More Verge Notes: Dhati Lewis, Mike Breen, Todd Engstrom, William Branch

DHATI LEWIS

In the chapter on “Impartation” Robert Coleman says, “we cannot give something away that we do not possess.

We have this desire to impart what we have – which is love for each other.  What does it look like to Impart Jesus? Love.

“If I speak in the tongues of angels… but have not love… I gain nothing.”

 Are you so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good?

You can be sacrificial, but foolish.  All we have to do is teach others to Love God and Love Man – the greatest commandments.

Adam in the garden, covered his insecurities with fig leaves….

How do we cover our insecurities – by intellectualism (studying to have all the answers), by mysticism (chasing after dreams, signs and wonders), by emotionalism (maybe if I cry enough), or by cynicism…?

These things keep us at a distance from what God is trying to do – which is LOVE.  1 John 1:2-3 “The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.  We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. “

We are to be up close and personal with each other. We have to wrestle with God sometimes. Love allows us to throw off the FAKE that some of us wear.  We have to expose people to the realness of our lives… that we do not have it all together.  Unless we are authentic, we cannot model the love of Christ.  1 Corinthians 13 tells us that love is LONG SUFFERING. Anyone who is married can tell you that. 😉 It is not romantic. Love is also not a spiritual discipline – it is a fruit of the Spirit that comes when we encounter the Spirit.

MIKE BREEN

You need tools to be able to take on the vision of discipleship. The principle method Jesus used in making a disciple?  In the first three gospels, He frames his ministry around TWO words: “Come.” And “Go.”  Everything starts with Come, and ends with Go. There is invitation, and challenge.

Invitation – to come into a covenant relationship, to become one. It begins as “just come and hang out.” It becomes a covenant partnership.  Mark 6:31 “…He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Challenge – along with an invitation, to take the ministry throughout the world – heal the sick, preach the gospel.  Mark 6:37 “But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” The challenge.

Jesus slowly increased the invitation and challenge. We must learn the art of invitation – inviting them deeper into our lives, and challenging them to go further – incrementally.  Jesus created a world of empowerment through invitation and challenge.

What it looks like:

 

high-invite-high-challenge

 

The cozy culture is often the most consumer-minded.  As you move from comfy-cozy to high-challenge, you may feel discouraged. You may feel that you’re lowering invitation. But it will come back up.

Rod and Staff – challenge and invitation.  It is in the valley we discover the shepherd is leading us.

 

—–

“I was raised that the better you behave the more blessings you receive. I was worn out. I had been living on faith in my intellectualism to figure out the truth.” -anon

 —–

TODD ENGSTROM

When you, ministry leader, are asked “How are you doing?”  Your answer may be ‘fine.’ But what if you’re pressed? You probably answer “tired, busy or overwhelmed.”  Our crazy schedules are indicative of our failure to delegate. We need to give it away – equip the saints for ministry.

(Amy’s side note – Everything should be seen as easily reproducible by your disciples. Otherwise you are communicating that without a ministry degree or the proper equipment, they cannot have a fulfilling and authentic life of worship. People CAN do church, because we ARE the church)

Delegation and risk are inseparable. Delegation truly multiplies ministry. Are we delegating the wrong stuff though? The stuff that even we don’t want to do? Make copies, get coffee… Jesus risked his ministry on 12 teenagers that we would have never put in charge of a bible study – and he gives them real problems to solve – real ministry to do. Before methodology, he empowers them.

Luke 9 – He gave them power, and THEN sent them out. After they had watched him for a year. Jesus stays behind (RISK) but He saw the reward.  They had to own the ministry.  Experience is the best teacher!

I can’t get over Jesus and His tendency to pick crazy guys to take on leadership.  It’s risky but worth it. Don’t delegate to someone who needs a title.  Delegate to the Faithful who are ready to work.  Give them a title after they have earned it -and no micromanaging.  Give ownership, not over menial tasks – but of legitimate problems or opportunities.  Give away your best opportunities.  “And greater works will you do” John 14:12.

We should not be asking “What ministry can I give away?” But “What ministry dare I keep?”

WILLIAM BRANCH

Everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the face.  Then the plan goes out the window.

The task is to employ supervision in disciple-making. Even the faithful have moments of failure.  Will we stick with disciples even when they punch you in the face? Supervision is leveraging teachable moments and sticking around to tweak their thinking. Rehearse for the day when it all goes off script.

Philemon was Paul’s personal letter about Onesimus –the runaway slave who was saved by Paul.   Paul was urging Philemon to take Onesimus back into his church as a friend, not a slave, and forget his debts. Treat him with love like you treat everyone else…In spite of your falling, we are there for you. Supervision requires community effort.  The letter is addressed to the whole church: Accept Onesimus.  Jesus doesn’t leave us in the dog house. The Gospel upgrades us.

{Book Rec: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Tim Keller.}

The gospel is not cliché. The time to apply it is now.

 

 

 

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