We each carried out our servant assignment. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. I Corinthians 3 The Message
I am by admission a backyard “city boy” gardener. In our Greenville backyard rests a raised bed garden about 4 feet wide X 10 feet long. Therein lies one of my primary places for continuing education.
It’s been twenty years since I helped in planting a church. Our mission then, was: “to make disciples of Jesus Christ who make disciples of Jesus Christ….” As I reflect on that adventure, one filled with much joy, many challenges, and occasional heartbreak, I offer the following advice; borne as much by missing the mark as by the occasional times of missional alignment, which is only and always the result of grace.
- Remember Who Calls You “Beloved” and Calls You To Follow: The Gifts of Solitude, Community, and Compassionate Service – “Once we have made the choice to say, “Yes, I want to follow Jesus,” the question is, “What disciplines will help me remain faithful to that choice?” If we want to be disciples of Jesus, we have to live a disciplined life.“ Henri Nouwen, A Spirituality Of Living https://contemplative-activist.com/tag/henri-nouwen/
- Learn to rely on more than your “Queen” – Investing inordinate time and energy on supporting experiences of worship without an equal or greater commitment to forming disciples will support the notion that “Jesus is to be worshipped but not followed.” https://vantagepoint3.org/a-working-parable-for-such-a-time-as-this/
- Work to shape “Missional Disciples” not “Consumerist Christians.” “I found myself looking at the Risen Christ. But instead of facing me as I thought he would be, he was turned around so that he had his back to me. And do you know what he was looking at? He was looking at the world out beyond him. That’s what he seemed most concerned about – not for the renewal of my vineyard…..but for the redemption of the world. If the redemption of the world is what (Christ) is most concerned about, it ought to be what I am most concerned about too.”
Stephen A Seamands, Holiness Of Heart And Life https://mikefrost.net/books/surprise-the-world/
Still In ONE Peace,
Jon ( the Methodist )
If you would like to view past editions of How Sweet the Sound, follow this link: https://sounddistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/