What Following Jesus Takes

I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. One primary objection Christians have to living the full Christian life is their own busyness. In other words, we aren’t making space for the things that matter most because our lives are filled with other things. We’re also overwhelmed by the tension of being finite beings with infinite expectations for our lives and our families. We burn ourselves out working in our jobs, trying to be parents, and even doing good things in our churches. Most of us feel stretched so thin that we don’t even have space to think about our lives, much less follow Jesus intentionally.

Essentially, I hear many Christians say, “I can’t follow Jesus beyond Sunday because I don’t have time to do that.” The problem is, that’s true. We don’t have space to be intentional, faithful followers of Jesus. We need to create space in our lives to do the right things at the right time with the right people. That’s a recipe for wisdom! We need wisdom. Wisdom is applying the right truth at the right time in the right way. Wisdom always produces abundant life for ourselves and others. The result of walking in wisdom is a satisfied life, not a hurried life. Can you imagine a week when you’re deeply satisfied and experience greater joy in your work, family, relationships, and home?

Following Jesus means living in His wisdom every day.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

Who is the LORD?
Proverbs 1:7 is the guiding statement for the entire Book of Proverbs. Often when we read Proverbs, we’re looking for helpful nuggets to guide our busy lives. Many of the ways we look to conquer our chaotic lives is through organization, rules, boundaries, and new technology. But Proverbs isn’t about us. It’s about the Lord. Fear of the Lord means looking to Him with reverent awe. We can’t understand wisdom apart from an understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ. Proverbs places wisdom within the context of the fear of the Lord. Who is the Lord? Jesus is gracious, compassionate, hospitable, ever-present, hardworking, generous, loving, and brave. His character might be most readily expressed through His submission to the Father and Holy Spirit in every moment and aspect of His life.

What has the LORD done?
Jesus is the true wisdom of God. Paul, writing about the power of the cross and the resurrection, declared this reality 1 Corinthians 1.

… to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 1:24-25

Jesus faithfully pursued, listened to, and walked with God the Father and the Holy Spirit to the cross and into the resurrection. His work in the gospel displays and offers abundant life to everyone for every aspect of life.

Who are we?
Because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 According to this Paul, who are you because Christ is the wisdom of God? What areas of your life do you boast in yourself? (These are likely areas in which you’re trying to prove your own righteousness, fix yourself, and redeem your past.) What does it mean to be someone who boasts in the Lord and is in Him? How does that identity differ from someone who boasts in himself? If we want to be wise, we must acknowledge that we’ve been fools who need Jesus—the wisdom of God for us. Wisdom comes to us as a gift from God. Because God saved us, called us, and chose us, the wisdom of God has come to us in Christ.

How should we live?
To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

Proverbs 1:2-6

What are the activities of people who fear the Lord and seek wisdom? How could you pursue these activities in the areas of wisdom you want to grow in? How would that pursuit lead to wisdom? How can you implement one of these activities in the next week? What will you do? Jesus says if you look to Him and follow Him, He will be wisdom for you. That means you’re not only forgiven for your foolishness, but you also get the Spirit of wisdom, who comes to dwell in you, giving you power and direction for a new life.

(Taken from Making Space by Jeff Vanderstelt, ©2018 LifeWay.)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Vanderstelt

Jeff Vanderstelt

I'm honored that I get to dedicate my life to teaching and equipping the Church. I draw much joy from training and encouraging ministers of the gospel - YOU! I serve the local church as the Director of Missional Communities and a teaching pastor at Doxa Church in Bellevue, Washington. I'm also on the leadership team of Saturate the Sound, a Puget Sound church collective dedicated to seeing our region saturated with the good news of Jesus. When I'm not coaching our missional communities or prepping trainings and sermons, I oversee the vision of Saturate and the Soma Family of Churches; two organizations dedicated to the planting and strengthening of churches that multiply disciple-making communities. On occasion, I also get to do a little writing. Jayne, my beautiful wife of twenty-four years, and I have three children; Haylee, Caleb, and Maggie.

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Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Joining God in Your Neighborhood: Stop, Look, and Listen

Just for fun, ask this question to a group of church leaders: “Is an attractional model of ministry or incarnational emphasis more effective?” Then sit back, as a vigorous discussion is sure to follow.

Attractional ministry implies that the church’s basic strategy for reaching the lost revolves around getting “seekers” or the “unchurched” into the church building. Once inside, the opportunity to present the gospel defines the primary opportunity for evangelism. This is often known as an “invest and invite” approach.

