Sunday, October 14, 2018

Replicate: Growing in the Lord


That is how God made our church.  He made it organic: an organism capable of a-sexual reproduction.  We can, should, must spawn new churches.


That is how God made Christians.  He made us organic. Like a virus eager to replicate the new DNA of the Spirit into the old man of our friends’ and neighbors’ and see them become new.


That’s just what we are terrible at doing.

Once a long time ago, I was a very young missionary in South East Asia.  (If you haven’t been around long, you can find more about me and missions here or here.)  Back then I knew one way to make communion bread. Mix the flour, butter, salt, and a little water or milk together into a pie-like dough and pat it onto a cookie sheet.  Then bake it in the oven until crispy, flaky, goodness has been achieved.

Since that was the only way I knew to do it, that’s what I did.  It was delicious and everyone was pleased. But after a year or so, I knew I wasn’t doing a great job.  Why? Because even though I had a house full of sisters, none of them were participating.

So I asked, “Who would like to make the bread for next week?”

Resounding silence.

I asked again.  Finally one sister said, “We can’t.  We don’t have an oven.”

Think about that for a minute.

Can you make communion bread without an oven?  Of course you can. Do you really need milk or butter, ingredients not really native to SE Asia? No you don't. But that's what they had seen, so that's what they knew.

After that day, I NEVER made communion bread for them in the oven again.  I learned to make it with flour, oil, salt and water. I learned to fry it in a wok.  And I taught them and the many who followed them to do it that way. A way they could replicate. (By the way, it's still delicious!)

The lesson I learned back then is not one I have taken to heart the way I should.  I have since then taught many lessons, deep and interesting ones, on many topics. But not enough on how to teach.  I have done evangelism. Met with seekers, read and studied the Bible one on one and seen some of them become faithful Christians.  But I have not done enough lessons on evangelism. As a teacher it is not just my job to replicate as a Christian, but to make fully mature Christians who can replicate themselves!

I began thinking about this when I realized that as much as I have loved diving deep with my Ladies Bible class, I have not empowered them to study on their own, teach their own seekers, or their own classes. I'll be finishing the series on the character of God, then we are going to have some more practical levels! As I do, I'll be sharing those lessons with you! So keep an eye out for "replicatable" lessons here on the blog and in the meantime, if you are a teacher, a mom, or a leader in any kind of ministry, I want to encourage you to start today thinking about how to make your work more accessible to the people who'll follow you!

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