Our goal is to be mature followers of Christ. Let’s unpack this concept of ‘maturity.’ A mature follower of Christ should be able to reproduce – bring others to Christ. As mature followers of Christ, we should be able to help others mature in Christ. We ourselves should be life long learners – learning, sharpening our skills and passing this on to others. Let’s look at one of the particular skills we need to focus on:
There is the planter, apostle, or missionary. The term is not particularly relevant. This is what is relevant… Did you know that ‘new works’ – even new Bible Studies and Sunday School classes tend to grow ‘old’ in about 2 years? They become ‘old wineskins.’ Being an old wineskin means that you can’t very well put new wine in. After about 2 years, most of the people’s relationships are ‘set’ and new people – new wine – cannot be knit in. If we are going to be effective in building the Kingdom, we need a continuos stream of new wineskins, new works planted for the King. We need new Bible Studies, Men’s groups, Women’s groups, ministries to address special needs, new churches, etc. Who do you think needs to do the job of planting and supporting these new works? “Ahhh…” you might say, “Some professional planter or missionary?” Nope! You and me! This means we need to understand how to step out to plant and how to help others plant. This means building leadership skills; it means sharpening our people skills. What kind of building blocks do you think go into the creation of new works? Hint, hint, it is NOT bricks and mortar. The building blocks of new works are people.
The word Apostle means ‘sent out one.’ It is not some type of high-falutin’ title to put at the beginning of our name or some other such silliness. It means people who are sent out to advance the Kingdom – to start and support new works. And, here is a big tidbit. We are all sent out to build the Kingdom! If you are a ‘you’ then you are called to the GREAT COMMISSION. Go make disciples of all NATIONS, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded.” – Jesus.
Are we going? Are our sights set high enough? Make disciples of all NATIONS. From Proverbs we understand that ‘those who are skilled in their work will stand before Kings.’ Let’s get serious about being skilled in Kingdom work. Let’s learn the skills of planting and building. Let’s set our sights high and just see how far ‘up’ and ‘out’ our influence can go. Has anyone prayed the Prayer of Jabez lately?