Saturday, December 31, 2005

Why People Do Not Like Church

Recently I have talked with and read about a lot of people who do not like church but who deeply love Jesus and who would be qualified as ‘True Disciples or Revolutionary Christians’ by George Barna in at least two of his recent books. (Revolution and Growing True Disciples) I have been thinking and praying about writing this article for some time and a conversation yesterday sparked a fire to jump in and address this issue. Let me say that understanding what Jesus wants for His Church and the people he has called to lead it have been one my passions ever since I was a young believer.

In my Christian life, I have read many books, articles and attended seminars, classes and conferences on various aspects of the Church. I have taken different personality, behavioral, and spiritual gift test which were advertised as tools to ‘Help me be a better Christian’. I have also had the opportunity to be a part several Churches and other Christian organizations.

Many times we want to blame ‘God’s people’, for the lack of growth or success in our lives. If we do decide that perhaps we could do better at being a ‘Christian’ in some way, we decide that we need to be ‘More Successful’. Let me say that there are many other issues that have to do with growth and success in the Christian life and we will discuss them later in a latter article.

The issue I want to address is this whole idea of ‘Success’. When faced with our own lack or perceived lack in the area of ‘success as aChristian’ we often run to be like the people who are said to be successful by other people we know. They are seen as winners in churches, sports, Hollywood or business because they have accomplished certain objectives with positive results. The results we often look for are more popularity, power, influence or more money.

What Would Jesus Do?
Some time ago there was a popular movement that asked the question, “What would Jesus Do”? Perhaps believers should ask that very same question about what success looks like as a believer, or what did Jesus say and what did Jesus do that made Him successful?

The Super Star and Survival of the Fittest Model vs. What Jesus Did and Taught
There is a great need for people who can get things accomplished. Having said that, there is a tendency to get it done without paying attention to what Jesus demonstrated to be His and the Father’s priorities, setting people free and bringing true life to them. When our success is the number of people we have applauding us and how much we have to give we are in danger of neglecting ‘the building up one another' and nurturing those we have influence on in life. Too often, we want God’s people to survive on there own, be mature and do something to help us succeed. There was even a recent article in a leading Christian magazine which basically implied to believers that only the ‘Strongest and Best Survive’ (sounds like Darvin not Jesus) in Church and they needed to get strong all by them selves or they were not measuring up.

Make Disciples of All Nations?
We often think that making disciples is the teaching of doctrine, church tradition and a personal evangelism program. There is much we can learn about making disciples from observing that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are One. They are distinct in person and in function but they are One. This oneness involves relationship even as Jesus examplified, while He was on the earth. The New testament Church was very relational in how it existed and we as believers are taught by example and Biblical teaching that our relationship to one another is important if we are to succeed at accomplishing what, Jesus came to do and teach! The Spiritual Gifts are operational in believers as a group as the Spirit works among us as well. Believers are said to be the body of Christ which requires each other functioning well to accomplish what Jesus began to do and teach. While certain people have various functions all are required and all need nurture, training and release to be living Gospels(stories of the good news) or living epistles (letters).

One reason ‘People do not like Church’ is because we who are believers are not doing ‘What Jesus Began to Do and Teach’. We need to be growing up in God’s grace and helping others to fulfill God plan for their life as well by having healthy relationships with them.

It is not that getting things done well is not important; it is however, that they need done in a way that builds up and encourages people.

Questions for Believers?______________________________
1. When is the last time that the people who are in your immediate sphere of influence were nurtured by you?
2. When was the last time you followed up with one of those people if they did not attend a regular gathering that they were usually at?
3. How long after they missed did you seek to contact them?
4. Was your follow-up out of obligation, rebuke or love and concern?
5. How often do you get together for relaxed fun and fellowship with other believers in which they feel like family and not projects or obligations?

PS. These are not style issues! Your gift or personality profiles are no excuse to neglect the people in your immediate circle of influence?

One reason people do not like church is they are not finding what Jesus said they would find! Life!

For a leadership perspective on SUCCESS please go to

Artwork from

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Encampment of the Lord

I recently had the honor and delight of attending some meetings with a few hundred other believers in which a humble and wildly in love with Jesus women of God who has been used mightily by God in some of the most interesting places in the world led us into greater intimacy with God.

The numbered points that follow are areas that need to be considered as a result of this fresh outpouring of God's presence and should lead us to a greater understanding and ability to yield to God's Spirit, whenever God is doing a fresh work or is manifesting Himself and His presence to His people.
1. There was a process over the course of three days.
2. The process led us to a point of a fresh committment and celebration the likes of which I have not experienced in more than 35 years of being a believer. In fact it was my early days as a believer during the Jesus movement when I last enjoy such a time of freedom, joy, commitment and celebration.
3. Many of us have experienced those times of soaring to great heights in God which we cherish and which are intended to lead us deeper and encourage us to go further in God.
4. There are issues that arise out of such experiences and that follow such experiences.

Biblically speaking we can gain the wisdom needed to deal with such high times in God by examining three such experiences in scripture.
A. Israel following the 'Pillar of cloud by day and fire by night.'
B. Isaiah in the Temple, 'In the year that King Uziah died.'
C. Jesus, and the Disciples on, 'The mount of transfiguration.'
A study of the principles in these three Biblical examples of God's manifest presence among His people will follow in the next part of this article. For now let's continue our current line of thinking.

5. Throughout history we have been faced with the challenge of what to do when God moves upon His people in power and majesty.
When these occur there are dangers that lie in:
A. Trying to repeat in the flesh what God did in the Spirit
B. Not remembering that it took several days and steps to get to the high point or climax of theexperience.
C. Establishing a formula based on what occurred or how we felt.
D. Not realizing that the timing, circumstances and events preceding the current work of God can not be duplicated and therefore the resulting work or move of God will be unique and not a clone or repetition of any other previous one.

There are elements of each move or fresh outpouring of God's presence which pertain to the character and nature of God.

6. We should ask ourselves these questions as we reflect on a specific fresh move or outpouring of God's presence:
A. What should our attitude be about what God is doing?
B. What should we have gained from what God was doing?
C. What should we expect now and as we move ahead after the experience?
D. How do we go forward, honoring what the Lord has done while not attempting to build a shrine on the experience or it's location?

The question arises,"What next" and "What are we to do in the meantime or with the results of the work of God both personally and as a group of believers who have shared in the experience?"
I believe the answers to these questions are in the three passages listed above. I will examine these in part to of this article.

Artwork by John Campbell

Friday, December 16, 2005

A Season of Spiritual Growth and Fulfillment

The Times and the Seasons of the Expansion of God's Work are beginning to be poured out! I am expecting a fresh outpouring of God's Spirit for each person and ministry that is willing to recieve it in 2006.

We experienced the beginning of this out pouring as we went to Him with humble and expecting hearts in our December believer's gatherings. The Fresh flow of the River of Life, that flows out from under His thrown is flowing to bring all we need to walk in "The Times and Seasons He is Unfolding for Each of Us.

