Pastor Patrick Badstibner is founder of World Prayr (on Twitter). Pat has been providing us with a monthly blog post, but I’m pleased to be able to present this blog post, the second in a series of four weekly posts by Pat, to our Energion Publications family.
Check the World Prayr organization and the World Prayr devotional blog as well. You’ll find a dynamic and growing group of Christians who are practicing the second great command, to love their neighbors as themselves, and thereby practicing the first command as well.
In the first part of this series we mentioned that we would be looking at three different sayings pastors today seem to be making. We also mentioned we would be visiting with my friends Dave and Paula. (Here is part one of this series again in case you missed it.) In the second part we talked about how to go deeper without making clones.
This is part three in this four part series. In part one we looked at “multiplication or addition which do you prefer?” In part two we looked at “can you really go deeper without making clones” In this post we look at and prayerfully bring some clarity to this series if you have not caught on yet.
Let us first take time to visit and see what is happening with my friends Dave and Paula one last time.
This time we look on as Dave and Paula are getting ready to install kitchen cabinets as part of kitchen remodeling.
Paula says “Dave we need new cabinets.”
David says “Hey! Saw a handyman’s truck the other day stating he installed the cheapest cabinets in town.”
Paula replies “Sounds good to me David. After all we are not cabinet people and our friends are not cabinet people; in fact we are a bunch of ‘uncabinet’ people. So none of our ‘uncabinet’ friends who come to visit are going to be asking what type of ‘raining program’ did your cabinet guy use.”
David replies back “Yes, just think of how much money we will save.”
“Some people never learn”
Yes, go ahead and say it. We know, Pat, some pastors are:
Yep heard a pastor go “things ‘unchurched’ people are not asking: “What type of discipleship program or training program is your church or your pastor using.”
UMMMM!!!!! WOW!!! That seems a very similar statement to what we just saw Paula say to David doesn’t it?
Amen! This is a very true statement though; “unchurched” people are not asking this.
Just as the same could be said to be true:
Unmilitary people are not asking; “What type of methods, and systems are you using in basic training.”
The question though should not be if “unchurched” people should be asking this question. Since it pertains to Church I would expect “unchurched” people to ask very little about church. The real question is should Church people be asking “what discipleship program are you using?”
Couple of points on this quote
First I am going to make some radical statement of my own
“Church is not for the ‘unchurched’.” It really isn’t. I did not say that again. God did when Christ said in Matthew 18:20 “Where two or three come together I will be there”
Let’s put that another way. If you had a whole bunch of people who did not know Christ as their Savior and the only one who did was the one speaking, you might have a great evangelistic meeting but you would not have church.
This point can be followed up with what the writer of Hebrews describes as the purpose of us meeting together as brothers and sisters in Christ in Hebrews 10:24,25: To encourage, push, and pull our brothers and sisters in Christ towards good deeds and love. In fact wherever you look in the New Testament where “Church” is described it is a gathering point for believers in Christ.
One could go as far as to say Church is the training ground of believers.
Let me state this: If you are calling yourself “unchurched,” and you have accepted Christ as your personal savior. If you feel you are “unchurched” because you are anti–establishment or you have not found a church you want to be part of, you may just have a spiritual problem and not a church problem.
Hey, that sounds like a good post: 10 reasons why you may have a spiritual problem and not a church problem.
Hold on to your hats, shirts, skirts or whatever else may fly off as I make this next statement.
Be prepared it is going to be radical and heretical.
God is not interested in a whole bunch of people just getting saved.
What did you say “God is not interested in people getting saved?”
Nope not what I said. The key word in that statement is “just” or “just getting saved.”
Again I did not say it God did in Revelation 3:15:16.
God does not want a whole bunch of people hopping on the gravy train and going “Whoo! Hoo! Free ticket to ride!” He would choose that if you are not going to be on fire for him, please choose ticket B for “highway to hell.”
Having said that God desires that all would become children of his and true disciples as defined out of the Greek word for disciple, mathetes, which means not only to be a pupil but an adherent. They are spoken of as imitators of their teacher.
Today Jehovah’s Witnesses spend hours learning and going deep in their creeds. The same can be said for Mormons as they spend hours with evangelizing,
I can assure you the average Christian would respond to the average Mormon or Jehovah witness in one of three way’s in areas of scriptural differences.
- We should not argue the word of God
- You believe that; this is what I believe,
- Let me ask my pastor
That is where average Christians who has not been in a church where they are teaching their members as instructed by Peter to have an answer for every man that asks him why he believes what he believes find themselves or as the writer of Hebrews said needing to be taught again the very basic tenets of faith.
So yes while this statement, referring to the fact that “unchurched” people are not asking what discipleship program you have, may be very true, perhaps a better statement might be “questions church people are not asking but should be are: ‘what type of discipleship program do you have?’”
What do you think? Which question should be on the minds of pastors, ministry leaders, and those God has placed into leadership positions for his kingdom?
Do you feel churches should use as radical methods to help those God has placed under their charge come to maturity, develop, and to motivate deeper insight and understanding of God’s Word, as they use for those they would refer to as “unchurched?”
Thanks for viewing this part of this four part series.
One last final look in on my friends Dave and Paula in the final part of this series as I issue some much needed challenges. In the next section titled:
Does it really matter?????????