There are millions of deceived people in this nation who believe they are still following Christ when in fact they are not. What makes it deceiving is that some are still regularly attending Sunday church services and/or reading the Bible and praying on occasion.
There have been many articles and books written regarding spiritual fathering and parenting. This article is different in that I am writing from the perspective of leaders who need fathers.
I have been involved in empowering leaders of leaders for several decades now, and I have been challenged in two areas in particular that relate to this piece.
Often, when we are sharing the gospel with an unbeliever we think that we must begin with a blank slate in regards to their understanding of and adherence to God and salvation. We try our best to understand their perspective and their personal narrative and see how we can fit in the gospel message.
Being involved with pastoral and apostolic-type ministry for more than three decades, I have attempted to prioritize building relationally through covenant, and mentoring. This experience has shown me that in order to be successful I must discern between three types of people: protégés, partners, and parasites.
A prophetic culture is an exciting and much needed element for a cutting edge local church. By “prophetic culture” I am referring to having a sense of anticipation among the attendees that God is going to manifest His presence and speak directly to His people, either through the preached Word of God and/or through the worship experience. By prophetic culture I am not merely referring to a plethora of prophetic words being released during church services.
In order to understand the New Testament, it is vital for us to understand the cultural and religious background of Jesus and His disciples. With this in mind, it is helpful for us to understand the common discipleship method of the Jewish rabbis during Jesus’s day, so we can gain a greater appreciation of His radical approach based on His claim of lordship.
On the surface there appears to be no essential difference between the discipleship methods of Jesus and that of the rabbis of His time. For example, both Jesus and the rabbis of His time had disciples or students that would attach themselves to them.
As a leader who has been the senior pastor of a local church in a major urban context, I have observed a fine line between what many deem healthy and unhealthy churches.
I define a healthy church as one that is relationally functional regarding its top leaders (elders, deacons, trustees, pastors and ministers) and its regular attendees and membership. Also, a healthy church has organic growth based on a balance of outreach and in-reach, or pastoral and evangelistic ministry, as well as discipleship and organizational systems that perpetuate the vision of the church.
Oftentimes we in the church emphasize what a person can do more than what a person should be. Molding Christ-like character is the most important element in a person’s life that determines the trajectory of their talents and influence.
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