There Are No Part-Time Disciples 

If you claim to be a Christian, then the questions of “the meaning of life” is already solved and answered for you! The purpose of your life is to share the Gospel of the Kingdom and the redemptive qualities of Christ (Matthew 28:19). You ARE in the ministry. 

Galatians 2:20 reads, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” There is a vital truth to what this verse states. It is no longer YOU who lives, but Christ who lives IN you. Meaning, it’s no longer about your agenda, your desires, and your needs. If you call yourself a Christian your agenda is now filled with an all-consuming calling from Christ Himself.

So, your current situation and workplace are your personal mission field. Why? Because you can reach people a church can’t. You’re on the front lines! You might even have a better opportunity to reach people than a missionary or church professional does. Don’t let anyone tell you that full-time ministry can only be found within the confines of a church building. God is bigger than four walls and a steeple. 

God has put the people around you in your life for a reason. Find out what that reason is, and make it your mission to empower their lives with Christ. Jesus will always supply you with the necessary tools and weapons needed to conquer anything that comes in your path. 

Work at a grocery store? Perfect. You have the opportunity to share and reflect the love and servanthood of Christ to dozen of customers a day. Work for a restaurant? Awesome! Use your time at work to share your testimony with your coworkers, or even share a reflection of Jesus’ kindness to each person who walks through your doors. If you really look, there are endless possibilities for anyone who is looking to be a full-time disciple of Jesus Christ.

Your job title doesn’t matter, but the way you use your time does. Stop letting people tell you that working for the government or for your company isn’t God’s plan for you. Stop allowing the opinions of man to keep you from being a light to your current workplace (Matthew 5:14). Just because you may not have a seminary degree and a position serving in a local congregation doesn’t mean you’re not in full-time ministry.

Jesus Himself wasn’t paid by a church. He was a carpenter who used His everyday knowledge of work and carpentry to relate to the people He was surrounded by. Yes, men like Paul and Peter dropped everything to follow the plans of Jesus, but don’t forget about the thousands of other people who stayed where they were in order to be a light where it was needed.

The New Testament couple Priscilla and Aquila are perfect examples of this. Acts 18:2-3 tells us:

“And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.”

We see that both Priscilla and Aquila were tent makers who helped Paul on his apostolic journey by allowing him to live and work with them in order to provide for himself. Their regular work flowed seamlessly into their ministry – a ministry that happened to help during one of the most critical points in Christian history. Tent makers, Yes! But, history makers as well!

So, step out and start vocalizing what God has put on your heart. If you’re not willing to do it where you are, what makes you think you would do it somewhere else?

This ideology of every Christian embracing a lifestyle of full-time ministry has the potential to transform the world from the inside out. It’s a possibility that could truly reach the far ends of the world for the sake of the Gospel. Imagine if everyday people, working everyday jobs, meeting everyday customers, all shared the extraordinary salvation given through Jesus Christ. The potential is limitless.

In order to embrace the fullness of what Jesus is calling us to, embrace the mission of using every moment available to share your faith in Christ. There are no limitations on where God can work.

So, know this: Jesus is not hiring part-time disciples. While this may discourage you in the beginning, I would encourage you to allow it to fuel your purpose in life. Stop, take a deep breath, and make today the day you start using every avenue available in every place, no matter how mundane, as a way to share the hope, grace, and salvation of Jesus Christ. Trust me, it’s worth every moment. 

Choosing a Mentor

Personal growth should be the number one priority of all believers who are serious about following Jesus and reaching their divine purpose in life. Since I began my walk with the Lord over 43 years ago I have had a series of mentors.
At first, I simply grabbed hold or anyone who was willing to impart information into my life. This was good as I was a young believer and gained a great deal from other more mature believers and leaders. But this was a scattershot approach. Although I learned a lot I did not achieve the traction that I had hoped for. Then I figured out that I needed to focus my growth on my areas of personal strength: relationships, communications, teaching, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When I did that, my effectiveness in growth started to increase. Most of my early mentors were authors whose books I devoured.
Through one of my mentors I started to learn to glean from what I was studying. Resources have little value unless you can pull from them the essentials that you need. That meant learning that I didn’t have to finish a book simply because I started it. I could read only the portions that I needed and deemed important at the time. I learned how to take useful notes, gather quotes, and, most importantly, reflect on what I was learning. I often summarized what I learned and wrote follow-up points inside the front and back covers of a book that was significant and life-changing for me. And, I learned to collect, categorize, and file stories and quotes every day. I also put into practice anything I learned at my earliest opportunity.

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A CRITICAL BALANCE

In John’s Gospel we saw last week that Jesus was a safe person….

Someone whom people were drawn to
Someone whom people trusted
Someone who invited others into His life
Someone who listened and understood when others shared
Someone who accepted others regardless
John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

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Interpersonal Traits of Unsafe People

We want to continue speaking about relationships. We just finished a short series on the inner character traits of an unsafe person. Now let’s look at the the interpersonal traits of an unsafe person. In other words, the relational trends you will see when in relationship with an unsafe person. Personality traits (see the previous blogs) describe “who we are,” interpersonal traits describe “how we connect.” These interpersonal traits are about how people operate in relationships, how they move close or pull away, and how they build up or destroy.
1> Unsafe people avoid closeness instead of connecting

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THINKING OUT LOUD – About The Church

The Church – is God’s people gathered together

God’s people – born again believers / disciples

The Church – is empowered to be a witness

Acts 1:8 … “you shall receive power and be My witnesses…”

The Church – is here to complete the task Jesus began

Luke 19:10; Matthew 28:19-20

The Church – is to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom everywhere

Matthew 24:14

The Church – is to demonstrate that the Gospel is true Read more

Christian Fellowship

Jesus is currently building His Church

Matthew 16:18 “On this rock (revelation) I will build My Church…”

He is doing this through planting new expressions of the Gospel in every nation

A major move in most nations towards house churches

He is also revamping any existing church – regardless of their size, shape, or tradition – through shaking it so that only the essentials remain Read more

Rome – Penetrating World Structures

God is bringing us back to the biblical pattern for the Church. He is preparing a new wineskin for a new move of His Spirit which will bring many into the Kingdom. Some say, we are being prepared for the end-times harvest of souls for the Kingdom.