In contrast, the incarnational emphasis of a missional mindset focuses on living and sharing the gospel “where life happens.” The emphasis is placed on the church “disassembling” itself for the primary work of evangelism in the nooks and crannies of everyday life.

In the attractional mode, big church buildings are important, and the church gathered is the consummation of evangelism. In the incarnational mode, fluid and flexible communities of faith are important; the church scattered is the consummation of evangelism. A common rally-cry against the attractional model is that the church should be measured by its sending capacity, not its seating capacity.

The missional reorientation described above represents an important shift in focus from methodology to identity. Sending is not something you do, but being sent is something you are.

SOLUTION #1: Stop, look, and listen

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Gospel Fluency, by Jeff Vanderstelt

Even if they want to, many Christians find it hard to talk to others about Jesus. Is it possible this difficulty is because we’re trying to speak a language we haven’t actually spent time practicing?

To become fluent in a new language, you must immerse yourself in it until you actually start to think about life through it. Becoming fluent in the gospel happens the same way—after believing it, we have to intentionally rehearse it (to ourselves and to others) and immerse ourselves in its truths. Only then will we start to see how everything in our lives, from the mundane to the magnificent, is transformed by the hope of the gospel. 

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

For many people, learning a second language occurred in high school or college, most likely in a classroom setting. You probably had a textbook and some sort of audiovisual support.

Maybe you learned a second language from an audio course of some kind, or an online course.

In each of the scenarios above, you probably were merely translating an unfamiliar language into a familiar one.

However, it’s one thing to know the basics of a language and quite another to become fluent in that language.

Fluency requires more than just translating from the unfamiliar to the familiar; it requires interpreting all of life through that new language.

When you begin to think, feel, and speak in that language, you are moving toward fluency. That language becomes the filter through which you perceive the world – and help others perceive your world and theirs.

It’s the same with gospel fluency.

Gospel fluency begins in you, gets worked out within community, and is expressed to a world that needs to hear about Jesus.

We have to become gospel-fluent people.

Such fluency is what God wants his people to experience with the gospel. He wants them to be able to translate the world around them and the world inside them through the lens of the gospel – the truths of God revealed in the person and work of Jesus. Gospel-fluent people think, feel, and perceive everything in light of what has been accomplished in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

They see the world differently. They think differently. They feel differently.

We are Jesus’s people, who speak the truths of Jesus into the everyday stuff of life.

Speak the truths of Jesus for rightly ordering our budgets. Speak the truths of Jesus for finding a spouse. Speak the truths of Jesus for how we respond to our employers or employees. Speak the truths of Jesus for how we parent our children. Speak the truths of Jesus into everything.

This is gospel fluency.

Language fluency requires immersion into a community of people who speak the language constantly. Gospel fluency requires immersion into a community of people so saturated with the gospel of Jesus Christ that they just can’t stop speaking the truths of Jesus wherever they go and in whatever situations they find themselves.

Jeff Vanderstelt, Gospel Fluency

A NEXT STEP

How can you become gospel fluent?

Just like the example of learning a second language recounted above, the best way to become gospel fluent is through immersion in a gospel-speaking culture.

And, again like the example, you don’t become fluent through classes or passively listening to another language.

You become fluent through immersion in a gospel-speaking place and through ongoing practice.

Consider the following common actions and the related gospel fluency questions:

Listening to people

  • How is this in line with the truths of the gospel?
  • What about Jesus and His work might be good news to this person today?

Experiencing culture

  • What themes of the gospel do you see?
  • What themes represent a false gospel?

Personal transformation

  • How are you experiencing personal changes as the truths of the gospel are integrated into your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and actions?
  • How is hearing and speaking the truths of Jesus Christ into everything helping you grow up into Christ in every way?

Create a way to confront these questions each day for the next seven days. Record your observations around the three areas above each evening as you prepare for bed. Assess your growth in gospel fluency and take steps to continue growth.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How to Eat on Purpose (for the Gospel)

If you and others around you are going to grow in gospel fluency, you need consistent immersion in a gospel-speaking community. This needs to be much more than a weekly gathering of the church where the gospel is preached (though it should include this). It also should be more than a weekly Bible study, small-group gathering,  or missional-community meeting (though I also recommend these). Growth in gospel fluency requires regularly being with others who know and love Jesus, speak about him often, and commit together to regularly remind one another of the gospel when they forget. 

