I attended a state college in Nebraska as a brand new believer where the campus ministry was all about discipleship. Their hearts cry was II Timothy 2:2:
You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
II Timothy 2:2 NLT
Very simple but not easy. One of the leaders carried around a copy of The Master Plan of Evangelism in his back pocket and if you invited him to dinner you better set at least two other places because he was bringing “trustworthy”, or what he called “FAT” people (Faithful, Available, Teachable), with him. What he was doing was simple. He was simply sharing life with faithful men. But not easy, they were with him all the time.
If you have followed this space you know I love technology and I love systems. However my rule #1 is “always default to relationship”. People are the point of everything we do. Consider what Paul thought would be his final conversation with the elders at Ephesus.
So guard yourselves and God’s people, Feed and shepherd God’s flock-his church, purchased with his own blood-over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders.
Acts 20:28 NLT, emphasis mine
When we get a revelation of this it changes everything we do. Jesus bought His people with “His Own Blood” and then appointed us as stewards of His greatest treasure. Don’t get caught up in the word “Elder”. If you are a leader in the church, or in any organization, you have been “appointed by the Holy Spirit” (see Romans 13 if you’re not sure about that) to “shepherd” them.
We are always looking for a new idea, a new tool, a new system, a new book, a new revelation. Not saying that’s a bad thing we should use every tool at our disposal to complete the call God has put on our lives. However:
Hans Ur von Balthasar wrote in his book Prayer:
we think that God’s Word has been heard on earth for so long that by now it is almost used up, that it is about time for some new word, as if we had the right to demand one.
James Clear wrote today in “Do More of What Works Already“.
There are many examples of behaviors, big and small, that have the opportunity to drive progress in our lives if we just did them with more consistency. Flossing every day. Never missing workouts. Performing fundamental business tasks each day, not just when you have time. Apologizing more often. Writing Thank You notes each week. Of course, these answers are boring. Mastering the fundamentals isn’t sexy, but it works.
We definitely need revival in the church but in my humble opinion we will bring revival by returning to the fundamental things of the faith ourselves and bringing as many people along with us as will go.
Do something simple today. Spend 20 minutes in the gospel of John, call an old friend and thank them for what they have contributed to your life, invite your neighbor to Church this Easter Sunday. Simple kindness is a game changer.
Life naturally becomes more and more complicated and we must fight to keep things simple. Make a decision today to be a people focused leader. With the empowering of the Holy Spirit look for the gifting in those entrusted to you, call it out, equip it, and release it. That is how we will change the world.
Let me know how it goes.