I was listening to Ray Ortlund (pictured right) speak on “How to build a Gospel culture in your church,” it’s available from TGC, and the full notes can be read here.
In it Ortlund quotes the call to worship they use at his church in Nashville. This is it,
To all who are weary and need rest,
To all who mourn and long for comfort,
To all who feel worthless and wonder if God cares,
To all who fail and desire strength,
To all who sin and need a Savior,
This church opens wide her doors with a welcome from Jesus Christ,
the Ally of his enemies,
the Defender of the guilty,
the Justifier of the inexcusable,
the Friend of sinners.
It sounds like a church where you come needing a Saviour, I like that.
Whilst at the gym I was listening to a podcast of David Platt (he of Radical fame) speaking. He quoted C. T. Studd (below), I stopped, and a shudder ran down my spine.
Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time of waiting is past! The hour of God has struck! War is declared! In God’s Holy Name let us arise and build! ‘The God of Heaven, He will fight for us’, as we for Him. We will not build on the sand, but on the bedrock of the sayings of Christ, and the gates and followers of hell shall not prevail against us. Should such men as we fear? Before the world, aye, before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God, we will venture our all for Him, we will live and we will die for Him, and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts. We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only our God, than live trusting in man. And when we come to this position the battle is already won, and the end of the glorious campaign in sight. We will have the real Holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts; we will have a Masculine Holiness, one of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ.
…make a disciple?
On the face of it that might seem like a stupid question. After all we have so many resources that teach us, tell us, how to do it. I might suggest that if those books and techniques were so good the job would be producing more Christlike men and women that i see at the moment.
How did Jesus make disciples? I have read the Gospels a few times and can recollect no mention of a manual or a technique. I know he knew the scriptures but can’t remember him telling any of the disciples to study or memorise them?
I appreciate Paul was a man of tremendous learning and intelligence. Was his apostolic role different to that of those who walked with Jesus?
If I were to model my disciple-making efforts upon Jesus, what would I do, what wouldn’t I do?
If I am to be a disciple in the manner that Jesus intended, what needs to change in the way I learn from him?
uMy experience of “Christian leaders” is that they are often extremely poor listeners. Listening is invaluable as a man or woman of God who is trying to understand people and help them to follow the path of God for their and others lives.
It would appear that Alex Ferguson holds listening in similarly high esteem. A few excerpts on the subject from his book, Leading.
If you are leading people, it helps to have a sense of who they are — the circumstances in which they were raised, the actions that will draw out the best in them, and the remarks that will cause them to be spooked. The only way to figure this out is by two underestimated activities: listening and watching…
Most people don’t use their eyes and ears affectively…
Many people cannot stop long enough to listen — especially when they become successful and all the people around them are being obsequious and pretending to hang on their every word. They launch into monologues as if they suddenly know everything. Putting these megalomaniacs to one side, it always pays to listen to others. It’s like enrolling in a continuous lifelong free education
Ferguson also offers another comment of great value to Christian leaders. When speaking of David Frost’s interviewing technique he says,
“Unlike most television presenters, David did not feel the need to prove he was smarter than his guest.”