Remember

From the very beginning of the story, the act of eating has played a very significant role in the worship and remembrance of who God is, what he has done, and who we are. God provided a great place for Adam and Eve to live, with all the food they needed. They regularly had the opportunity to remember God, his word, and his work, as well as who they were and what they were called to do. For them, every meal was a time to remember God’s abundant provision and express their worship of him alone. 

When we eat, we see that our food looks good. Some meals look like a painting by Monet, others look like a Picasso, but they are all works of art. We can smell our food. Just think of all the wonderful aromas of the best meals you’ve had. Don’t you love them! And as you put your food in your mouth, there’s an explosion of sensations—sweet, sour, bitter, salty. It’s like a party in your mouth! And you don’t just taste your food, you feel it as well. There are so many textures to experience. And then you hear it as it crunches, or sloshes or slurps its way into your body (some people are annoyed at this part of eating). Through all of this, you are nourished and replenished, strengthened and rebuilt. God wants us to eat and remember—enjoy and worship him—and, at the same time, have our needs met by him. 

Our Needs Are Met

Remember what he said to Adam and Eve: “Eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of that tree, you will surely die” (see Gen. 2:16–17). Every meal was an opportunity to remember, trust, and obey. Every meal was meant to be an act of remembrance and worship. But they didn’t remember, trust, and obey. They ate unto themselves. God designed them to trust in his ability to provide for them. Something outside of them was meant to take care of a deep need inside of them—and he would provide that something. They were not to look outside of his provision.

All of this was meant to point us toward God’s ultimate provision in Jesus. Eventually, Jesus came to be God’s ultimate provision for us. He is the bread of life that meets our deepest needs and satisfies our greatest longings. Every meal is meant to cause us to remember and worship Jesus.

What if you took time at every meal—even very simple ones—to give thanks to God, praying not just at the beginning, but throughout the meal? Our family is trying to use our evening mealtimes more intentionally. We are presently rehearsing the Ten Commandments and going through the gospel with each one of them. We also have given each night a theme to guide what we do together at the meal.

On Mission Monday, we remember together our family’s mission to glorify God and fulfill his purposes in saving us… Teaching Tuesday is when one of the children takes responsibility for our learning from God’s word at the meal… With-Family Wednesday is the night we eat with our missional community… Thanks- giving Thursday is when we take time to give thanks for all God has done… On Fun Friday, we go out to eat, or we eat together and then go to a movie, have a game night, or take a special outing… Serving Saturday often means we are with others for a meal or serving some people… And Sunday is when we remember Jesus through taking communion together at our church’s gathering.

Consider our normal, everyday meals: what if your friends, your family, your small group, or your missional community made it a point to make every single meal a remembrance and worship experience? What if you slowed down enough to remember Jesus at every meal? What if you savored every moment as an opportunity to praise God? 

(Taken from Gospel Fluency Handbook by Jeff Vanderstelt, ©2017)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Vanderstelt

Jeff Vanderstelt

I'm honored that I get to dedicate my life to teaching and equipping the Church. I draw much joy from training and encouraging ministers of the gospel - YOU! I serve the local church as the Director of Missional Communities and a teaching pastor at Doxa Church in Bellevue, Washington. I'm also on the leadership team of Saturate the Sound, a Puget Sound church collective dedicated to seeing our region saturated with the good news of Jesus. When I'm not coaching our missional communities or prepping trainings and sermons, I oversee the vision of Saturate and the Soma Family of Churches; two organizations dedicated to the planting and strengthening of churches that multiply disciple-making communities. On occasion, I also get to do a little writing. Jayne, my beautiful wife of twenty-four years, and I have three children; Haylee, Caleb, and Maggie.

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— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How to Live for Jesus in Three Key Environments

Ask, “What is discipleship?” in a group of church leaders, and if honest answers were forthcoming, the most frequently associated word would be “class” or “group.”

While classes and groups may supplement the discipleship process, attendance alone is insufficient. All-of-life discipleship – learning to follow, trust, and obey Jesus in the everyday stuff of life beyond classroom walls – requires more than completing a book study or participating in a discussion group.

Could it be that we are classifying discipleship in the church with a consumeristic point of view, in which people attend church as passive recipients of religious goods and services?

Solution – Live for Jesus in these three key environments

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Saturate by Jeff Vanderstelt

What does it look like to live for Jesus in the everyday stuff of life?

Many Christians have unwittingly embraced the idea that “church” is a once-a-week event rather than a community of Spirit-empowered people; that “ministry” is what pastors do on Sundays rather than the 24/7 calling of all believers; and that “discipleship” is a program rather than the normal state of every follower of Jesus.

