Presentation on theme: "Session I Understanding “IT”... The Difference Maker Session II Transforming “IT”... A Leader’s #1 Responsibility Session III Exporting “IT”... A Congregation’s."— Presentation transcript:
Session I Understanding “IT”... The Difference Maker Session II Transforming “IT”... A Leader’s #1 Responsibility Session III Exporting “IT”... A Congregation’s #1 Calling
Session I Understanding “IT”... The Difference Maker
- A quick look back before leaping ahead – Once the 1 st century church (followers of The Way) was legalized, it got organized. What began as unexplainable became institutional in the 4 th century. Before long, the church was more establishment than movement. One of the fundamental realities of organizational life is that systems fossilize over time – the church is no exception.
“When your memories outweigh your dreams, you’re dying.”
1.What is the church? 2.Who is it for? Your answers shape your ministry.
Matthew 16:13-18 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”
And Jesus responded, “Simon son of Jonah, you are blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it.”
Church Greek ekklesia Gathering (never a place) of people united by a common identity or purpose “I am going to build my own assembly of people and the foundation for this new assembly will be Me!” Where did the word “church” come from?
Constantine – Christianity became the religion of the elite... Basilica (Latin, public meeting place) – Gothic cultures... kirika kirche (German, house of the Lord) – church The majority of the English Bible is a word- for-word translation of Greek text - church is not a translation from the Greek, it’s a substitution for the Greek... and a bad one. Kirche is a location; ekklesia is a purposeful gathering of people.
This shift in vocabulary signaled a shift in direction and emphasis. The church was no longer a grass roots movement based on who Jesus is – it became synonymous with a location. Tragic consequences followed: 1.Whoever controlled the kirche controlled the ekklesia. 2.Whoever controlled the kirche controlled the Scriptures.
3.The movement dedicated to carrying the Gospel into all the world became insider-focused, hierarchical and ritualized.
“It seems that very soon after the conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine in the fourth century, the Christian Church started to become extraordinarily worldly in stark contrast to the very vibrant and charismatic faith that had seen it through the terrible years of persecution under the emperors Diocletian and Galerius. Once it had become part of the establishment, it was inclined to espouse the values of the earthly kingdom rather than the Kingdom of God.” Michael Milton, The Soul of Celtic Spirituality, p.4
God preserved a remnant who refused to substitute kirche for ekklesia – are you one of those who are called to lead and shape God’s 21 st century ekklesia?
Look at your congregation and ask yourself: Are we moving or simply meeting? Are we making a measurable difference in our local community or simply conducting services? Are we organized around a mission or are we organized around an antiquated ministry model inherited from a previous generation?
Are we allocating resources as if Jesus is the hope of the world or are the squeaky wheels of church culture driving our budgeting decisions? Are we ekklesia or have we settled for kirche? Answer these questions honestly and you’ll realize who your church is really for and the kind of environment you’ve created for growth.
Luke 8:5-8 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”
Which of these verses might best describe the Lord’s response to your leadership? John 11:35 Jesus wept. or Matthew 25:23 “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
You are God’s leader called to steward an opportunity – which will it be? Kirche: Hospice for church people Ekklesia:Boot camp for missionaries If you’re interested in the latter, we’ve got to talk about “IT”!
“IT” How your congregation sees itself. And “IT” makes all the difference!
Honestly, which picture best captures how your congregation sees itself? Hint #1: Are your worship services boring or exciting? Hint #2: Are your numbers growing or declining? Hint #3:Are your members extensively involved in reclaiming their community for Christ?
Are you willing to pay the price to address the toughest 18” in Christendom? You see, the problem with evangelism is not outside the kirche... it’s inside! “Every man has a final weapon: his own life; and if he is afraid of losing it, he has thrown his weapon away.” General Charles Gordon
Session II Transforming “IT”... A Leader’s #1 Responsibility