theological knowledge, prayer life, tithing, memorizing Scripture, zeal for God? Yet these look eerily similar, not to Jesus’s closest men, but to his chief opponents (the Pharisees).

On the other hand, what if we measured the progress of a disciple in less objective terms, like this:

Depending on the Holy Spirit (regeneration and dependence)
Interacting in Christian community (biblical knowledge and interdependence)
Submitting to the lordship of Christ (humility and obedience)
Communing with the Father (spiritual disciplines of prayer, devotion, worship)
Investing HIS resources (stewardship, investing in eternal matters)
Participating in acts of service (ministry to/with others and giving back)
Leading people to Christ (Christian witness in word and deed)
Expanding his kingdom (evangelism and missions)

All this to say, how can we get our people to think on a kingdom level? How do we help our people to find their calling?


On June 6, we got together and added more detail..

Mend and Restore – Gather
    Into the FAITH
    Into the FAMILY

Establish and Lay a Foundation – Grow
    In CONNECTION
    In COMMUNITY

Equip and Send – Go
    By SENDING
    By SERVING


This manifests itself in two ways: Personal and Communal  – in a linear process of movement on this journey through life together…

  1. Personally (Member) — Communally (Connection, with other members)
  2. Personally  (Ministry) — Communally (Community with whom we are connected)
  3. Personally (Mission) — Communally (Changing the world)

The Unity of the Faith

Our passage today was from Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church (Ephesians 4:11-13), regarding the Minister’s Goal.

There are Five Functions Listed (Ephesians 4:11)

  1. Apostles – Ephesians 4:11 – divinely appointed representatives
  2. Prophets – Ephesians 4:11 – proclaimers of God’s Word
  3. Evangelists – Ephesians 4:11 – bearers of the good news
  4. Pastor and Teachers – Ephesians 4:11 – caretakers for God’s people (these are listed as one office with two functions – notice the natural bonding of these two in the text)

The Nature of these Five Functions (Ephesians 4:11)

  1. Some are gifted to deal with situations
    1. Apostles – to guide the church in ways it ought to go
    2. Prophets – to guide the church in what it ought to know
  2. Some are gifted to deal with sinners – evangelists
  3. Some are gifted to deal with the saints
    1. Pastors – tending the flock of God
    2. Teachers – teaching the flock of God

The Need for these Five Functions  (Ephesians 4:12-13)

  1. Purpose  – Ephesians 4:12 – perfecting, completing, equipping
  2. Period  – Ephesians 4:13 – until such as time in the future
    1. Attaining unity of the faith
    2. Attaining the knowledge of the Son of God
    3. Attaining maturity
    4. Attaining the measure of the statue of Christ

Outline of Ephesians 4:1-16

  1. Spiritual Unity – Ephesians 4:1-6
    1. Calling – Ephesians 4:1
    2. Conduct – Ephesians 4:2-3
    3. Confession – Ephesians 4:4-6
  2. Spiritual Diversity – Ephesians 4:7-12
    1. Variety of gifts – Ephesians 4:7-10
    2. Variety of responsibilities – Ephesians 4:11-12
  3. Spiritual Maturity – Ephesians 4:13-16
    1. Christlikeness toward maturity – Ephesians 4:13
    2. Conviction toward doctrinal stability – Ephesians 4:13-14
    3. Conversation toward truth spoken in love – Ephesians 4:15
    4. Contribution of the saints working together – Ephesians 4:16

Personal Impressions:

  1. The challenge to build up the saints – Ephesians 4:12 – developing other is a pivotal priority. What will I do to build up the next generation who will replace me?
  2. The commitment to spiritual growth – Ephesians 4:13 – defining what a fully devoted disciple of Jesus looks like. This puts the end goal in front of us at the beginning.
  3. The conviction of sound doctrine – Ephesians 4:14 – stability, confidence, and correction.
  4. The command for genuine relationships – Ephesians 4:15 – speaking truth, growing up, recognizing the head of the body is Jesus.
  5. The community of faith working together – Ephesians 4:16 – all these gifted people properly working together, causing growth in the body.

Ken Pruitt’s Observation and Challenge:

  1. Leadership Redefined – Ephesians 4:11
    1. Which office/ministry defines my heart?
    2. How is shepherding and teaching related?
    3. How am I equipping others for the work of ministry?
    4. How can I focus less on doing, and more on developing?
  2. Unity Redefined – Ephesians 4:12
    1. How can I participate in building up others?
    2. How am I equipping and preparing others for ministries in the future, not just for the immediate task at hand?
    3. Unity will occur when all of God’s people are fulfilling their personal and corporate callings.
  3. Goals Redefined – Ephesians 4:13
    1. How can we move forward in Christ?
    2. What does maturity look like?
  4. Processes Redefined – Ephesians 4:15-16 – speaking truth, growing up, fitting together, working together. This is what we will call a directional vision, putting an intentional emphasis on equipping the saints. Where do our volunteers fit in this triangle illustration? How will we invest in leaders more than investing in individual?
    1. Modify our vocabulary – be mindful of the way we describe things or label things.
      1. Make no distinction between laity and professional clergy, we are all ministers of the gospel.
      2. Train for managers more than for employees.
      3. Move toward multiplication over addition of leaders.
    2. Question our procedures – are we functioning in the best way possible? Are there things that can change? How will we best prepare and train others to carry on?
    3. Restate our purpose – these are the appointed expressions of church ministries given by Jesus himself. If culture become the rule (even for the church), how will we change culture?
    4. Embrace feedback – negotiate with others about what I can do in order to get better. Do not simply find and enlist people to fill slots, but share the vision and opportunity that is before them in this task or ministry.

The Pipeline Conference Observation: this is an interview with Todd Adkins on the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast – (find episode 133).

  1. Delegation: we have long talked about delegating leadership, not only the responsibility of the task but the authority that goes with it. Moses and Jethro are a foundational example.
  2. Dumping: what often happens is that we end up dumping the tasks that we just don’t have time to do or even want to do. It gets the task off your plate but no one is passionate about it.
  3. Development: the new standard is to develop leaders who will take your place; so who is a part of my next generation who will lead the ministry when I am gone?