THE IMPORTANCE OF STRONG FOUNDATIONS.
About 12 years ago we decided we would change our lifestyle, and sell-up and downsize and move into a Retirement Village. We looked at various sites but did not get the wow factor. On visiting Margaret’s sister and her husband in the Latrobe Valley we found this lovely developing Village. We went home and put our house on the market and within 24 hours we had received our first offer. This was during the Global Financial Crisis.
We have never doubted for a moment that our decision was correct and the will of God for us. Almost ten and a half years ago we moved into our Villa, sadly within months because of the GFC the company went into receivership, and the Village was run by receivers for a number of years. It was at last sold and for the first time in its history the Village was debt free, but the new owner had no additional finance to develop the Village. So again about three years ago he sold the Village component of the complex.
Just recently development has restarted, and work has begun on the Community Centre/Clubhouse, and soon more Villas will soon start to be built. The Clubhouse site is about 30 metres from our Villa, so every day I have been watching the progress, and apart from the hole in the ground for the Hydrotherapy Pool (which will be a part of the Clubhouse), nothing can be seen even though there are a dozen or more workers on the site. I asked myself the question “Why is it taking so long”? I then realised what they doing is all foundational work. If we want a quality Clubhouse it must have good strong foundations AND THIS CAN TAKE TIME.
I am sure my regular readers will see where I am going with this. I am honestly FANATICAL about fulfilling the Great Commission Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
IF WE WANT STRONG DISCIPLES WE NEED STRONG FOUDATIONS.
Centuries ago the R.C. church introduced Catechism which was a class teaching program for children which they had to attend and graduate from before they could receive their first Communion.
WHY DO SO MANY CHURCHES BOTH CATHOLIC & PROTESTANT & PENTECOSTA;/CHARISMATIC THINK THAT DISCIPLESHIP IS SIMPLY ABOUT TEACHING AND FILLING THE MIND WITH DOCTINE AND THE RULES OF THE CHURCH.
The R.C. church used to boast “give me a child until they are seven, and we have them all their life”. That may have been true once, but since Vatican 11 this is no longer the case, here in Australia although R.C.s are over 40% of the population, that is around 6 million people only about 10% attend Mass on a regular basis. Many people in the Protestant/Charismatic world make “decisions for Christ”, but the percentage that go on to become strong Christians is sadly relatively small.
Teaching what the Word of God in a class for New Believers is VERY IMPORTANT, but BIBLICAL DISCIPLESHIP IS EVEN MORE ABOUT HOW TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE AND GROW TO MATURITY AS A CHRISTIAN.
LIFESTYLE CANNOT BE TAUGHT IN A CLASSROOM. That is why my definition of Biblical Discipleship is.
WALKING WITH A NEW BELIEVER FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES UNTIL HE IS GROWING TOWARD MATURITY.
The relationship may change from Discipler to MENTOR, but we NEED PEOPLE IN OUR LIFE, I cannot make it on my own, and yes a Discipleship class teaches you how to pray, how to read and meditate on the Word of God, how to protect your mind, how to embrace your inheritance in Christ that was purchased for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and much more, but it also includes being part of a FAMILY (the local church) AND THAT WE NEED EACH OTHER AMEN.
Biblical Discipleship is time consuming, hard work, and often frustrating, but the results can be beyond our wildest dreams. If you are a pastor and reading this, don’t think you have to do it all yourself, if you do, you will never builds a big church, you must train up a team of DISCIPLEMAKERS, snd you do as the Apostles said they must do as recorded in Acts 6:4 NKJV We will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
Lord help us in this 21st century to truly fulfil the Great Commission and make STRONG DISCIPLES FOR YOU.aMEN.