Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Crash 09/ Disciple Making

Each year the Vineyard Crash their community with faith, hope and love. The idea is to collide with our communities leaving them with this one thing; God loves you and wants a relationship with you.
This year we had a team of 22 come from our sister Church, Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio (www.vineyardcincinnati.com) to partner with us. Each day we kicked off with a kids club, then after lunch we headed out to paint, wash cars, garden, visit nursing homes, do healing on the streets and then each evening we opened the doors in The Storehouse for teenagers. It was a great week for many reasons; people received Gods love in a practical way, kids got to have fun, we saw the power of God as we prayed for the sick and the weather stayed good (no small thing in N.Ireland). I guess you could safely say the week was a huge success. What was really cool was the fact that when we become outward focused when we go after the lost God, takes care of his children on the way

This week highlighted the fact for me again that we do our best growing in God when we go and serve those not yet in the Kingdom. I was so proud; thrilled to watch our kids hear Gods voice and encourage each other. One teenager told me how this week was the first time he heard God speak to him through someone else and how it blew him away. I’m convinced that when we go on mission God does so much in our hearts. I guess that’s what means when the ancient scriptures say "To Find Your Life You Must Lose It" Matthew 16:24-28. When we are fully committed to serving God, He does so much more in us than through us.

I totally believe in equipping followers of Jesus so that they can grow in their faith, character and love for humanity. I have watched people shout for disciple training in the context of “pour into my life”, “spend time with me”, “Teach me theology”. I mean no pastor, leader would look at these things and not come to the conclusion that they are essential to the Christian faith and walk, and they are of high importance and pivotal to every follower of Jesus Christ. Here’s the BUT, if it’s all great connection without a great commission then there is no real growth, maturity or lasting fruit.

Listen to this, this is mind blowing, if you get this everything changes from here on in for you and the people around you, The person who trusts me will not only do what I'm doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I've been doing. You can count on it. 13 From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I'll do it. That's how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. 14 Whatever you request in this way, I'll do. (The Message John 14:12-14)

Let me ask you a question; if you are follower of Jesus Christ what do you bring to your workplace, university, school, what do you bring to your community? Because of Jesus coming to earth, bringing His Kingdom and defeating death, because of the resurrection we have the opportunity to bring life. We bring right acts, joy and peace because of the Holy Spirit. You and I have the right and the responsibility to act on behalf of Jesus as His followers, bring light to darkness, beauty to brokenness.
Have you ever looked at the world and thought is Jesus Kingdom among us? Where is His rule and reign?
So many followers of Jesus have resigned themselves to the thought that nothing will ever change until Jesus returns to sort out the mess. Maybe it’s because they look around and see the mistakes and past failures of the Church and doubt that things will ever be put right here on earth, resigning to watching, waiting and often criticizing; Problem is this doesn’t fit with what we see and know of Jesus commissioning His followers. The tasks Jesus leaves us to carry out His redemption work is straight forward, though it’s straight forward and reads OK on paper it’s daunting and demanding. Our first task or command is this – You have authority - ‘so go and make disciples’

Thanks to all the Crash team who showed up, stepped out and brought beauty to brokenness. Who walked out their discipleship by advancing the Kingdom. I have no doubt that everyone grew more in faith, character and love for God and others. I guess you could say there is theology in all of this.

Keep crashing forward!

1 comment:

dave workman said...

I love your line: "if it’s all great connection without a great commission, then there is no real growth, maturity or lasting fruit." Way to go, Jason! Keep up the great work...you guys are awesome.