Archive for August, 2011

Rediscovering our Faith

Travelling around the world I have found the thought of invitation driven by fear, stress, anxiety doubt and unbelief. I want to challenge that present culture and replant a thought of invitation driven by courage and faith.

If you think you are beaten you are
If you think you dare not you don’t

If you like to win and think you can’t

it’s almost certain you won’t

If you think you’ll lose your lost

for out of the world we find

success begins with a person’s will

it’s all in the state of mind

If you think your outclassed you are

you’ve got to think high to rise

you’ve got to be sure of yourself

before you can ever win the prize

Life’s battles don’t always go

to the stronger or faster man

But sooner or later the man who wins

is the man who thinks he can!

Faith removes limitation. One with God is the majority. Nothing is impossible with God. He can moves the mountains of fear in our lives

The Skeptic Within

Before an Invitational Sunday the forces of skepticism gather. Preparations can be made in the midst of a fair (fear) level of skepticism. This is a good sign that we are in the midst of a battle. It could be said that Christianity is a battle of the mind. The Scriptures tell us “As a man thinketh so he is”. In other words your inner mind is revealed through your words and actions. This is valuable information for the church leader who needs to know the areas in person’s life in which to minister.
In Luke 10 Jesus set out the reality of invitational mission “I am sending you as lambs in the midst of wolves” and later “whenever you enter a town that does not receive you shake the dust from your feet”. Jesus is signalling that there will be opposition. The Skeptic is partially right in expecting invitational failure, but Jesus says “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” Despite the rejection of our invitation that we might receive Jesus urges us on to the plentiful harvest. In modern parlance you may have to kiss alot of frogs till you find your Prince!

Invitational Resilience

“Resilience” is the positive capacity of people to cope with stress and adversity. The negative response to the last invitation may have been taken as a personal rejection and has stopped us from trying again.

Contrast this ‘giving up’ attitude with the life of Jesus and the early church where there appears to be a remarkable resilience to rejection and persecution. Many early Christians were beaten, imprisoned, tortured and put in stressful situations, yet still Christianity spread. What made the early church so resilient when the church today seems to become paralysed with fear after even mild disappointments? It is almost as if  rejection and persecution led them to an even stronger faith.

I have heard many Christians say that what we need is a bit of persecution to sort out the church. This comes from the belief that testing makes faith stronger.
In fact Matthew 5 it says “Blessed are those that are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
We could exchange the word blessed for happy. Happy are those who are persecuted and rejected. Could we say that about the church of today?

We need the resilience of the Sower who kept on sowing despite knowing that some of the seed failed to reach the good soil.

Never give up on Invitation

You take a little seed, plant it, water it, and fertilise it for a whole year, and nothing happens

The second year you water it and fertilise it, and nothing happens

The third year you water it and fertilise it, and nothing happens. How discouraging this becomes!

The fourth year you water it and fertilise it, and nothing happens. This is very frustating

The fifth year you continue to water and fertilise the seed and then…take note. Sometime during the fifth year, the Chinese bamboo tree spouts and grows NINETY FEET IN SIX WEEK

So did the bamboo tree grow 90 feet tall in 6 weeks or five years? It grows 90 feet tall in five years, because if at anytime had the person stopped watering, fertilising and nurturing the dream of a tree, the tree would have died in the ground.

Invitation is much akin to the growing process of the Chinese bamboo tree.

It is often discouraging. We invite people and get turned down several times, and nothing happens

But for those who continue to invite and are not discouraged and are persistent, things will eventually happen.