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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thoughts...9-30-10

Lately I've been reading "Jesus the Pastor" by John W. Frye. The byline of the book says "Leading others in the power and character of Christ", and it's been such an encouraging and inspiring read to this point.

It's amazing to me to look at Jesus' ministry on the earth through the Pastoral lens, and it's caused me to think through who I am in Christ and why I do what I do, which are very pertinent concepts to ponder.

So here's where I'm at today regarding my thought process for ministry…

"I'm a believer in Jesus, so I'm a member of his family. Since I'm a member of His family I've been given gifts, abilities, a personality and unique experiences that have all worked together to shape me into the leader God wants me to be.

I've been called to full time ministry, I've been trained for Pastoral ministry, and have been given many opportunities over the years to serve Jesus in that role. As a follower of Jesus my guide book is not man made but God breathed and since God's plan (2 Cor. 5:11-21) is a plan of reconciling all men to Himself, and his plan includes me being reconciled to Him and then being used of Him to share that message with the world." The question then becomes "as a leader who has this message and mission how do I as a member of His family (individual) fulfill this mission?

Since I have a dual role as individual member of God's family and recipient of some specific spiritual gifts (Pastor, Teacher, Leader) how does God's guidebook instruct me to fulfill His mission individually and corporately through His body here on earth (The Church)?"

Fortunately, we have 2 clear passages of scripture that outline Jesus's purposeful plan. The Great Commission (Mt. 28:19-20) and Great Commandment (Mt 22:37-40) spell out what I need to be abut individually and since the body of Christ is made up of individuals like me the given principles apply to the Church at large as well…Make Disciples who are devoted to becoming more and more like Jesus.

If I seek to be about evangelism, ministry, worship, discipleship, and fellowship in my own life and the rest of God's family does the same it stands to reason that the body of Christ will be made up of that unified lifestyle as well, and the mission of restored relationship with our Creator and a life lived to the full here on earth will be fulfilled.

That's the big picture of my thought process for who I am in Christ, Why I do what I do, and why I believe God has allowed me to experience the things I have and why He has led me to be a part of this ministry at this exact point in time.

I believe that once we know who we are in Christ and what our part in the body is all about we are then ready to be involved in fulfilling His mandates to us as believers and as a church.

I've always liked to think of the organizational fulfillment of the Great Commission and Great Commandment as a healthy balance of the Biblical purposes fleshed out through prayerfully planned and strategically implemented tools to reach an audience, fulfill a purpose and challenge people to either begin a relationship with Jesus or go deeper in their devotion with Him.

The passage that I shared last week with the students at SUNY Binghamton is still rattling around in my heart and mind especially as it relates to wanting to be part of something that amazes people with the power and love of Jesus.

Check out the encounter that Jesus had with the Pharisees and Religious leaders after Jesus forgave the paralyzed man of his sins and just before He healed him of his infirmity.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaQEJUN-GF0

My prayer today is that my life, my ministry, my role, everything about me would be so in line with what Jesus desires that the world would take notice...not of me but of the difference maker - Jesus Christ!

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