Sunday, February 27, 2005

dancing sheep?

originally posted on February 25, 2005

we were writing back and forth about rescuing 'lost lambs' in ways that reflected our 'giftings...

i hear what you are saying... especially the 'gifted' part.

what is a gift? are relationships gifts from God? if so, then the lost lambs are right there in your area of gifting. rather than seeing gifts in the general and traditionally interpreted biblical sense, how does this play out for you personally?

my fear is that we miss our specific role in the reaching of the lost because we categorize our lives into boxes: (work, friends, family, work-friends, work-family, church, church-friends, church-family, church-work, church-work-friends etc.) and lose track of our relational role in the whole thing. who do you have more of a chance to share Christ with, to demonstrate the patience and grace and love apportioned to you with, etc etc- a stranger that you meet when you are playing music somewhere or somebody that knows you because they've played hockey with you or worked alongside of you for ten years or whatever?

a band i play with is very definately a missionfield- i get excited about doing stuff with those guys because playing is fun. however, for my person, the ministry is with the guys in the band- i have greatest impact on them because we have relationships that are established already- not with the crowd (big or small!) assembled. anytime i sing i am leading worship because that's a sanctified role i play for God's glory, and i don't really think that the words have as much to do with pleasing God as the heart anyway. although we don't frame it that way, singing "i fight authority-authority always wins" becomes a testimonial praise song on a number of levels because of who i am, but when we're singing 'one thing' (finger eleven) and that tear makes a break for it down my face, it's not the crowd that notices or knows what it's all about- it's the boys in the band.

music is a great vehicle for praise. i'm just not sure of how effective an evangelism tool it is, because it is so emotional and emotions are so volatile. the lost lambs can dance, but do they dance home?

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lost and found

originally posted february 24, 2005

concerning how we serve God as individuals rather than as part of a larger organization...

here’s what makes sense to me: we serve God in many different contexts and many different ways. we serve him by reaching out to the varying degrees of lost and we serve him by building up spiritual muscle in his body in order to equip the church to reach out to those varying degrees of lost. I don’t think either is a stand-alone righteousness… they both qualify the other.

the first part of our missional orders is often the part that gains most of our attention. we know Jesus said to go out, and we drink a lot of coffee as we strategize how this going out is to take place. the ‘going out’ part is the creative, outside-the-box stuff- trying to remain connected with the people Jesus died to save in order to be used of him with them. however, if our focus rests entirely on chasing after people’s hearts then the great commission is only partially realized because Jesus’ last words were bi-directional: go out… make disciples. hmm- there’s the ‘make disciples’ part.

discipleship isn’t instantaneous… it wasn’t even that way for Jesus. after all the time and relational investment, his closest disciples still buckled under pressure- we all do. Jesus’ final words on earth include within them a reminder of the process that he had modeled with his own friends in the three years of ministry that had ultimately led to the cross and beyond it into new life for us all. making disciples takes lifetimes as we learn new things from Jesus’ word and his people that challenge what we embrace so far as obedience.

so I guess what I’m saying, in short (?) is that we probably need to sort out how, in our own life, we are going to attend to both of the calls to ministry as spoken so succinctly by our Lord: how do we reach out to the lost? how do we equip the found?

ephesians 4.11-13 speaks of how we are invited to serve the body, culminating in the vision for all of us:

“till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

I like the thinking that is taking place here, because of the inherent challenges that arise from the acknowledgement that it is easy to continue doing the same things exclusively for they are most comfortable (perhaps that is what matt redman meant when he wrote sadly about having crafted a more comfortable cross for himself).

“let each one of you speak truth with his neighbour, for we are members of one another.” (ephesians 4.25)

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it seems like there is a time and a place for certain things. my other blog ( was becoming blogged down with e-mail threads etc, so i decided to launch this place for those times...
if redundant, we won't see it here for long.
have a great one.