Saturday, 24 July 2010

Trying or training?

I met up with friends from Kairos last week to have a look & think about discipleship. If we are to be a truly missional church disciple-making has to be our number one priority and it has to be simple. We are rejecting a curriculum/programme approach what means that people have to do a course. What we are seeking is a simply explained relationally oriented process that identifies key points of discipleship, engages people in a purposeful accompanied journey of intentional discipleship that is integrated with life in general. I think it is Dallas Willard (but heard from Todd Hunter) who talks about discipleship as training not trying. I'm reminded of a quote by the hero of the film Man on Fire, Creasy played by Denzil Washington, who says:
‎"There is no such thing as tough. There is trained and untrained. Now which are you?" 
We need to develop a mentality that says discipleship is not about trying to be good (and usually failing therefore becoming demoralised and ineffective) but rather about being trained. Much more positive and life affirming to see things in this way. I know that training isn't just about someone telling me to do things (actually very rarely) it is much more about partnership and the company and influence of others. Why else did Jesus say "take my yoke upon you and learn from me?" if he wasn't implying that being a disciple, finding rest, is all about training that is done in intentional relationship with another. My observation is that those who choose to intentionally yoke themselves to others are more effective than those who suppose that just turning up to a service or a small group will give them enough. This Tuesday evening I will be hosting an Order of Mission huddle, a group of people who have yoked themselves to each other and continue to intentionally prioritise training above trying. How intentional are you? Are you getting trained, submitting to training? Are you yoked?

Sunday, 4 July 2010

MSC Leaders & Emerging Leaders Day

Yesterday we had some time gathering together MSC Leaders and emerging leaders for inspiration and encouragement. We will be doing these things termly and the idea is to get practitioners to come and stir our thinking, our creativity, our imagination.Martin Garner of Freespirit was really inspirational, challenging and encouraging.
Here are some things I noted as he spoke:

Its impossible for God not to do something

Mission has been called the mother of all theology, Martin added that it is also the mother of all practice

In regard to mission he quoted Sojourners as working with 3 questions when seeking to be effective
1) What is the mission to this community?
2) What kind of community supports that mission
3) What set of disciplines supports the community to support the mission

Jesus and the Church has been subject to identity theft (Think about it!!)

Many people that we will come across are already praying - there is already something going on between them and God - articulated or not

If you are a truly missionary people you won't know where you'll end up

We must endeavour to do things WITH people not FOR people

Bounded Set & Centred Set
Christianity can be very 'bounded set' - if instead you move to an understanding that you don't define things by who is IN or who is OUT but instead are defined by what is at the centre, JESUS, then there are no boundaries just the question of where people are in relation to Jesus.

Jesus command was to go into all the world and make disciples, teaching them to obey his commands and baptise them. George Patterson listed a series of commands:
1) Repent and believe
2) Be baptised
3) Receive the Holy Spirit
4) Love God, neighbour, enemy
5) Pray
6) Give
7) Share in Communion
All these things are continous - they need to be done over and over again - so that they are emnbedded in our lives

Jesus doesn't belong to me

LOVE - with no agenda

Jesus says 'Come follow me' - it means he believes in us - that we can be like him - otherwise he wouldn't ask

The invitation is not to join the church and/or become religious but rather to become part of God's great rescue plan

Steps the Disciples took in following/believing in Jesus - the recognised him as:
Great Teacher
Son of Man
Son of David
Son of God - God himself

The best medicine for me is always repentance