What were you told?

Systemic Problem #1: Not Making Disciples
__ General Editing.
__ Additional false statements? Any missing?
__ Expand on list of false statements.

“I would like to ask you to spend some time at your tables. I’ve mentioned that there has been some misinformation and I think it would help to get it all out in the open.” The others turned their chairs around to visit. “Please make a list of what you’ve been told about your church and we’ll discuss it. Please remember that WHO is more important than ANYTHING ELSE.”

They began to talk. After fifteen minutes the consultant brought them back.

 

 

“So … what have you been told?” he asked. “I’m hoping to correct some false perceptions.”

Cut down trees.

Change music.

What’s on radios.

Christian Radio? How many of you listen to Christian Radio?

What’s on radios in your vehicles?

Classical. Country.

Heard . Such Christian country music on Christian Radio? No. It’s all rock and roll.  Pop music.

Books on tape. I leave it off. Southern gospel. CDs.

Old building. Pole barn by the interstate.

Signs.

Nursery staffed by RNs.

Projectors. Videos in sermons.

Website. Facebook.

Billboards. Advertising.

Mass mailings.

Church sports leagues. Bowling team.

Road signs. Visibility. Cut down trees.
That we’re a burden. Somehow. We’re loyal and always pay our apportionments. We don’t cost them anything. So how can we be a burden?

That’s we’re too much trouble? I don’t know what that means.

 

Change your worship styles” David asked.

Yes. They always want us to change how we worship.

How? David asked. What do they say?

If you don’t make room for contemporary worship, you won’t grow.

That we are old fashioned.

What do you mean,” the consultant asked.

“We’re not hip. Not cool. We are not what’s interesting in the modern world.

Do things change much in the small churches? David asked.

Not really, she said. We kind of like things being the same as they’ve been before.

What percentage of people like change? David asked. In your opinion.

It seems like everyone wants us to change, he said. Rather than be who we are, we’re supposed to be different. Like some other church. Do different things.

The world around us is rapidly changing,

This is something we’ll be talking a lot about later. For the moment, I would like to ask you to trust me. Nothing needs to change in the ways they’ve told you. Small churches aren’t broken. On the hand, everything needs to change in one simple way. Small churches don’t have the options that large churches have to do ministry and to do evangelism.

Consequently, the major change that is needed is to stop trying to make disciples the way larger churches try to make disciples. Those methods won’t work for you.

What will work, then? asked.

“Let’s chase this rabbit some more,” suggested. “Would you like to know what works?” he asked.

“Yes!” they said, heads nodding around the room.

“There are three things that are more important than anything else. And they are always neglected. We’ll examine each of them in detail. But the problem here is very simple.”

“If the problem is simple, is the answer also simple?” asked.

“Yes. The problem is that, even though churches are busy doing many things, many of those things do not make disciples,” Dave said firmly. “In fact, almost none of them do.”

“What about their advice, then?” asked.

“It’s bad advice, particularly for small churches. First, their advice is based on the idea that you need to do more of what larger churches do. As if you were busier with lots of activities and programs, that disciples would happen. They don’t.”

“Second,” David went on, “their busyness keeps them from noticing what makes disciples happen. So their advice is misguided. It’s like digging a hole in the wrong place, and then being told that it’s not working because you need to dig harder.”

“No matter how hard you dig, you just get into a deeper hole,” observed.

“Exactly. Are you in a hole that is deep enough yet?” David asked. Heads nodded around the table.

“So where is the right place to dig a hole?” asked.

“You need to shift your efforts away from everything else to focus on one thing with a priority: making disciples. And not only that, but making disciples that make disciples that make disciples.”

“What does that mean?” asked.

“We’ll spend a year working it out in detail. It’s not enough, in the long run, to just make disciples.”

“What about worship?” asked.

“You can still worship once a week. But worship doesn’t make disciples.”

“How can that be true?” asked.

“How long have you had worship at your church?” David asked.

“137 years,” she said, counting back.

