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intentional growth!

October 5, 2013

Yesterday I was pondering the visit I made to Lille and the relationship based church planting that I saw. I said that these relatioships were intentional, so what did I mean?

The ethos of our friends is that they are working alongside people to help them to be disciples (followers) of Jesus Christ, so they are gently encouraging people to take steps on their faith journey. Steps that are based on what Jesus calls his followers to do and to be, but steps that can be seen as progress, this means that there is an accountability in those relationships. It means the difficult questions get asked “how are you doing with prayer this week?” or “you said you would step out in faith, have you done it?” These are real `up close and personal` questions that rarely if ever get asked in the context of our “event” based church.

Well, they get asked – in sermons and in small group the group gets asked, but if you keep quiet and under the radar they can be avoided. But the tragic result of this is that people avoid the challenge and never grow. So our churches are full of people who started well, but havn’t made a lot of progress since the heady days when they were “saved”.

Of course, if we measure our efficetiveness by how many turned up at the meeting it doesn’t matter. Neither does it matter if we measure our effectiveness by how well the people at the front ran (led) the event, because these people are usually the most gifted and diligent. But none of this has much to do with the Kingdom of God. Jesus sent us to “go and make disciples” if that means building events, or gatherings or organisations we have missed the point. If it means helping people grow, and as they grow helping others grow we may have discovered something very powerful.


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