Part IX of our series on Preparation
Today, I want to give a bit more detail on the questions we’re asking to help us grow through that process.
We start the month by Searching the Scriptures.
The first question we ask is, “How did God do this first to us?”
We don’t start by asking how we are supposed to do this to other people, we start by asking how God first did this to us. How did God first do good to me when I was His enemy? How did God first share His bread with me? How did God open His home to me?
That’s how we keep our focus on the philanthropy of Christ; we always start from the outside and work inward. That’s the first week.
Then, as we move through the rest of the month: second week, third week, fourth week we then look and we ask, “How has the church carried out this Work of Mercy in this area throughout church history?” We also focus our worship and prayer on that Work of Mercy.
So during our “Doing Good” month, our worship and prayer is about doing good so we choose songs that involve doing good: God doing good to us, us doing good to others. Or if the month is about sharing your bread we choose songs about sharing your bread, and we pray about sharing your bread. And the same thing with self-denial, serving, and giving.
Then, every month we create opportunities for each discipleship student to serve in that ministry. Last year, when we did Sharing Your Bread, the discipleship students in the US and in Korea went out to the park and they shared their bread. They brought meals to share with the homeless and drug addicted and mentally ill people in the park.
The goal here is not that a few disciples would be raised up to specialize in homeless ministry, but that all would be capable of doing it and training others to to do so also.
The good thing about this is that, whether someone feels comfortable or skilled practicing a particular Work of Mercy or not, they can learn from each other and be mentored to do ministry together.
The result is that, after one year, we each grow in all of the areas of discipleship. Every month we are doing each of these 7 internal Works of Piety and then throughout the year we are covering all of the Works of Mercy. Everything we do is coordinated with that plan.
And it all aims toward the goal that at the end of the year each student can be commissioned to start their own discipleship training group for those in their sphere of influence.
This is just one plan. There’s nothing sacred about it. But this is the plan that we use and you may find it helpful. Or not. Maybe you will hate it so much that you decide to develop your own plan. Either way, that’s OK.
Good discipleship means developing some kind of a comprehensive plan to make sure that we are growing each Christian to fullness in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I really want to encourage you to make that your primary goal in life: developing Christians to fullness in Christ. Because if that is your primary goal in life, then we can build very strong families and very strong local churches and very strong churches around the world.
And even if they are small churches, they will be small churches with big Christians instead of big churches with small Christians.