“Every week?” he asked.

“Except for bad weather,” she said.

“And you don’t have enough people to keep going. Worship does not make disciples.” He smiled at the frowns around the tables. “Worship is a good thing, but you can’t depend oon it to make disciples. And therefore,” he said, “you don’t have to change your worship to make disciples.”

“How will we get more people into the building, then,” asked.

“Buildings don’t make disciples either,” David said. “The building doesn’t matter; Jesus never built one. For that matter, you can read through the New Testament; Jesus never conducted a service of worship. At least not what we call worship.”

“Here’s the answer,” he said, patting the bible in front of him. “You need to do everything Jesus did. You need to learn what Jesus did, and then you need to do it. Jesus made disciples, and so can you.”

“What about Sunday School?” asked.

“Sometimes disciples are made at Sunday school. But that won’t help, because you don’t have enough people now to keep going.”

“We could invite more people to worship and Sunday school,” said.

“That’s their advice: invite a lot of people into the building. How is it working for you?”

“It’s not,” admitted.

“Here’s what works: refocus as much energy as possible on making disciples, and don’t waste more energy than is needed on keeping the rest of the church operating.”

“And how do we make disciples?” asked.

“We’ll spend a year on that,” David promised. “But the first priority is this: the main problem we have is wasting energy on what does not make disciples. Not making disciples is the problem that every one of your churches has today.”

He began to pass out some small cards. “I’d like to ask you to put these in your bible when you get home. To remind you of the solution to the first systemic problem. Let’s read the statements on the bookmark out loud:”

Here’s what works:

In South America, the Elim Church in El Salvador used the Yoido system, known as the 5×5 model, to build a church of 130,000 members in 1999. Let us pray the fivefold purpose of the Elim Church memorized by every member:
1. I have a purpose.
2. My purpose is winning souls.
3. I fulfill my purpose best in a group.
4. I will never be satisfied until I fulfill my purpose.
5. I have no promise of tomorrow (Thumb)

[Billy Hornsby, The Cell Driven Church: Bringing in The Harvest (Mansfield, PA: Kingdom Publishing, 2000), 12-16.]

 

 

 

 

_________________________________

Jump
Groups

A Simple System
for Making Disciples

“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and
the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Matthew 7:13-14

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” Luke 6:46

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that
I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20

JUMP = Jesus Understands My Problems

Dr David Logan
www.4corneredRoom.com
david@4corneredRoom.com
555-555-5555

 

We are convinced that a living relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord is the most powerful method of solving human problems and healing broken human lives.

“How do I become a Christian?”
“How do I rededicate my life to Christ?”

We become Christians when God answers a prayer like the following:
The Centering Prayer
Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help. I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life. Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not. Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature. Help me to serve you IN FLOW as I am gifted. Help me to notice my neighbor; work through me to redeem my neighborhood. I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd,
my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

This same prayer works whether we are asking for the first time to become a Christian or renewing our commitment to become a better Christian.
There is a powerful discipleship system for spiritual growth developed by Neil Cole called a “Life Transformation Group” (or “LTG” for short) in his book Cultivating A Life For God. An LTG uses three elements – Bible reading, Questions and Partnership – to help us jump up to a higher spiritual level and a higher quality of life. That’s why we call it a Jump Group. The five parts of the discipleship system are listed in this brochure. I would like to invite you to try this system of spiritual growth as an experiment in growing your faith!
Pastor Dave Logan

__________________________________________________

“Before we begin, I would like to tell you a story from Stephen Covey. We’ve been talking about mistaken impressions. It was Sunday morning, and he and his wife were on the subway. It was quiet and peaceful, other passengers visiting quietly or reading the newspaper.

The train pulled into a stop and a man with five small children got on. The youngest one clung to him, but the others seemed full of energy, running up and down the aisle, making a lot of noise as they played. People rattled their newspapers. The calm moment of the morning was gone.

