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I know that no amount of church emphasis can compensate for my own lack of spritual discipline, simple obedience and personal accountability to the scriptures as given to me..which I see as a big temptation- to see my own shortcomings as the results of “bad upbringing”?! from the church as if it is my spritual sire,,Maybe that is what should be investigated- How many of us feel that we have learned how to “do” christianity from the model of church services!!

The diffusion of responsibility to the organization..
When Paul started a church, within a few months he’d made the leaders of the church from what were heathen a few months prior..and then was off to the next pioneering work..How did he effect them? by living with them, 24-7 ..being a model for them to emulate..If we look at our brethren in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, the list goes on and on. These brethren only have a quarter, a tenth, of the resources we have, the education we have available, and yet they walk in the light, as he is in the light, and the blood of Jesus covers them and they have fellowship that seems to be- (I could be romantacizing them) but seems to be more powerful..but maybe it’s because all of my exposure to their fellowships is through journalism-which has a knack for only reporting the powerful..and that’s it! I’m sorry, but I still see that the emphasis of education lends itself to intelligent yet “untrained & undisciplined” christians. Hear me out, I think the classroom setting doesn’t yield the kind of results, in the heart, that Living out our faith does. The classroom – I use that term for the lecture hall style of communication- doesn’t engage the parts of your brain that most of us actually remember or utilize..I may be going out on limb – and maybe no one will understand what I’m getting at but I think that the way you remember something is the way…you will recall it-it’s how you “file it”.. for example when your working next to someone, say cutting roof rafters, I may be speaking for myself here, but there is the classroom and then there is standing next to the master rafter cutter guy..you pick it up, you can grasp it so much more- in real time, when you are Doing It. So you ask, what’s my point. Well, honestly, what are we Doing? What is the mission? From what I’ve read- it’s about personal sanctification and faith in our God as we affect others around us with the light we carry-what kind of disciples do most of us make?  I gotta confess I don’t have a great track record of making disciples because I don’t feel very confident in the discipleship “program” I got… How do you learn that in a classroom? I see a real limitation to the model we utilize to train and fortify the brethren for our mission here on planet earth.

Now, I consider the WERT model that many of you have been engaged in is a totally different concept, and in my opinion more of a working model, able to engage the believer, in this case in street evangelism, and in Action-a much more vital impact is made on the consciousness of the believer. there is also the by product of living with your brethren for a weekend or so..So, all you WERT fellows, thanks for a refreshing look at the church in ACTION.

Doing the Will of the Father..and if we are doing that will in a community-which I know will take TIME – I believe we’ll have much more capable believers.

I know, many will say that’s our job to do privately, personal faith and obedience- we just get together for fellowship and a teaching..and I’m not saying I know a way to tailer or even modify our services to engender that kind of interaction–I don’t think it can, but I see the modeling of churches as the most available means of growth, so should we modify it? or implememt something new?

Most would say the Home fellowship model is the answer, well insomuch as it’s a more personal style of the same thing-mostly “classes”.

Here me out, I ran a home fellowship for years, and I know that the leader can only take the people where they want to go..and where the leader has already been..it’s a complicated pursuit.

So, I don’t want to criticize our Sunday services here, I just wanted to press the issue that I see is needing to be pushed in the efforts of making strong believers.  I would say the only ideas I could come to the table with are to are 1-have everyone fast and pray for God’s wisdom in reference to how to accelerate inter personal spritual discipline modeling 2- spend all day on Sunday together 3-have a strong believer exchange program (sounds a bit goofy-but having a missionary stay with you for a week can impact the rest of your life)-4-develop more of the excursion type focus groups? for “life training” missions..a few of us, a few days, on a particular focus that we could prioritize as a church, and then focus on in small groups? or then there is my favorite- start a Kibbutz!! C’mon-I know you want to..

Our opportunities in the present model of societal structure is making it very challenging for the kind of interaction that makes for strong families- as well as strong believers..we need to come up with something- other than reading biographies about great men of God..

And then there’s the possibility that I’m overcomplicating everything in an effort to be clever and get validation..take me with a grain or two of salt..



2 Responses to “Modelling”

  1. on 27 Jan 2008 at 11:11 pmSean


    You have raised some really important points here. As far as the WERT is concerned, if anyone is unfamiliar with it, click here to see a little commercial (WERT = weekend evangelism road trip). We plan on doing a number of these this spring/summer (as opposed to only one).

    I wonder if we can brainstorm together some ideas on how to do this “build a community” and “grow spiritually” stuff better. Obviously the Sunday sermon model is not doing the job. I think it is good (obviously) but by the nature of what it is (didactic, one way, lecture style, etc.) it cannot do many things that are needed.

    This is why I don’t believe that the home fellowship should be a mini-Sunday. It should be a time where people can “be real,” pray for issues they are facing, find support from each other, and encourage the fire to burn stronger…and so much more as you see the day approaching.

    Even so, there seems to be a disconnect with many who have young children (who go to bed too early for the traditional home-fellowship model). Is it time to break the paradigm? Do something that is hands on, family oriented, thoroughly soaked in prayer, and authentic (as opposed to everyone pretending they are always fine)?

  2. on 28 Jan 2008 at 9:15 pmRich


    I agree with Sean that you bring up some very real issues, that we, as a church, should acknowledge and address.

    While I enjoy Sunday services, and see it as an important part of my discipleship walk, it can’t be my sole diet. We all need to experience not only the fellowship of worship, but also the much deeper fellowship of service – they type of deep bonding which comes from working alongside a fellow disciple in the work of the Lord. And maybe if we, as a church do more of this, we will experience what is perhaps the deepest form of fellowship – the fellowship of suffering – like our persecuted brethren in Cambodia, Iran and Vietnam . No wonder those churches are so hot!

    I like the idea of a believer exchange – that would be very refreshing to host someone in my home for a week or two. And vise versa.

    I can tell you that for several years I have been working with a fellow believer in Prison once a week,. Serving together in that venue has done more to deepen my faith than just about anytheng else I’ve done in the past 10 years. Inmates aren’t trying to impress you with the way they dress or the cars they drive. By the way, there is plenty of room for more work there.

    Let’s keep the ideas flowing – I’d really like to see our church blossom too!


    Henry Blackaby, in his excellent book, “Experiencing God”


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