"Below are the notes from our December gathering. We began by asking each one present to ask themselves these questions.

1. Is your Vision Big Enough to Fulfill God’s Call on your Life for the year ahead?
2. Are you ready to let God extend the stakes or expand the borders of His work in you?
3. God wants to Expand the Territory of His Spirit's work through you, are you willing?
4. Do you have God’s Perspective on His calling on your life?
5. Is your perspective limited by what He has done so far in your life?
6. Do you think the time for Him to work is latter but not now?

In Job and in Isaiah we find examples of two people who were serving God and even declared to be righteous by God, but when they had a fresh encounter with God they realized that in comparison to God's glory and holiness they were unclean and did not grasp the wonder and awesomeness of who God is and the scope of His majesty.
Job 38-42 Isa. 6:1-12

The results of these experiences was for them to humble themselves before God again. God in response blessed them both and renewed His work through them in greater measure than before these encounters.

Today God is looking for people He can pour out His river of life through, people who will once again humble themselves and cry out to Him. People who are willing to allow His Spirit to work and who will not let their own understanding of things limit what He wants to do.

Today He is ready to expand the working of His Spirit in and through you!


Get Ready by pressing into Him now! Prepare yourself for the next Season of His mighty work in the Earth. It is closer than you may have thought or hoped!


Artwork: The might Herald

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Experience God's Glory Today

There is are two lines from an old Petra Cd, "Beyond Belief" which says " We're content to pitch our tent when the Glory's evident. Seldom do we know the Glory came and went."

In the Old Testament the people of Israel had the 'Cloud of God's presence by day and the Pillar of Fire by Night to lead them. They had to be ready at all times to follow His Presence.

In the New Testament on the Mount of transformation The disciples saw the glory of God in Jesus. Peter wanted to build tents for the heavenly visitors and hang out within the Glory.

How can we experience His glory today?
Just as in Bible days God has continued to show Himself more evident in some places and times throughout History. There is as as always, debate on the when and where dynamics of these times of God's Glory being revealed. We can and should be doing all we can to position our cities for the visitation of His Glory.

We can also experience His Glory on an individual basis as we develop our relatioship with Him.
Today Jesus has made His Spirit available to all who believe in Christ. We however, do not do all we can to build our relationship with him and therefore do not experience His Glory and wonder as he desires for us in our realtionship with Him. This is where I want to concentrate our time today. I will address God's glory for cities at another time.

To have His presence in all it's fullness we must continue to build our relationship with Him according to His plan, (Bible).
1. We must come to Him as our Lord and Savior. This requires believing in Him as God's Son and turning (repenting) from sin. It also means giving our lives totally to Him.
2. We must continue our renewal and transformation into His likeness. This require us to read, meditate on, study and obey His Word, the Bible.
3. Our relationship must be developed through times prayer, praise and worship.
4. Healthy fellowship and relationships with other believers also is a key part of our growth.

As we continue to develop our relationship with Him we will move from blocks of time in which we are building our relationship into a true marriage relationship, in which we are one with Him and discover our selves in relationship through there practices throughout the day. This will then develop into a 24/7 relationship where there is no time in our day when we (God and us) are not in communion-relationship.

From our relationship with God comes behavior like His. This is a giving out of the Christ life in practical form. Caring for those in need around us. This may be a simple smile and kind word or it may mean helping those in need of food and clothing. It also includes praying for one another and our governmental leaders if we want to live in peace as expressed in timothy.
As we give out we will receive more of God's goodness and glory.

One of the things that often keeps us from continual growth with God is our inner hurts and the wrong deeds and words of others from our past. These can not be left alone. Repentance on our part and forgiveness toward those who have harmed us must take place. We will be healthier and be able to grow in our relationship and experience His glory more as we get our inner life healed and cleaned up.

For the Christian there are two different truths at work here.
1. God can and does display His Glory and wonder to groups of people.
2. We can individually develop a personal relationship with God in which we can experience His glory. The presence of God is a part of our New Life in Christ.

Keep working on your relationship with Him. He desires you to have it as a part of your inheritance!
Keep praying for those times of visitation when your whole city will experience His Glory and presence!

Please take a look at some of the new books listed on the right side of this site. They will help you to grow in relationship with Him and develop a life open to His Glory!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Looking at The Faith Revolution

There have been a lot of comments about George Barna's book Revolution and I wanted to make some additional comments and send you to read another article concerning today's Church.

1. For many Barna's book is old news to some who have been doing Church in many different ways. Barna has discovered some but not all of these who have been doing revolutionary Churches for years.

2. Barna states clearly that He discovered these revolutionary Christians in His research and that he is not forcasting there future existence.

3. He is however saying to those of us leading the people of God that the cloud of God's presence is not stationary and that people want real faith and not mere shadows of what was once alive.

4. I have written and taught in the past that there are many streams that flow from the river of God that flows out from His thrown in His Temple.

In addition Barna does not state these things to bring condemnation but awareness of these trends and hopes to alert us who lead so that we will seek God for the unique way He is building His Church in the towns and cities in which we live to meet the needs of all people groups.

This means that Churches must be prayerful and wise in reaching and ministering to the people around them.

New wine requires new wineskins. Not exactly a new idea but one we often forget.

Later this week I will post another article about The Presence of God and How we are to keep up with what "The Cloud by Day and the Fire by Night." This article will look at the spiritual principles involved in doing Church today.

I believe there are many 'models' of church today which can be effective and that discussion about them is useful in helping us to accomplish the work of Jesus in the earth today. There are also good reasons to give up on models that are not effective and that no longer are allowing us to accomplish the work that Jesus gave us as leaders of the church to accomplish as listed in
Ephesians 4:11-13 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. NASU

Below are a few pieces of an article from the Elijah List by Robert Ricciardelli as a follow on article to Barna's Revolution book. In other words, more to think about.

Please click on the links to read the entire article. and

Every Day-Every Way Church
Here are a few highlights.
"In case there are some who still have not seen it, there is a shift going on in our Father's house, inside and outside of the four walls. Most of us realize there is only one church and one body of believers of our Lord. There are many diverse personalities, all wonderfully made in all different sizes, shapes, colors, cultures, and rule books of life. I want to talk about two distinctive segments of the Church of our Lord today."

Nuclear Church
"The term "nuclear" literally means a cluster or nucleus. Many of us have been raised by a cluster or nucleus of a specific denomination. For the most part, the good, bad, and ugly denominational structures have brought many of us to where we are today. We all have been saddened by the liberal shift of some of these structures, as well as the shift of making the gospel of Jesus Christ palatable and un-offensive for all. In some cases, repentance is optional and a profession of Christ, without the true Lordship of Christ, supposedly brings one into the kingdom."

"It is hard for them to see or to understand how to support and partner with the Marketplace Church."

