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Church Life Conversation with God Discipleship Joy Learning

The Discovery Cycle

Why does joy come so easily in the morning? Because it’s a fresh day, a fresh start. New discoveries are waiting to be made.

In Christian gatherings, new discoveries are made from time to time. New to the people who are present. Then the discoveries are explored.

This is a time of increasing attendance, with more people eager to learn what’s next. To explore and practice what is being learned about.

The Jesus Movement, re-discovery of Holy Spirit, practicing Spiritual Gifts, growing in the use and application of Spiritual Gifts. Prophecy that encourages and edifies and speaks with the passion of a full heart holding back nothing. There have been many more, and thee will be yet more, I promise.

Each individual can go through such cycles. Entire groups can experience such cycles together.

After a while, what was new to you becomes taken for granted – in a healthy way, it’s becoming a part of your life, now.

You may even become a bit bored. Try not to get stuck or bitter because learning is going so well and freshness is waning.

Not to worry. God has you covered. New discoveries are coming again.

The cycle is always refreshing itself, the cycle of discovery and learning goes on…for eternity!

You get to know who God is more and better. You get to learn your own identity more deeply and in new ways. You get to exercise and learn new gifts, grow more familiar gifts into greater maturity and skill.

Learning and discovery cycles go on…they come, and the newness seems to go. Another one is coming soon. I wonder what this one will be like?

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Blessings Multiply Church Life Discipleship Ministry Prayer

After Disciplemaking – What?

So now they (disciples) have transformed your Christian life through your learning to and the practice of making of disciples. So much changes when we do this. It’s exhilarating, joyous, fun and very, very encouraging. You learn a lot! You grow tremendously. This is a major step on your Christian journey, and this changes your life for the better. You are more rich for the rest of your life when you are making disciples.

What’s next?

  • Continuing to grow in applying Spiritual Gifts?
  • Continuing to grow in faith and applying faith?
  • Continuing to learn to get to know our Lord more?
  • Continuing growth in learning who you are in him?

Yes! All these are not only good, they interact with each other. There is synergistic growth – growth that multiplies and often grows exponentially. These are not only all good, they each provide what can be a wonderful pathway for a lifetime of growth on earth and into eternity.

And yes, there are other steps after Proclaiming the Good News that Jesus Taught. There is following the progression of things that Jesus taught and showed us so often and so wonderfully well, such as healing the sick & freeing the bound, (cleansing lepers and raising the dead), and the making of disciples of all people groups – all kinds of people. (See The Great Commission at Matthew 28.)

He showed this next step with the 12 and the 70, and more…and Paul showed step this every time he planted a local church.

What is this next step? Community and the expansion of Community. Why? Because it roots all Christian Community into the Trinity Community of Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. Or at least resonates with these Persons. And we all crave community and grow best in community – even us introverts!

Without this next step, churches stagnate and grow smaller. Too many are closing. The lack of this is the major reason evangelization is too often too hard these days, and yields so little fruit with too much work.

Ecclesias! Ecclesias enforce the standards and method of the Kingdom of God and results in the rapid and healthy spread of Christian Community.

Ecclesias made of disciples who encourage, support and edify one another. Who socialize, share Communion, and who serve one another.

Ecclesias are the major driving element that results in New Testament speeds of making new Christians and planting new local churches.

What’s their first gigantic step in serving each other and in serving others, resulting in so much marketplace ministry that the Ecclesias reach so many and transform the people they touch through Jesus and born again into the Kingdom of God?

Prayer. Massive amounts of loving and faith filled prayer. Prayer for one another. Prayer for others they know about. Prayer for community people they network with and can so easily touch. People who need help and have needs. Oh, yes! People with needs who are thus prayer and ministry targets.

What are prayer and ministry targets? Prayer for and ministry to people and situations where you can see the wanted results as the Kingdom of God spreads.

Massive prayer precedes and results in people being sent. Sent to share the Gospel, to minister, to make new Christians, disciples, form Ecclesias that result in the planting of local churches.

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Church Life Discipleship Holy Spirit Ministry Success

Had Never Seen a Pastor Cry

John, a revered yet aging Pastor, was crying in the parking lot. It was the end of the day and nearly everyone had left. The parking lot was nearly empty, the smell of car fumes fading in the closing early evening light. I had just finished sweeping, and was headed home.

And, I had never seen a grown man cry like this in such a public place, much less a Pastor. I was uncomfortable, embarrassed, and I had no idea what to do. And I could not look away, I was as fascinated as I was scared. No, I was more fascinated than scared.

Approaching carefully, lumbering along with his long legs came Ben, an unofficial elder in the church. He’d been around for years and never held an official position. Yet when he spoke, people knew to listen.

I knew he’d know what to do and what to say, so I paid close attention.

I did know, and I had heard some of the biting remarks, some people – I guess you could call it a faction, criticized the Pastor for how he did his job. Some people disagreed with how he did things. The Board Meetings had grown longer than they used to be. And when people came out from them, sometimes some of them were clearly unhappy. Or so I had fairly recently heard.

I was too far away to hear clearly. Ben got Pastor John’s attention and said something, I’m now fairly certain he’d asked a question. Pastor John took some time replying. I could not look away, though I tried very hard not to be seen staring.

They talked. After a while, Ben looked over to me and motioned for me to come over. I was scared and nervous; I knew I’d been caught prying. But I came, I had no choice.

Ben looked at me, I was the youngest there, and he told me, in a quiet yet very definite way, “I want you to hear this.” Now I felt caught in a place I had no business being; but Ben was as safe as he was wise. Like a grandfather who makes it clear that you are wonderful, the best, and who always believes in you. So even though I was nervous and had been caught out, I felt pretty safe.

Pastor John had his composure now, and stood looking at Ben with his arms no longer moving as when he was talking; they were just hanging by his sides.

I heard Ben say this, and I’d never forgotten that moment. “Pastor John, have you been doing your very best?” “Yes, of course I have.”

“Have you done what you know or believe what Jesus has wanted you to do, to the best of your ability?” “Always. I wasn’t always as sure as I wanted to be, but I’ve been careful to do my best.”

“Have you acted with loving compassion, as much as possible?” Pastor John thought for a bit, lifted his head and smiled a bit as he answered like he just realized something. Then he answered, in a more definite way than he had been speaking before: “Yes!” He looked almost surprised at his own answer.

“Have you acted with, as best you knew how, with the Holy Spirit?” “Yes, I have”, came Pastor John’s reply with a growing yet thoughtfulness, steadiness and strength.

“Well, then I have something to say. You are a success.”