Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lifeshapes- the square

Let’s just pause for a moment for a very quick recap of the journey we have been on
Way back we talked about how a Kairos moment is a moment in time, an opportunity to enter a circle of repentance and faith – and that these circles continually spiral in our lives and that as we enter and exit we change becoming more Christ like…
From there we saw that God created us to be fruitful, and that fruit in our lives only ever grows when we are in balance – rest and work. In the Semi Circle we saw a prescription for a balanced life.
After that we saw that we need relational balance in out lives too.
That there is balance there in our relationship with God (Up dimension),
relationship with followers of Jesus (In Dimension)
and relationship with those outside the faith (Out Dimesnion).
And from there that as people we grow in faith by working at these three dimension Up – worship and prayer, In – Accountability and close Christian friendships, but also in stepping Out in mission and service
Each of these shapes reflects an aspect of discipleship that Jesus not only taught but lived out in his every day life – I hope what you can see is that through this discipleship is not just about Church Stuff.. or Spiritual Stuff but that discipleship is about everyday stuff – it shapes every are of our lives.
If I am a disciple of Jesus then it needs to inform me in everything
How I am a father
How I spend my money
What car I drive
How I do leisure
Even what music I listen, what books I read, what movies I watch are a reflection of discipleship of my growing relationship with God – I don’t switch off – I either am a disciple 24/7 or not…

This evenings life shapes explores an area of life which for some people is going to seem irrelevant – but trust me it is extremely relevant….
Were looking at the square
And the square is about leadership, before you switch of and say leadership is nothing to do with me hang on a minute
If were going to be honest most of us don’t see ourselves as leaders
I for one have an aversion to anyone who walks into the room and wants to be a leader
Normally ‘leaders’ are seen as being loud, branch sometimes obnoxtious people who will jump up and down and say we do it my way…
While that can certainly be called a type of leadership it’s not the leadership I am interested in following or modeling.
So how about if I use a different word to describe leadership – Influence –
Because at the end of the day Leadership is influence, if a leader is barking the order and no one is following they are just going for a walk
But if leadership is about influence then I can do that
Believe me you can do it too…
Think for a moment of the many ways you can influence a person
Actions, Words, attitude, gestures,

But there is another side about leadership and that is learning how to be a good follower, submitting yourself to what God is doing in your life.
We need to learn how to follow before we can learn how to lead

How does Jesus lead?
Rabinical teaching – the goal is to be come like the rabbi – imitation – you are just like your rabbi – a Mini Me
They ate - you ate
They sleep – you sleep
They walk with a limp – you walk with a limp
You become a photocopy of the person you are following
How you learn is by doing things like they did
Basically if you were a follower of a Rabbi you learnt through imitation

Four movements or stages – Jesus leads in a different way in each – the genius of this is that you can save a lot of pain and heartache if you can recognize where you are at – not just as a leader but as a follower.

D1 Discipleship is Directive _YOU DO AS YOU ARE TOLD
STAGE 1 Mark 1:15-20
"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
[16] As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. [17] "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." [18] At once they left their nets and followed him.
[19] When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. [20] Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
D1 is about a very authoritarian way of leading
–300 and the Phalanx – Stand fast – you don’t question the leader you just follow.
What you end out with through this directive approach is often people who are enthusiastic but extremely incompetent – I think when the Bible talks about people as sheep – it with this leadership in mind
Great place to start but if this is the future of the Church; oh oh we are in trouble!
High Enthusiasm
Low Ability

D2 Discipleship is coaching – Let’s Talk
STAGE 2 Luke 9:1-17
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, [2] and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. [3] He told them: "Take nothing for the journey--no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, and no extra tunic. [4] Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. [5] If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them." [6] So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.
In D1 disciples were enthusiastic they have been pick to join the rabbi school of Jesus – there excited – it probably feels like nothing could get in their way
There working for the God man and God is with them….
But what happens NEXT
[10] When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, [11] but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
[12] Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, "Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here."
[13] He replied, "You give them something to eat."
They answered, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish--unless we go and buy food for all this crowd."
Doesn’t it seem weird they could go and heal in the name of Jesus, but when it came to supplying the sandwiches they were suddenly stumped.
They were suddenly out of their depth…
Enthusiasm is a great place to start, but without skills you soon get overwhelmed, D’s went off to put the world to rites, come back, having succeeded – but verse 13 pulls them back down to earth.

You see this time and time again we start with a hiss and a raw but soon fall over
I see this with Kids all the time – score a couple of goals and they think there Man Utd.
When the opposition picks up there game and starts scoring again
The team who though they were Man Utd suddenly look like Accrington Stanley
There heads go down, they start arguing, this sucks becomes the phrase of the day…
It’s like when you learn to ride a bike – it’s great until you fall of and they say unless you get up straight away and begin ridding again you’ll never get up

So the question is how does Jesus lead in this situation. Well maybe he could try and build up the enthusiasm again – tell them YOU CAN DO IT,
Hype them up – maybe even give them another altar call
` – or he can sit down with them and review the game plan.
If I heave learnt anything D2 is make a break for most people
You feel like giving up but if you can build on the experience if you can learn from the failure you will grow – if you can find Jesus when it feels like you life is in the pit your well on the way to becoming disciple
I Guess Experience proceeds explanation
Having failed means they are open to learn
We’ve tried something - its failed
Were confused, fed up what do we do now
We tried to follow Jesus and it doesn’t work out
We can’t do it… its too hard
Trust me if you can hang in at D2 half the battle is won
What Happens next.
[14] But he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each." [15] The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. [16] Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. [17] They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
D3 Discipleship is Pastoral - Friends
STAGE 3 - John 15:12-17
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. [13] Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. [14] You are my friends if you do what I command. [15] I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. [16] You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. [17] This is my command: Love each other.
A shift has happened
After going through the this sucks stage and being coached on the Disciples are growing in confidence again – but they also have learnt some skills from the coach
The Relationship has changed – their friends
They are still followers of Jesus but he is happy to walk in the pack and direct from within.
He’s much more hands off, in D1 Jesus directed them told them what to do – servants, now they are friends
The beginning of the “feet on the desk stage”
This stage is critical – they are becoming responsible, chances are though they won’t want the responsibility though, because all though everyone wants the badge we tend not to want the responsibility that goes with it….

D4 Discipleship is Delegation – I know you can do it
STAGE 4 Matthew 28:1-20
[16] Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. [17] When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. [18] Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. [19] Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Disiciples have grown in confidence and what’s more they are competent
L’s Low Direction, low examples
This is the Feet on the desk stage Time to delegate responsibility - if you don’t then you will loose them
One of the hardest things I have had to do is this…

The process of discipleship:
Directive -> Coaching -> Pastoral -> Delegating
I do it, you watch.
I do it, you help.
You do it, I help.
You do it, I watch.

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