Extended Or Marketplace Church

"This is the body of Christ that operates outside of the four walls of the Nuclear Church, not separate in any way but in application. The Marketplace Church is distinctive but also supportive of the Nuclear Church. The Nuclear Church, for the most part, gathers one day a week, and the Marketplace church is in operation 6 days a week. They are still one church, but they are to a degree, two distinct cultures. They operate out of two different sets of cultural rule books. Before you cast any heretical stones, let me explain."

"It is hard for them to see or to understand how to support and partner with the Marketplace Church."
"Many Nuclear Church leaders still ask of those in the marketplace, "Are you considering to go into the ministry?"

"Ed Silvoso identifies four lethal misbeliefs that minimize the impact of believers in the workplace:
1. There is a God-ordained division between clergy and laity.
2. The Church is called to operate primarily inside a building, often referred to as the temple.
3. People involved in business cannot be as spiritual as those serving traditional Church ministry.
4. The primary role of Marketplace Christians is to make money to support the vision of those "in the ministry."

We Need to Understand the Kingdom of God!
This is where we affirm that the Kingdom of God is not confined to the four walls of the local church. Where is the kingdom of God? Jesus said in Luke17:21, "The kingdom of God is within you."

"God's people are His people seven days a week in many different functions and jurisdictions."

Robert Ricciardelli Vision to Advance

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The faith Revolution is Upon Us

A Faith Revolution Is Redefining Church, According to New Study by the Barna Group For many in the Kingdom of God this will not come as a surpise or Revelation. For many It will be either be a shock because they would not see it or confirmation of what they have seen coming in one way or another.

This article about the book by George Barna comes on the heels of an article in Charisma Magazine earlier this year about 'Drop Out Christians', who want real Life in Christ and are having a hard time finding it in the local Church.
It appears obvious to a growing number of Christians that there is a REVOLUTION going on in the Church (people of God) and there is a desperate need to Equip and mentor these revolutionaries for the adventure ahead of them.

Many of today's Seminaries and Bible Colleges are unprepared to Equip these People who will be the Leaders of the Revolution in faith! Not because they lack faith, knowledge or Education but because they are not apart of the revolution and therefore not prepared to lead others where they will not go! Below are some pieces of the article with a link to the Barna Group Site where you can read the whole thing.
The transitioning nature of America's spirituality 'For decades the primary way that Americans have experienced and expressed their faith has been through a local church. That reality is rapidly changing, according to researcher George Barna, whose new book on the transitioning nature of Americas spirituality, entitled Revolution, describes what he believes will be the most massive reshaping of the nations faith community in more than a century. '
Growth of A New Church: Relying upon national research conducted over the past several years, Barna profiles a group of more than 20 million adults throughout the nation labeled revolutionaries. These are people who are less interested in attending church than in being the church, he explained. A common misconception about revolutionaries, he continued, is that they are disengaging from God when they leave a local church. Instead of going to church, they have chosen to be the Church, in a way that harkens back to the Church detailed in the Book of Acts. Big Changes In the Making: One of the most eye-opening portions of the research contained in the book describes what the faith community may look like twenty years from now. He projects that by 2025 the local church will lose roughly half of its current market share. Although there will be millions of people who abandon the entire faith community for the usual reasons hurtful experiences in churches, lack of interest in spiritual matters, prioritizing other dimensions of their life a growing percentage of church dropouts will be those who leave a local church in order to intentionally increase their focus on faith and to relate to God through different means. Seven Passions of the Revolutionary In the effort to increase their obedience and faithfulness to God, Barna discovered that Revolutionaries are characterized by what he identified as a set of spiritual passions seven specific emphases that drive their quest for God and a biblical lifestyle. Challenges and Opportunities While the Revolution brings with it some very promising qualities an intense pursuit of godliness, new networks of believers supporting each other, heightened financial giving to ministry endeavors, greater sensitivity to the presence of God in the world, a greater sense of freedom to be a genuine disciple in the midst of a secular society Barna also pointed out that the Revolution brings great challenges to those who choose that pathway. Barna contends that these are very serious challenges faced by Revolutionaries but that they are no more serious than the threats to the spiritual health of regular church-goers.
This new movement of God demands that there be new forms of leadership to appropriately guide people in their faith journey.
An Introduction to the Revolution
In the course of doing his customary national research studies, he stumbled onto the Revolution. Having been personally frustrated by the local church, I initiated several research projects to better understand what other frustrated followers of Christ were doing to maintain their spiritual edge
Revolution, published by Tyndale House, is what the author calls a brief introduction to the most important spiritual movement of our age. He believes that fifty years from now historians will look back at this period and label it one of the most significant periods in American Church history.
Source of This Material
The Barna Group, Ltd. (which includes its research division, The Barna Research Group) © The Barna Group, Ltd, 2005
To purchase online go to the right side of my site and go down until you see the book's picture and click on it.

It appears obvious to a growing number of Christians that there is a REVOLUTION going on in the Church (the people of God) There is also a desperaterate need to Equip and mentor the revolutionaries. Join the Revolution and Get equipped:

Thursday, November 24, 2005


“Been praying for you.” How often do we hear and even speak these very meaningful words? Praying for one another and depending on the prayers of others can be critical—with the substance behind these words deserving closer examination.

Please click on the link below to read this entirely great article by © MorrisRuddick

Art Work: The Power of Prayer by Danny Hahlbolm

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Jesus is The Way at Turning Points

We often encounter turning points in life. When we come to these turning points we are tempted to waver or we have our faith and hope challenged.
In the Old Testament when the people of God encountered overwhelming enemies or situations where their faith and hope were challenged there is a consistent pattern of victory in these times and a pattern that leads to defeat.
The pattern for victory includes calling out to God while humbling oneself and even calling the nation to times of fasting and humbling themselves before God.
Those who did so out of an honest and contrite or repentant heart received the victory. They were given God’s solution or plan. Within this victory or plan there are two key elements; God timing and God’s strategy.When we come to such turning points or crises in our lives these principles work for us today.
We must humble ourselves and call out to God. When we do, we can expect him to bring us the answer we need by His strategy and in His time. Queen Ester’s story is one example of following this pattern to victory.King Saul on the other hand did not follow this pattern, but took things into his own hands and lost not only the battle but his kingdom.

Today, if you are at a turning point, humble yourself (fasting is a way to do that), call out to God and He will hear your voice and give you the victory with His strategy and His timing!

Picture by Graham Braddock's Christian art works at

Monday, October 31, 2005

Mature Zealots ?

In Chapter two Focus on The Fundamentals of Growing True Disciples by George Barna we are challenged to be zealots. George Barna states correctly that; "In the original biblical text, the term used for disciple refers to someone who is a learner or follower who serves as an apprentice under the tutelage of a master." "Discipleship is becoming a complete and competent follower of Jesus Christ." Barna goes on to talk about the intentional training of those who voluntarily submit to the Lordship of Christ', and compares how we understand followers today and in Jesus day.

His conclusion is an eye opener and a challenge to what we understand today. "Discipleship, in other words is about being and reproducing spiritually mature zealots for Christ." I want to focus on the next thought Barna introduces to us at this point. 'We lack an understanding of the circumstance in which the disciples were developed and therefore we minimize the investment required to be a follower of Jesus Christ.' (My paraphase).

