Friday, July 29, 2011

The Disciplemaking Genius of Jesus—Part 3

By Bill Allison and Dave Garda

When I went back to college later in life, I was told that I had a “math deficiency.” I ended up having to buy an elementary mathematics book and re-teaching myself some basics. Everyday I worked through a portion of that pitifully boring math book—alone. However, once a week I met with a tutor who monitored my progress (or lack thereof) and tried to answer my many questions. (“Why would anyone plant a garden in the form of a triangle and then use the Pythagorean Theorem to measure the hypotenuse?”)

One day I asked my tutor, “Help me understand integers”—and I pronounced it exactly like it’s spelled: “in-TE-gers.” My tutor smiled and said, “You mean, integers”—and she pronounced it “IN-ti-jers.” Sensing my embarrassment, she said, “It’s okay. You couldn’t have known this simply by working through the book by yourself.”

Right then and there I realized this: solo book learning is a good start, but a fuller, deeper learning happens in community. In my math community (with a tutor and few other struggling students), I learned to correctly pronounce mathematical terms I’ll probably never need—such as “integer.” (My math is up to speed these days, but you may have noticed that I still have a significant math deficiency in my attitude.)

In Jesus’ day, this fuller, deeper, communal learning was known as havering. And as it turns out, haver learning is a critically important part of the disciplemaking genius of Jesus. Why? Because you will never fully come to know and experience Jesus or disciplemaking by simply working through the Book by yourself.

What follows is the second of eight leading indicators that you could be experiencing a Jesus-like Disciplemaking Learning Community.  To continue reading—and to catch parts 1 and 2, go here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What makes this speech so compelling?

Purely from a communicator's point of view, this speech is masterful. The speaker even gets heckled early in the speech... and then spontaneously redeems it to make the point.  Masterful.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on WHY this speech is so cogent.
If video doesn't appear above, go here.

So what do you think?  What makes this speech so compelling?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hint: It's the Holy Spirit

Very interesting post from Steve Addision:

Pull down off your shelves every book you have on evangelism, church planting or mission. Flip through them. What premise are they based on? Who is the main character in their story or view of the world? Who makes things happen? Who’s in charge?

Now skim through the book of Acts and ask the same questions. Who’s in charge? Who calls the shots? Who leads the way? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not Peter, or any of the Twelve, it’s not even Paul.

If we don’t get this right, we’re not even in the game.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Best. Camp. Ever. Pics. Video.

Just back from speaking to 8th-10th graders at Timber-lee Camp in East Troy, WI.  As usual we had a blast and God did His wonderful thing in all of us.  
This picture above was taken on the way to Timber-lee.  Look at Libby and Sadey's faces.  Do I need to say that Timber-lee is our family's favorite camp? Can you say "PUMPED UP"?

I spoke every morning and night at this outdoor amphitheater.  The worship times were high energy and high participation... and that spells F-U-N.  The camp worship band was FAB-U-LOUS.

Here's a very short video that I took during the worship time on the first night (above).  Can you tell we're having fun?  I love the counselors at Timber-lee!  Turns out that real men CAN dance. (If video doesn't appear, go here.)

This is what I affectionately refer to as "My Camp Survival Kit."  By controlling all the variables (water, coffee, coffee maker, coffee cups, half-and-half, and sugar), I was able to make the best coffee known to mankind—even at camp... with the help of God and Eysal's Coffee.  A happy speaker makes for a good camp experience for the campers.

All week long I talked about "God: A True Story."  Starting in the book of Genesis, we explored such questions as... If God is good, why is there so much pain and heartache in the world? What is God really like? What does God want from us? What does God have to do with life in the 21st century? Was it really a woman that got us all into this mess? Why do the Cubs keep losing year after year? (Just checking to see if you're still reading.)  You may know some stories in the Bible, but do you know THE story that all the other stories are telling? 

It's amazing what happens when you consistently teach the clear truth in the Bible—and get students into the Bible themselves.  God touches hearts.  Many students trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Other students re-engaged their relationship with Jesus. One time I saw God touching the hearts of students so powerfully that one student got right up in the middle of a chapel, ran out of the amphitheater, and fell face down sobbing.  When I asked him about this later, he smiled and said, "God was workin' on me." I guess so :  )

Did I mention Fedora Thursday?  What about the most amazing camp food ever?  I kid you not.  Timber-lee has got it goin' on.

Baby Ivy made her first appearance with the Von Trapp Allison singers when they taught everyone their crazy camp songs such as Gooberdinky, The Frog Song, and Bazooka Bubble Gum.  I think Ivy really got into it.

God. Students. Timber-lee. Best. Camp. Ever. (If video doesn't appear, go here.)

Monday, July 04, 2011

The Rebranding of Jesus...

Soren Kierkegaard said, “My mission is to introduce Christ into Christendom.”

That would be funny if it weren’t so true.

This quote reminds me of the time I was brought into to work with a handful of youth leaders. The purpose of our gathering was to explore what it would take for them to shift away from the ever popular Rock Star Approach to youth ministry (i.e., building their ministries on their personalities, gifts, oratory skills, coolness, and fantastic programming) to a more Jesus-like/disciplemaking way of youth ministry.

This was my opening statement at our very first session: “If you as the leader don’t make the mental, emotional, and spiritual shift from Rock Star for volunteers and students to Equipper and Mobilizer of volunteers and students, you will not be able to build a Jesus-like disciplemaking ministry.”

Immediately, one young man shot back: “I don’t think youth ministry is about equipping and mobilizing people. I think it’s all about following Jesus.”

In an attempt to point out the obvious contradiction embedded in his statement (think about it), I gently pushed back, “The Jesus of the Bible strategically invested his entire ministry in equipping and mobilizing a small cadre of people to be and make disciplemakers. So if you’re really following the Jesus of the Bible, you have to do what Jesus did—equip and mobilize disciplemakers—or you’re not following Jesus.”

That's when he went off like a bomb.

I kid you not. It got ugly. I looked around at the other youth leaders and realized I wasn't the only one surprised. Their mouths were open in dismay—and shocked embarrassment.

This young man was so hot with anger that the point leader who convened the gathering called for a break (remember—we were just getting started). At this point, I'm thinking, "If we can't agree on something as basic and factual as Jesus was a disciplemaker who equipped and mobilized disciplemakers, this is going to be a very long—or very short—meeting."

By God's grace—and after a long one-on-one with this young man, we were able to move forward when everyone reconvened. (Note: I did not change my original proposition.)

Later, on the ride home, as a reflected on this very interesting exchange that took place, it all made me wonder:

What Jesus are we following?

The American Jesus? Starbucks Jesus? Hipster Jesus? Genie Jesus? CEO Jesus? Or (fill in your favorite fake Jesus here) ________________.

Have we rebranded Jesus into an image that suits our fancies—one that we can claim to follow but doesn't really resemble the Jesus in the Bible?

It sure seems like it.

I think Kierkegaard was on to something. If we’re ever going to get back to Jesus-like disciplemaking, we must introduce the Jesus of the Bible back into Christianity.

Related Posts:
* The Disciplemaking Genius of Jesus
* Imaginary Jesus

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