Pastor Kent Reeder is at the Exponential Conference this week - April 27-30 - and will be regularly posting notes and thoughts based on the sessions and speakers in the conference. Please note that while many of the speakers at the conference are not confessional Lutherans and will, therefore, have some errant theology, the principles discussed are scriptural and godly. Pastor Kent will filter anything that isn't valuable out of these posts - you can enjoy the beneficial parts!
presented by Steve Murren
Family reminds us of the power of values. Who we are is reflected in and shown by family. Sometimes, we can mix up "what we do" and "who we are." It doesn't matter if your church is huge or small, famous or unknown - what matters is that you are succeeding at who you are.
Sometimes, we are certain about what a company brings the world. As surely as Rolex gives the worlds watches and Harley makes bikes, the church makes disciples. It is that simple and clear. Nevertheless, if you're asked exactly what the church creates, can we always answer? Worship, fellowship, obedience... sometimes we try to bump Jesus out of the way and try to decide what the church is supposed to make. However, it is this speaker's contention that when we do our jobs and MAKE DISCIPLES we'll find that Jesus will take care of building a church out of them.
Jesus' job is to build the church. Our job is to make disciples.
Now, discipleship is not simply "making people who are already Christians better Christians." (Even though that is a very common definition for it within the church.) When Jesus said, "Go make disciples" he was talking about finding people who didn't know him and teaching them about him. Evangelism and discipleship are inseparable.
When you remember that it works this way, discipleship becomes just as much (if not more) about the people who aren't there than about the people who are. How do we engage the lost? How to we make people into believers? How do we equip more leaders for more ministry? Our job is to make disciples - if we do that, Jesus will build the church.
Only two numbers matter: how many people are involved in your WHOLE discipleship cycle. Not just worship, not just education, not just service. The whole thing.
The other is how many people from your entire context (city, neighborhood - whatever you consider your mission field) AREN'T involved yet.
The trouble, of course, with this philosophy, is that you are always doing the same thing. Making disciples. Making disciples. Making disciples. Discipline and hard work become exceptionally important.
But that's how VALUES work. You aren't about the next new thing or the faster way. You are about being centered. Knowing what is most important and constantly, faithfully, thoroughly working on that, because that is how you define success.
- Pastor Kent Reeder