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Showing posts with the label discipleship

Checklist Christianity: How to Measure Spiritual Success

One of the questions I often get asked when talking about discipleship, spiritual formation, and small groups is: "How do you measure success?" I'm not a big fan of this question. See, there was a time in my life, when I could have easily answered that question. Back in the day we (me and lots of other Christians like me) used a formula to measure how spiritual someone was. It looked like this: SQ = [(SUa+TUv)/26]+[(SUp+WPM)/52]+[(TRM+MC)/5] 8 is the perfect score, meaning you are very spiritual. Of course you could apply a bonus formula to gain two extra bonus points if you wanted. Those two points could come in very handy if you fell short of 8, or if you wanted to be elected to a committee during the annual fall elections. A score higher than 8 virtually assured you a spot on the committee of your choice. The bonus formula was as follows: BSQ = SQ+KJV+BAPT If you grew up in a church like mine, this is all old hat to you. You've seen these equations many times

Measuring Success in the Church

Numbers can never tell an accurate story of a church's success. To assess a church, a group or a ministry's level of success or failure with any type of numerical measure is to impose upon the church an institutional criteria and burden never discussed in the New Testament. The successful church, the successful ministry or group within a church, and the successful Christian is the one who is faithful, not the one who is large or rich . Faithfulness for a church, for a ministry or group within a church, or for an individual believer is measured in obedience and worship. By obedience, I mean striving to be and do what Scripture has clearly prescribed; and trying to accurately determine and live out what Scripture has implied. Obedience precedes worship because: A) True obedience is an act of worship. B) Worship without obedience is disgusting to God. By worship, I mean utilizing every resource available to appropriately revere and represent God.

5 Lists of 3. Simplifying the Process of Spiritual Formation

Captain Jack Sparrow held one of the Pirate Lord's eight pieces of nine. I just get a kick out of that term. Today, I give you five lists of three. These are five different lists which each seek to describe (not necessarily define) the process of spiritual formation . These lists are not meant to be comprehensive, nor are they solely instructional; but hopefully they provide some opportunity for reflection. Here we go: 1. A Church's Approach to Spiritual Formation: Teach Biblical Content Encourage Spiritual Disciplines Empower Christlike Mission 2. A Group Approach to Spiritual Formation: Partnering for growth together Serving the church together Engaging the world together 3. A Personal Approach to Spiritual Formation: Be a disciple Be invitational Be missional 4. A Progressive Approach to Spiritual Formation: Leave Life (for Christ's) Live Life (of obedience) Give Life (for others) 5. A Progressive Approach to Spiritual Formation (2): Obey Love Bear Fruit What do you t

10 Questions to Evaluate the Spiritual Formation Process of Your Church

Since I love lists, I often save good ones I find. A few years ago, I came across this one from Mark Waltz . He asked the following ten questions about spiritual formation in the church. Back then, I thought it would be fun to answer the questions from my perspective and then get feedback from you as to whether or not you see things like this? Looking back at my answers several years ago, I am at once encouraged because I still very much believe what I wrote then. However, I am also a bit frustrated because I'm not sure we've done an effective job in accomplishing some of the things I wrote about then. What do you think? Were these good answers then? Are they good answers now? Do we need to re-look at some of this stuff? 10 Questions to Ask about the Spiritual Transformation Process in Your Church 1. How is spiritual transformation defined in our church? The work of the Holy Spirit in transforming us to the image of Christ who is the perfect representation of the Father.