The Exceptional Giver

“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1–4, NASB95)

Read more...

The Disciple – A Student Follower

And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”” (Matthew 4:19) 

“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:38 

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”” (Matthew 19:21) 

The disciple is a learner. One who willingly sits under the teaching of another to grow in knowledge and experience. In our modern world, we call these people interns. Jesus called twelve men to intern under Him so that He could prepare them to become the leaders of the Church on Earth. For three years they would follow after Jesus, learn His doctrine, practice acts of service under His supervision, and eventually go out on their own to replicate His ministry. 

Discipleship is found throughout the Scriptures. For example, Samuel the Priest was first an intern for the priest Eli; Elisha the prophet served first under Elijah the prophet; young Timothy served under the Apostle Paul and eventually was sent to Ephesus in Paul’s place. Yet, the best example of all is offered by Jesus, who calls all those who believe in Him to continue in His Word, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”” (John 8:31–32) 

True church growth is based on the principle of discipleship. Jesus made disciples and His disciples made disciples. When the church stops making disciples we stop fulfilling our mission. Thom Rainer perhaps said it best, “Thriving churches have the Great Commission as the centerpiece of their vision, while dying churches have forgotten the clear command of Christ.”― Thom S. Rainer, Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive

Are you sitting under a disciple-maker? Are you actively making disciples? This is the commission: “go and make disciples,” let us answer the call and obey Jesus’ command. 
 
Pastor Cary Wacker


Who is Following You?

The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2)

In our faith, we follow in someone’s steps. In our faith, we leave footprints to guide others. It’s the principle of discipleship. – Max Lucado

The apostle Paul sent the letter we call Ephesians, to his son in the faith, Timothy. Paul wanted to encourage him to be strong as Timothy served the church of Ephesus.

Timothy’s role was to build up the church during a time when leadership was weak and potentially yielding to falsehood. Paul was in prison, so he was unable to go to Ephesus himself. Instead, he sent his disciple to correct the church, and disciple their leaders. Paul’s goal was to advance the Gospel by training individuals who would then train others. 

Everything Timothy was taught regarding Jesus came from Paul, his spiritual father, and teacher. Timothy’s schooling began early; he was first called into service (Acts 16) to assist Paul. They traveled throughout Asia preaching the Gospel. Imagine all the wonders that young Timothy saw, heard and experienced. Paul wasn’t looking for cheap labor in Timothy, he was training his replacement. 

The pattern of discipleship is to hear, learn, grow and then teach others to hear, learn, grow and teach others. Jesus gave to His disciples all that the Father had given Him to teach. Consider Jesus’ words in His prayer to the Father, “Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me” (John 17:7–8). Jesus made disciples and then, having made disciples, He sent them out to repeat the process. In the same way, Paul heard from Jesus and taught Timothy, who in turn taught others.  

Discipleship is not an option – it is a mandate for the Christ Follower. Jesus’ imperative, in Matthew 28:19, isn’t to go and make converts, but rather to go make disciples. Conversion is only the introductory part of discipleship. Spiritual maturity in Christ is the fulfillment of discipleship. 

So, who is following you?



Being the Worshipper

God wants worshippers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship.

A. W. Tozer

Read more...

The Evangelist

 7 Behaviors of a Balanced Believer – The Evangelist

Somehow we have gotten the notion that winning people to Christ is the business of the professionals. Not only is this belief wrong, but relegating it to the professionals is a death sentence to any church. Unless we the people, the people of our congregation are sharing our faith, our church dies. We will go into a maintenance mode, that is, maintaining the people that are here, without reaching the lost. And eventually, the people who are here will move away or die and then the church dies.


Read more...