This was not a group who were looking for the latest hot prophet and went down to see him do his thing. It was a life changing, difficult and sacrificial thing to follow Jesus. It required great courage to leave what they had been taught for hours on end as Jewish boys growing up and to give it all up (family, reputation, all they had been taught since they began to hear, talk and learn) to follow Him.

The Jewish or Hebrew concept on learning did not separate knowing and doing. If you claimed to believe something everyone knew it because you lived accordingly. If you believed that Jesus was Messiah or Savior of all Israel, you had to completely submit to all He taught by word and deed. There was no turning back!

Barna states: "On the basis of teaching, training, experiences, relationships and accountability, a disciple becomes transformed into the likeness of Jesus." It is from this that these spiritually mature Zealots arise.

Today we have a lot of people who are following Jesus but who have not been taught, who have not had modeled for them and who do not understand what is required to become a real learner and follower of Jesus on His terms. It is because of this 'lack' of understanding and 'lack' of mature models that many believers are not enjoying their salvation and all that comes with it.

There is a price to be paid, effort to be expended and time to be invested if we are to come into that place of becoming 'Mature Zealots' for Christ.

Yes, salvation is by Grace alone! But Lordship, requires that we come into the tutelage and apprenticeship of the Jesus. This requires that we voluntarily "on the basis of teaching, training, experiences, relationships and accountability, become transformed into the likeness of Jesus." This process requires death to our old nature's ways and that we become alive to God's ways. Our worldview must change, our priorities must change, and the way we use our time, money and resources must change until we can truly say, 'His priorities are my priorities.'

Perhaps, you have read this article and that word Zealots is bothering you. Remember Mature Zealots turned the world upside down, they were also know as Disciples of Jesus Christ!

His invitation to you and I is still open today. He still desires Real Disciples!

Saturday, October 22, 2005


There is one concept that seems to be the focal point of all that Jesus did and taught. The "Kingdom of Heaven" or "Kingdom of God" is at the very heart of all Jesus did and said. In fact, you could say that His teaching was the proclamation and His actions or works were the doing or demonstration of the Kingdom of God. I shall use the term Kingdom of God to refer to the both of these kingdoms.
(Art bWilliamam Hallmark)

When we read the Gospels and the New Testament, we
repeatedly see the terms "Kingdom of Heaven" used 32 times in
Matthew and "Kingdom of God" used 70 times from Matthew to II Thessalonians. This concept, more than any other, depicts the impact and purpose of Jesus coming. The Jewish people longed for Messiah to come and to restore Israel as an independent state with God ruling over His people.

Throughout the period between the Old and New Testaments leaders rose up who had as their primary purpose to see Israel a free nation again. God, however, had another plan. This plan was revealed in the Old Testament, but its true meaning was hidden from most. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them. In Acts 28:23-30 Paul teaches about the Kingdom of God and Jesus from the five books of Moses and the prophets. We know that the Old Testament law, sacrifices, and prophecies are but a shadow of what Jesus the Messiah (or the Christ) came to do and teach.

This Kingdom of God that Jesus came to proclaim was not what many expected, an earthly Kingdom; it was instead the completion or fulfillment of what they expected, and because of this, it was even greater than their expectations. Lets look at few key verses in order to understand more about this Kingdom of God.
1. In Mk 1:15 we see Jesus telling us the time is fulfilled (there is no more waiting needed); the kingdom of God is near; turn from your sins and believe the good news (Gospel).
2. In I Cor. 15:50 Paul tells those to whom he is writing that flesh and blood cannot inherit this kingdom because the flesh does not last forever.
3. In Acts 28:23-30 it says that if the people hear and obey the good news, they would be cured or mended by God. He would cause them to be well again. This would be healing for the whole person; this would include the body, the soul, and the spirit.

"The Gospel is more than asbestos underwear for the soul." It is about the restoration and freedom of people under the rule or reign of God as their savior and king or lord.

The Kingdom of God as made evident in the New Testament is a Kingdom of people being movedthey th Holy Spirit of God. If we are to havtrulyuely New Testament Church that can once again turn the world upside down and reach this generation with Gomessagesgae of life, it must be one in the power of the Spirit. The people of this generation want more than nice people with a form of religion just as those in the New testament did.

2 Tim 3:4-5 ...rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! NKJV

Is this the reason why people are turning away from churches in growing numbers.

Will you join me in asking God to give us Spirit powered Churches and leaders who will never be the same because of their own encounters with God so that this generation can taste and see that Lord is good and they can discover Him in all His splendor, majesty and be in awe that He chooses to work through and with us?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Becoming Mature in Christ

The Full Measure of the Stature of Christ

When we look at the passage below we notice in verse 12 that the responsibility of the Equippers is threefold. It is to equip God's people to;
1. To do God's work
2. To build up the Church (the people of God) We are to do this until we all come into such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's son that we will become mature;
3. To become Full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13. He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the
apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their
responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church,
the body of Christ, 13 until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of
God's Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the
full stature of Christ. NLT
The progression here is interesting in that we are to be doing ministry even though we are not fully mature (adult in faith) but we are moving toward that goal as we both minister to the world and the Church all the while growing in wisdom, knowledge and experience in the Lord. I will discuss the third part first.

Personal Growth over the centuries there have been many strange ideas about how we gain adulthood or maturity (perfection) in Christ. This passage and others help us to see that although we may have come into a state of perfection at salvation we have to work out that perfection (sanctification) with fear and trebling before the Lord. In other words it is going to take time and hard work to come into the maturity in Christ which we are called to enter into.

Comprehend the Magnitude of the Work of Salvation Quote from the book The Causes and Cure for a Spiritual Depression.

"If we truly understood and embraced the work of our salvation there would be no
ground for the work and results of sin."

Understanding who we are and who we are becoming in Christ. Ephesians 1-3. These chapters have a lot of 'in Him statements' as Neil Anderson has written about at length in his books. Who we are and are becoming includes addition elements as listed below.
Our Motivational Gifts listed in Romans 12
Our Life Context, Our background, culture, spiritual and natural heritage, experience, education Etc.
The Supernatural Gifts of the Holy Spirit Manifested through us Cor 12-14.
The Application of Scripture to our Life in every day living and experience.

When we combine the work and leading of the Holy Spirit into this matrix and you get the Big picture of who we are and are becoming in Christ. These lead to individual maturity as they are collectively applied to life on a daily basis, as we experience the work of God each day.

