• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

The Gospel Pattern

Every time I get together with Steve, I feel pushed and challenged in my thinking.  Steve is a practitioner in the world of church multiplication movements. I would encourage you to surf his blog: http://www.movements.net/blog, to get a feel for some of the issues we need to be thinking about.

In recent days, Steve has been focusing on the biblical pattern of church multiplication movements as seen in the Gospels and the book of Acts.  “Many writers try to drive a wedge between the Gospels and Acts (or between the ministry of Jesus as described in the Gospels and the ministry of Paul as described in Acts).  But Luke sees them as one continuous whole story.”  It is the story of the dynamic Word of God spreading and growing.

Sounds like straightforward stuff, but then Steve’s words struck deep.  He said, “We must be careful that the model we pursue is not focused on ourselves because in reality we are too caught up with ourselves.”  Quoting Neil Cole, he went further, saying, “How you disciple your next believer will determine whether there will be a movement or not.” 

What I took from those words is that:

  • The Gospel must be transforming my heart to enable me to be more and more other centered.
  • Othercenteredness should move me to be quicker to encourage others in ministry and to turn ministry over more quickly to others.
  • “What Jesus did”, what the apostles did, was to invest in others, and then move on; their time frame for moving on to other harvests was faster than our current practice.

Growth, multiplication, and movement begin from the very moment we engage others; from the very first steps in discipleship.

2 Responses

  1. Othercenteredness doesn’t always produce very WT or CP-focused sentiment. Living here in USA for now, I meet with several men for discipleship/mentoring/coaching; the approach varies with the brother and the need. They usually chose me and, frankly, I’ve been frustrated at times when we didn’t seem very aligned with my goals for multiplication and church planting. But, I serve them; seeking to be other centered. And I recently have the joys of seeing …
    -The young businessman is incorporating strong biblical convictions in the family business…and church leaders are preparing him for future roles.
    -A 50-something former Catholic is discovering grace, mercy and ‘sonship’ in all new ways…and his marriage is warming up too.
    -The quiet, young man is making some intentional steps to exercise leadership, now recognizing how Jesus’ way is different from worldly leaders.
    -A young man launching a mission agency is keeping me alert and aware of new approaches.
    -And, another younger man doesn’t have much time for me anymore; he’s in formal preparation to become a WT CPer among Ms.

    • Insightful comment about othercenteredness. But as you said, we should still be other centered in our approach despite the early response of others because has work to do in our hearts as well as those of others we are serving.

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