Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Multiplying Community

I was so busy last week that I did not write a blog post about chapter 4 of the book "Radical" by David Platt. And of course, that may have been one of the best chapters of the book. It was titled "The Great Why of God - God's global purpose from the beginning till today". I will come back to that chapter in a later post....but before writing out my thoughts and emotions on the current chapter, #5....I just want to share a subtitle in chapter #4....just to get you in the mood.



Chapter 5 "The Multiplying Community" comes as somewhat of a relief to me. The subtitle of this chapter is "How All of Us Join Together To Fulfill God's Purpose".

In the past, here on my blog, I have written about many revelations I have experienced by way of the Holy Spirit over time. I remember receiving a word about God's big picture and little picture. I believe most of us live in our own personal photo book. Most of us view our lives as what takes places primarily inside of our walls. Our lives are about our families, ourselves, our friends, our jobs and our unique experiences. I think we need to realize that if Jesus kept photo albums, they wouldn't be of your family. If he were collecting photo albums, they would contain photos of every one of His chosen ones.....and there are several photo books empty and numerous shelves to fill. They aren't empty because He doesn't know whose photo belongs in the book. They are empty because those haven't come to know Him yet....or at least not enough to want to pose for a portrait. In kindergarten theory.......Jesus has given each of us a camera and given us an assignment. He's waiting for His lost children to be ministered to. He is waiting for each tribe to hear His name. He is waiting for the remainder of His children to line up with photo in hand and to say "here is my photo, Jesus...please save it in your book of life".

My original post on this was quite different. You can click here to read it.

The phenomenal part of this chapter to me, which I read several times, is the simple reality that Jesus spent His time here on earth making disciples. He made disciples. He focused on 12 men and out of those 12, He made 11 disciples. Those disciples made disciples, and then those disciples made disciples, and then those disciples.....and so on. I am a disciple today because of this multiplying community effect. Jesus is not asking me necessarily to be responsible for "saving " people.... I can't save people because I am not Jesus. He wants me and you to intentionally share our hearts about Him.... and to be available for questioning. He calls us to teach....not necessarily to large crowds, but to one at a time. But more than making a believer....He calls us to make disciples. The multiplying effect is how the gospel spreads and reaches to the unreachable. Numbers. And it isn't about the numbers in churches....it is about the numbers in the world. Church matters A LOT....(the BRIDE of Christ) but this chapter asks if we are just receivers of the word? (i.e. at church) or are we REPRODUCERS of the word? If all we do is listen, swallow and digest.....are we just zooming in on ourselves? Shouldn't we zoom out?

One of my favorite quotes from this chapter is about reproducing the word of God.... "It is multiplying because the people of God are no longer listening as if His Word is intended to stop with them. They are now living as if God's Word is intended to spread through them."

Is His word spreading through you?

Why is this a relief to me? Because saving the world doesn't mean I have to do something monumentally humongous. My hands don't have to touch every orphan in Africa. I don't have to stand at a podium or do the conference circuit. I don't have to struggle to be heard. I don't have to write a book (although I still want to) and I don't have to blog everyday. Me....little ole me..... I just have to be intentional on a small scale. I do have to be intentional, though.

Discipling isn't about convincing people to believe what you believe. Discipling isn't about being right. Discipling is quite simply knowing that you know that you know that Jesus is real, that Heaven awaits, and being desperately eager to expose this truth to others so that they too can know forgiveness, hope, peace, grace, mercy, love and a perfect, everlasting, eternity with God.

Go visit Marla's page where she is hosting the discussion via other blogs about this book, this chapter. And stick around....she has a great blog! MARLA


Natalie said...

Wonderful! Thank you for focusing on the simplicity of discipleship. Yes, it can be messy and complicated, too but let's not let that discourage us! If we walk in simple faith and obedience to Him, He will work out the details :)

alittlebitograce said...

i read both posts and really liked them both, especially the kindergarten theory on this one.

these words really spoke to me:
Discipling is quite simply knowing that you know that you know that Jesus is real, that Heaven awaits, and being desperately eager to expose this truth to others so that they too can know forgiveness, hope, peace, grace, mercy, love and a perfect, everlasting, eternity with God.
i'm praying that i will have that desperate eagerness to share the gospel.

Missy said...

Beautiful words! And isn't it freeing to know the simplicity, though importance of the task before us? Your heart comes through and I appreciate that!

Marla Taviano said...

I'm so glad I read this post tonight. I have a Jehovah's Witness coming to my house tomorrow morning, and this was just what I needed to hear. Thank you!

p.s. You should totally write a book. :)

Melissa Irwin said...

hello peeps - thank you for stopping by my blog and sharing in this awesome book.... and also thanks for the encouragement. marla - cannot wait to hear the follow up on your visitors...i pray they will see Jesus through you!

Pete Ahlstrom said...

Hi, Melissa

Good, thoughtful comments. See? The "blogger's block" was very temporary.

Don't know if Jesus gives us ALL a camera, but he did to my daughter Yvette just under a week ago. (Our old one had succumbed to a familiar malady out here, desert dust.) We didn't think we could get another one yet, but then Staples had a good sale, which included three of Consumer Reports' top recommendations.

She absolutely fell in love with it. And immediately started taking pictures, many for our www.sparkleofnature.com website. Mostly of flowers, trees, and horses. Some for possible free desktop pages, or for magnets with Christian sayings. Some for letterhead or note cards. Etc.

But what floored me was just HOW involved she got with that camera Jesus gave her! Would you believe over 2,000 pictures in the 1st 5 days? And almost 400 more yesterday? Can't wait to see what she does with them - but they will glorify God.


Rebecca said...

Just wanted you to know I also just happen to be reading Radical right now. Its so fun that we have so much in common :) I love that you are writing on each chapter...I think it will help me process.