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You know what I learnt at SACLA?
Posted by: Roger Saner
I have just returned from a really amazing weekend at a youth
conference in Johannesburg called the Change Agents conference -
focusing on working with young people who are involved in the
process of being Agents of Change in their communities and schools
and churches. It was a really enjoyable weekend - I emcee'd the
event (Argus Cycle Tour pink tights and all) and presented a
workshop and so really got a chance to meet a lot of the people
there which was great.
There was a huge multi-cultural mix of people attending the
conference and the worship times where people just really expressed
their passion for God in a way I have not been around for a while
was really refreshing. I really felt connected to God and just felt
the freedom of being able to worship God both in a 'going off' and
in a 'reflective/quieter awareness of Him' way and it was amazing!
There are talks in progress lookng at seeing a regional Change
Agents conference happening in Cape Town next year so that is quite
I got a lot out of the talks and the workshop that I attended (which
was on mentoring) and I'm sure some of that stuff will be expressed
thru TFTW over the next little while and I hope it will challenge
and encourage you. This week's thort is very similiar to some of the
stuff from last week, but it was some of the key stuff that I was
again challenged about at this conference and so just may be
something God is wanting to stress.
Trust you are doing well and growing in your relationship with God,
whether it is feeling good or bad at the moment. He is there and He
May God continue to bless you as you are Faithful In Serving Him
love brett FISH anderson and No_bob
"Instead of a bicycle built for two, what about no kinds of bicycles
at all for anybody, anymore? There, are you happy now?"
[Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy - to view more of these inspirational
quotes check out the Jack Handy Link on www.brettfish.com]
'Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where
Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him;
but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority
in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make
disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey
everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to
the very end of the age.'" [Matthew 28:16-20]
My friend, John Abramse, in his talk, made a very interesting
statement about this passage. He said that our purpose is disciple-
making (and not simply convert-making as I spoke about last week)
but then he went on to add this idea:
What is a disciple? A person that follows you. When Jesus was living
on earth He gathered 12 men around Him and taught them everything He
wanted them to know and they followed Him. So I think in a sense the
passage could be saying 'make disciples' (as in gather some people
around yourself) and then join Paul in what he says in 1 Corinthians
11:1 "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."
The focus is always on Jesus - we are not trying to get people to
follow us, but the emphasis here is more on having a group of people
that we are in relationship with, who we can be discipling and
mentoring so that they will be growing in their following of Jesus.
Then hopefully they will be gathering disciples around them who can
be learning from them and so on.
To give it a little bit of perspective, Jesus (Son of God, filled
with the Holy Spirit, never sinned) worked pretty much fulltime with
a group of 12 men for three years to have the kind of effect He had,
and so it makes sense that most of us will probably manage one or
two people at a time and should not be trying to do that type of
discipling of many more than that. But if each Christian was taking
up the challenge and call of making disciples then it would not
matter how many disciples each person had. Also, if that much time
and effort is being poured into one or two people, then the
relationships and growth are likely to be stronger and longer
Who are you discipling? A disciple is also someone who makes
BE KEEPING AN EYE ON YOURSELF, COS THEY WILL BE!
Another quote that was shared on the weekend was this one by Richard
Baxter (don't worry, I don't know who he is either, but I wrote his
name down!) which says:
"We lead others to the living water, but muddy the waters with our
My friend Edgar Ramsami shared on the conference: "The strength of
your relationship with God is going to be reflected in the lives of
your young people - you can't take them further than you've been."
I have seen both those statements to be so true. I used to do a lot
of Scripture Union camps for young people and it always used to
bother me when the leaders would push into a meal queue for example.
And I guess you could pull out the whole 'You're being too
legalistic' flag and wave it around a bit, but actually the message
that the leader is sending out is 'I don't have to keep the rules.'
And if the leader doesn't have to keep the rules, why should the
kids have to, right?
You can be the greatest speaker or worship leader or evangelist or
whatever, but it is your actions that will speak much louder than
any 'ministry' you do, no matter how powerful it may appear to be.
Far too often we as Christian leaders lead others to the living
water, but muddy the waters with our filthy lives. And it is not
about being perfect because obviously we aren't. But it is largely
about not being hypocritical, saying one thing while living another.
There are a lot of other legalistic objection flags that are being
waved, such as:
What kind of music I listen to/What kind of books I read/What kind
of movies I watch
Having pirated music/movies/games
How I behave in my relationships with members of the opposite sex
And so on... is it really legalistic? Or are you failing to ask the
question, 'How is Jesus involved in that part of my life? Am I
living a life that glorifies God in the area of...?'
And if we are not, then why should the people following us?
Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. [1
Corinthians 10:23] The passage goes on to say, "So whether you eat
or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." [10:31]
Other translations of that Matthew 28 verse say 'As you go, make
disciples...' or the Message which says, 'Whenever and wherever you
go, make disciples...' - this is not an additional extra to being a
Christian, but one of the basic fundamentals. We are all called to
be worshippers of God (first and foremost) and then we are all
called to make disciples and teach them to obey everything Jesus
So once again, who are the people that you are intentionally
discipling? Not just hanging around and spending time with, but
deliberately pouring into their lives, teaching, training and
holding up in prayer?
God bless you
love brett anderson
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