Jun 05, 2019
In Chp 3, June 3-9
Wow! Kin-ship. The thoughts, questions, concerns, observation McNabb had are the exact ones that brought me back to college ministry. Ten years ago I lived in Dallas, TX and worked at a insurance company called Cigna. Over an over and over again , I met people who had a flourishing college experience (from many different college ministries) and then spiritual face planted on the other side of graduation day. Through those stories I was stirred, I came back, hoping, we could find a better way. I am so excited to be reading a book by someone who has seen the same problem and has proposed a researched answer. Can't wait to read the next chapters. With that said, I think the one huge surprise (or maybe not) is that additional training didn't help. Since Abe, proposed a theory I will also. Every ministry is made up of convictions, culture, and constructs. I am betting that the additional training was mostly centered on constructs and therefore the people didn't have the motivation to walk forward in using the training. But, we shall see. He says the findings were surprising so I am assuming that what ever answer I'd guess at is wrong. Can't wait to see what they came up with and learn from it.
Jun 05, 2019
In Chp 2 - May 27- June 2
This may be a theme many of you choose as it is the main theme of the chapter. God will do more through you than with you. The story of the Flood's is tragic not so much because Svea died (sad yes but not ultimately so, it is better to be with Christ, far better) but because David's reaction was so faithless. Understand I am not judging him. I am not sure I would do any better. In fact, given some of the painful experiences and losses I've experienced I know how easy it is to follow David's pattern. But wow is the Lord faithful. I wonder if David, who felt abandoned by the Lord, ever thought about the fact that the child he abandoned had been cared for by that God. God didn't abandon David , David abandoned Him. Yet even so, God did not abandon his people in Africa and multiplied the work. So this story is very discouraging but it is also encouraging because as I consider the fruit of my own life, I can trust that God will do far more through me than he does with me and that the fruit of my life is far greater than I can see or will ever understand in this world. Like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob so much of this life can seem like God being unfaithful to his promises because He is fulfilling them often times inscrutably. Why? Because what we need most is not ministry success but God. The Lord is our portion, the Lord is our security, the Lord is our treasure, the Lord is our hope, the Lord he is God. The moment we begin to find our identity in ministry is the moment we have stollen the mission of the Gospel from God and made it about us rather than about him, about our greatness rather than His grace. Thankful that the Lord keeps us humble. I remember something John Piper once told me, he said, "God shows me just enough fruit to keep going." I thought to myself, "what! dude, you can't see the fruit?" , but I think it's the Grace of God that sometimes makes us blind to the good he is doing through us, lest we become arrogant or lest we start to depend on the ministry rather than Christ, or lest we take credit for what only God can do.
May 29, 2019
In Chp 1 - May 20-26
The first 4 questions on the first page were very good questions. I think specifically because the last three use the word asking , rather than the world trying. I’m afraid that at age 35, my prayer life is still very deficient and therefore although I could answer some of those question if they had used the phrase “trying to equip” I , unfortunately, can’t answer them nearly as well if the question is how many are you “asking God to equip” through you. Ouch, sock in the gut. God is calling us on His mission. He empowers it, drives it, sets it limits and goals, equips His people, enlightens His children, regenerates the dead, redeems the broken. We are all along for the ride but in some crazy decision of His , he has made us absolutely necessary , there is NO PLAN B. I think we all need to let that seep in. Seriously if that didn’t hit you when you read it in the chapter. Stop right now. And let it actually seep in. You are plan A, there is no plan B. God is either going to make disciples through you or they won’t be made. Now, we may do some spiritual math and say, “well God will make disciples through others if I don’t, he can make the rocks cry out.” I’m not sure history or Jesus will back up that spiritual math. “The fields are white, but the laborers are few, so pray that the God of the harvest would send out laborers.” Well , God has sent laborers - we are them. Are we ready to go? There is no plan B! Here is a question. Have you actually , truly , accepted that the only reason you are still on this planet is to make disciples to the glory of God? Have you accepted that Christ’s authoritative command to make disciples has the primary , life-organizing, priority-setting place, over your life and how you live it? Thank the Lord for His grace.