I had to listen to this sermon as part of my studies with the Navigators. Afterwards I had to answer a few questions to share my reaction to the sermon. I wanted to include them here:
Question: What strikes you? What resonates (and what jars) with you?
Strikes – I really liked how he talked about maturity and he connected it with Unity in the Body. I think often we think of Spiritual Maturity as a individual thing instead, like Eph 4.13 says, it is connected with unity.
Resonates – He talked about different things that stop us from making producing Christians and one of the reasons he gave was being too busy with Christian things without making producing disciples. I connected it with the story of Mary and Martha, when I prepared a sermon on it recently I realized the word for the “preparations” which Martha was busy with was most often used in connection with ministry.
Jars – I felt uncomfortable with his repeated asking “where’s your man/woman?” I understand what he was trying to get across, but I think he communicated a legalistic approach to discipleship.
- “where’s”: Too visible focused – A lot of discipleship seems to happen below the surface. Often we, let alone anyone else, can’t see how God is using us to influence other people. I understand there’s a tension here because Jesus talks about one of the primary ways to discern is to look at the fruit. James also tells us that faith without works is dead and that he can show us his faith by his works! However I also think we need to hold the tension because of our sinful tendency to compare ourselves based on the “outward fruit”. God tells Samuel that he looks at the heart (1 Sam 16). The essence of sowing is the plant underground. Saying all this we can’t make this an excuse.
“Here is where we must begin like Jesus. It will be slow, tedious, painful, and probably unnoticed by people at first, but the end result will be glorious, even if we don’t live to see it.” – Robert Coleman: Masterplan for evangelism
- “your”: Too individual – Paul talks about how he builds the foundation and other believers build the house. I think by asking “where’s your man” you are implying that you are the sole investor in someone else. Discipleship isn’t a one-man job. When I think about how many people have disciple and emptied their cup into my life…