Principles for Growth and Maturity
Spiritual Disciplines, Bible reading and study, prayer, praise exaltation and worship, fellowship-relationship with other believers, carrying one another's burdens, generosity, meditation, keeping a spiritual journal, memorization, sharing what God is doing in your life (being a witness), etc.
Getting Mended (Sodzso) is defined as to be saved or mended as you would mend a broken bone. Spirit, Soul (Mind, Will, Emotions) Body Saved, Set free or Delivered, Cleansed and Healed.
Biblical Truth Training Taught, Modeled, Caught, and Experienced Learning to move in and operate as led by the Holy Spirit. We must have opportunities to learn to move in or cooperate with the Spirit in a safe and mentored environment.
Apply Biblical Truth (teaching) and Live a life in the God daily.
Acts 17:28 'For in him we live and move and have our
being.' NIV

Our Unique Nature is Our Strength and Our challenge It is the unique combination of the elements that are part of each person who is in Christ by believing and receiving Him as Lord and Savior that makes us so very valuable and allows God to carry out His work to the people of the Earth is so many varied and wonderful ways. It is also our uniqueness that requires individual Coaching-Mentoring as we seek to Fulfill the Call of God on our life and come into the Measure and Stature of Christ!

The above notes are part two of the teaching from the October meeting of the Equippers Network meeting and are the property of wayne Newcomb

Monday, October 17, 2005

Catch the Wonder and Majesty of God’s Vision For Your Life

Catch the Vision-Fulfill the Call
What is your perception of God? Is it grand and full of wonder? Or is it small and common place. The Bible gives us several glimpse of God that display his majesty power and greatness. These passages reveal the wonder of His might and His Glory.

Catch The Vision
If we are to grasp the Call of God on our life we must understand His majesty and greatness. We some times say He is the creator and sustainer of our faith in quoting from the Book of Hebrews. But when is the last time you had a reminder of God as Creator of all that exist?

Job 38:4-5 Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Declare to Me, if you have and know understanding. Who determined the measures of the earth, if you know? Or who stretched the measuring line upon it? AMP Read all of Job chapters 38-42 to get the full picture.

My Job Encounter: Can you keep your lungs and eyes working?
Early in my walk with God I had made a bad choice and I had a God encounter that forever changed my walk with God. God reminded me of what I had learned in high school about the workings of my eyes in all of the details. Then He asked if I wanted to keep them working? He then went on to my lungs and once again reminded me in detail of how they worked and He asked me again if I wanted to keep them working. Realizing that on my own I could not I was struck with awe and fear. My relationship with God took a giant step with that day. I had a renewed and clear understanding of His might, majesty and holiness.

Rev 1:12-16 Our next scriptural view of God's Majesty today is this passage. 12 Then I turned to see [whose was] the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 And in the midst of the lampstands [One] like a Son of Man, clothed with a robe which reached to His feet and with a girdle of gold about His breast. [Dan 7:13; 10:5.]
14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, [as white] as snow, and His eyes [flashed] like a flame of fire. [Dan 7:9.]
15 His feet glowed like burnished (bright) bronze as it is refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. [Dan 10:6.]
16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and from His mouth there came forth a sharp two-edged sword, and His face was like the sun shining in full power at midday. [Ex 34:29.] AMP Read all of Revelation chapters 1-5 to get a start of this inside look at the wonder of God and His workings.

Answer The call
Isa 6:1-3 and 6:8 This passage brings the majesty of God into a new context. ...I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying:. 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" NIV
The end result of a clear revelation of the majesty and power of God should be awe, fear and a willingness to do what He ask of desires with all of our strength and might. It should fire us up to run the race that is set before us!

Run the Race to Win and Fulfill the Call
When we begin to have the eyes of our heart opened and begin to comprehend the power and work of God within us, when we review the great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us and are reminded of the price Jesus paid for His victory on our behalf we are motivated to not grow weary and lose heart but to look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith and the originator of our Call for all that is needed to Fulfill the Call!

Ephesians 1:18-22 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Heb 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. NIV

UP Next Part two of The Equippers Network October Believers Gathering
How Can We Truly Fulfill Gods Call and Where do We Start?
All material in these teachings are the property of Wayne Newcomb.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Email Update Service by FeedBlitz

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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Rising to the call

What Does it mean to be called of God?
How does it happen? Does every believer have a calling?

Can Discover Your calling?
How can you Fulfill God's calling?

Rising to the Call by Os Guinness has some thought provoking truths. Facet by facet this internationally acclaimed Christian thinker examines life and the universal search for its meaning. What is “the call”? Far bigger than our jobs, deeper than our personal accomplishments, higher than our wildest ideas of self-fulfillment, our “calling” addresses the very essence of our existence. Discovering it in times past has changed whole nations and cultures. It could do the same to ours. A classic reflective work in the tradition of C. S. Lewis and Oswald Chambers,now ready to challenge the latest generation of high school and college graduates

Ephesians 4:11-13 Speaks of the calling or responsibility of The Leaders He has called;
11 And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.

12 His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ's body (the church),
13[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ's own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him. AMP

Want to Discover More? Click here Http://

Sunday, October 02, 2005

My Soul's Desire

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.",
Psalms 42:1

"My Soul's Desire" By William Hallmark
Used with permission of

Friday, September 30, 2005

Leading with Vision

There are a lot of good books and articles around on Vision today. This one caught my eye so I am passing it on to you. It comes from a Blog called The Leading Edge by Dr. Earl Creps.

“Being a visionary does not mean drowning others in my “big” personality, using power on others to get my way, or being a narcissist who cleverly pretends to care for others. A visionary is a dream-keeper, a person who represents the combination of God’s plan, God’s people, and God’s leadership that will forge a future we have never known before.”

It is under Leader Life on his blog.
Click on the link to read his entire article.

Dr. Creps ask
What is your vision?

Then closes with “Be a leader worth following.”

You may also want to visit his other site The Emerging Culture cafe

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The River of God One River Many Streams Revisited

Today we see God speaking to and working through His people (the church) who are organized into a variety of groups with differing structural and theological values (wineskins). Some of God's people are waiting for the next move of God, some are experiencing a Fresh Fire now, some are getting a slight trickle, but the river of God that flows out from under His throne is flowing into all who seek Him and call out to Him. In some places whole cities are experiencing transformation and this transformation has been documented for the entire world to see by George Otis.

Picture by John Campbell

The partial list of Wineskins or groupings is listed next. There is the House church movement, the Emerging church movement, the New Apostolic Reformation movement, the New Reformation or 21st Century Reformation movement, the Third Wave or New Wave Church, and the Multi-cultural multi-generational church. There is also renewal in the Denominational, Charismatic and Pentecostal movements, although they might describe it as renewal. The Seeker Sensitive church, the Cell church and the Messiahanic Jewish church are going strong as well. There are a number of other groups I am sure I have missed so I want to apologize in advance.

There are some unique elements in these movements or groups of believers which I want to draw attention to today. Some groups will emphasize more than one item on the list below. Each of these groups is responding to the working of the Holy Spirit to draw people into a Biblically health relationship with God. Each sees different elements of Biblical teaching as important for that relationship to function well.

