October 13, 2017
For Paul the church was not an organization but a group of people. Therefore, growing the church, for Paul, was never about growing an organization but about growing people. He says it again so clearly in today’s text:
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching every with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature to Christ.
Paul’s goal was not to get as many people as he possibly could to “accept” Christ. Sure, he wanted people to come to grips with their sin problem and to enter into a saving relationship with Jesus, but that was only the beginning. Paul’s goal was to get as many people as he possibly could to the place of full maturity “in Christ.” He did not have a starting line mindset but a finish line mentality.
so that we may present everyone fully mature to Christ.
So often these days our approach centers around trying to get people to “come to church,” where we hope they will decide to keep coming back and through the process we hope they will hear the Gospel and become a Christian somewhere along the way. Sure we want people to mature in their faith and to that end we try to get them involved in all manner of church activity, much of it in the name of discipleship, but we have no way to know what’s really happening along those lines, so in the meantime we do our best to take care of them and be there for them through life’s ups and downs.
I don’t mean this as a cynical criticism but as an honest observation. Most leaders of church I know, lay and clergy, feel the same way. It’s no one’s fault. It is what it is at this point in the game. Tweaking the model will not get it done. We need a new model- really, we need an old way.
What if we approached the starting line with a finish line mentality. . . so that we may present everyone fully mature to Christ. . . how would that change the way we thought about life and faith and church?
All of this is why we at Seedbed have created the New Room. I very much want you, my Daily Text friends, to know about this and be a part of it.
Abba Father, we thank you for your son, Jesus, who is our picture of what a mature human being looks like and who through the person of the Holy Spirit brings us to maturity in himself. Awaken me to the ways I must mature and fill me with your Spirit to this end. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
1. Describe in detail the picture or image of a mature follower of Jesus. What are the top three or four qualities.
2. Who in your life and past strike you as a mature Christian? What stands out to you about them?
3. How might we find ways to measure maturity in appropriate fashion? Everything we care about in life we find ways to measure. How about this?
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.