WISE INTENTIONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT TITUS CONNECTION Volume 14, Number 8 – AUGUST, 2020
Greetings. Check out WILD’s new video.
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IMPRESS OR IMPACT PART 3
When someone disciples another person, we cannot treat this training as a “class” or “seminar”. It is life giving spiritual blood to the Body of Christ. To “Impress Or Impact”, means this. We can impress people in many ways. Often when we impress people, they do not know us very well. People are impressed with WILD and specifically WILD trainers, keynote speakers when WILD offers conferences and seminars. Now there is nothing wrong with offering this teaching technique, but at this level, WILD simply impresses. To impact means to get up close to someone and as Jesus did, get under his or her skin (John 3:22). To impact, people need to see how we live our daily lives, handle stress situations, pandemics, family issues that regularly come up. People need to see us in action, not just hand out some Bible information. I have heard many people give sermons, be the main speakers at conferences and seminars but they have not personally impacted me. Those who have impacted me are those who have taken the time to help develop me, at times to get “under my skin”, to challenge my thinking, my negative emotions, to attempt obedience to the Lord when I was not sure I had the faith to step out in faith. My hope is you are understanding there is a difference between presenting Bible information and getting involved in the lives of people. This is a person’s role when we are the ones who disciple/train. To be a real discipler/trainer, we have to get involved in the lives of people. Honestly, most of us are not spiritually built to do this with many people at one time. Getting into the lives of others takes time and more so on an individual basis. No where in the Bible is there a rule that says you can disciple a maximum of (whatever number you want to put here) at one time. For some, it is one person you can adequately teach/train at one time in one time period. For another Christian it could be a handful at one time in one time period. That is why I cannot say you can disciple a maximum of six, ten or two people during one time period. But the tendency is to take on too many people at one time and If all we are doing is teaching for a two hour period per week, giving just Bible information, that is more like a Sunday School versus a discipleship relationship. I have discipled/trained many people, younger and older over years of ministry God has given to me. Those disciplees/trainees who have grown spiritually from our interaction, are the ones where I could get personal with them and they obediently followed the leading of the Holy Spirit. To grow spiritually we need to hold one another accountable to God’s leading and our obedience to how He wants to lead us. Consider the exhortation of Hebrews 10:24-25 and the need for accountability. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” To spur means to stimulate, provocation, irritation (get under the skin of someone). Spurring also means to incite and dispute, but we will stay positive. We are to encourage one another. That means to build up, to be willing to at times deal with issues in life that are unpleasant, things we do not want to bring up and discuss, but to grow as an individual or in a relationship, must be dealt with. This passage needs to be guidance for a husband and wife, guidance for a family and guidance for any relationship. In love (Ephesians 4:15), we need to help ourselves and others to develop spiritually. We need to follow the exhortations of Ephesians 4:22 -5:2 (and Colossians 3:12-17) to develop in our relationships with each other as we encourage and spur one another on. Our goal is not to raise up a “root of bitterness” (Hebrews 12:14-15) but lovingly encourage, mentor and impact others.
YOUTH MINISTRY WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?
One of the popular parables in the New Testament is the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). An expert in Moses’s Law (first books of the Old Testament), came to Jesus to test Jesus. He asked Jesus what he had to do to have eternal life. Jesus replied by quoting two Old Testament passages (Deuteronony 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18), which the expert would have know well. After quoting the verses, the expert was told to follow those passages and he would have eternal life. Then the expert asked Jesus who would be the expert’s neighbor. Here Jesus tells the story of the three men who passed by a Jew that had been beat and robbed by some nasty people on the road to Jericho. He looked kind of dead. In real life, this road was crooked and narrow so robbers could easily hide. The first to pass was a Jewish priest. The priest performed lots of religious activities. They were to avoid unclean items like dead bodies. Touch a dead body and you could not perform your duties in the Temple as he offered the animal sacrifices for Israelites and was the only one permitted to enter the Temple’s Most Holy Place. Next was a Levite, representing following lots of Jewish rules. Levites from the tribe of Levi had temple responsibilities but different from priests. We can speculate these two men were afraid that the robbers were still around, too busy or had the “Bystander effect”, where you don’t help someone in distress, just watch or leave perhaps due to don’t want to be singled out or the courage to step into the situation. Along comes a Samaritan, the worst case scenario for a Jew and Samaritan. An unclean person was coming to help this guy and going to touch him, totally unclean if you were touched by one. Deep hated existed between Jews and Samaritans. Jews saw themselves as pure descendants of Abraham, while Samaritans were a mixed race produced when Jews from northern kingdom intermarried with other people groups. To this legal expert, the person least likely to act correctly would be the Samaritan. In fact he could not bear to say “Samaritan” in answer to Jesus’ question. Jews traveled around Samaria to get from Judea to Galilee so as not to step into Samaritan territory or touched or even seen with one. This expert’s attitude betrayed his lack of the very thing that he had earlier said the law commanded – love. This Samaritan, the victim very possibly hated, much less wanted any help from, risked his life as robbers could be around. He put the guy on his own donkey, personally sacrificing and costing him several times over as he gave two days of wages (and possibly more) to cover for a stranger, a Jew, someone who would otherwise not be a part of the Samaritan’s life. The Samaritan willingly died to his own self. Who is the “neighbor” in our lives that we do not get along with, that we may even hate or despise? There may be many people in that category, perhaps someone who has more money than you, is of a different race or ethnicity (tribe), different lifestyle or the person who has deeply wounded you. This nice little Sunday school lesson can dig deep into a person’s life if we allow the Holy Spirit to do some soul searching. Jesus took the worst situation for a Jew and asked if the expert really loved the way the Bible lays it out. Love is the difference for a disciple of Jesus (John 13:34-35). Love breaks through prejudice, racism, hatred, unforgiveness and living like those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. Who is your and my neighbor?
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