Below is a list of some of the areas which are being emphasized today as each group tries to hear and do what the Spirit is saying to the Church today.
1. The need to relate to the culture and times each group is a part of.
2. The methods needed to relate to a culture full of people who have little or no positive knowledge of the people or message of God in Jesus Christ.
3. The necessity for more intimacy with God and passion in a person’s relationship with Him.
4. The supernatural elements of God's interaction with people that are missing from the believer’s daily life and the priority of their operation in believer’s lives and gatherings.
5. The lack of Godly servant leaders in business and government.
6. The value of seeing people made whole in Spirit, Soul (mind, will, emotions) and body.
7. The equipping of leaders who can lead with Godly character, sound knowledge of the Bible, a disciplined spiritual life and healthy relationships with other people, which are empowered by God's Spirit.
8. Music which stirs the believer to a passionate, daily commitment to a Biblical lifestyle and a healthy zeal for the things which God states in His word are important.
9. Individual believers who are ready to give an answer for the hope that is in them.
10. Strategies and methods that allow the good news to be heard as good news to people today from every walk of life and from every people group and culture.
11. A rediscovery of the Jewish roots of the Christian faith.
12. The renewal of interest in the structural, organization life of the New Testament Church and the power that God demonstrated in the lives of New Testament believers.
13. Passionate intercessory prayer networks which cross all church organizational lines.
14. In addition there is a growing sense of urgency to evangelize the lost and to find the most effective methods to accomplish this.
In fact this was the initial catalyst for much of the Intercessory Prayer movement and the Spiritual Warfare teaching of the 1990's.

The heart of what these different groups of people who call themselves Christians desire is; To have more of what Jesus came to live, die and be resurrected for; a restored relationship with the heavenly father; a restoration of what people were intended to be and do.

To accomplish the above items there are a wide variety of formats for equipping the people within each group to become mature believers and prepare them for a life of building up other believers, reaching the lost, making disciples of all nations and growing them into the fullness of the stature of Christ. Ephesians 4:13. ' a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.' NASU

What is the process by which these many streams form new groups of believers and their organizational unique nesses? Read my next article, as we move toward exploring a working model for Equipping people, ' to a mature person, to the measure of the stature of Christ.'

First we will look at the formation that takes place when God's presence flows into the people who seek Him and how their time in history, culture and understandings, along with their gifts, talents and personalities form the new wineskin or organizational units in and from which the glory of God flows out to the people of their day.
The Formation: When God Mixes His Glory With Our Lives, Culture and Times.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Equippers Ministry Launch Notes

Coaching & Training Equippers to:
1. Fulfill Their Calling to Start Ministries & Churches
2. To Build Up God’s People
3. To Become Mature, Reaching the Full Stature of Christ.

The Equippers Network exists to help you fulfill God’s Calling and Release His Revolutionary Life today. We are on the threshold of a revolution in the Church today as we seek to fulfill God’s plan ‘to make disciples of all nations.’ As George Barna says in Growing True Disciples;
"We need to be igniting and nurturing people’s passion for God and get out of their way.”
Those who are called by God need the continuous mentoring and training that is required to send forth radical, healthy people of the Spirit who are focused on accomplishing what Jesus has called them to at all cost. I have had the privilege over the years of helping to mend, equip, train, mentor and release people into cutting edge Spirit led ministry that flows from God’s heart.

My passion is to help you fulfill to the max God’s Call on your life by Coaching and Training you as God works through you to:
1. Birth, Develop and Mature the Ministry or Church God has given you Vision for.
2. Build you and other leaders up through connecting you with other equippers.
3. Mature you through Coaching_mentoring and training.

God the Great Creator has given us the unique God ability to create. These Creative Visions for Ministries flow from His calling and all that we are in Him. Equippers Network Can Help You Birth, Develop and Mature the Visions that flow from God’s Call in Your Life!

How We Will Get This Done?
Monthly Meetings One Saturday Morning 8:30 to 12:00 Each Meeting will include:
1. Free Flowing Worship it will be different each time
2. Training teaching and doing what we are learning
3. Connecting with other Equippers and discovering what God is doing in each others ministries with an ear to hear what the spirit is saying to the People of God.

Coaching-Mentoring: Individual, Couples or Teams Helping each person, couple or team to Move from where you are to the continual fulfillment of God’s Call in your life. Team Rates set according to the number of people and duration.

Network Options
1. Monthly Participants $75 individual & $100 married Couple Includes Monthly "FULFILL THE CALL" meetings, One hour of Mentoring and Interactive access to the Members only web site. People who are not monthly partners may attend the monthly meetings for $25.
2. Hourly Coaching_Mentoring $50 individual & $75 married Couple Also Includes Web Access
3. Weekly group training options also available as needed.
Cost to be determined by the number of people and duration of meetings.

For additional details and future announcements please go to

Monday, September 12, 2005

Biblical World View Development by George Barna

An important part of being a 'follower of Jesus', is having a view of the world based on scripture. Read the following material from the Barna website.

Developing a Biblical Worldview

"George Barna contends that the key is developing a worldview that incorporates critical scriptural principles and translates those beliefs into specific action. The premise is simple: you cannot act like Jesus until you think like Jesus. So, how can we think like Jesus? George Barna contends that the key is developing a worldview that incorporates critical scriptural principles and translates those beliefs into specific action.
He found that rather than simply participating in numerous church programs, completing studies on books of the Bible, or memorizing Bible passages, the people who are able to think like Jesus are the ones who ask themselves seven key questions prior to making critical life decisions."

Want to know more?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Equippers Network Ministry Launch-Celebration

You are invited to the Launch-Celebration of The Equippers Network Ministry on Tuesday September 20th 7:00 to 8:30 PM in the Solomon’s Porch book store at 8081 E. Orchard Rd. in Greenwood Village. This is on the North West corner of Orchard and I-25 in the Orchard Road Christian Center building. This get-together will be a time of Vision Casting, Worship and Connection.

We are on the threshold of a revolution in the Church today as we seek to fulfill God’s plan ‘to make disciples of all nations.’ As George Barna says in Growing True Disciples;” We need to be igniting and nurturing people’s passion for God and get out of their way.”

Those who are called by God need the continuous mentoring and training that is required to send forth radical, healthy people of the Spirit who are focused on accomplishing what Jesus has called them to at all cost.

I have had the privilege for several years of helping to mend, equip, train, mentor and release people into cutting edge Spirit led ministry that flows from God’s heart. My passion is to help you fulfill to the max God’s Call on your life.

Come find out if the Equippers Network is what you have been hoping for so that you can fulfill God’s best for you! If you know others who might be interested bring them with you.

Please let me know if you will come so that we can have materials for you when you arrive.

By His Grace

Wayne Newcomb

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Do You Want to make a Difference?

"Ignite people's passions and get out of the way."

In this first chapter of 'Growing True Disciples', George Barna gets to the point and hits it with a sledge hammer. His point without quoting him at length is that we need to redefine success in ministry to focus on those who have already ask Jesus to be their Savior, "and do everything we can to help them grow into inspired, unmistakable disciples of Jesus?" (pg 2)

He then goes on to ask; "What would happen if we did not consider our jobs complete when," they accepted Jesus, "but would use their new commitments to Christ as a launching pad for a life long quest to become individuals who are completely sold out-emotionally, intellectually, physically, spiritually-to the Son of God?"

