Thursday, August 19, 2010

An Open Letter

To: My Fellow Christ-followers

It's been a busy summer. Crazier than ever thought it would be. Yet it's been a good one. Challenging and full of hard work on top of sometimes difficult circumstances. 

And yet I've seen God work over and over again! I'm thrilled at what I've seen happen at Grace the last 6 months. God has raised up some new leaders. Every time someone leaves, 2 more take their place. And greater clarity has resulted for me...

Make Disciples

I don't think it's any surprise to anyone that's been around me the past 4 years when I say I believe God wants us to make disciples. But it's gotten even more focused for me than that...

Like Jesus did it

It's like God has taken me 180 degrees from where I was when I came to Grace. Every time I thought of church ministry, I thought in terms of lots of people and programs. But it's like God took me by the hand and patiently pointed me to the obvious teaching and example of Jesus. He took me over and over again until I saw it. Simply put, I believe God wants us to be a church that makes disciples like Jesus did.

I realize that on the surface that doesn't sound earth-shattering or super-duper. But that's just it. It isn't any of those things. It's just the way Jesus did it. He didn't mass-produce disciples. He took 12. (knowing one was a flunky) and made them the foundation (connected to the Chief Cornerstone, Himself) on which he built the Church. He poured into them to pour into others who would pour into others.

So what am I saying? 

In short, I believe God wants us to become a church that makes disciples like Jesus did. If that's one at a time, then so be it. But it's not something we hire people to do. It's something we expect and equip EVERY Christ-follower to do. Everything else either encourages and supports this or we set it aside for better things. 

From Good to Great

I think this is the Great thing we should be doing as a church. We need to be shrewd enough to recognize that there are many good things out there we could be doing. But until we get this Great thing down and a part of our DNA, I don't think we touch them. I think it's this simple: We build a church of people who are fully committed to discipling people who will disciple people to disciple people. 
After all, is there really anything better to live for than to lead people to lead other people into a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ? Nope.
So that's where I'm heading. I believe it's true North. I may be wrong but I'm tired of hesitating and second guessing myself. I'm tired of living in this "Spirit of timidity and fear" that God didn't give me. Instead I'm living out my "spirit of power, love and self-control." And I believe it's the cross-centered life front and center while leading others to live that same cross-centered life 24/7. 

I pray you'll join me as we head this way. I believe it's why God has led us to go through Acts (again). Because we still haven't learned the lesson to the point that we're living the lesson. Will you join me? Will you pray with me?