The last few blogs have been interesting – interesting because I was responding to a blog that most of you never saw at first. Once it was published the reaction from a theological perspective was interesting in that it runs the gamut from – “I as a Pastor speak a sermon and administer the Sacraments and the Spirit is in charge of the rest”; to the Pastor is like a CEO and he is responsible for everything. If his church loses members it is his fault, if it gains he is responsible and deserves the accolades. Someone even said that if we don’t believe that look at the call lists for Pastors that have a positive upward list of transfers into their church as opposed to those who don’t. Perhaps that is why it is hard to get most Pastors to turn in a statistical report. There is also that wonderful bureaucratic response of new programs. If Pastor X is slovenly and lazy in his calling send him to whatever the new leadership training program is and we will make him better. Anyway here is another. This comes from a blog site from an evangelical preacher down in the South somewhere. More food for thought =
In Acts 2, 3000 people were converted to faith in Christ and numbered with the believers.
Acts 2:42 begins the description of the strategy for discipling this throng (funny word) of new Christians:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Did you catch it? They devoted themselves. Who devoted themselves? The new believers! Nobody devoted them to the teaching. They had to do it for themselves. The apostles taught with authority, clarity, and consistency. But the burden of discipleship rested primarily on the new believers, not the leaders of the church.
As church leaders, it is our job to create and sustain processes and systems that responsibly enable people to grow in their faith after receiving Christ.
But if a new Christian is not willing to devote himself to teaching, community, and service, it doesn’t mean we failed in discipling him. It might mean he’s not a truly regenerated born again believer after all. A new nature produces an insatiable appetite for the things of God. And that’s an appetite only God can create.
Fast growing churches catch a lot of flack for failure to disciple new converts.
But Biblical discipleship isn’t about spoon feeding.
According to Acts 2:42, it’s an all you can eat self-service buffet.
Get your own plate. Refill your own drinks. And clean up after yourself, man.
Interesting stuff from www.stevenfurtick.com