Today is 5 February 2013! Really where did the first month of this New Year go? As I write this I am kicking myself for not beginning this when the New Year rolled around, but alas nothing happens by chance.
This past weekend I had the great pleasure of attending the Newforms Level 1 Training coarse
( http://www.newformsresources.com/ ). I found it to be so encouraging. I feel that the last 8 years has been leading up to this point in my life. It is a firm belief of mine that we must walk through various situations in life so that God can grow and develop our character. One must get to the place that Paul speaks of in Galatians 2:20 "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" when it is no longer about titles, positions, power, acknowledgements, admiration of others, theological degrees, personal vision, buildings or denominations. It is about JESUS, His commands to His Bride (THE Church), and His vision...one vision the Great Commission. I have over the years had my eyes open to the ugliness which is institution and programs, it is as if The Church has had identity theft committed against her. There is an impostor....one who from the outside has all the appearance of The Bride but on the inside it is fraudulent. I know that there are going to be people who aren't going to like this or agree, and that is okay with me. When looking into the Spirit that is how the church currently appears and what I have seen. Am I saying that all "institutional environments" (churches) are bad? By no means. The purpose of church or the gathering together is for encouragement and building up of the body. Sure many people love the coming together part and get all pumped up and enjoy feeling the presence of the Lord. Enjoy the fellowship with one another but never journey past the 4 walls of the building in which they meet. Sure there are the few missions trips, local outreaches, and charity stuff. But my question is this, how many of those Christians know how to effectively share the Gospel and make disciples? Have they been taught how to present the gospel in the most simple way and lead someone to Christ, to carry on PERSONALLY with the follow up of that, which is water baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Following that with the laying on of hands for impartation? Then those who have been discipled are replicating that model...that is the great commission. I am speaking from experience here, those things were not the primary focus of ANY institution I ever attended. It was always the "Pastor" or someone else in "Leadership" who preached, baptised...etc. and those were the very ones who were run down and grew weary in well doing because they were doing it all. I grew up being taught that I was to share my faith by my actions, but was never taught how to reach a non believer in a way that would lead me to truly disciple them. Why not? Because if The Body began to do that, and every member were functioning there would be NO Need for A Pastor....not to be confused with the pastoral gift (caring for people). We would see a multiplication and advancement of the Kingdom like never before. There are some institutional environments that are seeking how to do just that, train disciples. I think because those who are in "leadership" positions see that they can't do it all. 1 Corinthians 12:27 says Now you are the Body of Christ, and individually members of it. Lets looks at this from the perspective of a human body. My big toe cannot do the job of my elbow... each member has a part to play, the problem in the church (The Body) is that we have a few people trying to do the job of many, and in doing that there is a boat load of believers who believe that what they have to offer The Body isn't important or good enough.
I said all that to say that in the Newforms training people are taught about how the Kingdom of God is an organism not an organisation. In biology, an organism is any contiguous living system, In at least some form, all types of organisms are capable of response to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development. I am looking forward to being a part of this Organic/Simple Church movement. I have come to the place in my life where God is taking me past peoples opinions of me. I will answer to only ONE, and it is only Him that I long to please.
It is my desire to love much...teach, train, disciple! I don't care if it is people on the street who have never heard the name of Jesus or those who have been in a denomination for the whole of their Christian walk...I long to see people hungry to advance the Kingdom. Matthew 28:18-20 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Tonight was and will be one of the most memorable nights of my life. Tonight Matthew and I got to lead our son, Judah, into the Kingdom of God through prayer. He will be discipled like any other that we disciple, training him to be and make disciples.
Until the next post...