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Houston we have a….

May 26, 2010

Problem. You admit you have a problem. So you begin by making sure you are not feeding the problem with your teaching and preaching. You need to also look at your activities. Many times we have unwritten ways of doing things that everyone understands.

I once read a church mission statement that said they were all about creating fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. The rest of their site showed you all the ways they wanted to serve you and your families wants and needs. We say all of the right things but what we do lets everyone off the hook.

I recently put it like this to someone.

The story of discipleship begins with Jesus asking people to follow him. That would mean they put what they wanted aside to walk along with Jesus and do what He wanted. At some point we decided discipleship was about dumping a lot of information into a persons head thinking that would get them to act differently. The picture would be Jesus handing a Bible to the guys on the boat and saying I will come back around in a few months to see how you are doing. Today the picture would be those fisherman approaching Jesus and telling Jesus what he could do for them if he wanted to have them as followers. They give Jesus a list of what they need and let him know they will be back in a week to see how He is doing. They come back each week as long as Jesus is doing what they think is most important.

When an already Christian comes into contact with New Heights Church they typically ask what we have for them. We start right there with attempting to show them that it is better to ask what do we have that is impacting the world for Jesus Christ. We would rather invite them to join us.

So you acknowledge it is an uphill battle and you have looked at what you are doing making corrections where necessary.The next step is you need to show people why this self-centered way of living is deadly and destructive. Make it visual, make it real, and make it emotional. If you want any hope of changing peoples way of thinking it has to connect with something deeper than the head. Think about it. When we attempt to change their head we are simply taking one step back on the discipleship paradigm. We still have not arrived at the original model, Jesus said follow me and they went.

You commit to do it, it will be an uphill climb.

You take a look at what you are doing and identify areas where you are either encouraging or allowing self-centered behavior.

You begin to show why it is harmful and destructive and ultimately not what God had in mind. Remember you do with with stories. If you don’t connect it emotionally people will not change. Jesus said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39) so if we believe in Jesus we believe what he said is true. Don’t just give them the facts, show them where those facts are evident in their own life.

We will finish with the final step next. God bless.

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