Sunday, September 26, 2010

Real Jesus-Followers Never Need to Be Coerced or Tricked Into Ministry

Torrey Pines, San Diego area
This morning at Redeemer, in the context of preaching Matthew 28:16-20, I gave our people a handout called Getting Involved in the Jesus Movement at Redeemer. I prefaced this by sharing what this handout is not about. My experience in the church is that often, when a pastor gives a handout like this, he's giving it to recruit people into various ministries. People think "Here comes the paper - the pastor wants us to sign up for something again."

That wasn't my purpose this morning. I said, "This is not about you signing up to be in some ministry. But this is for all who signed up for the Jesus Movement, and Jesus in Matthew 28 commissions all of you to go out and do the Kingdom stuff in the world, making disciples of all cultures and sub-cultures ("nations"; in Greek, ethne - ethnic groups [not "nation-states]). My handout was about how I now see the Jesus Movement at Redeemer. It was for all who have already enlisted in that Movement and want to forward it. For such real Jesus-followers, the fact that their Savior has called them to "Go" is enough. No coercion, guilt-manipulation, or trickery is needed.

At this stage of my life in Christ I feel less concerned than ever to pressure into supplying manpower for church programs. Real "church" is neither an entertainment center nor "institution"; rather, it's a Movement. People like myself who joined the Movement as a result of the experiential redemptive activity of their Lord Jesus do not have to be coerced to advance the Kingdom. But some need help and direction as to how where and how to plug in. As a pastor I need to disciple Jesus-followers in that direction.

What a relief, as a pastor, to be in a family like Redeemer! We have so many people who love Jesus and are creatively seeking God for ways to be part of the disciple-making movement.