The Optional Gospel?

What part of the gospel is optional? This is our mission, God’s global purpose…

This book takes you on a transforming journey in authentic discipleship. During his time as pastor of a large and wealthy congregation, David Platt began to see a discrepancy between the reality of his church and the way Jesus said his followers lived. In Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, Platt examines how American Christianity has manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences and challenges us to rediscover the path.

Why We Don’t Make Disciples

David Platt, pastor of the Church at Brook Hills and author of Radical, presents a compelling argument regarding the importance of missions and the understanding of discipleship. If we truly understood evangelism, the gospel, and salvation, the Great Commission would compel us toward growing in faith and reaching the lost.

Since Jesus came to save the world from sin, how can we say that those who have never heard of Jesus will somehow get a pass, after all, they have never heard the name of Jesus? In essence this argument claims that “ignorance is bliss.”

  1. If this is true, Jesus would not have given us the Great Commission.
  2. If this was true, the absolute worst thing we could do would be to send missionaries to tell them about Jesus because now they are forced into making a decision and could end up in hell if they don’t choose to follow Christ.

If they get a pass having never heard of Jesus, that would mean there were innocent people on these other continents that would have made it to heaven had we not forced them into a decision. The trouble with this line of thought is that there are NO innocent people on this planet. No not one.

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Small Groups Don’t Work?


This is a compelling talk on how we desire for lost people to get involved in small groups…

A missionary is one who sacrifices everything except the gospel for the sake of the gospel. How do we get people to think through that lens? How do we change their behavior?

How do people in church feel about community?

  1. Where? – Where does it happen? Generally at church or in a home.
  2. When? – On Sunday in worship or mid-week on Wednesdays.
  3. What? – What does the room look like? In a circle, face to face. Or perhaps rows.
  4. How? – The dominant view is that community is an event, and a place to go at a specific time. We gather to talk about God and we talk about his Word.

How do people in our community feel about community?

  1. Where? – Where do they get together? Sports bars, parks with kids, happy hour, concerts, going to places in the culture. They go to places typically not in their homes.
  2. When? – When do they get together? Generally not on a set time and day, but when it is convenient for their schedules..
  3. What? – What do they talk about? Food, health, dieting, sports, politics, kids, movies, activities, news, work, it is generally defined by the people and events in your life.
  4. How? – Do they gather in a circle? Likely not, but rather they walk or work side by side, at a concert, festival, cause, or an activity like the beach, bowling, or the recreation center.

SmallGroups-Church-Community

These are fundamentally different: we try to invite people into forms and activities that we do, that are totally inconsistent with the lives that they lead.

Who is a missionary if all we do are these church things? If we desire to be missionaries, we have it backwards. We are often asking people who have no hope of salvation to go to place that they are totally uncomfortable going. We are asking people without the Holy Spirit to adapt to our schedule and programs. We are expecting THEM to learn the new language and culture!

How often do the form that we have actually accomplish the mission of God? We have great intention of being a missional people but or form contradicted our mission. So we need to create fresh expressions of ways to impact our society, to tool our people with tangible practices that empower the people of God to live out their faith in everyday life.

How to Bless Others

This is a very simple strategy to influence those around you. In community, we hold each other accountable to actually DO one of these five things every day.

B – Begin with Prayer.

L – Listen, to hear people’s hurts, dreams, hopes, fears, and desires.

E – Eat, share a meal with someone, creating community and conversation.

S – Serve, after listening and eating together, it is easy to discover ways to serve others.

S – Story, seek those opportunities to tell YOUR story (testimony) or HIS story (the gospel).

A Leader Worth Following?

Church and life can turn believers into consumers, spending all our resources and time on ourselves. There is frustration on how to lead people beyond traditional church. How to lead your people to be on mission? The key: LIVE IT or you have no hope to LEAD IT.

First Corinthians 4:15-16, 11:1 – Lead by example. The word guardian or tutor means NANNY, someone caring for you for the moment but is not a permanent fixture. We can pick and choose from so many teachers, blogs, pastors, podcasts, but a nanny is not a father. A father is invested into the lives of his children. We are to be real flesh and blood leaders to our people.

We cannot lead a missional community if we are not on mission ourselves. If I asked people to imitate me, perhaps they would learn how to prepare sermons and attend meetings. Quite convicting talk by Jen Hatmaker.