becoming a church of influence

iDisciple saw session 6 & 7 hosted by Gordon MacDonald on influence and church.

the crowds were not in the crosshairs of Jesus ministry. Why do we obsess with crowds. Leader influence and discipleship shaping mattered more!
Quaker spirituality:- “I believe in the influence of silent and radiant people and I say to myself that such people are rare. They nevertheless give savour to the world!” Marius Grout
Do we talk too much?!
Let the work draw the people…..beware of selling ourselves, shouting louding and crass self-promotion
Varieties of spiritual influence
A quiet, prayerful life of devotion to Jesus – known for widsom and discernment.
Ability to envision and organise others to do unusual thing in alignment with the purposes of God.
Pastoral capability for praying, caring and encouraging people in times of struggle.
Teaching and mentoring others so that spiritual growth is passed on to another generation.
Prophetic force that speaks to the issue of evil.
Don’t squelch these gifts in others or have to be no1…..share and celebrate others
“Are there knots in your life today?”
Who has a trustworthy spirituality that you would lean into?
how many genuinely holy people do you know? the lack of these should bother us!!
The apostolic (missional) call to project the evangelistic and compassionate work of the church into the larger community or to other parts of the world.
Helping and serving…..
Do we declare the possibilities we see in others?
Bring others in the adventures that God has for them to play in the world!
When the generations connect: Moses & Joshua, Eli & Samuel, Mordecai & Esther, Elizabeth & Mary, Anna Simeon & Mary Joseph, Paul & Apollos Timothy Titus, Aquila & Priscilla.
“Speak Lord, your servant is listening”: that’s the code!
It’s never too late to be an Eli!
The disciples were vindictive, power conscious, fearful, quarrelsome, unfaithful and selfish: after three years with Jesus, they are recorded in Acts and beyond as compassionate, servant-hearted, envisioned, inclusive, bold and wise.
A teaching hospital: definition should be applicable for the local church.
In the MacDonald discipleship cohort: analytical reading of scripture, books – articles, case studies, dialogue, spiritual disciplines, character formation, spiritual gifts, prayer, temperament and personality language defined: reading to each other, (full) story-telling, shadowing leaders, mentoring, leadership skills, projects, learning in failure.
Full story telling (25page transcript of life, read to all!)
Saints can be forged: through life and hunger
Peter Brueghel’s Unfaithful shepherd artwork. Hear the caution.
See the Thessalonian influence: a small but known church! note their generousity…..‘begging for the opportunity to give!’
Influencing: 80% muscle / participation – everyone has something to do.
Institutionalising: 35% muscle / participation…..clarity has become confusion!
Institionalised: 20% muscle / participation which is self-absorbed!
Paralyzed church: 10% muscle / participation which now means life-support
Renegotiating the salvation story: re-engage the conversion process.
beyond the 4 spiritual laws and attempted 7-minute conversion atrocities!
Choosing Christ afresh each day…..
recovery, reinvention, influencing
the power of habit: not broken by will but exchanged for a new way of living.
have long leadership talks about how people come to saving faith in Jesus, in your church culture.
The interior church: what do we bring? what happens in the worship service? what do we take away?
People arrive tired, doubting, angry, in pain, fearful, anxious, overwhelmed, addicted, guilty, joyful and numb.
How many of us know what is going on in the lives of the people we serve?
Most people come with shattered hearts.
This meets worship, connection & teaching.
Do we give people hope?
Do our people ever say, ‘it would have been better not to come!’?
The church is not influential in the world, because we are not influencing our own people.
We want our people to leave graced, focused, peaceful, assured, energised, with deeper faith, a sense of belonging, more courageous, instructed and more inspired to live generous lives.
These emotions are separated by 75minutes or so! How will we use these moments!
Henri Nouwen from The Genesse Diaries : ‘Are any of you in trouble?’
People need to hear their pastors pray for them. That they are cared for, loved, and prayed for.
We need a new commitment to pray for people….. to recover this lost art. Its worth is of great impact.
Can we sing together (whether old or new) songs that join us together and as a community be the choir for God, the audience?
Sermons must build a bridge to the real world where people dwell.
Spend time with the people and learn a holiness that connects!
We need a Sunday revival if we are to have transformed people for each week.