Drawing on his experience as a pastor and church planter, Jeff Vanderstelt wants us to see that there’s more—much more—to the Christian life than sitting in a pew once a week. God has called His people to something bigger: a view of the Christian life that encompasses the ordinary, the extraordinary, and everything in between.

Packed full of biblical teaching, compelling stories, and real-world advice, this book will remind you that Jesus is filling the world with His presence through the everyday lives of everyday people…

People just like you.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

Disciples have a personality, but they are not themselves – at least, when Jesus is at work in and through them.

The disciples of Jesus were all very unique individuals, with peculiar characteristics. Many, if not most, would not be on our list of people whom Jesus would choose to carry forward His ministry and teachings in the first – and twenty-first – centuries.

Yet when those men put down their nets, left their life’s work behind and followed Jesus, something changed. They became saturated with Jesus. He filled them, and in turn, they filled the world by Him.

That same saturation that characterized Jesus’ first disciples is available to us today.

As we’ve grown in following Jesus daily and helped people increasingly submit to Jesus in everything, we’ve discovered that discipleship cannot happen simply by attending church gatherings or going to classes.

All-of-life discipleship – learning to follow, trust, and obey Jesus in the everyday stuff of life – requires submitting to and obeying God’s Word in three key environments: life on life, where our lives are visible and accessible to one another; life in community, where more than one person is developing another; and life on mission, where we experience making disciples and, while doing so, come to realize how much we need God’s power.

God wants to restore you to his original design. That is what discipleship is truly about – making you truly human, just as Jesus is the perfectly complete human.

His means of restoration is others in your life who are committed to bringing your brokenness out into the open and bringing the gospel of Jesus to bear on it. We have to get close. We have to be seen and known.

This is what we call life-on-life discipleship – life that is lived up close so that we are visible and accessible to one another.

Jesus is not finished with me yet, and he has given me a community to participate in making me more like him.

If you look at the life and ministry of Jesus, and subsequently the ministry of the apostle Paul, you certainly would not come to the conclusion that one-on-one discipleship is best. Jesus discipled his followers while they experienced life together in community.

We fulfill the mission of making disciples most effectively when we are on mission in community. To grow toward being a disciple maker in all of life, you need on-the-job training, and that’s what life on mission is about.

Jesus taught the disciples the basics of making disciples while they were on the mission of making disciples. The best training for mission happens while on mission.

Jeff Vanderstelt, Saturate 

A NEXT STEP

In your next large leadership gathering, ask your team to:

  1. List the faith-based activities, classes, or programs they are involved in.
  2. Evaluate on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high) how each activity has helped them grow in their personal relationship with God during the last three months. Discuss how or why not.
  3. Now, ask each person to estimate how much time each week they have developed their personal relationship with God in addition to the group or classroom time.
  4. Ask them what could be different in the activities, if a specifically defined goal of each were to spiritually transform lives outside of meeting time.
  5. Finally, create at least one action step for each leader to move their participation closer toward discipleship.

Bonus: With your staff team, look at your church calendar for the next six months. Ask the question, “How will these activities grow our people as disciples of Jesus?” Go through the same set of five questions above, in terms of major activities on the church calendar.

 


Jesus is in the business of changing selfish people into selfless followers. Church leaders have the responsibility to create and nourish environments, patterns, and relationships that will help believers achieve that transformation.

Taken from SUMS Remix 37-1, published March 2016


This is part of a weekly series posting content from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix Book Summaries for church leaders. SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; and each solution is taken from a different book. As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

> Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Gospel Hospitality

Hospitality is a forgotten art. It also has a lost biblical history. We can recover the art of hospitality by understanding what it is and discerning how the gospel changes our notions of hospitality. In general, hospitality is about treating strangers as equals by creating space for them to be protected, provided for, and taken care of, followed by assisting and guiding them to their next destination. Let’s see how this holds up to scripture.

The Origin of Hospitality

There is a lot of history to consider in understanding the act or art of hospitality, but it all goes back to the beginning. In Genesis 1-2, we discern God’s first hospitable act. Consider what God did when he created the world and the garden of Eden for humanity to live in it. He gave Adam and Eve all they needed to enjoy life restfully while doing the work He created them for. He gave them space to exist, to enjoy creation, and to enjoy each other and fellowship with Him. They were given both the space and the capability to create, to work, and to exercise authority, with all the resources necessary they needed.

