When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd.
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few.
Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
(Matt 9:36-38, HCSB)
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.
To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses,
commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
(2Tim 2:2, HCSB)
Preview Video: Looking for Leaders
Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream
Audio: More Harvesters – Click Here to Listen
Subscribe to the Audio Podcast here or through itunes, here.
This is “Christianity 301”
Its the leadership training step in the Christian faith. Every Christian is called to lead as they mature in their faith. This relationship is meant to equip you for that task, and to give you the tools necessary to continue to grow and lead others throughout your lifetime.
101 give people a foundation for believing in God and following Jesus. Check it out at www.onechurchmedia.tv/christianity101
201 (Ownership) gives people the tools to grow in your relationship with God—the essential practices that help Christians grow:
- Personal Time with God (Private Disciplines)
- Worship & Serving
- Regular Engagement in authentic relationships (small group)
- Investing and Inviting people outside the faith into the faith
We have three types of environments at oneChurch: our ‘foyer’ on Sundays, geared toward our guests. Our ‘living room’ environments: fun events and serving teams where people get to know each other and start forming relationships. And our ‘kitchen table’ environments: gatherings and groups where we have the opportunity to do life with other people. If you are here, my hope is that you have experienced all of these, and are still hungry for more. 301 is a deeper level of group. Groups of 12-14 people are excellent for forming friendships, supporting and caring for one another, and for applying what you are learning spiritually—for the things that sustain spiritual life. But they are poor places for the intense learning that is so often demanded of those who want Christian life at its fullest.
Leave the Cheap Seats: Watching the game from the first row is a COMPLETELY different experience than watching from the top of the stands. Up top you could see everything that was going on, but you did not feel it, hear it, or have to duck to avoid getting hit by a flying ball or player. Coming down into the first row means you will experience the game, you will see the dirt on the players, and you might get hurt. Good seats are costly. You’ll need to pay the price: hard work and vulnerability. Where do you want season tickets this year? The choice is yours.
301 is about equipping you to lead…giving you a firm foundation for a lifetime of ministry…making you a disciple in the fullest sense of the word. Leaving you where Jesus left his twelve core men, with the foundation they needed to lead the church. I want you to take a year to equip yourself so that you fully capable of following Jesus and helping others do the same. Of leading yourself and others at whatever level God asks you to lead in the future: as a “whatever you need volunteer” or the next children’s ministry coordinator, or as a pastor of oneChurch or First Baptist Paris, Texas. And make no mistake, I hope to commission you for ministry when this year is over. To have the church and the state look to you as a minister so that you have an open door to whatever ministry God calls you to.
The Bigger Picture:
This isn’t just a good idea. It won’t simply benefit you. It’s necessary for God’s purposes for the world…and it’s a really amazing way you can make a HUGE impact in the world. We are trying to reach the world—we need to get the message and the church of Jesus to millions and millions of people. Focused, timely disciple making is the only viable way to do that. We can’t send millions of pastors to seminary, we can’t build buildings everywhere there’s a church…the thing that must spread the church is one person pouring into another intensely, then sending them out to reach, encourage, and pour into others. That’s how you reach an entire country in 40 years instead of 400. Discipleship. It’s a necessity.
Discipleship is also a way that your life can matter to hundreds and thousands of people. If you will disciple 1-2 people a year, we can raise up thousands of pastors to go out and do ministry from a life of strength. We need a city full of pastors. We need a country full of them. If things are going to change for the better—healthcare, government, etc, they will change when the hearts of people everywhere change.
What do you need to know? Here’s what I plan to teach you…
For as many months as we can work at this in the next year, I want to tackle a subject, in depth.
We will start with Spiritual Disciplines: practices that for centuries have been the habits of the people who have been close to God and done great things for God. You’ll try out many of the disciplines, discuss their helpfulness with your mentor, and reevaluate how to get the most out of to the best ones.
Old Testament and New Testament (one month for each) – we will unpack the flow of the Bible and its major themes. I’ll give you a map for reading it more effectively and try my best to fuel a passion in you for your time with God each day.
Doctrine – we will talk through the big issues that challenge our faith and that society attacks us on. For example: is the Bible trustworthy? Where did it come from? What makes Christianity different from other religions?
Relationships – For a month you and your mentor will take time to work hard on one key relationship area: Dating, Marriage, Parenting, Friendships, or another of your choosing. This will be a month to solidify the most important relationships in your life, reinforce important behaviors to sustain your relationship, and gain fresh perspective on your life.
Finances – if you don’t manage your money, it will derail you. You must make certain commitments so that you have the flexibility and margin to follow God in your life. If you don’t, the best intentions will be imprisoned behind financial gridlock.
Leadership – How do we lead others spiritually? What makes a person a good leader or bad one? Figure out what it means to motivate and direct others so that they too pursue all that God has for them.
Bible Interpretation – How do I figure out what the Bible is really saying? What about those confusing or difficult passages…how do I deal with them. Spend the month working through a passage of Scripture and seeing all the meaning it holds. Discover and use tools that will allow you to get to the real meaning of any passage you have trouble with.
