May I introduce my friend, Cody Stauffer? I'm completely addicted to his blog--I post often--and I have just GOT to share him with my inner circle. He's occasionally brilliant, and I like those kind of people, so ya'll need to check out his stuff. Click on his blog--you'll see it on the right there in the blogs I follow.
I've got two posts this morning: Cody's first and then my response below. I know some of you have something to say about this. Post away! Love you guys!
Waiting for what?
Often times, when people come to a new church, there is a waiting period before they are allowed to get involved with serving or doing some form of ministry. First of all, I have issue with the whole "membership" system, but that's another topic we can talk about at some other time. What really bothers me is that we basically tell people you have to jump through all of these hoops (membership class, intro. to our church class, basics of Christianity class, what SHAPE you are class, etc., etc.).
But here is the funny thing- we are already equipped to help others and to join God in the work of restoration. It's what we were made for. In fact, in the Book of Matthew, Jesus sends out his disciples after a very short period to go and minister (Mat. 10).
So why do we think that we have to line everyone up and make sure they talk and act like we do before they can go and help others? When Jesus sends his followers out, he tells them not to worry about what they will say and do, because the spirit will work through them.
Of course people are going to make mistakes- but they are probably going to make the same mistakes people who have been going to church and who have sat through all of those trainings and programs will make. But see, we always use an entirely different system than Jesus used for his followers. Jesus used the discipleship model. We tend to use the "come-and-sit-in-a-chair-while-I-talk-to-you-as-you-fall-asleep-oh-and-lets-only-interact-once-or-twice-a-week-at-a-specific-place-and-specific-time" approach. (I believe that is its official name).
Now, there is nothing wrong with having conversations and talking about issues that might come up. But what tends to happen in our normal way of doing things is that someone comes to a class and goes through the process designated by the church to make "disciples"- but really all that is being made are people who are great at sitting and taking notes. Congratulations, if what you are looking for are stenographers.
But a disciple went with Jesus, walked where he walked. These guys were teenagers, folks, and Jesus says to them, "Alright, two of you go together and go take care of business. Yeah, I know you feel like you're not ready yet. That's why I'm sending you. Here are a few instructions. See you when you get back- we'll discuss what happened."
How would things be different if we took this approach? Assumed that God knows what God is doing when God calls people to be ministers (which is everyone)? Believed that God has equipped people to serve one another?
What are your thoughts?