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Thursday, November 14, 2013
Are you a mile long and only an inch deep? That question keeps most Pastors awake at night. Let me explain...
The calling that has been placed on my life requires me to help build fully-devoted Christ followers. So each decision I make as the Leader of Grace Community impacts that very goal. I have listened intently to men, much smarter then me, more experienced then me, and quite frankly better pastors then I will ever be talk about this topic.
I feel a huge burden as I look out across our people every Sunday Morning. Each week as I labor in prayer for them I regularly ask God to impart in me wisdom from above, as I lead them. So, here is where I land on this issue. I recognize that not every pastor will agree wholeheartedly with me, but to be quite frank, I'm okay with that. Because I am here to please my Savior and not man.
Let's begin with this passage "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1:22
So I would say this: Revelation (God's Word) + Application (doing) = Transformation. Not: Revelation + Transformation = Application
By the way, I am referring to post Salvation when inserting this formula above...
Let me explain. Way too many Christ Followers stall in the latter formula listed above. They read and read, study and study, and wait and wait for a deep transformation to take place, before they think they have what it takes to serve God. Sometimes going deeper and deeper, yet never "doing" the application.
In my experience at Grace Community we get people to read God's Word and give them assignments of "doing." When someone crosses the line to Salvation in Jesus they live out their faith by "doing" after hearing (Revelation) the Word. And because of the serving; sometimes even assignments that they probably would have never done on their own so quickly, incredible life transformation is produced. Often to the surprise of that individual.
There is something powerful that happens when a person begins to "do" the Word!
I really think James threw a change-up when he wrote that verse in James 1:22. Yet, I also know from first-hand experience that something deeply profound takes place when a person almost immediately begins to "do".
And because of that, our disciples are living their lives on mission almost immediately after conversion and those experiences add rich substance to their journey with Jesus. People who are assigned, encouraged to do the Word begin to live out their faith and learn to bust through fears. Do the Word!
I love my doers of the Word in Goshen. I also believe with all of my heart they are becoming fully devoted "doers" and not only fully devoted "knowers" of the Word!