Israel: God’s Hospitable People

Consider God’s commands to His people regarding hospitality to strangers (Lev 19:9-10, 33-34; Deut 10:18-19). Through Abraham and Sarah, God created a new nation – a People blessed to be a blessing to all nations. He gave them all the resources and capabilities to exercise hospitality to strangers, orphans, and widows. Similar to the Garden experience, Israel offered His people a place of refuge where others could rest and receive all they needed, enabling them to do what God had created them to do. However, now this rest came in the midst of a broken, sinful world.

On the flip side, think of the number of occasions where Israel found itself as the strangers among a host people. In some cases they found a hospitable reception (Egypt with Joseph in charge; the spies and Rahab). In other cases they found themselves treated like enemies or slaves (Slavery in Egypt; Babylonian Captivity). God had called them to be hospitable, yet they often failed to do so. After, receiving hospitality this must have become clearer to them.

God allows us to experience grace as recipients so that we might be distributors of grace to others.

God allows us to experience grace as recipients so that we might be distributors of grace to others. Hospitality toward Israel was a clear example of God’s gracious gift, once again, and should have motivated generous hospitality. Unfortunately, Israel failed to enter God’s rest because of their unbelief and disobedience (Heb 4). So, they not only failed to rest in the work of God, but also failed to offer that rest to other nations. In all their hospitable failures, they needed one who would fully rest in God in order to become an enduring place of refuge for others.

Rethinking Hospitality with Jesus

Jesus entered into a culture shaped by a variety of world views (The Imperial Cult, Jewish Monotheism, and Hellenistic Philosophy to name a few). In this culture, the concept of hospitality was rooted in several different traditions. First, the idea of taking in a hostile stranger or enemy and treating him as you would yourself. Second, the Greek practice of hospitality in which a stranger passing outside a Greek house would be invited inside the house by the family. The host washed the stranger’s feet and offered him/her food and wine. Only after the stranger was feeling comfortable, could the host ask his or her name. This practice stemmed from the thought that the gods mingled among men, and if you played a poor host to a deity, you would incur the wrath of a god.

A third shaping force in the concept of hospitality in Jesus’ day was the Hebrew understanding (as briefly considered in the passages above and demonstrated also in the story of Lot and the angels– Genesis 19). Jesus comes into this cultural context and calls the weary to himself, feeds the hungry, mends the broken, eats with sinners and tax collectors, washes his disciples’ feet…and ultimately gives his life to cleanse us from sin, deal with our unbelief and provide a way and place for us to rest. Jesus lives, loves, obeys, works, dies, and rises again so that we might find a place of rest, renewal and recreation. He offers us rest in order to send us on our way to be about God’s purposes – rescued to offer rest. Jesus saved us to be His Hospitable People!

3 Ways the Church Can be Hospitable

In light of the gospel, we might define hospitality as the creation of a space that allows people to BE themselves, to BECOME renewed, and to DO the works God has saved them for. When we properly exercise hospitality, we welcome people to be themselves in the warmth of the light of Christ, to become renewed by being changed by the work of Christ, and to do works we have been created for in Christ.

TO BE RESTED

In a broken world, marred and diseased by the effects of sin, people need the space to rest. This is why Jesus called people who were weary and heavy-laden to come to him. He would give them rest for their weary souls. Jesus calls us to rest in His work on our behalf so we can be a people at rest who provide sanctuaries of rest for others.

Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed. God had created a place and made space for them to be themselves without covering or facades. If we are in Christ, we are clothed with His righteousness. We don’t need to cover up or hide. One of the ways we create space for people to experience and come to understand the gospel is by creating space for people to reveal their true self and see that they are loved regardless of the “wrinkles and scars” of sin. How do we create space for people to be their true self?

TO BECOME RENEWED

The gospel isn’t only about loving and forgiving sinners. It is also about restoring broken and marred people into healed and whole people who grow up to become imitators of Jesus Christ – restored image bearers of God. Jesus created space for people to be and to become (Think of Mary, Peter, Thomas, the woman at the well, the blind man, the paralyzed). Gospel hospitality implies creating space for people to be known, to be real, to be loved, and ultimately to be led with the Holy Spirit’s help to healing and wholeness through the work and person of Jesus Christ. How do we create space for people to be led toward healing and wholeness?

TO DO WORKS

The gospel moves from who God is and what Christ has done on our behalf into the works He created us to do (See Ephesians 2:8-10).

This is the result of Jesus’ gospel hospitality. He got on the same level with his enemy – becoming human. He became our servant – to the point of death. He spent all that He had in order to clean us up – by becoming our sin and giving us His righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). Then He sent us His Spirit to empower us to do good works for His sake so others could be welcomed in to the family. When we engage in gospel hospitality, we are regularly asking ourselves this question:

How do we create space for the stranger to be rested, restored, healed, and prepared in Jesus Christ for the work God has called them to?

