Prayer & Discipleship

//Prayer & Discipleship

Prayer & Discipleship

Prayer & Discipleship

“Prayer is the most important weapon we have in our arsenal as we seek to expand the Kingdom of God.”  This is one of the most important ideas that has come out of the long term church  planning sessions the Elders and Ministers have participated in over the past few weeks.

We have spent some dedicated time outside our normal Sunday AM meetings discussing the future of this church and how we can meet the challenges that are ahead of us. We have identified many of these challenges and discussed a variety of possible solutions.

In such discussions, it is easy to get caught up in the fads and superficial (even cosmetic) suggestions of the church growth movement.  These amount to little more than “tweaks” in current practice and appeal to more of a consumer based view of Christianity (“if you build it they will come”).

Of course, this does not mean we abandon striving for excellence in every area of our ministry. We want to do our best and present our best in everything we do. The “attractional” model is still, at the moment anyway, our primary means of introducing new people to the church. The flaw behind the attractional model is that it caters more to “transfer growth” (sheep stealing) and there will always be someone who does it better than us (or at least in the consumer driven minds of many). 

Equally flawed is the idea of borrowing programs from other “successful” churches. This was a very common practice during the height of the church growth movement within churches of Christ
(late 1980s, early 1990s). Large, “successful” churches would invite smaller churches to workshops to showcase their cutting edge programming. Often elders and ministers would rush back to their home congregations to implement these new ideas only to have them fail miserably. The flaw? No congregation is alike. What works in
Dallas, probably won’t in Podunk, Arkansas. Further, smaller churches do not have the same resources of larger congregations— financial or human. Another real issue was the definition of “success.” If you define success only as bigger, richer, more programming, etc., you open the door to blatant consumerism, church competition, and sheep stealing (including membership loss when someone can do it better than you). Do greater numbers really equal greater success, when we just steal members away from somewhere else? Would not Kingdom Growth—new disciples, maturing disciples, faithful disciples, evangelistic disciples—be a better definition of success?

I’m not saying nothing good came from this movement; many good ideas, including Life Groups, are easily transferrable to other settings. The simple fact is, though, programs don’t work. They never have. God works.

That is the reason our discussions keep going back to the fundamentals of the faith—prayer and discipleship. It is our mission to “be and make disciples for Christ” following and cooperating with Jesus in the Great Commission.

In recent lessons, we have learned that a great spiritual warfare is being waged between the powers of good and evil. We, Christians, are a part of that struggle. Jesus has given us the victory over the powers of darkness and we are now enlisted in his army to take back the nations one person at a time. We are a part of his Kingdom and we are marching through this world to conquer in his name until his “will is done on earth as it is in heaven.”

In this fight, prayer is our most important weapon. This is a battle that only can be won with his power, not our own cleverness.

This is true success, true growth, Kingdom growth! I’ll say more in my lesson.

— Joey

By | 2023-11-25T22:31:16-07:00 November 25th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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