I have to admit he is singing the song of my heart. Throughout the Bible and Church history this was the description of the sold out radical believer who would shake the earth for God. Who would cause a stir as Paul did in Ephesus when the Ephesian temple icon salesman panicked and started a riot because Paul's was turning people to Jesus and away from their god. Hebrews chapter 11 is full of their stories.

I believe it was D.L. Moody who said that if he could have one man who was completely sold out to God that man would turn the world upside down for Jesus.

Barna goes on to quote Matt 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All
authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have
commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Barna here goes on to ask a few questions which could be summed up in the next few sentences. If this was so important to Jesus why is it not so important to us?
When is the last time we had as the desire of our hearts, the thoughts of our minds and the passion of our hearts a day in and day out focus on making His command a part of all we do each day?

Here are some ideas.
Maybe we could day dream about ways to fulfill this command or when a meeting got boring scribble notes about ways to fulfill it. Perhaps we should be having dreams in the night and brainstorming sessions at startbucks or even a Trivial pursuit game that focused on fulfilling it. What if our dinner conversations with friends and family were about how to make disciples. Then what if we were actually telling each other about our success in fulfilling the Great Commission?

When you do a personal time management analysis, what we spend our time energy and resources on proves to be are major priority.

Before we go on in our study why not think about what we have covered so far and ask God if you need to have a revolution in your world to bring yourself in line with this command and priority of Jesus!

For additional info on this book click the link below.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Ways to Help Victims of Katrina's Destruction

If you have been looking for effective ways to help those in need from Katrina's wrath, here are my recommendations.

Convoy of Hope

Samaritian's Purse

More options at The Truth Laid Bear , and Instapundit


Thanks for helping these people!
It is what Jesus would do!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Tell (Blog) Everyone the Hope That Is In You

If you want to Get the Word out with your own Blog here are few recent resources.

1. Leadership Journal Winter 2005 page 69 has an article 'Pastoring by Blog' or
Let Us Blog by Mark D. Roberts,

2. . Ministry Today Sept/Oct 2005 'The Word on Blogs' compiled by Lorie G. Munizzi,

3. How to Start a Blog by the President of Thomas Nelson Publishing:

4. One pastor who Blogs is my friend, Pastor Glenn at Intersect Smyrna,

5., This has several
articles, resources and links

If you get real serious read (BUY) these two books.

6. 'Blog' by Hugh Hewitt published by Thomas Nelson Publishing.

7. Publishing a Blog with Blogger by Elizabeth Castro Peachpit Press (2005)

8. Click on these books under Books & Music to Buy to buy these online.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Vine’s Expository Dictionary Defines a Disciple As;

1. mathetes NT:3101, lit., "a learner" (from manthano, "to learn," from a root math—, indicating thought accompanied by endeavor), in contrast to didaskalos, "a teacher"; hence it denotes "one who follows one's teaching," as the "disciples" of John, Matt 9:14; of the Pharisees, Matt 22:16; of Moses, John 9:28; it is used of the "disciples" of Jesus (a) in a wide sense, of Jews who became His adherents, John 6:66; Luke 6:17, some being secretly so, John 19:38; (b) especially of the twelve apostles, Matt 10:1; Luke 22:11, e. g.; (c) of all who manifest that they are His "disciples" by abiding in His Word, John 8:31, cf. 13:35; 15:8; (d) in the Acts, of those who believed upon Him and confessed Him, 6:1,2,7; 14:20,22,28; 15:10; 19:1, etc.

A "disciple" was not only a pupil, but an adherent; hence they are spoken of as imitators of their teacher; cf. John 8:31; 15:8.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Ready Set Go - Make Disciples

TO GET READY FOR OUR STUDY read the materials linked at the Barna site IN THE ARTICLE article below and click on the Barna site link. This will help you as we start this study. Also you might want to buy the book Growing True Disciples, which you can do by clicking on this text link or by clicking on the picture of the book on the lower right side of this blog, to get there you can click on Books and Music in the table of Contents. This will connect you to

Over at Intersect Smyrna, Pastor Glenn has a great article on Discipleship and a book by Weber. Click here to read it. We seem to waste a lot of time, energy and money doing all kinds of great things in Churches today, but we are not making the world wide or community wide impact we believe the Gospel can make in people's lives.

One of the encourgaing things that has happened over the last 15 years is the world wide prayer movement which has seen this need and has aimed at winning people to Christ and making disciples a priority in prayer gatherings, journeys and meetings. I am glad to see this and have learned to pray for my community as I go for my daily walks, teach classes and attend prayer meetings. Prayer is a very important in do all of God's work!

There is however a pressing need to comprehend that unless and until we as Church leaders take up the mandate of Jesus Christ to Make Disciples and to Equip God's people so that they can come into the measure and stature of Christ we will be found to have failed to be good and faithful servants of our Lord.

There is an old saying among Pastors, "You can not lead where you have not been." The jest of the saying is that as Pastors and Church leaders we must "be" some thing and take people into those things of God which we have learned and experienced. That is a long winded way of saying we must 'be disciples' who have been equipped if we are in turn to equip others.

When we look at Ephesians 4:12-14 we see that making disciples who are equipped to build up one another, do the work of the ministry and come into the full stature of Christ is the reponsibility of every God called Church leader.

When we examine the New Testament we see that making disciples who will then make disciple of Christ is a mandate for all who follow Jesus as Lord and Messiah.

Today we want to use new terms to motivate or explain Equipping and Discipleship. This has come about because the Church over the years has mostly failed at this reponsibility. I have nothing against new terms as long as we get the job done. So, there is one more article I want to recommend over at Leadership Jounal's web site. This article is called "The Apprentices: What is spiritual formation? And how does a church do it? A professor and pastor discuss the new language of making disciples. The professor is Dallas Willard who has written several books on the subject. His books " The Divine Conspiracy "and "Renovation of the Heart " are listed on the lower right hand of this page under Books and Music in the table of contents. You may also click on the links above to get there.
Invite your friends and enjoy the study . Let your heart be open and pray about really making this study a priority in the

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Growing True Disciples

Why are Churches and other Christian Ministries not making healthy disciples who have a passion for God and who are then making healthy disciples?

Many have observed that churches and other Christian groups that are functioning today are not consistently making healthy disciple who are then making healthy disciples on their own. I want to start an ongoing discussion and evaluation of this issue and recommend resources that will help us solve this dangerous situation within the body of Christ.

If we do not obey the commands of Jesus to "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations..." We must ask ourselves if we will hear Him say "Well done you good and faithful servant..."Or "go away from me, I never knew you." Making disciples who are healthy and who are passionate about God and who will in turn make healthy disciples must be a part of our DNA and our daily lives or we will have failed 'to do the things that Jesus did as he has promised we would.'