The Church has tried following man’s ideas, but man’s ways have not produced results and has resulted in a lot being done in the flesh. We have been faithful but somewhat fruitless. God is bring us into a new season when there was will be a return on His investment and much fruit will be seen. Following God’s plan the Early Church moved in a continuous time of harvest that reached the known world in one generation. We can learn from their example.

A key element in the success of the Early Church, as we have seen, was the establishment of apostolic regional centers. They were placed strategically by the Holy Spirit so they could have the greatest impact in spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom and in training, equipping, and releasing the saints to expand the Kingdom to the end of the then known world. Apostolic centers were not randomly placed. God planted them where they would have the greatest impact to penetrate the world for His Kingdom. Read more

Corinth – Reaching the Hard-Core Lost

We have been looking at biblical regional centers or apostolic centers as found in the New Testament…

We have looked at Jerusalem, Antioch, and Ephesus… The forth one of five is found in the city of Corinth

Today – the Lord is stirring something in the harvest fields. He is placing a hunger in people’s hearts for a reality – a spiritual reality leading to a new physical reality – beyond anything they have previously seen or experienced.

  • He is preparing His Church for a great end-times harvest that will soon be upon us.
  • He is preparing us to receive that harvest as well as be labourers in the harvest field bringing the harvest into the Kingdom and the Church
  • He is planting “new wineskin” churches in nations around the world
  • He is renewing existing churches that are willing to move into a new future

And, I believe, He is walking away from churches who determined to continue to hold to their lifeless traditions and religious rules that hold people in bondage and control them. Read more

SHIFTING THE PRIORITIES OF CHURCH LEADERS

 Jesus defined “success” in three key words

1> Faithfulness

Matthew 25:21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

2> Fruitfulness

John 15:8 “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples”

3> Finishing well

Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”

2 Timothy 4:6-7 “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,
which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

If these are the three things Jesus is looking for to determine our success as leaders in the Church that He is building

Then our PRIORITIES should reflect them

And, these three signs of success in the Church and in our ministry are all directly related to relationships that we form and develop.

Yes, we have placed so much emphasis on tasks – in fact, an overemphasis – often at the expense of relationships

I believe it is our relationships that ultimately reveal our success or lack of success in the eyes of our Heavenly Father if not in the eyes of the Church world

Christian LEADERS fell obligated to fill a vast number of roles – a tremendous variety of roles in the Church and thus in their ministry

Diagram of the ministry of Jesus as it related to His priorities, His relationships, and His impact At the top of the chart are the roles that He fulfilled

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The Priesthood of All Believers – “The Church of My Dreams” Part 11

We have a spectator model of the Church here in North America and in many others nations of the world. People come to the service on Sunday and watch the experts fulfill their calling as they lead worship, teach, minister, and pray. Then they go home having fulfilled their Christian obligation for the week. Most denominational churches and many Charismatic and Spirit-filled churches function in this manner.

It is an Old Testament model of the priesthood where those select few are ordained and anointed to do the ministry – celebrate the Lord’s Supper, bless the people, minister God’s Word. The New Testament Church did not continue that model of ministry after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who is the head of the Church. Instead it taught that every member is a minister because every born again Christian belongs to the priesthood of all believers. (1 Peter 2:9)

In the New Testament there was no such thing as the clergy and the laity – simply believers. Yes, there were some specific tasks certain people were called to fulfill – five-fold ministry roles, deacons, helps, administration… but fulfilling one of these roles did not make you “clergy” and if you didn’t have one of these callings then you were “laity.” That is a man-made system and not a God-given structure.

The word ‘laity’ means amature. When I go to the doctor for a medical issue I am going to someone who is the expert and I am certainly a bit of an amature having never even taken high school biology. So, I am expecting him to be the knowledgable one as I am certainly not well informed. But, this was never meant to be the way the Church functioned. Jesus wants everyone in His Church to have a ministry and fulfill the call on the Church to “go into all the world…” (Matthew 28:18).

In the Church Jesus called certain people to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. The task of these five-fold ministers (Ephesians 4:11-16) is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. It is not their task to do the ministry. Rather it is their job to teach the believers how to minister supernaturally and touch others with the love of God. They are the coaches and believers are the players on the field. However, in most churches it is the coaching staff playing the game on the field while the team sits in the stands and watches. And, we wonder why so many (1,500 a month in North America) are leaving the ministry.

Every believer is called into the ministry and is called to touch lives with the love of God. Every believer has a call and an anointing from God. Every believer has a specific task that they were created and called to fulfill (Ephesians 2:10). Every believer is to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and do what He did. He told His followers just this. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. (John 14:12)

Now, when you look around and see the people in your world – the needs and the pain in people’s lives can be overwhelming. Don’t look at the big picture. Focus on the one person the Lord has placed in front of you and minister to them. Touch their life with the love of God as found only in Jesus Christ. Malcolm Bane once said, “If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing anything for anybody.” So each day find that one person and touch their lives as a minister of the Gospel and as an ambassador for Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) and help them to cross the line of faith and be reconciled to God because that is YOUR calling (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).

Each One – Reach One and we will soon see multitudes coming into the Kingdom of God.