The Weekly Epistle 3/29/23

Hi Living Hope,
There is no “Plan B.” When it comes to reaching people for Jesus, there is no Plan B. When it comes to building the church, there is no Plan B. That isn’t to say there aren’t different ways and methods of doing this, but reaching those ends, is through the one way of making disciples.

At the risk of being redundant, what we are to be all about at Living Hope is making disciples who make disciples. The compelling question then, “are we making disciples?” If not, why not? If so, how can we be even more effective? We are doing it on some level, but there is a lot of room for growth.

As Mike Breen put it, “Effective discipleship builds the church, not the other way around. We need to understand the church as the effect of discipleship and not the cause. If you set out to build the church, there is no guarantee you will make disciples. It is far more likely that you will create consumers who depend on the spiritual services that religious professionals provide.”

These words are super convicting. My heart is that we build a discipling culture and not a consumer culture. This forces me to keep coming back to the basics.
This prompts several questions;
         How am I enabling a consumer mentality?
         How much of my time in a given week is for intentional disciple-making?
         What are some signs of a healthy discipling culture?
         Do our lives at Living Hope look like the lives of the people we see in Scripture?

As we are going to unpack in our summer sermon series, just as Jesus called 12 men to be learners of Him (apprentices), we are called to model our lives after Jesus. An admirer once approached a great pianist and said, “I’d give my life to play like you.” The pianist replied, “I did.”

If we want to experience the joy of Jesus, we must embrace His lifestyle. If we want to know His peace, we must adopt His lifestyle. If we want to live life to the full as Jesus promised, we must give our life to it.

Will you join me on this quest to be more like Jesus? Will you join me on this great adventure of investing in and discipling others? Are you willing to have others invest in you? Church, I can’t do this for you, but I can continue to make it a priority to invest in people who will invest in others.

Paul charged Timothy to, “and the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2). Paul is giving Timothy permission to be selective. He was to immerse himself in those known to be reliable to pass it on to others.

Make disciples who make disciples. This is not just a catchy phrase. We must take seriously the call of Jesus for all his followers: every disciple disciples. There is no Plan B.

Blessings to you, Pastor Brian