Change the world this year! (By Revd Manik Corea, NAMS Global Executive).

‘Everyone wants to change the world. No one wants to change themselves.’ Wrote the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy.

But real change in our world cannot be effected without the transformation first of individuals by God’s redemption at the cross of Christ. That’s why Christians are called to be and make disciples first, and not simply engage in doing good works.

This means in practice more that than simply Sunday attendance, loving our neighbors, giving to the poor or worthy causes, singing songs of praise to Him, praying for each other or even reciting the Nicene or Apostle’s Creed with faith at Sunday services. We should do all that, of course, in His name and for His glory. But He calls us to more.

Discipleship involves surrender to His Lordship, letting Christ change and align us to His will and purpose for our lives. It means choosing daily, and then following with perseverance, in his power and in concert with each other, to be disciples reaching the world, helping others know and follow him as we do, doing the works he did as he said we would (Luke 9:23; John 14:12).

Disciples are the fruit that God the divine gardener desires. In fact, all the ministry we do as Christians must produce disciples or they are deemed fruitless and worthless to God (as a Scriptures like John 15:1-8 emphasize).

If we put being and making disciples at the heart of our personal and collective lives in our churches and ministries, then at least 3 things will be true:

1) It will be all about Jesus. Who He is and what He wants will then take centre stage – not simply our visions, models or strategies. Indeed, ‘he must increase, I must decrease’ – we would cry with the Baptist (John 3:30).

2) Relationships will be central. As we seek to please and obey Jesus, we would be committed to the community of believers (John 13:34, 35), as well as be invested in relationships with non-believers, all as modeled by our Lord. Faith would be more than a personal or private matter. We would seek to disciple a few and help them reach out to others by being and bringing good news to the world where they live, play and work.

3) We will start small. We live in cultures that elevate the rich, the powerful, the beautiful and the well-known. The standard of success in America and the West, if not globally, is predominantly the big, the loud, the impressive and the popular. This has infected our standards for success in the church and in our Christian lives. We think that only those who can gather large crowds, have spectacular ministries or be well-known are ‘successful’ Christians.

Against this, the true disciples seeking to please Jesus will pursue His focus on the few so that others can in time be reached. ‘Jesus spoke to the crowds, but the engine of his ministry was his purposeful gathering and shaping of the twelve.’[1] Consequently, we will ask, ‘Why do we focus on the crowds when Jesus focused on the twelve?’[2]

In fact, this was part of Jesus’ deliberate strategy. He taught in his parables that the Kingdom of God grows from small beginnings. As the late Eugene Peterson wrote, ‘The metaphors Jesus used for the life of ministry are frequently images of the single, the small and the quiet, which have effects far in excess of their appearance: salt, leaven and seed.” [3]

We begin where we are, with who we can reach, by being obedient disciples and faithfully using our gifts.

Start small – but start somewhere. Ask others to help you do it. Be a disciple and make at least one other disciple. When you do so, Jesus promises He will be with you (Matthew 28:20).

And that will change the world – for at least one other person this year!

For help in becoming a disciple who makes other disciples, contact us at info@namsnetwork.com

 


[1] Woodward, JR & White, Dan, The Church as Movement: Starting and Sustaining Missional-Incarnational Communities. (Illinois:IVP, 2016), pg 89.

[2] Ibid., pg 90.

[3] Peterson, Eugene H. The Contemplative Pastor. (Grand Rapids:Eermands, 1993), pg 25.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a sea-change from the way I used to view church-planting. In the old church paradigm of thinking about church-planting that I was first taught, new churches were the ‘products’ we were to become experts at building. These new churches which were essentially models of the old institutional churches we were raised in or converted to. In many senses, it was nothing more that institutional church-cloning.

In order to subvert this ‘false’ picture and theology of the purpose and method of church-planting, we have to ask what kind of church Jesus is building (Matthew 16:18) and then seek to join in (2 Corinthians 3:6-9).

 

and its correlation with Jesus’ final command to us to make disciples of all people (Matthew 28:18-20).

 

In taking God’s divine prescription for global transformation (as Jesus articulated it in Matthew 28:18-20) seriously to heart, letting it inform and shape our vision and practice.

 

A right ecclesiology therefore follows from a missiology shaped and derived from the Christological work, vision and design. His kingdom coming constitutes our going into the world – our ‘sent-ness’ (John 20:21).

 

As we make disciples after Jesus, he will build His church by multiplying it.

 

 

[1] Woodward, JR & White, Dan, The Church as Movement: Starting and Sustaining Missional-Incarnational Communities. (Illinois:IVP, 2016), pg 89.

[2] Ibid., pg 90.

[3] Peterson, Eugene H. The Contemplative Pastor. (Grand Rapids:Eermands, 1993), pg 25.

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Change the world this year! (By Revd Manik Corea, NAMS Global Executive).

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