Will you join God’s rich history of providing rest in order to extend rest? Remember, everything he has called you to do he has already done for you in Christ Jesus. You have everything you need to offer gospel hospitality to the strangers, friends, and even enemies around you.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Vanderstelt

Jeff Vanderstelt

I'm honored that I get to dedicate my life to teaching and equipping the Church. I draw much joy from training and encouraging ministers of the gospel - YOU! I serve the local church as the Director of Missional Communities and a teaching pastor at Doxa Church in Bellevue, Washington. I'm also on the leadership team of Saturate the Sound, a Puget Sound church collective dedicated to seeing our region saturated with the good news of Jesus. When I'm not coaching our missional communities or prepping trainings and sermons, I oversee the vision of Saturate and the Soma Family of Churches; two organizations dedicated to the planting and strengthening of churches that multiply disciple-making communities. On occasion, I also get to do a little writing. Jayne, my beautiful wife of twenty-four years, and I have three children; Haylee, Caleb, and Maggie.

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What is Missional Community?

A missional community is a family of missionary servants who make disciples who make disciples.

Family

First of all, a missional community is a group of believers who live and experience life together like a family. They see God as their Father because of their faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ and the new regeneration brought about by the Holy Spirit. This means they have and know of a divine love that leads them to love one another as brothers and sisters. They treat one another as children of God deeply loved by the Father in everything — sharing their money, time, resources, needs, hurts, successes, etc. They know each other well. This knowledge includes knowing each other’s stories and having familiarity with one another’s strengths and struggles in regards to belief in the gospel and it’s application to all of life (John 1:11-13; Romans 12:10-16; Ephesians 5:1-2).

Missionaries

God’s family is also sent like the Son by the Spirit to proclaim the good news of the kingdom — the gospel — and fulfill the commission of Jesus. A missional community is more than a bible study or a small group that cares for other believers. A missional community is made up of Spirit-led and Spirit-filled people who radically reorient their lives together for the mission of making disciples of a particular people and place where there is a gospel gap (no consistent gospel witness). This means people’s schedule, resources and decisions are now collectively built around reaching people together (Matthew 3:16-4:1; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 13:2).

Servants

Jesus is Lord and we are his Servants. A missional community serves those around them as though they are serving Jesus. In doing so, they give a foretaste of what life will be like under the rule and reign of Jesus Christ. Living as servants to the King who serve others as he served presents a tangible witness to Jesus’ kingdom and the power of the gospel to change lives. A missional community serves in such a way that it demands a Gospel explanation — lives that cannot be explained in any other way than by the Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus (Matthew 20:25-28; John 13:1-17; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Peter 2:16).

Disciples

We are all learners of Jesus our rabbi who has given us his Spirit to teach us all that is true about Jesus and enable us to live out his commands. Jesus commanded us to make disciples who believe the gospel, are established in a new identity and are able to obey all of his commands (Matthew 28:19-20).

The missional community is the best context in which this can happen. Disciples are made and developed:

  1. through life on life, where there is visibility and accessibility
  2. in community, where they can practice the one anothers, and
  3. on mission where they learn how to proclaim the gospel and make disciples.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Vanderstelt

Jeff Vanderstelt

I'm honored that I get to dedicate my life to teaching and equipping the Church. I draw much joy from training and encouraging ministers of the gospel - YOU! I serve the local church as the Director of Missional Communities and a teaching pastor at Doxa Church in Bellevue, Washington. I'm also on the leadership team of Saturate the Sound, a Puget Sound church collective dedicated to seeing our region saturated with the good news of Jesus. When I'm not coaching our missional communities or prepping trainings and sermons, I oversee the vision of Saturate and the Soma Family of Churches; two organizations dedicated to the planting and strengthening of churches that multiply disciple-making communities. On occasion, I also get to do a little writing. Jayne, my beautiful wife of twenty-four years, and I have three children; Haylee, Caleb, and Maggie.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I ask: “How long have you been coming here?” It’s works in every situation.
 
— Russell C
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Excellent information, thank You
 
— Thomas TC Gotcher
 
comment_post_ID); ?> […] source: https://www.visionroom.com/leadership-and-the-power-of-listening/ […]
 
— Bolstering your Leadership Armoury-Part 2- Leadership series – Toyer M–All things testing
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.