Category: The Gospel and the Ministry

The Disciple-Makers Message

Introduction The sources of a disciple-makers message are tradition, observation, participation and inspiration.[1] The first source of a disciple-makers message is tradition which is to teach the whole counsel of God.[2] The second source of a disciple-makers message is observation which is to be aware of what the student and or congregation is going through.[3] The third source of a disciples-makers message is participation which is providing a message to share with others as well as a lesson to experience.[4] The final source of a disciple-makers message is inspiration, which is to be lead of the Holy Spirit In all preaching and teaching.[5] The forms of a communicator’s message are subject matter, environment, life (experiences), and teacher (model).[6] The first form of a communicators’ message is the subject matter which relates to the content of what the teacher will say to the student and or audience.[7] The second form of a communicators’ message is the environment, which concerns the audience into which the teacher will speak his/her message into.[8] The third form of a communicators’ message is life (experiences) which will help the student and or audience learn how to take the lesson into real life.[9] The final form of a communicators’ message is the teacher who needs to embody the truth of the message they are communicating to their audience. Romans 15:18 Dr. John Stott commenting on Romans...

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The Essential Activity of Christian Ministry

Introduction The essential task of Christian ministry is for the disciple of Christ to be, know, declare, and glorify God in thought, word, and deed. Dr. Mitchell after much study on the words “follow” and “disciple” in the New Testament concludes that the conditions of discipleship articulated by the Master include self, denial, renunciation and leaving all, steadfastness and love.[1] Dr. Dempsey describes discipleship as sacrificial, relational and transformation. His definition of discipleship summarizes what it means to be a disciple according to the New Testament: A disciple is a person who has trusted Christ for salvation and has surrendered completely to Him. He or she is committed to practicing the spiritual disciplines in community and developing to their full potential for Christ and His mission.[2] Discipleship, Education, and Spiritual Formation Biblical discipleship according to Luke 9:23-26 and Luke 14:26-35 involves coming to and following Christ, denying oneself, counting the cost in corporate and personal relationships, and taking up the Cross of Christ. Education according to Dr. Mitchell can be understood as a conjunction of two axes of continuums: Individual/Corporate and Transmission/Reflection.[3] The task of Christian education consists of four critical components: First, godly and biblical people, second purposes, third products, and finally processes.[4] Christian spiritual formation is the growth and development of the believer in progressively becoming like Jesus in all of life, and involves spiritual practices such as...

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The Meaning of Missional

Much conversation today in evangelical circles revolves around what it means to be missional. Many books, articles, sermons, and ministries all subscribe to misssional thinking. Being missional means the believer will be intentional about living for Jesus as a missionary to his/her friends, family, and sphere of influence. Jesus came on a mission to seek and save the lost, and said in John 10:16And(T) I have other sheep that are not of this fold.(U) I must bring them also, and(V) they will listen to my voice. So there will be(W) one flock,(X) one shepherd.” Jesus is not content to sit on His hands while others have not yet heard the message He gave the Church- which is the Gospel. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, which means all people through His shed blood and resurrection can come to Him. Christ does not desire that any would perish but that all would come to everlasting life. The mission of Jesus is to offer to sinful man salvation. The Great Commission is not the “great suggestion”. Living for Jesus means understanding the mission that Jesus gave His disciples. To be a disciple means to be one who is learning from the Master. The greatest of the commissions Jesus gave believers is in Matthew 28:16-20. Jesus also gave other “great Commissions” in Mark 16:14-18, Luke 24:36-49, John 20:19-23 and Acts...

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The State of Discipleship in the Evangelical world

Discipleship is under attack by those who dismiss doctrine as unimportant, and by those who believe that it ends with a certain level of progress in the Christian life. Is discipleship unimportant today? Does one ever outgrow the need for discipleship? These questions are relevant because people believe that discipleship seemingly ends when one reaches a certain level of maturity in Christ. If discipleship ends when one progresses to a certain level of maturity then there is no more need to learn because one has become God. It is precisely this attitude that saps the Church of Jesus Christ from any form of credibility outside the Church today. The other concern related to discipleship is the expressed desire of some to have a conversation about how to redesign the Church at the expense of doctrine. How one defines knowledge demonstrates their view of what discipleship is. The popular approach to knowledge among evangelicals suggests that one never has anything to learn “after” believers “arrive” at a certain place in he/she walk with Christ. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord and fools despise wisdom and correction.” No one ever achieves perfect knowledge as every believer even the most “mature” believer only knows in part not in whole. Ultimately only God knows everything, because He knows every hair on every head of every person...

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The Role of Culture in Gospel Communication

Introduction One of the most controversially discussed topics in the Church today is the issue of contextualization. A brief sampling of what various Professors and Pastors teach on contextualizing the Gospel will suffice to demonstrate that this issue is controversial. Dr. David Sills Professor of Christian Missions and Cultural Anthropology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary defines contextualization as simply the process of making the gospel understood.[1] Dr. John MacArthur, a well known Pastor of Grace Community Church in California, and President of Masters College and Seminary on this point teaches that:  The Church, if it is to be anything, it is to be absolutely distinct from culture, absolutely distinct from the world, absolutely distinct from unbelievers. Paul demands a total break. You can’t marry the church to the culture. Don’t fornicate with the world.[2] Dr. David Hesselgrave was Professor of Missions and Director of the School of World Mission at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, as well as a past President of the Evangelical Missiological Society, he notes that the old gospel must be communicated, but it must be communicated in new ways that engage the attention, empower the thought forms, enhance the understanding, and merit the consideration of people enculturated in systems very different from our own.[3] Dr. Ed Stetzer a noted missiologist and President of Lifeway Research on the point of contextualizing the Gospel argues that Christians...

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