Wednesday, May 06, 2009

His Purpose Our Plan

This is a copy of the material I started presenting to my church family last Sunday. We developed and committed to our purpose statement over two years ago - "We exist to help people develop a deeper relationship with Jesus." It's simple but I believe it's the truly biblical reason why our Father wanted His children to form church families. Everything we do as a church family must be driven by and contributing to this goal/purpose/win. If it's not contributing to it, we need to have the guts/faith to stop doing it. Everything, as in the diagram, must point to accomplishing the God-given result.
The above diagram that we developed consists of three parts. This is what I'm sharing with our family now. The top part simply points out that God has given us a tremendous support system to achieve His purpose. This includes everything from a church family, to leaders, to all the spiritual activities and relational interactions that build love and faith. I have a list of twelve tools that God has given us that support our efforts to seek Him. Right now I'm planning on sharing these as a Summer series.
The second section is the steps to spiritual growth. Everyone seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus must first be Connected in some way to Him and His people. As each of us begins to truly Care about one another, we are growing in love, which is why God wanted us to be together in the first place. Loving one another is how we learn to love Him and be like Him (read 1 Jn.). The more we grow in love the more we truly become Committed to one another and to Him. Spiritual growth is based on loving relationships because that is what God wants. These are simple and easy to understand. Everyone can know where they are - if they are honest, and every shepherd can know where he needs to lead each individual he is mentoring and can truly measure the effectiveness of his guidance and their growth.
The third section, Location, is simply to help each of us have a visual picture of where we are spiritually and relationally. Everyone knows what it means to be in the house, but only in the foyer. The living room has some relationship building going on, but true intimacy and deep relationships are symbolized by sitting around the kitchen table, sharing, trusting, and encouraging.
I love it! I've believed for a long time that we've complicated God's plans with our traditions, our divisions, and our external spirituality. It's all about drawing closer to Him and "church" is a tool to encourage and support that result! It is my prayer that with a clear purpose and clear steps we can get on with the job of helping one another "become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Eph.4:13)

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