The Father just stared off into space, not paying any attention to what his children were doing or how it was affecting the other passengers. Covey felt his own irritation rising. He noticed the other people glaring at the children and their father. They were becoming a crowd of strangers, and a hostile one at that. Covey wrote that he approached the man and said, “Sir, can’t you do something to supervise your children? They are creating quite a disturbance.”

The man looked up as if he had been somewhere else. “Oh, I guess I should,” he said but did nothing for a moment. “You see, we’ve just come from the hospital and their mother died. I don’t know quite how to handle it, and I guess they don’t either.” His eyes filled with unshed tears.

Instantly, Covey writes, his anger was gone and was replaced with compassion. Others on the train overheard and began to speak to the children. ‘What can we do to help?’ Covey asked the man.  Everything in his manner had changed … but nothing in the train had changed except his perception of what was happening.The train suddenly became a community of caring people. They were now neighbors.”

“Here’s the principle,” David said to the twelve gathered with him. “A change in perception changes everything. Please say it again with me.”

“A change in perception changes everything,” they all said.

“Again.”

“A change in perception changes everything,” they all said.

“Again.”

“A change in perception changes everything,” they all said.

“That’s going to be one of our slogans. Please write it down. For Covey, this is his example of a paradigm shift; for the people who created that terminology, a paradigm shift is something different. But for our purposes, it’s sufficient to know that our perceptions can frequently change when we allow new information into our awareness, and that the result is that everything changes.” He watched them write down the principle.

____________________________________________________

That we are old fashioned.

What do you mean,” the consultant asked.

“We’re not hip. Not cool. We are not what’s interesting in the modern world.

Do things change much in the small churches? David asked.

Not really, she said. We kind of like things being the same as they’ve been before.

What percentage of people like change? David asked. In your opinion.

It seems like everyone wants us to change, he said. Rather than be who we are, we’re supposed to be different. Like some other church. Do different things.

The world around us is rapidly changing,

Time for a change in perception, David said. What exactly is changing all around us?

A few people around the table held up their cell phones. “Ah, yes,” David said. “Technology is changing, and rapidly. There are computers in everything, right?”

They nodded.

“What we buy today will be obsolete tomorrow,”

“Does obsolete mean that older technology no longer works?

It still works. we just want the new features.

I don’t, she said. I miss my old phone. I knew how it worked and now I have to start all over again to learn something new. It wastes a lot of my time.

Sometimes the older technology won’t work cooperatively with the newer technology. That forces us to upgrade.

Was there anything wrong with the old technology? David asked.

It was paid for, he said. That’s what was wrong. They couldn’t get more money out of us if we didn’t upgrade.

“Change in perception,” David said. “Technology changes, but not much else changes except as it is influenced by technology. People don’t change much.”

“How can you say that? What about tattoos and piercings? Drugs and sexual immorality?”

“Think for a moment. Tattoos are a fad; so are piercings. But are they new? Technology is inventing newer drugs. And we’re becoming aware of all kinds of new addictions. But that’s a change in awareness.”

They mulled over the idea for a minute. “People don’t change much, and most change is not significant,” David said quietly. “Human bodies still have two lungs and one heart. Children grow up and still fall in love. They get married and form families. Babies come and grandparents play with them. Most of what is important doesn’t change and life goes on.” David laid his hand on the bible in front of him. “This is why what Jesus said two thousand years ago still works today. And it’s why I believe that you will find the answers to what you seek in what he said as it is written here.”

“Then why do they keep asking us to change?” asked.

“Because they believe that you have problems as churches. And you do, but not the problems that they’ve defined. And they think that they have solutions to the problems they perceive, but the solutions won’t work because they are also flawed and mistaken. Most of their solutions are just fads, and their definition of what is the problem is likewise a fad of perception. And fads don’t last because they have little worth.”

“Do you have science for this?” asked.

“Yes, it’s called the Diffusion of Innovations. You can google it. Everett Rogers. The Technology Adoption Life Cycle. We’ll be studying it later when we begin to begin to change the world.”