Sharing/Reaching People – The most exciting thing in the Christian life is getting to share Jesus with someone and see them respond and cross the line of faith. There’s NOTHING like it! Unfortunately, the best way to share Jesus often eludes us. Learn skills and gain courage to share Jesus everywhere you go—because it really is the best thing you can pass on to others!
The Spiritual Life – Questions, comments, and issues. This month we will do more Q&A, as well as talk about some crucial life lessons that will help you as you move deeper in your Christian walk.
Henry Cloud says about the average person:
We usually know what is the right thing to do in life, but we are rarely motivate to do it unless there’s a good reason. That we should be obedient to God…is certainly the best reason. But sometimes we need a more compelling reason than obedience. We need to see that what is right is also good for us. And we usually only see these good reasons when we’re in pain. Our pain motivates us to act.
As leaders, we are asking you to be proactive in learning. To learn and obey because God is your king…not simply because you feel pain if you don’t. To learn things that you’ll need later…but won’t use right now.
Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver bowls, but also those of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. (2Tim 2:20-21, HCSB)
So…there you have it. Worldwide, lasting, society-changing impact, and eleven core topics. I hope that excites you! Now for the sobering part…let me answer the question, “what will this require of me?”
This program is only available to you because you are deeply engaged in the Christian life, and it is expected that you will maintain an intimate personal time with God, you will participate in a small group, and you will serve at oneChurch.
This is a BIG DEAL! We want to license you for ministry and send you out as “pastors” around the world. This is the training ground for our church planters, staff members, and world changers. You don’t have to go into ministry when you are done in this program, but you should feel equipped to do so. We are going to ask you to invest in yourself this year. Consider that commitment, don’t make it lightly. This is going to require some of your time every week. You are NOT too busy for this…you simply have to ask yourself, am I willing to give up some things to make this happen? Specifically, can you dedicate a few hours a week to read, talk with your coaching group, and write down a few thoughts? It may cost you a favorite TV show…a football game a week, etc.
Learn from the lessons. Meet with your mentor. Do the homework.
I’ll email the lessons out and post them online. All you have to do is watch or read them. There will always be a TON more you can do, including recommended books, CD’s and videos. But those are recommended, not required. This isn’t a college course, and I don’t want you to choose between time with God and time reading and working on this material.
Each week the biggest time you have is meeting with your coaching group. I prefer that these meetings be face to face, but skype and phone calls work when necessary. The point is, you have an hour of challenging, good conversation each week about the lesson. And the best part: you set the time and place. This shouldn’t compete for an evening a week—coffee, lunch, or late night. And keep in mind this isn’t a big crowd, and isn’t a big social time. Meet up, discuss the lesson, get home. It should be a great, short, conversation.
The Homework: Each week you are required to write out a thought or two and email it. This helps me keep track of everyone’s progress, and creates a journal of your year that you’ll be able to look back on in days to come. It’s as simple as typing, copying or photographing something from your journal or conversation, and sending it to Patrick@onechurch.tv
Beyond that, here are a few Tools You’ll Need:
- A Good Study Bible – Life Application Study Bible
- A journal, tablet or blog for recording your thoughts
- Skype or Facetime
- A computer or tablet for watching the online content.
- A schedule: set times to review the lessons, do the homework, and meet with your mentor—on different days!
“mentoring is a brain to pick, a shoulder to cry on, and a kick in the seat of the pants.” ~ John C. Crosby
A coach is someone brave enough and far enough along in front of their mentee that they will look into the person’s life and poke and prod weak areas, helping them strengthen their lives to make good choices and form habits that will give them a firm foundation for their lives. The coach’s job is not to fill their cup…it is to empty your cup into theirs.
This is NOT a small group meeting—this is coaching. Small talk happens in the locker room among the players, not with the coach. The coach gets right down to business. These meetings should get down to business. Talk about the spiritual aspects of the past week: successes and failures. Review the lesson and discuss how to apply it.
Your Mentor is your Coach, not your friend. Mentors get permission to get deep with you. It is their JOB to get “all up in your business” and to poke and prod at your weak spots, getting you to strengthen your life. The goal is excellent performance, not average performance. Be mean, even pushy and ask the questions that need to be asked. Example: among guys, if we are discussing relationships, ask who the most tempting person is to your group members. Ask how they can change that. Ask why that person is tempting. Attack the issues!
What about failure? You only fail if you stop trying. You will not master everything you are taught. You will feel that you’ve failed your mentor at some point. Be sincere, be transparent, keep working. This program is not meant to make you perfect, its meant to give you a foundation to build upon. I expect you to go back and learn and build more into your life on each topic. You’ll want to do this for 2-3 years at a minimum—but each year you repeat it, I want you to take someone new through it with you.
It’s not all serious! Have some fun. Spend time outside of the weekly meeting. Do life with them. Watch each other in regular life: as a husband, parent, gardener, athlete, etc.