Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Get it? Got it?

Our job, as church leaders, is to help people develop a deeper relationship with Jesus. When that happens, God will take care of the "church growth." I know, I've said that a few times before, but I feel like very few people really understand what that means. They're usually too busy turning to the back of the bulletin to check the attendance and contribution numbers to think about who they've been encouraging and mentoring. In the last couple of months I have been blessed to baptize two people who were attending my Connecting Class on Sunday morning. It's a combination Introduction 101 to God's plan for redeeming man and how this church family fits into that plan. It's awesome to see someone "get it" when it comes to Jesus and what he did for us. Helping someone begin their journey with Him is exhilarating, encouraging, and humbling. I used to say without hesitation that baptizing people was the most fun thing I ever did as a minister of the Gospel. While that hasn't changed, I do think that seeing clear spiritual maturity take place in members of my church family is equally as thrilling and inspiring to me.
One of our older members (as in my age or better), who has been a Christian for many decades, stopped me in the foyer last Sunday to share a humorous apology for having joked to some members at a dinner that she was surprised I still had a job after all the radical stuff I'd been preaching. I think she got a lot of blank stares, as they didn't "get" what she was talking about. She went on to explain to me that when she really thought about what I've been saying about these religious "acts" and "requirements" really being tools from God for us to use, it finally hit her what an incredible paradigm shift that was. It meant that she needed to look at them in a totally different way. They're not "ceremonial acts to perform" but tools to use to help us help one another grow spiritually. She "got it" and was overwhelmed by the new way to think. God gave us an amazing tool box full of powerful tools, not a check list of "acts of worship" to perform.
I can't put into words how cool it is to really see someone "get it". So many people listen to challenging new ideas, smile and say "Amen," and never see the implications - the application - the need to change anything! The same Bible that tells us it's through baptism we "put on Christ" also tells us "to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." That's what He put "pastors and evangelists" here to make happen. (Eph.4:11-16)


Scott said...

Do you podcast any of your sermons?



Anonymous said...

Still working on "Getting it"..thanks for all you insights in helping us "get it". Always a work in progress.