To start our discussion and evaluation I recommend reading 'Growing True Disciples' by George Barna. When we study we must always be like the people of Berea.
Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. NASU
The summary below of 'Growing True Disciples' by George Barna is from the Barna Group web site and used with their permission.
Success in God's kingdom is not based on earthly fame, degrees earned, material wealth, or popularity; it hinges on obedience to God's commands. As followers of Christ we are to be known for the authenticity and depth of our relationship with God, genuine love of people, and the spiritual fruit we produce. We call being molded into Christ-likeness by the Spirit the discipleship process. How are we doing in discipleship today? In this analysis of American Christians and Protestant churches in relation to discipleship, you will discover many insights into what we're doing, how we're doing, where we're going, and what new directions we might take to enhance the disciple-making ministry of the Church. Barna provides an objective statistical assessment of the spiritual profile of born again Christians. Just as importantly, he identifies various discipling models that are working well in churches - approaches to the equipping and sending of the saints that are easily adaptable to any church's ministry context.

"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations..."Read this book to find out how well we are carrying out Jesus' great commission to us, and how we might improve our discipling efforts in the days to come. I look forward to our interaction on this important issue. The table of contents and an excerpt is available at.

You may also buy this book from If you click on this book on the lower right side of this page and purchase it from Amazon I will make a little money in the process.

Monday, August 15, 2005

To Make True Disciples, We Must Check Our Models and Our Hearts

In a recent response to an article that Pastor Glenn (@ ) had posted on his Blog and in conversations with other pastors and leaders in the Body of Christ it is obvious that many believe we must do a better job of making true disciples. Some have called for a new Reformation where the concept of the ‘ministry or priesthood of all believers’ becomes a functional reality and not just a great idea.

I believe that some churches are working very hard at this and are seeing some good results. I believe however, that many of our discipleship models are not based on the model Jesus used, which was the one used by Jewish Rabbis where people were equipped and not simply lectured or had conceptual data transferred to them, which was more of a Greek model. When a Jew was taught something and said "I believe," they knew that their belief required a life that demonstrated that belief, it meant to live out the teaching and not simply give mental agreement that the concept or idea was true along with many others.

There is a need for discipleship or equipping that accomplishes the mission of Ephesians 4:11-13. It must be more like coaching some one to play a sport or teaching them a trade, such as carpentry than it is to teach someone to memorize a new word for a spelling bee. Eph 4:11-1311 And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers. 12 His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ's body (the church), 13[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ's own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him. AMP

The other statement about discipleship that I have heard from many which pertains to the American church and many other churches around the world is, ‘unhealthy’. Jason Upton on his music CD 'Faith’ has a song (Freedom) in which he says "The church is sick and needs God alone. People we must seek His face. If we will turn from our unrighteousness he will cleanse our evil ways." This is a rephrasing of (2 Ch 7:13-14,” if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” NIV)

The Bible teaches us that God will not rest on or abide with, or honor a people who do not know Him in an intimate way, and who have lives that do not honor Him above all else. Upton goes on to ask that God's Glory and honor rest on our lives. This can only come as we yield to His Word and humble ourselves along with giving ourselves completely to Him daily.

I am amazed that my fellow leaders are seeking more and more complex and detailed ways to train people the wrong way,(using the wrong model). It is not the method alone but the content of our training that needs change. The solution is not some amazing new way to teach people, but it is going back to what I have seen in students from all over the world. A total giving of ourselves to Him.

That is the starting point, which must be followed by Whole life Equipping. Whole life equipping is a truly new Reformation for equipping people in Spirit, Soul (the mind, will, emotions) and Body. This is a functional realization of the doctrine of the Priesthood of all believers. It starts with what has been said above and then goes on to teach, integrate and experience the life and teachings of Jesus and His disciples today.Let us all give ourselves (our personal development), our discipleship and leadership training programs an evaluation. Are they accomplishing what Ephesians 4:11-13 intends them to?

Will you ask God to start a new Reformation in you and through you, today?If you are interested in a few other sites that will help you to ask more questions and possibly lead to some answers look at and These sites offer resources and perspectives that may challenge what you think, so enjoy the adventure as you seek His plans and solutions for Equipping the believer today.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Do Your Filters keep Jesus from Having His Way in Your Life and Church?

In a recent discussion with two other Christian leaders our conversation turned to situations we had experienced where people's filters, traditions, Church government model, doctrine or worldview kept them and their churches from having a greater part in what God desired to do among them.
Among these issues were:
1. The place of women in the functioning of the church, putting a women’s role in predetermined boxes which resulted in the touch of God on them and the gifting in their life not being released, thus keeping others in the Church from being blessed, and in fact allowing men who were not as gifted, nor as mature or of as good character to lead in the place of these women.
2. The seeming inability of believers from one group within the kingdom to accept and welcome others who have new insights into how we teach the truths of scripture today, such as the role of the supernatural in the church today. Does God speak and work supernaturally among His people today, and if He does under what rules and through whom and according to what pattern?
3. The recent resurgence of the concept of the role and office of apostles and prophets among Pentecostals, Charismatic and the new Apostolic movement. To some this discussion is only a matter of what we call people who have a certain role or function. Although this is a structural issue it is also an important doctrinal issue to others.

These three issues are not our topic today, but are used to illustrate our point. We may be in various camps when it comes to these issues, but we must be careful not to claim that we have absolute knowledge or that our positions are the only possible true ones. When we do we can miss out on what God is doing and how He is building His church. We must understand that 'we see through a glass darkly', that is to say although God has given us perfect truth we are not yet perfect in our understanding. This should keep us humble and open to learn the new ways God is speaking and working in His Church today, so that the revival or revolution that once brought our camp or denomination to life does not become enthroned above God and thus become 'philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

'The material that follows is from Cynthia Griffin who was one of the leaders in the discussion mentioned above. Below is the heart of what she shared concerning these things.

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:6-8).Sounds simple enough, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him...” But what about verse 8, “beware lest anyone cheat you”? Why is “beware” there? As I read it, “beware” means, “listen up, you need to hear this.” What was going on in the church of Colosse that Paul felt he needed to include the warning?Evidently, there were teachers who were trying to introduce doctrine that would undermine the basic principles of the faith: the deity, absolute lordship, and sufficiency of Christ. Are we to heed this as a warning to the church today?Paul makes it pretty clear as to what to watch out for: philosophy and empty deceit; according to the tradition of men; according to the basic principles of the world. Once again, sounds simple enough. But, has philosophy, tradition, or basic principles of the world made their way into the church today? This may sound harsh, but I believe God is jealous for His Bride and desires to have her without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27).I believe it is time for all of us (myself included), to examine what we believe and why? Then, how do we practice what we believe? I look to Jesus as my example. Did Jesus think or act denominationally or politically? As I read the scriptures, I see him speaking of only one kingdom, the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). What about methods and practices? Are we doing what we do because that's the way it's always been done, or that's the way we've learned to do it from others? Jesus had a different approach. He only did what he saw His Father doing (John 5:19).Going back to Colossians 2:6-7, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” “Beware” is still there, now, as it was then.