February

FEBRUARY
__ General Editing.
__ Expand on items.

Please join me in making disciples:
F is for following.
F is for fishing … learning how to fish.
F is for fellowship … gathering people together to love one another.

F is for fellowship.
Love one another. John 13:34-35.  … where neighbors are loved …
My four neighborhoods: FISH.
My neighborhood map.

Mission: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission 
(Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional.
Vision: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord, neighbors are loved, and people grow.

F corner inventory.

Prayer tool weekly helo and daily prayer.

My neighborhood fishing ponds.

John 13:34 and 35.

MY JESUS CREED
I asked Jesus “What do you want from me?”
The Threefold Answer:
1. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. (Four fingers)
2. And you are to love your neighbor as yourself. (Spreading hands)
3. And you are to love one another as I have loved to you; by this shall all people know that you are my disciples.” (Hugging hands)
By loving like Jesus we become disciples,  become known as disciples, and become disciple makers that fulfill the Great Commission.

My covenant:  (Four fingers)
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.
Lord, I obey. Help my disobedience.
I follow you as my shepherd of Psalm 23; Thank you for the path, for guidance, for providence and protection.
I humbly ask for wisdom and for knowledge in every human situation. Amen.
Lord, help me to flourish as a part of the vine. (John 15)

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13 06-Feb-2022 2.1 FEBRUARY. Reading #1: The Discipleship System – Craig Kennet Miller. How your church should work.
14 Love one another. John 13:34-35. … discipleship is where neighbors are loved …

6. Reading #1: The Discipleship System – Craig Kennet Miller:
The primary evangelistic strategy of the 21st century is the establishment of new faith communities that invite people to experience the grace of God through the practice of the Christian spiritual disciplines, through hands-on experiences of mission and ministry, and through the celebration of the Christian life in worship. A faith community is created when a worship experience is tied to a discipleship system. A worshiping group without a discipleship system is not a faith community; it is simply a place to worship God. A faith community intentionally creates settings that link worship to discipleship and spiritual formation. The primary purpose of this community is to reach out to new people to offer them experience of the grace of God that can transform them into disciples of Christ.
One of the critical steps for turning around an existing congregation is to evaluate and improve its current discipleship system. The way to approach the development of a discipleship system in either case – a new church or an existing congregation – is to ask: ‘What does our faith community need to offer to help a person reach spiritual maturity in the first three years of being a part of the faith community?'”

Reflection Questions: Yes … or … no?
6.1 Is your church “simply a place to worship God”? Is worship the priority?

6.2 Is the primary purpose of your local church “to reach out to new people to offer them experience of the grace of God that can transform them into disciples of Christ”?

6.3 How would your church answer this question: ‘What does our faith community need to offer to help a person reach spiritual maturity in the first three years of being a part of the faith community?’

7. Reading #2: Shepherds don’t make sheep; sheep make sheep.
A few years ago I had a conversation with a fellow pastor whose church had rapidly grown after his appointment there. I asked him what he had done that played a part in that growth, and his answer surprised me. “There were two things,” he said. “The first thing I stress to them is that Shepherds don’t make sheep; sheep make sheep.”
It’s a simple idea, but profound: Mature Christians make new Christians.
In shepherding, this could be called the limiting factor. How many lamb producing sheep are in the flock? How many have reached that level of maturity where lambs become sheep that produce lambs? When we look at the problem this way, it’s obvious that few in our flock ever grow up beyond the infancy stage of spirituality. (The actual percentage that remains at the infancy stage is close to 83% of church attenders.) Lambs cannot make sheep; only sheep can make sheep. This is the limiting factor that impedes church growth and why many churches are rapidly dwindling.

Reflection Question 7.1: As you consider the flock in which you are a part, do you agree that many are still “lambs” and not very mature?

Reflection Question 7.2: Can you list some people who seem to you to still be “lambs” in Christ? What are the “lambs” like in your church?

Reflection Question 7.3: Would you agree that the definition of maturity is twofold – to be able to reproduce and to be able to raise offspring to maturity where they can do the same?

Our class will begin with this most basic limiting factor and discuss two questions at length:
How do lambs become fully grown sheep? (Modules 1-3)
How do sheep make sheep? (Modules 4-5

“Sheep Make Sheep” Litany:
Shepherds don’t make sheep; sheep make sheep.
Buildings don’t make sheep; sheep make sheep.
Worship services don’t make sheep; sheep make sheep.
Changing the church doesn’t make sheep; sheep make sheep.
Sheep happen when sheep make sheep. Turn the sheep loose!!!
Stop trying to fix the institution to make disciples.
Stop trying to fix worship to make disciples.
Stop trying to fix the denomination to make disciples.
Start trying to make disciples the way Jesus did.
Because … Sheep make sheep!

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