“What’s the gist?” asked.

“Any group of people varies in their enthusiasm for change in standard deviation or bell curve. Sixteen percent of people are enthusiastic about change … which means what?”

“Eighty-four percent of people are not enthusiastic about change?” asked.

“Exactly. For different reasons. This is why 90% of changes fail in the marketplace. And in the church as well. The diffusion of innovations suggests how to increase the adoption of an innovation until it is 100% adopted by a people group. We’ll make use of those principles later.”

“What does that have to do with us?” asked.

“As I’ve suggested, the changes you’ve been asked to adopt without thinking are fads and unnecessary. They don’t work because the real underlying problems are not understood. This is why you are hesitant; you sense this intuitively.”

“So how does the …” looked at her notes. “How does the diffusion of innovations help us?” she asked.

“What if the innovation we are asking people to adopt in this world is to become followers of Jesus? Certainly, that is a life-changing innovation, right?” People around the table began to smile. David laid his hand on the Bible. “And what if what Jesus did and taught about this innovation will still work today?”

“That would be wonderful,” said.

“We’ve gone on quite a tangent,” David said. “We’re like a hound chasing rabbits.”

“Let’s chase this rabbit some more,” suggested.

“OK,” David said. “If you have your bibles with you … and if you don’t, there’s a stack over there … please turn with me to Matthew 4.” There was a stir as 2/3 of those present got up to get a bible off the stack. It wasn’t a habit in their denomination to bring your bible with you everywhere.

When everyone had found the right page, David spoke. “Let’s assume that every verse has something to teach us. So let’s go around the table counter-clockwise, and each of us read one verse. Got it?” They nodded, and David began.

Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Mat 4:18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

Mat 4:19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Mat 4:20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

Mat 4:21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them.

Mat 4:22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

Mat 4:23 And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.

Mat 4:24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.

Mat 4:25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.

Mat 5:1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.

Mat 5:2 And he opened his mouth and taught them … 

“Let’s stop there,” David said. “Now, let me teach you three questions that are used in the Church Planting Movements in the third world for bible study among people groups that are illiterate. Someone who can read, usually a child, reads one verse, which is enough for people to keep in their heads. Then three questions are asked, one at a time, and after each question each person in the room answers it, starting with the most spiritually mature and down to the newest Christian. In this way, the group comes to a common consensus about what they are reading, one verse at a time. Please write down the three questions now:”

What does this verse say?

What does it say that I should obey?

Who needs to hear this?

“This sort of bible study would take a lot of time,” said.

“But would any of that time be wasted?” David asked. He looked at each person, who eventually nodded. “So it would be time well spent.”

“We live busy lives,” said. “We wouldn’t have time for this.”

“Ah,” David said. “We do live in busy times. And how much of our time is wasted in busyness? Consider these poor, illiterate third world villagers. They have no cable TV with 350 channels of nothing worth watching. They have no internet. They have no radio to play contemporary Christian music.” David patted the Bible in front of him. “They have nothing to distract them from reading the bible, following Jesus and being with their families.”

“Lucky them,” said. “When baseball season starts, it’s as if my husband left us.” The group laughed.

“We had this same free time over a hundred years ago,” David said. “And when we were children. Ever said to your parents, ‘There’s nothing to do?'” Heads nodded. “We still have the same amount of free time; we just waste it on technology as a means to avoid what is more important. Would you agree?”

Heads nodded. “How much time do you spend watching reruns of a television show you’ve seen before?” David asked. “That’s the real purpose of technology and entertainment for a lot of people: to avoid life. And to avoid people.”

“That’s why sports are great,” said. “No reruns!”

“Same with the weather report,” David retorted. “Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. What does it say?He pointed around the table counter-clockwisse. “What does it say?”

____________________________________________

Change your worship styles” David asked.

Yes. They always want us to change how we worship.

How? David asked. What do they say?

If you don’t make room for contemporary worship, you won’t grow.

 

 

 

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